FBI agent ate his way into mob boss' heart

May 17, 2006 at 3:40 PM

NEW YORK, May 17 (UPI) -- Once-svelte undercover FBI agent Joaquin Garcia gained 80 pounds while infiltrating the New York mob, a change noticed by the judge hearing the charges.

"Were you slim before you started this case?" New York federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein asked the now-retired agent, who testified Tuesday about secretly recorded chats during meals with accused mobster Greg DePalma.

The fake GoodFella confessed he had become a fat fellow while posing as Jack Falcone during his 2-year undercover stint.

"I gained a good 80 pounds in this case," said Garcia. "I did a lot of eating."

The judge allowed Garcia to dodge a later defense question about how heavily he tips the scales, The New York Daily News reported.

Garcia was so convincing that DePalma in October 2004 invited him to join the mob family once headed by John Gotti, the newspaper reported of trial testimony.

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