BROOKLYN - Prosecutors told a judge Wednesday that they need more time to hammer out a plea deal with the alleged mastermind of an illegal body parts harvesting operation.

Michael Mastromarino was supposed to plead guilty Wednesday, but prosecutors asked for more time. The Brooklyn judge gave them another week to finalize the deal.

Mastromarino and others are accused of stealing body parts from hundreds of corpses and selling them for millions of dollars. Some of the parts are believed to have gone to unwitting patients.

Mastromarino's attorney says his client is ready and willing to take a plea deal. "It's a lot of time in jail, but it also gives him the ability to have a life after jail," says defense lawyer Mario Gallucci. "If he went to trial, he would probably never see life outside of jail again."

Some of the body parts allegedly came from the Daniel George and Son Funeral Home in Bath Beach.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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