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A former steward for Laborers Local 210 was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison Tuesday in what is believed to be the first successful felony prosecution against the union local.

John Catanzaro, 47, of Buffalo also is barred from holding an office in the union for six years after his release from prison under a plea bargain that led to sentencing by U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin. Catanzaro was last listed as living on North Park Avenue.

Catanzaro and Joseph Rosato, another Local 210 official, were indicted in April 1988 in connection with a widely publicized FBI probe into no-show construction job scams involving the union.

Catanzaro, identified in FBI records as a Mafia associate, took thousands of dollars in salary while seldom working as a steward on a Niagara County brine pipeline project, according to prosecutors Charles B. Wydysh and Richard P. Maigret of the U.S. attorney's office.

Last November, Catanzaro pleaded guilty to accepting money in the no-show scheme and to an unrelated felony count of conspiracy in a case involving the sale of counterfeit luxury watches to an undercover FBI agent.

Catanzaro, represented by attorney Harold J. Boreanaz, told Curtin Tuesday he had nothing to say about the allegations against him.

Under the plea agreement, he must reimburse the government $1,250 for half the cost of the counterfeit watches.

In addition to being barred from holding office in Local 210 for six years, he is barred from holding an office with the Local 210 pension fund for 13 years, Wydysh said.

Rosato, 52, of Kenmore is expected to go to trial this spring.

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