7. For Gregg Hill, life in a mafia family meant constant visits by the police
Gregg Hill, the older of the two Hill children, mentioned the presence of large amounts of drugs in their home, as well as the presence of friends and acquaintances who consumed and purchased them. Sacks of marijuana and bricks of cocaine were nearly always in the house, concealed in various stashes on the premises. Police visits to the home were frequent, though Hill often had prior knowledge of the coming raid from informants on the Vario payroll, and had the evidence removed before the raid ensued. The drug raid depicted in Goodfellas, following Henry’s arrest in his driveway, was different. The large amounts of drugs seized meant Henry Hill could go to prison on state charges for a very long time. But his known connections with the Mafia led the federal authorities to intervene. Hill knew the drug charges would enrage Vario and Burke.
Entering WITSEC would give the US Attorneys a valuable witness, not only against the Lucchese family associates but others of the Five Families as well. Henry also knew that Burke was behind the disappearance of so many of their associates and that Jimmy wouldn’t hesitate to have him killed. Henry Hill viewed WITSEC as a means of escaping his Mafia enemies, though not its lifestyle while being paid and protected by the federal government. For his wife and his children, WITSEC completely upended their lives, families, and friends. For Henry, it provided an opportunity to get away with past crimes and offered a new location from which he could operate. On May 20, 1980, Karen Hill and her children were driven to their home by US Marshals, allowed to pack one bag apiece, and then driven to a secret location, where Marshals guarded them around the clock.