Man Admits to Selling Stolen Body Parts
New Jersey dentist ran ring that harvested bones and tissue
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 9:57 PM CDT
This photo provided by the Brooklyn District Attorney shows Michael Mastomarino, who pleaded guilty to leading a scheme to steal body parts from corpses.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A New Jersey dentist who ran a business plundering body parts from corpses in funeral homes pleaded guilty in Brooklyn today, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. Michael Mastromarino, 44, admitted to removing bones and tissue from two dozen corpses, which were sold to tissue processors for use in transplants and other surgery. He now owes $4.68 million and faces up to 54 years in prison.

"I feel horrible for the victims in this case," his lawyer told the AP. "There is no excuse for what he did." Mastromarino and three other defendants disguised their crimes by sewing pipe in bodies they'd removed bones from before relatives saw them. His company, provided tissue for about 10,000 people. Among the corpses mutilated was that of Alistair Cooke, the host of “Masterpiece Theater.”