NEW YORK -- The cousin of the prime suspect in the slaying of a federal drug agent has told authorities he witnessed the gunman pulling up to the agent's car and shooting him to death, a television station reported Friday.
Dominick Farace, whose cousin Constabile 'Gus' Farace is the prime suspect in the killing, also told the FBI that the Mafia threatened to kill him and his cousin's father unless Constabile Farace turned himself in, WNBC-TV reported, citing unnamed federal sources.
Constabile Farace is wanted in the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Everett Hatcher, 46, shot four times point-blank Feb. 28 as he sat in his car on Staten Island while working undercover in a cocaine investigation.
WNBC reported mobsters ordered Dominick Farace to turn in his cousin because the Mafia was losing money in Staten Island and Brooklyn as a result of pressure from federal agents waging an all-out search for Hatcher's killer. The station also described the move as a 'peace offering' to federal agents.
WNBC quoted law enforcement sources as saying Dominick Farace told the FBI of driving with Constabile Farace when he pulled up alongside Hatcher and allegedly fired the shots that killed the federal agent.
Dominick Farace also told federal agents where to find a pistol that investigators were seeking as a link to the killing, WNBC quoted investigators as saying. The weapon had been tossed off the Arthur Kill Bridge in Staten Island, the station said.
The DEA has recovered a gun it says may be linked to the investigation.
'They retrieved a weapon that we believe is connected to the Hatcher investigation,' DEA spokesman Robert Strang told United Press International.
Hundreds of FBI and DEA agents have been searching for Constabile Farace, who had served seven years on a manslaughter conviction before his parole in June 1988.
Hatcher had planned to meet Farace on the deserted overpass in Staten Island where he was killed.
The DEA still believes Farace is hiding out on Staten Island.
Federal authorites Wednesday arrested Margaret Scarpa, a Staten Island woman they said may have harbored Farace.
Scarpa, 38, was arrested when more than 100 police and federal agents swept into her home.
Federal agents believe Margaret Scarpa's father, Gerald Chilli, 55, is involved in narcotics distribution and he apparently spent time with Farace in prison.
Chilli and his brother, Joseph Jr., 58, a reputed capo in the Bonnano crime family, were among 10 people indicted in April on charges they ran a loansharking operation at the Fulton Fish market.
Scarpa's husband, Alfred, was shot to death in a Manhattan bar last February in a mob-style hit.
President Bush met with Hatcher's widow shortly after the killing and addressed his colleagues at the DEA's New York field office to draw attention the escalating drug plague.