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Sept 15, 2016

Judge OKs Bail For Accused Mastermind Of $5 Million Bank Heists; But He's Still Behind Bars

Michael MazzaraFederal prosecutors in Manhattan struck out swinging last week trying to keep the accused mastermind of two bank heists that netted $5 million in proceeds behind bars. During a contentious session on Friday, Manhattan Judge Laura Swain turned down a motion by the government to detain mob associate Michael Mazzara. The feds had argued Mazzara is a dangerous, untrustworthy career criminal with the means and the motive to run away rather than stick around to face trial and a long prison term upon conviction.

But the judge wasn't buying. She upheld the $2 million bail that was set seven weeks ago by a Magistrate judge who also imposed stringent conditions that Mazzara and his lawyer have so far been unable to meet.

Swain's decision followed a similar rejection by Judge Valerie Caproni regarding a prosecution request to overturn another Magistrate's ruling that set bail for Anthony Mascuzzio at $1.5 million, with numerous other conditions, including electronic monitoring and home detention, and the need to find seven upstanding citizens to co-sign a $1.5 million bond.

Gary FamaDark Side Judge Agrees To Lighten Up On Hapless Bank Robber

His big smile and distinctive Darth Vader-like voice were the same, but the words that Brooklyn Federal Judge William Kuntz uttered the other day were markedly different than the ones he uttered three years ago when he gave hapless mob associate Gary Fama 35 years behind bars for a $5600 bank robbery.

Gerald Chilli Jerry Chilli Checks Out In Sunshine State Home Away From Home

Gerald (Jerry) Chilli, a Florida-based Bonanno capo whose Christmas-time trip to New York a few years ago got him in hot water with both the feds and his mob pals, died Saturday after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 82.


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September 22, 2016

Surveillance Video Fingers A Suspect In Michael Meldish Rubout; DNA Tags The Second

Michael MeldishIt took more than a year and a half for the Bronx District Attorney's Office to obtain a murder indictment of two suspects in the November 15, 2013 rubout of longtime mob associate Michael Meldish. But police had identified the accused killers of the onetime leader of the notorious Purple Gang within days of the classic gangland-style slaying, Gang Land has learned.

Meldish, 62, was killed with a single bullet fired into the right side of his head from very close range as he sat behind the wheel of his car in front of 1212 Ellsworth Avenue, near the corner of Baisely Avenue in the Throgs Neck section of The Bronx.

And while the state murder case has been in a state of virtual suspended animation since the duo was charged with the slaying last year, authorities were long aware of the identity of the alleged killers. Law enforcement sources say the NYPD quickly tabbed Luchese soldier Christopher Londonio and mob associate Terrence Caldwell as suspects in the slaying.

Christopher LondonioMeldish Slay Suspect Faces The Music For Weapons Rap

Tomorrow is an important day for Christopher Londonio, the Luchese soldier who's been sitting in a federal lockup on a federal weapons indictment while state and federal prosecutors in two boroughs were debating how to handle the prosecution of the Michael Meldish murder.

Luca DiMatteoAiling Wiseguy Gets A Second Prison Furlough, And A 'Life' Sentence

For the second time in three months, longtime Colombo crime family capo Luca DiMatteo has received an unusual furlough from the federal prison lockup in Brooklyn where he's been detained for more than a year.


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September 29th, 2016

'Sovereign'
 District Of New York Nabs Skinny Joey Merlino; Gives His Crew A Pass

Joseph MerlinoAs usual, when Philadelphia mob leader Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino first heard that investigators for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board were looking to bar him from the state's gambling halls, the quick witted crime boss had a ready reply.

"They're doing me a favor," Merlino said in an apparent reference to his gambling habit which, according to law enforcement and underworld sources, is often the root of his financial woes, and which have risen considerably since April, when the state agency filed a petition to put his name on the state's casino exclusion list.

But in a strange twist that says more about investigators than those being investigated, federal authorities in New York who hit Skinny Joey last month with racketeering charges that carry up to 20 years in prison seem to have done a much bigger favor for Merlino's Philadelphia mob crew.

Alonso EspositoBoston Bob Sends Skinny Joey His Best Wishes And His Prayers

He used to be his partner in crime. Now, he says, he's got him in his prayers. Pastor Alonso Esposito is sending his warmest regards and best wishes to Joey Merlino as his old pal's current case moves forward. Esposito, the former Robert (Boston Bob) Luisi, knows what it's like. He's been there.  

Ronald GalatiMob Associate Ron Galati Decides Not To Fight

Longtime mob associate Ron Galati, already serving a 22-year sentence for his conviction in one murder-for-hire case, decided to fold rather go to trial on a second charge built around the testimony of the same two hitmen.


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October 6th, 2016

Accused Mob Bookie: FBI Snitch Took My Car; I Want It Back

Agostino CamachoThere's a not-so-small stink being made about this summer's big roundup of 46 mob-linked defendants. The arrests of top mobsters from New York and Philadelphia were hailed by federal officials as a major setback for the mob. But they have also produced embarrassment for law enforcement officials due to a bone-headed investigative move that allowed the key cooperating witness to tool around town in a car that belonged to one of the defendants.

Sources say the automobile in question was given to mob turncoat John (J.R.) Rubeo by Genovese associate Agostino (Augie) Camacho as partial satisfaction of a long-running debt he owed Rubeo. The car remained in Camacho's name, however, and since Rubeo was technically in the employ of Uncle Sam, if he had an accident and mowed down some poor pedestrian, the government could have been liable for resulting damages, according to numerous current and former law enforcement officials.

Making matters worse, sources say, the mob turncoat was allowed to keep the car even after the indictment came down, and he used it to motor out to his secret new home somewhere in America. There, according to one law enforcement source, the problem grew even bigger when Rubeo was pulled over by cops for driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

Anthony MascuzzioJudge Unmoved By $1.4M In Duffle Bag; OK's Bail For Suspect In $5M Bank Heists

Try as they might, prosecutors are having a very difficult time convincing Manhattan Federal Judges to detain indicted mob-linked defendants charged with major crimes on the grounds that they are dangers to the community or a threat to run away rather than face the music at trial.  

Salvatore MontagnaAsk Andy: Send Them Back Where They Came From

With a month remaining before voters are slated to elect the 45th President of the United States, the subject of illegal immigrants is a huge political football in many areas of the country. With that in mind, Ask Andy takes a look at a handful of cases involving efforts by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to deport mob bosses and other top mobsters.


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October 13th, 2016


Two Crips Gangstas To Cop Pleas In Mob Rubout Plot; Feds OK Bail For Genovese Wiseguy

Robert DeBelloIn one of the most unusual mob rubout plots to make its way into federal court, a pair of Bronx street gangstas aligned with the Crips have agreed to plead guilty to being part of an alleged Genovese crime family plot to ambush and kill a hot-headed mob associate, Gang Land has learned.

And federal prosecutors say they are discussing plea deals with "virtually all" 18 defendants in the racketeering indictment, which includes six others who are charged with being part of an aborted $5000 murder-for-hire plot to whack gangster Joseph Bonelli in his Whitestone, Queens home two years ago.

But court documents obtained by Gang Land – some publicly filed, others not – indicate that Genovese soldier Robert (Old Man) DeBello, the lead defendant in the case and the only mobster charged in the murder conspiracy, won't be one of them. That's because prosecutors have no evidence against him, according to the documents.

Charles CarnesiBulldog Defense Lawyer Plays Himself In Gotti Biopic

Criminal defense bulldog Charles Carnesi never took any acting lessons but the veteran attorney toiled through four racketeering trials with John (Junior) Gotti, so he seemed like a natural to Junior and his movie producers to play himself in the biopic about the erstwhile mob boss and his late father starring John Travolta.

John AliteAlite: 'I Hope The Movie Shows He Was A Cooperator.'

 John Alite, the former Gambino gangster who did his best to help the FBI send Junior Gotti away for life but wasn't able to get it done, had his own comments about his former partner-in-crime's biopic movie – and a few related topics.


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October 20, 2016

Jailed DeCavalcante Gangster: The Doctor Killed Joe Pitts

Joseph BridesonJoseph (Big Joey) Brideson, a gangster serving life behind bars, says the feds withheld crucial evidence that could have cleared him of the 1998 murder of Joseph (Joe Pitts) Conigliaro,  his wheelchair-bound DeCavalcante family superior. The missing info, he claims, would have fingered the real culprit in the death of Joe Pitts, an inept Brooklyn surgeon known as "The Terminator" by his medical colleagues.

Brideson was convicted in 2002 of supplying the gun that a hitman used to shoot Conigliaro. The badly wounded DeCalvacante gangster survived the hit, only to fall into the hands of a bungling surgeon at Brooklyn's Methodist Hospital.

In his novel claim, Big Joey argues in court papers that he should have been able to inform jurors who convicted him in 2002 that Conigliaro was "in serious but stable condition and not likely to die" when he got to Methodist. Brideson notes that Joe Pitts died hours later, after a routine operation by Dr. Paul Maghazeh, a doctor whose license was revoked a year before Brideson's trial.

Cyrus Vance Jr.Manhattan DA Vance Throws In The Towel On Landmark Bookmaking Case

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has folded his hand in a major mob bookmaking case that his office had vigorously pursued for years against Robert Stuart, an online sports betting guru who created the software allegedly used by mob bookies everywhere these days.

Mark ReiterFeds Say Mark Reiter Should Stay Behind Bars

The feds say that 28 years after the fact, it's much too late for Mark Reiter, a drug-dealing pal of John Gotti's, to contest two life sentences he got for heroin trafficking. But if it's not too late, prosecutors say, Reiter's claim that one sentence is "illegal" has no merits, and should be rejected. And even if the judge rules that Reiter's sentence was "illegal," he should still finish out the other life sentence he got for heroin trafficking and whacking two witnesses.

 

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October 27, 2016

Mob 'Rat' Gets Knocked Down; But This Time He Stands Up

Joseph D'AmicoLike hundreds of thousands of metropolitan area residents and tourists from all over the world, former New Yorker Joseph (Joe Mook) D'Amico decided to attend the 90th San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy last month and partake in the food and other fun-filled festivities that honor the patron saint of Naples each year. He's probably sorry that he did.

That's because an eagle-eyed mob associate who grew up with him in Knickerbocker Village recognized D'Amico as a turncoat Bonanno wiseguy who broke his oath of omerta and flipped 13 years ago, helping to send several of his fellow mobsters to prison.

Said eagle-eyed mob associate loudly denounced Joe Mook as "a rat," and then proceeded to punch his lights out, according to Gang Land sources on both sides of the law.

Michael PersicoLike Godfather, Like Son

Within days of each other this month, long-imprisoned Mafia boss Carmine (Junior) Persico and his soon-to-be-sentenced businessman-son Michael each filed court papers challenging the government's contentions about their respective prison terms.

Pasquale ParrelloJudge To Patsy: You're A Danger; It's Back To The MCC For You

The Genovese capo at the heart of an FBI sting that nailed 46 defendants tied to five crime families was kept behind bars as a danger to the community this week. At the same time, gangsters and other mob-connected figures around town are wondering if they're on the short list of names the feds are likely to add to the monstrous racketeering case.


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November 3, 2016

Slimy Scam Artist, Paulie Tickets Mancuso, Finally Lands Behind Bars

Paul MancusoGang Land has seen so many slimy, sleazy snitches that it's hard to discern the lowest of the lowlifes. Consider: 
    *Hector (Junior) Pagan killed a check casher, denied it, and fingered two cohorts. Both were convicted of the murder. 
    *John Franzese Jr took the stand against his very old man, who hopes to get out of prison next year at age 100. 
    *And there's John Gotti's adopted son, Lewis Kasman, who snitched on the Dapper Don, and tape-recorded his widow after she suffered a stroke.

Yet none of them can touch Paul (Paulie Tickets) Mancuso. You haven't heard about him? Consider yourself lucky. Haven't met him? Even Luckier.

While working as an FBI informer, Mancuso, according to the prosecutors and the judge who heard his case, conned many elderly retired folks out of all their money. All told, he relieved them of more than $10 million which he said was "invested" in real estate ventures but in reality was a Ponzi scheme.

Michael PersicoMob Scion's Sentencing Adjourned Again, Until Next Year

Michael Persico was slated to finally be sentenced this week, but the businessman son of Mafia boss Carmine (Junior) Persico got yet another reprieve. As a result, Michael will be spending his fifth Christmas at home with his family since copping a sweet plea deal in 2012 that covers three murders and a slew of other racketeering crimes over the last 25 years.

Nicholas BiancoAsk Andy: The Taxman Cometh

Donald Trump has been under fire for breaking a 40-year-long tradition of Presidential candidates by refusing to release his income tax returns. Trump says it's because he is under audit by the IRS. More likely it's because a $916 million tax loss he claimed back in 1995 spared him from paying any federal income taxes for 18 years. It's doubtful the Internal Revenue Service will ever charge Trump with tax evasion, but more than a few mobsters weren't so lucky.


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November 17, 2016

Slippery Snitch Avoids Retribution But May Be Undone By His Angry Ex-Wife

Stephen CorsoStephen Corso, a slippery CPA who stole $5.4 million from his friends but earned a wrist slap sentence because he helped the feds nail rogue NYPD detectives Steve Caracappa and Lou Eppolito, is living large in Encinitas, California, a San Diego suburb. He isn't likely to suffer any reprisals from the Mafia Cops, and he's had no problems with the law, despite being cited for fraud last year by the SEC.

In two weeks, though, Corso, 61, just might end up behind bars, due to the efforts of his long-suffering ex-wife.

That's when he is slated to appear in New Haven Federal Court. On Monday, Chief Judge Janet Hall ordered Corso to explain why he stopped making payments in 2013 of $4000 a month in restitution since the feds found more than $300,000 in a Corso bank account earlier this year. He still owes $4.7 million in restitution to his victims.

Pizzi Book CoverMike Pizzi, U.S. Marshal, Adapt And Overcome

Mob busters often look to do things that make perfect sense, but which their superiors might not approve. When that happens, they act quietly. Like the Friday in April of 1987, when mobster John Carneglia, fresh from a stunning acquittal along with Mafia boss John Gotti, brokered a deal that enabled his fugitive brother Charles, who was on the lam during the Brooklyn Federal Court trial, to enjoy Easter Sunday dinner with his family with no fear of being arrested.

Joel Cacace Jr.Mob Granddaughter: Grandma Has A 'Blind Eye' As One Son Embezzles $250K From Another Son's Estate

In a bitter, long-running family feud, the granddaughter of Colombo crime family consigliere Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace asked a judge this week to oust her grandmother as executor of her dad's estimated $1.5 million estate, claiming more than $250,000 is missing from the account.


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December 8th, 2016


Noted Brooklyn Barrister Jack Evseroff Takes Down His Shingle

Jacob (Jack) Evseroff, the veteran Brooklyn-based barrister famed for his courtroom expertise and theatrics, has made it official: The case he handled earlier this year before Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Sterling Johnson on behalf of a client accused of heroin trafficking is his last.

There will be no more alleged arsonists, no more allegedly murderous felons, and no more wiseguys represented by the 91-year-old attorney who has been practicing law since Harry S. Truman was in the White House.

"I had a pretty good run, but it's time to call it a day," Evseroff told Gang Land.

Andres FernandezSuspected Killer Of L&B Owner Indicted On Murder Charges

A drug addled grifter with no known mob ties was indicted on murder and attempted robbery charges Monday for the June 30 ambush killing of L&B Spumoni Gardens Italian Restaurant owner Louis Barbati. The owner of the famed Brooklyn eatery was gunned down in front of his Dyker Heights home as he arrived home from work with a plastic bag containing $15,000 in cash.

[larca-salvatore-sr-thumb]Grim Reaper Calls Sallie Larca

Genovese soldier Salvatore (Sallie) Larca, who spent 15 years behind bars for heroin trafficking and never looked back after a controversial trial at which the key government witness reneged on an agreement he made to testify, cashed in his chips this week the way all wiseguys hope to – at home, in his bed, of natural causes.


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December 29th, 2016


Top Mob Story Of 2016: Huge 46-Defendant Racketeering Case

Joseph MerlinoWithout question, the number one Gang Land story of the year was the humongous Manhattan Federal Court indictment of Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino and 45 other wiseguys and mob associates from five states and four New York crime families on racketeering conspiracy charges.

It stemmed from the work of John (J.R.) Rubeo, a longtime mob associate in the crew of powerful Genovese capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello who was caught dealing drugs and decided to wear a wire for the FBI in the hope of saving himself from a long stretch in prison.

Along the way, Rubeo managed to introduce an undercover FBI agent into what ended up as a five year probe in which they recorded thousands of hours of conversations that tied the 46 charged defendants – and others to be indicted later – to a slew of racketeering crimes, including a lucrative heath care fraud scheme that put hundreds of thousands of dollars into mob coffers.

Grady O'MalleyTop Prosecutor Was An NBA 'Bust' As A Small Forward For The Atlanta Hawks

Gang Land's Prosecutor Of The Year is assistant U.S. attorney Vincent (Grady) O'Malley, a college hoops star at Manhattan College who played pro ball for a year with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA back in 1969 before going to law school and getting a job as an assistant district attorney with the Bronx District Attorney's office in 1973.

Vito GuzzoStill Crazy (About Vito) After All These Years

Longtime Colombo gangster Vito Guzzo suffered an eye injury in a federal prison dustup in Danbury last year, and he is not a happy camper in far off Seagoville, Texas these days, where the Bureau of Prisons shipped him, adding insult to his injury. But Guzzo got a great Thinking Of You Card from a bunch of his old pals this year, the best that Gang Land has come across.


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January 5, 2017


Gambino Soldier Joe Bilotti Cashes In HIs Chips, At Age 83

Joseph BilottiJoseph Bilotti, a tough Gambino wiseguy who became a community activist and a church worker after his brother Thomas and mob boss Paul (Big Paul) Castellano were both killed in the spectacular midtown Manhattan assassination that was orchestrated by John Gotti, died of natural causes at his home in Staten Island last week. He was 83.

Within a few days of his brother's Christmas-time slaying in 1985, Bilotti agreed not to retaliate for his younger brother's death during a tense session with Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano in the South Beach section of Staten Island, said a former FBI agent who spoke to both men about their meeting.

"He really had no choice," the retired G-man told Gang Land. "Sammy told us he had a sitdown with Joe at the old Country Club Diner and told him it wasn't personal, just business, and to mind his Ps and Qs and he'd be okay," recalled the former agent, who asked that his name not be used.

Anthony CamisaFBI Finally Nabs 'The Kid' Racketeer In The Five Family Case

Four months after the feds announced the blockbuster racketeering indictment of 46 mob-linked defendants from five families, the FBI finally arrested the last remaining fugitive in the case. He's a 24-year-old baby-faced gambler called — believe it or not — "The Kid." And Gang Land has learned that this isn't the end of The Kid's troubles: He's also a suspect in a 2014 kidnaping-extortion of a deadbeat gambler who owed him thousands of dollars.

John GoodJohn Good Was The FBI Agent Behind American Hustle AND Donnie Brasco

There was no mob bloodletting in 2016. But the always present Grim Reaper took out a bunch of mob guys, as he does every year. But he also called distinguished G-man John Good, whose work in starting up the investigation that led to hero FBI agent Joe Pistone infiltrating the Bonanno family in the so-called Donnie Brasco case is known by only a handful of people.


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January 12, 2017


Anthony Colombo, Son And Key Aide Of Mob Boss Joe Colombo, Dead At 71

Anthony ColomboAnthony Colombo, who spent two stretches behind bars for mob-related criminal activity after following his late Mafia boss father into the Colombo crime family, died peacefully in his sleep last week from diabetes related ailments that plagued him for decades. He passed away in San Diego, where he has been living for the past year. He was 71.

His death came a year after he likened the fatal shooting of his dad in 1971 to the assassination of President Kennedy in a book, Colombo, The Unsolved Murder. There is no doubt "who pulled the trigger," Colombo wrote, but no one ever learned "who pulled the strings behind the trigger man" in what was a "faulty investigation" by the FBI and NYPD from beginning to end.

Coauthored by Donald Capria, the book is an unapologetic story about Anthony's love and devotion to his father. But it also concedes that Joe Colombo was a powerful mob boss and close associate of Carlo Gambino. The book details talks that the duo had, including Gambino's initial support of Joe Colombo's role as a civil rights icon, and Don Carlo's later change of heart before the June 28, 1971 rally at which the Mafia boss was gunned down and mortally wounded.

John GottiMob Induction Standards Ain't What They Used To Be

The prevailing wisdom used to be that you had to take part in a mob hit to get "made." That morphed into you only had to promise to kill someone if you were ordered. Some mob turncoats have reported that being an "earner" – someone who can rake in the dough – or a relative of a made guy, can also win a mob associate his "button."

Robert DeBernardoAsk Andy: RSVP-RIP

Sammy Bull Gravano kept his promise to Joey Bilotti and never had him whacked any time he summoned him to a meeting during the five years he and John Gotti were on top of the Gambino crime family in the late 1980s. But Gravano's old buddy Dee Bee wasn't so lucky. Like so many mob rubouts of old, his demise was quickly and efficiently executed on orders from the boss.


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January 19, 2017



Bonanno Wiseguy Breaks Vow Of Omerta After Traffic Stop

Peter LovaglioBonanno crime family wiseguy Peter (Pug) Lovaglio forgot all about his solemn oath of omerta after he was stopped by cops in Staten Island for driving without a license and found to be in possession of a switchblade knife last August 20 at about 3:45 in the morning.

"I'm in the Mafia," Lovaglio allegedly blurted out, according to court papers obtained by Gang Land. "I did 15 years in prison for racketeering. My license is suspended. I'm out on $50,000 bail for a felony assault bar fight, and I have a knife on me for protection in case I get into another bar fight."

Lovaglio gave this bizarre speech to police officer Joseph Perfetto in the Mariner's Harbor section, a commercial area with several ties to the Bonannos. Pug puffed up how much time he spent behind bars, but everything else rings true. The strange exchange between the cop and the hard drinking, always ready-to-rumble 55-year-old gangster has also fed growing concerns – which Gang Land was not able to confirm – that Lovaglio has wandered even further from the true path of a Mafioso.

Philip ScalaNYPD Honor Legion Lauds G-Men

Feuds between New York City cops and FBI agents are the stuff of legend in tales of law enforcement in the Big Apple. But there was no sign of those mostly petty beefs last week as retired FBI supervisor Philip Scala and five current and former members of the FBI's Gambino family squad were honored by the NYPD Honor Legion for helping cops solve 36 murders during a long partnership with the police department's Cold Case Squad that began in 1998.

Sonny FranzeseBOP Gives Sonny Franzese An Early Slide, But He's Too Sick To Leave

His hard-nosed federal jailers changed their minds and decided to give John (Sonny) Franzese a late Christmas present, and let him out of prison on December 27, Gang Land has learned. But the legendary Colombo family wiseguy developed pneumonia and was deemed too sick to be placed into a halfway house. As a result, he is likely to still be stuck behind bars when his 100th birthday rolls around on February 6.


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January 26, 2017

Feds Link Key Figure In Mob Rubout Plot To Billionaire Playboy

Bertram DukeThe feds have linked a key figure in a failed Mafia rubout plot involving the powerhouse Genovese family and the Crips to a billionaire playboy who is one of the world's wealthiest art dealers, Gang Land has learned.

The ties between Bertram (Birdy) Duke, who is accused of playing a key role in a 2014 attempt to kill a mob associate, and Hillel (Helly) Nahmad, owner of the renowned Helly Nahmad Art Gallery, on Madison Avenue, were cited by the government at a bail hearing at which Duke was detained without bail.  

Duke is accused of having helped recruit three members of a Crips gang from the Bronx to whack mob associate Joseph Bonelli in June of 2014. According to charges filed by federal prosecutors, the hit attempt was engineered by Salvatore (Fat Sal) Delligatti, an associate of the Genovese crime family, and close friend and cohort of Duke.

Peter LovaglioBonanno Capo Guilty In Sushi Lounge Assault

Bonanno wiseguy Peter (Pug) Lovaglio pleaded guilty last week to assault charges stemming from the brutal beating he gave to the owner of a Staten Island sushi restaurant and bar in 2015 that left the owner blinded in one eye.

Jack EvseroffLegendary Brooklyn Barrister Jack Evseroff Dead At 91

Jacob (Jack) Evseroff, a legendary Brooklyn barrister who won countless trials as a prosecutor in the 1950s, and as a defense lawyer for the next half a century representing wiseguys, drug dealers and cops accused of murder and other crimes, died last week. His death came less than two months after Evseroff, 91, announced his retirement.


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Feb 2nd, 2017


Feds Arrest Girlfriend And Brother Of Suspect In $5 Million Bank Heists

Heather KornhaberIn a squeeze play aimed at smashing one of the biggest bank burglary rings in years, the feds have quietly arrested the girlfriend and a brother of one of three suspects charged in last year's $5 million bank heists, Gang Land has learned.  The arrests are an apparent bid to pressure one of the defendants into cooperating about the sensational bank jobs and tell authorities where the money went: Sources say more than $3 million of the stolen loot is still missing.

In December, Heather Kornhaber, 38, a girlfriend of Charles (Duke) Kerrigan, was charged with receiving "money, valuables and other items" from the $4.3 million burglary of a Queens bank in May. Before hooking up with Kerrigan, she was the paramour of a major mob-linked cocaine trafficker, and, prosecutors say, was also his nominee owner of a Brooklyn nightclub.

In addition, Kerrigan's younger brother, Christopher, was indicted last week as a member of the team that hit banks in Queens and Brooklyn. Christopher, 39, is specifically accused of taking part in the Queens heist on May 21 and May 22 at the Maspeth Federal Savings bank. Sources say the FBI has surveillance video of him carrying stolen items outside the Queens bank

Joseph SimoneFormer Mob Busting Detective Joe Simone Dead At 66

Former NYPD Detective Joseph Simone, a top mob investigator who lost his job and his pension after much-disputed bribery accusations were lodged against him by a mob turncoat, was praised as an honest cop and a great dad last week at a funeral service that included the mournful sounds of Emerald Society bagpipes and a detail of uniformed police officers at a Staten Island church.

Frank DeCicco Bomb CarAsk Andy: Bombs Away

Bombs are favored by terrorists, and are not in mob arsenals these days. But they used to be, as residents of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn learned on Sunday April 13, 1986 when the Luchese and Genovese families blew up John Gotti's first underboss, Frank DeCicco, as he sat in his car. But New York wiseguys aren't the only ones who have used explosive devices to settle scores. 


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2/16/17

FBI Informer In Huge RICO Case Is A Professional Bowler Too

John RubeoJohn (J.R.) Rubeo was a teenager working card games at his father's social club when he developed close bonds with two important bold-faced names with influence in the powerful Genovese crime family that enabled Rubeo to snare 46 mobsters and associates from five crime families in the biggest mob racketeering case in years, Gang Land has learned.

Rubeo, 41, snookered one of his old buddies, capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello, during the five years he wore a wire for the FBI. But law enforcement sources say the wired-up J.R. never got anywhere near the other powerful friend he made during the early 1990s, Anthony Fiorino, the brother-in-law of current family boss, Liborio (Barney) Bellomo.

It wasn't for lack of trying. When he began cooperating, Rubeo told authorities of his ties to Fiorino, a former carpenters union official who lost his union post because of his links to organized crime in 1995. He told the feds that in April of 2011, seven months before he flipped, Fiorino met privately with Parrello in the basement of his restaurant, Pasquale's Rigoletto, to iron out a dispute over a $10,000 debt that Fiorino had helped a businessman collect, according to FBI documents obtained by Gang Land.

Carmine PersicoPersico In Last Ditch Appeal Of Historic 100 Year Sentence

The feds say the 100 year sentence that Carmine (Junior) Persico got in the Mafia Commission case is old news, and that he and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals should fuhgeddaboudit. But the never-say-die crime boss insists that the facts and the law are on his side, and it's high time the appeals court does the right thing about that in the historic 32-year-old case.

John KeenanJudge John Keenan To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Carmine (Junior) Persico probably won't applaud this, but Manhattan Federal Judge John Keenan will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award next month from the American College of Trial Lawyers. But the long-imprisoned Mafia boss can't really complain about the treatment he got from the venerable jurist at his lengthy 1985-86 racketeering trial


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March 2, 2017


Preet Goes To White Plains To File Death Penalty Murder Case In Bronx Rubout

Preet BhararaManhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has dramatically raised the stakes for two accused Luchese crime family gangsters who had been awaiting trial in the Bronx for 21 months on state murder charges for the classic gangland-style slaying in 2013 of Michael Meldish, the onetime leader of a notorious group of mob-connected drug dealers called the Purple Gang.

Bharara filed a racketeering and murder indictment against the duo, wiseguy Christopher Londonio and mob associate Terrance Caldwell, that has upped the worst case scenario for each of them from a maximum sentence of life behind bars to the death penalty.

In an unusual move that has been questioned by a federal judge – and mocked by a defense lawyer as the brainstorm of an FBI agent trying to break a long losing streak – the new charges were filed two weeks ago in White Plains. All crimes and overt acts in the six-count indictment are alleged to have taken place in New York, and according to Southern District of New York rules, should have been assigned to a federal judge in Manhattan, not one in White Plains.

Theodore Persico Sr.Uncle Teddy Persico, Dead At 79; RIP

Theodore (Uncle Teddy) Persico Sr., a Colombo family capo who spent 20 years behind bars for a racketeering conviction stemming from the bloody 1990s mob war that his imprisoned-for-life brother Carmine waged to retain control of the crime family, died last week of natural causes. He was 79.

Ronald GiallanzoFeds: Your Hubby's A Millionaire Mobster, We're Taking Your Home

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn seem to be pulling out all the stops in their efforts to tie Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro and his wiseguy nephew Ronald Giallanzo to a home invasion robbery ring that terrorized Howard Beach and other areas of Queens and Long Island in recent years.


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3/16/17


FBI Investigating Mob-Busting Agents In Blockbuster Mafia Takedown

John RubeoFor five long years, mob associate John (J.R.) Rubeo Jr. double-crossed his underworld cronies. He tape recorded hundreds of conversations. He linked them to numerous crimes. Then last year, law enforcement sources say, he double crossed the feds, deleting a year's worth of phone calls and text messages he had with many of the 46 defendants in the blockbuster Mafia takedown.

As a result, the sources say, Rubeo has undermined the prosecution, and has triggered an internal FBI investigation to determine whether three veteran agents, including a squad supervisor, should be disciplined – or even fired. For what? "Violating the FBI's guidelines that govern the way the Bureau handles informers and cooperating witnesses," said one law enforcement source.

Sources say the FBI's "official investigation" into actions by the agents began about three weeks ago. But the sources say Manhattan federal prosecutors have been questioning Rubeo – and have been voicing concern about his FBI handlers' allegedly poor supervision – since last fall, when they first learned about the lost cell phone communications.

Edmund BoyleFeds Let Skeevy Turncoat Stew Behind Bars; Convicted Bank Burglar Wants Out

Actions – and sometime non-actions – often speak louder than words. So says onetime mob associate Edmund (Eddie) Boyle, who's asking Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Sterling Johnson to overturn his 2005 bank burglary conviction, even though he's already served his entire sentence of more than nine years behind bars for the crime.

Sharif BrownWiseguys And Gangstas Cut From The Same Cloth

The mob has always had a rule against inducting slackers into the crime family. Made men had to be willing to get their hands dirty if called upon, especially if they wanted to maintain their stature in the borghata. The Crips feel the same way


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March 30, 2017


Bonannos Charged In $26 Million Racketeering Scheme

Ronald Giallanzo's HouseFor the second week in a row, a bunch of Bonannos were hauled into Brooklyn Federal Court and charged with violent crimes, including pegging bullets at their foes in the streets of Queens. The charges show that while the Bonannos may be battered and beleaguered, they are not brokesters. This time, federal prosecutors charged ten gangsters, including an acting capo and three soldiers, with raking in more than $26 million in illegal riches. The alleged loot includes four homes and one business property, which the government wants to seize if it wins convictions.

The latest roundup came a week after the feds nabbed capo Vincent Asaro. Acquitted of the $6 million Lufthansa Airlines caper in 2015, the bigtime mobster is now accused of torching a car. This week they hit Asaro's nephew, acting capo Ronald (Ronnie G) Giallanzo, who is facing a slew of racketeering crimes that allegedly enabled him to build a $1.5 million Howard Beach mansion and maintain a loanshark book of $3 million.

In announcing the arrests, acting U.S. attorney Bridget Rohde noted that Giallanzo and his cohorts had "amassed a fortune in ill-gotten gains" through numerous "acts of violence" including murder conspiracy, arson, and home invasion robberies primarily in Queens. That's where nine of the defendants lived – until Tuesday.

John AliteAlite: 'Junior's Like A Girl, Paying People To Say Bad Things About Me'

John Alite can't take it anymore. He's hopping mad about a guy from Queens who's been calling him a "rat" and threatening him. No, not John (Junior) Gotti. It's a guy he calls "Junior's puppet." And the pint-sized former gangster says he's going after the guy with everything he's got now that he can't be sent back to prison for a real or contrived violation of supervised release. So, he filed an official grievance against the Queens guy, a lawyer named Elio Forcina.

Cathy SeibelMysterious Judge Switch In Meldish Murder Case

The federal prosecution in the gangland-style slaying of Michael Meldish in front of his Bronx home is unfolding in mysterious ways. First was the mystery of why federal prosecutors in Manhattan were presenting the charges against a pair of accused Luchese gangsters in White Plains in Westchester County, since the murder took place in the city in 2013.


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April 6, 2017


Latest Mob Reality Show: Family With New York Blood On Their Hands Celebrates A New Life In The Grand Canyon State

Richard CantarellaIn one way, Unprotected, a new so-called reality cable TV show that airs next week, is in the tradition of the late Joe Bonanno and his son Bill. That Godfather-and-Son duo relocated from Brooklyn to Arizona where they parlayed their wiseguy ways into a cottage industry with books and TV appearances. But the similarities end there. No question about it, this upcoming "docu-comedy" based on the murderous life-style of turncoat Bonanno capo Richard (Shellack Head) Cantarella and his mobster son Paul represents a new low in American Mafia history.

The show stars Cantarella, 73, as a wisecracking New York "tough" guy who flipped, and now runs his "first legitimate business" – a car wash in Scottsdale Arizona with his family. In the first episode, which Gang Land has seen, Shellack Head makes numerous references to his old life as a mobster as he chases down a "malcontent vegan" who posted nasty reviews of his car wash on "Yelp."

Cantarella's co-stars in Unprotected – which airs Tuesday on Oxygen Media, a Division of NBCUniversal – are his wife Lauretta, 70, and their son Paul, 46. In an unusual cross-generational mob case, all three were codefendants in a 2002 racketeering indictment, and the trio made a family decision to cooperate rather than spend long stretches behind bars.

Gene BorrelloOne Man Crime Wave Now Plays For Team America

A 32-year old Bonanno associate whose rap sheet began at age 19 is the key witness in three major mob roundups pulled by the feds last month, Gang Land has learned. These include the automobile arson case against mob capo Vincent Asaro and John J. Gotti, grandson of the late Teflon Don. Another is The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straightracketeering indictment against Asaro's wiseguy nephew, Ronald (Ronnie G) Giallanzo.

Nicolo RizzutoAsk Andy: Home Sweet Home

Last week, federal prosecutors targeted the homes of four Bonanno mobsters who were indicted on racketeering charges going back to 1998. Losing your home to the feds is not a good thing. But it's a lot better than what happened over the years to quite a few mobsters in the supposed comfort of their own homes.


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April 13th, 2017


Feds Push For Plea Deals; Sealed Government Letter Lists Seven Areas Of Possible Wrongdoing By FBI Agents

Joseph MerlinoAmid an embarrassing internal investigation of FBI foul-ups, federal prosecutors have agreed to drop the top charges lodged against most defendants in what was billed last year as a blockbuster indictment of 46 mobsters and associates from five crime families, Gang Land has learned.

Among the gangsters poised to benefit are the two biggest Mafia fish who were snared in the case, Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino and Genovese capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello. Sources say that under a tentative deal, the veteran Mafiosi, and many others, will slide on racketeering conspiracy charges that carry longer sentences. Instead, they will be allowed to cop pleas to the substantive crimes they are charged with, like gambling, extortion, and health care fraud.

The government's push for plea deals in the massive eight-month old case comes one month after prosecutors told defense lawyers about an ongoing inquiry into potential wrongdoing by three veteran New York agents who allegedly hid investigative reports and tape recordings made by a secret informant to keep the information from other FBI field offices.

Brian VaughanTough Guy Ends Drug Case With Plea Deal; But Labor Racketeering Charges May Be Coming

For four years and 10 months, Brian Vaughan thought he had gotten a pass on his 2011 drug dealing, as others, including Gambino soldier Joseph (Joe Boy) Sclafani, went to prison. But he was living on borrowed time: the feds came for him last June, two months before the deadline to file charges. And last month, Vaughan, 50, copped a plea deal calling for about seven years, hoping for the best on sentencing day in July.

Anthony CirilloDefendant In Major Mob Takedown Has Major League Lawsuit Against Owner Of LA Dodgers

Anthony Cirillo, one of 13 defendants charged with illegal gambling in last August's major Mafia takedown, has friends in low places and former friends in very high places. A long-time trader who sold his seat on the New York Stock Exchange five years ago, Cirillo and his family run Princeton Securities, a floor broker on the Exchange. The firm executed trades for hedge funds and investor groups until Cirillo's arrest. The company has since suspended trading but is still in good standing, according to attorney Joseph DiBenedetto.


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April 27th, 2017


Frankie Loc: Judge Glasser's Son Was A Fed; I Deserve A New Trial

Frank LocascioGambino wiseguy Frank (Frankie Loc) Locascio was poring over the law books in the library of his federal prison when something jumped off the page at him: It was a reference to a federal prosecutor in Connecticut named James Glasser who worked in the Bridgeport office in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

That was the same time frame when Locascio was being indicted and tried in Brooklyn for his role as John Gotti's consigliere. At the end of that trial, Frankie Loc was sentenced to life behind bars by one of the most revered judges on the Brooklyn federal bench, I. Leo Glasser, who, Locascio belatedly learned, is the father of James Glasser.

Locascio, who has been fighting to win his release from prison for 26 years, is now arguing in court that the father-son relationship presented a clear conflict of interest, and that Judge Glasser should have recused himself from the famous case that also resulted in a life sentence for Gotti.

Carmine PersicoAppeals Court Okays Carmine Persico's 100-Year Prison Term

Hope may still spring eternal for Frank Locascio, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals just dashed the chances of freedom for 83-year-old Colombo boss Carmine (Junior) Persico.

 

Joseph MerlinoSkinny Joey Says No Deal; But Most Of His Co-defendants Agree To A Plea Bargain

Nothing is official yet, but reliable Gang Land sources say that many of the defendants charged with racketeering in a humongous indictment of 46 wiseguys and mob associates from five families have agreed to plea deals. But not Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino. He says he's going to trial.


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May 4, 2017


Feds Act Quickly On New Mob Turncoat's Info

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are wasting no time using information from their latest controversial mob turncoat, Peter (Pug) Lovaglio. The hard-drinking Bonanno capo was immediately taken into federal custody after an angry state judge sentenced him in March to eight years for blinding a retired detective in a vicious, unprovoked, barroom assault in Staten Island.

Law enforcement sources say prosecutors have already subpoenaed two Lovaglio crew members who allegedly served as Pug's "backup" at the Takayama Sushi Lounge when he smashed the restaurant owner, a former NYPD detective, in the eye with a rocks glass in November of 2015.

But that's not all, sources say. To the consternation of their counterparts in Brooklyn, who usually get first dibs on mob doings in Staten Island, the feds in Manhattan are also investigating the unsolved murder there of a Bonanno soldier in 2009. They are also allegedly looking at a powerful Gambino capo whom Lovaglio has fingered as the crime family's "main man on the island." 

Ronald GiallanzolDrug Dealer Who Gave Ronnie G's Gang Fits Not Around Anymore

Bonanno wiseguy Ronald (Ronnie G) Giallanzo and his gang who couldn't shoot straight enough to nail a rival drug dealer back in 2006 are still cooling their heels behind bars following their arrests six weeks ago. But Ronnie G and his boys don't have to worry about their old gun-toting opponent pointing a finger at them from the witness stand if they go to trial.

Steve CaracappaAsk Andy: Bad Good Guys

Steve Caracappa, the rogue NYPD detective who pulled Gambino capo Eddie Lino over on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn and shot him to death in November 1990 was one of the worst, but there have been quite a few so-called "good guys" who sold their shields and their souls to the mob over the years.


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May 11, 2017


Genco Olive Oil
 Is A Big Score For Danny Pro

daniel provenzanoThe Tribeca Film Festival ended last month with a screening of Godfather I and Godfather II. The tribute was a way to mark the 45th anniversary of the release of The Godfather.

Even before the film festival began, however, New Jersey mob figure Daniel (Danny Pro) Provenzano was raising a toast to the big-screen mob classics. Provenzano, whose great uncle was the legendary Genovese capo Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano, has turned his fascination with those films and some astute foresight into a significant payday.

A movie buff who has acted, directed and written scripts, Provenzano, 55, has always been a fan of the Mario Puzo-Francis Ford Coppolla classics. Shortly before he went to prison on a New Jersey racketeering charge in 2003, Provenzano inquired about the availability of various business trademarks linked to the Godfather phenomenon. He was particularly interested in Genco Olive Oil. Genco, you may recall, was the company Don Corleone set up in New York to legitimize his business operations.

Bradley SirkinSkinny Joey Hangs Tough; His Onetime Driver Doesn't

Brad Sirkin has folded his cards. The prolific, enterprising mob associate and sometime driver for Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino has agreed to cop a guilty plea in that sweeping but flawed racketeering conspiracy indictment in Manhattan Federal Court,  and also to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in a more pointed and apparently airtight case against him and seven co-defendants in federal court in Tampa.

Ralph NataleFakenews; The Last Word From The Last Don Standing

Ralph Natale always talked a better game than he played. And that apparently hasn't changed. The one-time Philadelphia mob boss who turned government witness and testified against Joey Merlino and his crew back in 2001 made two telephonic TV appearances in Philadelphia recently to tout the book Last Don Standing that details his life of crime.


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May 18, 2017


Accused Labor Racketeer: My Goons Are Ex-Military Men, And I Use Coke Only On Weekends

Roland BedwellRoland Bedwell is a business agent for a small union that claims to represent landscapers and asphalt workers. But, as court records in his pending labor racketeering case indicate, Bedwell is cut from the Johnny Friendly mold – the corrupt waterfront union boss indelibly portrayed by Lee J. Cobb in the classic film On The Waterfront.

In Bedwell's own words, he's "an asshole" whose union organizing is done through a goon squad of ex-U.S. armed forces vets who have "about 95 years of military service" behind them. The strong-arm gang, Bedwell openly brags, specializes in forcing employers to sign contracts with his local independent union, one that is controlled by Gambino soldier Anthony Franco.

Don't take Gang Land's word for that. We'll give you a good sampling of what Bedwell, who pulls down a cool $190K a year from Local 175 of the United Plant and Production Workers, told a contractor in a tape recorded talk that was detailed in a Brooklyn Federal Court filing last week – a week that was a decidedly bad one for the 57-year-old union official.

Anthony CamisaPatsy, The Kid, 35 Others, Agree To Plea Deals In Huge Five Family Mob Case

 With his worried mom and his wide-eyed younger brother looking on, Anthony (The Kid) Camisa, the youngest defendant in the controversial five-family racketeering indictment of 46 wiseguys and mob associates, copped a plea deal last week to greatly reduced charges that were triggered by an internal probe of alleged FBI misconduct in the case.

Janet RuggieroWaterfront Commission Keeps Wiseguy Kin Off The Waterfront

They may not be Johnny Friendly characters in the making, but Mark Caruso Jr. and Angelo Ruggiero just joined Joseph Gorgone, Janet Ruggiero and dozens of others on a growing list of friends and relatives of wiseguys and mob associates whom the Waterfront Commission has deemed not suited to work on the New York or New Jersey docks.


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June 1, 2017

Feds Take Down Luchese Crime Family Leaders On Racketeering And Murder Charges

Steven Crea SrIn a sweeping roundup, the feds arrested 19 members and associates of the Luchese crime family yesterday, including its top three wiseguys, and one of their sons, hitting them with a slew of racketeering charges including the gangland-style slaying of a major drug dealer, and three attempted mob rubouts in the past five years.

In the blockbuster indictment, the family "street boss," Matthew (Matty) Madonna, its underboss Steven (Stevie Wonder) Crea, and his son, Steven (Stevie Junior) Crea Jr. are charged with ordering the 2013 murder of Michael Meldish, leader of the Purple Gang, a rogue crew of heroin dealers and hit men. Madonna, 81, is already behind bars in New Jersey on gambling charges. The elder Crea, 69, of Crestwood, and Crea Jr., 45, of New Rochelle, were detained without bail.

As Gang Land reported three months ago, the murder charge against Madonna and the Creas stems from a three-year grand jury investigation by the White Plains Division of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office that led to the February indictment of the alleged hit team in the Meldish slaying – wiseguy Christopher Londonio and associate Terrence (T) Caldwell.

Vincent AsaroSnitch Spins Hard To Swallow Yarn That Dumbfella Plotted To Whack Prosecutor

Two years ago Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro scored a major upset over the feds when he won acquittal of charges stemming from the storied $6 million Lufthansa Airlines heist depicted in Goodfellas. Asaro's lucky streak ended in March though, when he was arrested for the decidedly dumb, un-wiseguy-like crime of ordering the car of a Queens man torched four days after a road rage incident.

Sinatra AID PosterAsk Andy: Good Intentions; Bad Results

Joe Colombo became a quasi-civil rights leader and created the Italian American Civil Rights League (IACRL) to protest the FBI's arrest of his son Joe Jr. for melting down silver coins in 1970. Four years earlier, a similar group with a more altruistic and noble purpose was founded by other Italian Americans, and supported by elected officials and popular entertainers, including Frank Sinatra. But like Colombo's organization, the American-Italian Anti-Defamation League was snake bit by the ogre of organized crime.


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June 8, 2017



Mob Big And Bigwig Builder Made Big Money At Bronx-Lebanon Hospital

Randolph SilversteinThey don't usually travel in the same circles, but there is little doubt that top Luchese crime family wiseguy Steven (Stevie Wonder) Crea has long had a very good thing going with the Sparrow Construction Company, headed by his millionaire Westchester County neighbor Randolph (Randy) Silverstein.

Back in the 1980s, Crea earned more than $100,000 a year as a "labor consultant" for the non-union company founded by Silverstein's late father, Sidney Silverstein, in 1981. Questions from investigators about those ties later caused the construction firm to lose out on New York City school contracts. But the relationship seems to have weathered those problems. A racketeering indictment unsealed in White Plains Federal Court last week describes Stevie Wonder as part of a lucrative "mail and wire fraud" scheme in connection with a $30 million expansion project of Bronx-Lebanon hospital that Sparrow began in 2009 and completed in 2014.

The indictment charges only Crea, 69, and a soldier who has been a close associate of his for years, Joseph Venice, 56, with taking part in the scam. But investigative sources tell Gang Land "they were not the only mob guys" who shared in payoffs the wiseguys allegedly got for keeping the construction unions they control from picketing or otherwise disrupting the nearly five-year-long building project at Bronx-Lebanon.

Joseph FotiQuick-Thinking Scam Artist Heped Feds In Luchese Crime Family Takedown

Federal prosecutors used a longtime but little-known mob associate named Joseph Foti to help them obtain a murder and racketeering conspiracy indictment against the leadership of the Luchese crime family and 14 other defendants, Gang Land has learned.

Michael ScottoViolent Mob Enforcer Suffers Brutal Baseball Bat Beating

Michael Scotto, an enforcer for powerful Gambino capo Daniel Marino who bragged in the past about doling out his own brutal violence, was attacked and severely beaten by baseball bat-wielding assailants last month in a quiet residential section of Staten Island, Gang Land has learned.


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June 15, 2017



Trying Times For Feds In Genovese-Crips Murder-For-Hire Plot

Bertram DukeProsecutors have rolled up several more plea deals in the odd-bedfellows case involving both gangstas and gangsters in a failed plot to whack a Queens gangster three years ago. But the case against several defendants, including two from the mob wing of the attempted murder scheme, has hit a pothole, one that may be damaging to the government.

The big winner seems to be Bertram (Birdy) Duke, who faced a life sentence if convicted at trial, and whom prosecutors had previously described as a crucial liaison between the two diverse crime groups. He got a super-sweet deal this week. He copped a plea calling for a maximum prison term of three years, a likely sentence of about two years, and perhaps even less.

Members of the would-be hit team didn't do as well: Sharif (QB) Brown, 32, was hit with 13 years behind bars and three years of post-prison supervised release. Tyrone (Ty) McCullum, 38, received an 11 year-nine month sentence and three years of supervised release.

Paul CassanoWiseguy Poker Player Misses Out On The Action, And Lands Behind Bars

High-stakes professional poker player Paul Cassano wasn't at the tables for the World Series of Poker Tournament in Las Vegas this month, the first time he's missed the big games since 2005. Cassano, a Luchese family mobster whose street name is "Paulie Roast Beef," isn't happy about that. But he's surely more unhappy these days that he's holed up in the Westchester County Jail, thanks to federal prosecutors in White Plains.

Salvatore AparoSammy Meatballs Checks Out At 87, RIP

Things didn't go so well for well-liked Genovese wiseguy Salvatore (Sammy Meatballs) Aparo after he took a young mob associate named Michael (Cookie) D'Urso under his wing and told him many things he shouldn't have two decades ago. D'Urso turned out to be a snitch, and a lot of folks went to jail, including Aparo, thanks partly to his loose lips. But when Sammy Meatballs checked out last month at the ripe old age of 87, his old pals didn't appear to hold any grudges.


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June 22, 2017


Meldish Should Have Heeded Warnings From His Old Purple Gang Pal

Michael MeldishMichael Meldish, the slain former leader of the Purple Gang, survived many gun fights and legal battles during his heyday. But he may have sealed his fate by fooling around with the girlfriend of an imprisoned top banana with the Bonanno crime family, Gang Land has learned.

A year before he was shot to death in the Bronx in 2013, Meldish, a longtime Luchese crime family associate, was the victim of a very public and very dramatic beating. The assault was doled out by a Bonanno soldier and took place in as high-profile a mob location as could be found – outside Rao's restaurant in the middle of the annual Pleasant Avenue Festival that honors Saint Anthony of Padua.

The beating, sources say, came after the head-strong Meldish refused to heed warnings to stop seeing the girlfriend of Michael (Mikey Nose)) Mancuso, a former Purple Gang member who had graduated to the top post in the Bonanno crime family.

Vincent AsaroFeds Made Vinny Asaro An Offer He Couldn't Refuse

Vincent Asaro didn't get a plea offer for murder and racketeering charges that stemmed from the storied Lufthansa heist, so he had no choice but to go to trial in 2015. And he was a big winner. But this time, the aging Bonanno capo got an offer he couldn't refuse, and has tentatively agreed to a pretty sweet plea deal in his pending arson case, Gang Land has learned.

Michael RosenGentleman Mob Lawyer Mike Rosen Checks Out At 78; RIP

Longtime defense lawyer Michael Rosen, who began his career as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn in the late 1960s and then spent the next five decades driving prosecutors crazy as he defended wiseguys and many other clients, died last week after losing a very short bout with cancer. He was 78.


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June 29th, 2017


Sonny Franzese: Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong; You CAN Go Home Again

John FranzeseSix months ago his jailers ruled that the legendary gangster – at age 99 – was too sick to go home. But last week, now a venerable 100, John (Sonny) Franzese got a hero's welcome as he exited the prison gates, having kept his promise to his sentencing judge to do the full 50 year sentence he got for a crime that many people don't believe he committed.

"Dad was no angel, but that bank robbery conspiracy they got him on was a frame up," said Franzese's son Michael, a former Colombo crime family capo who followed his father into the mob, and now preaches against that way of life, but still loves his dad and insists he was framed. "My dad and I have had our ups and downs as a result of my walking away from the life," said Michael. "But I love him and I know he loves me. That will never change."  

The senior Franzese, who uses a walker but still boasts a full head of hair and looks a decade or so younger than his age, will live with a daughter in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Vincent AsaroVinny Asaro's Plea Deal May Not Be Such A Good One, For Him

Most of the numbers batted around this week as aging Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro pleaded guilty to arson sounded pretty good: The 82-year old who beat a much bigger rap two years ago stemming from his alleged role in the storied Lufthansa heist, was looking at sentencing guidelines as low as 41 months for having ordered the torching of the car of a stranger who had cut him off in traffic. Plus, the veteran mobster would get credit for the 22 months he spent behind bars before he was acquitted in the Lufthansa case.

Gregory Scarpa Jr.Wiseguy Tip To FBI About Hidded Explosives Cuts No Ice With Federal Appeals Court

Despite what the U.S. Bureau of Prisons database states, second-generation mobster Gregory Scarpa Jr. won't be getting out of prison in 2027. That's thanks to a decision last week by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that Scarpa, son of legendary Colombo crime family capo Greg Scarpa Sr., is not entitled to a 10-year cut in his sentence that a Brooklyn judge had granted him as reward for tipping the FBI to a cache of explosives hidden by Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols.


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July 6th, 2017


Undercover G-Man Raked In $2 million For Uncle Sam In 5-Family Sting

Eugene O'NofrioA huge black cloud still hangs over three FBI agents and mob associate John (J.R.) Rubeo, the turncoat the feds used in the blockbuster racketeering indictment last year of 46 defendants with ties to five crime families. But if the case is marred by mistakes by a few agents and their confidential informant, the work of an undercover G-Man in the same investigation was a thing of beauty, FBI documents obtained by Gang Land show.

The records indicate that the agent raked in $2 million in cold cash from wiseguys and others he stung while wearing a wire as he picked up valuable intelligence about the powerful Genovese crime family's interests in extortion, loansharking and gambling. Posing as an old Rubeo high-school buddy, the undercover agent served as a driver for capo Eugene (Rooster) O'Nofrio, a choice mob job that allowed the agent to sell hundreds of cases of "untaxed cigarettes" that the FBI had passed off as stolen.

At the same time, sources say, the undercover agent – using the name "Jeff" – gave $1000 "tributes" to O'Nofrio, exchanged Christmas presents with him, and identified many wiseguys Rooster met with over the years. He also attended the 2015 wake of John (Cha Cha) Ciarcia, a legendary Mulberry Street figure known as the "Mayor of Little Italy." The agent also tape recorded O'Nofrio identifying Ciarcia as a Genovese family associate.

Joseph MerlinoThe Rooster Wants Nothing To Do with Skinny Joey

Genovese capo Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio was all smiles as he posed for a picture with Philadelphia mob Boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino when the two wiseguys met for the first time at a Christmas party at Pasquale's Rigoletto, the Bronx eatery owned by mobster Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello.

Vito RizzutoAsk Andy: All In The Family

Over the last decade, Montreal has become the Mafia murder capital of North America as various underworld factions battle to take over the mantel long held by the Rizzuto clan, which declared its independence from New York's Bonanno family a few years earlier.


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July 13, 2017


Undercover G-Man In 5-Family Mob Case Got 'No Show' Job With Prominent New York Firm

Robert SimoniA daring undercover FBI agent who worked for many months as a driver for a Genovese crime family capo was given a "no show" job at a prominent construction safety management firm that has done work for some of New York's most prestigious institutions, according to secret FBI records obtained by Gang Land.

The documents reveal that the G-Man, who used the name "Jeffrey Cassano" and presented himself as a single guy living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, was given the job with The Safety Group Ltd. (TSG), a company with offices in Manhattan and Philadelphia. The firm, which was formed in 2013, bills itself on its website as an "industry leader" in fire safety, construction site and energy industry safety, as well as emergency preparedness for commercial buildings and hotels. Its listed clients include the New York City Fire Department, The New York Times, and Yeshiva University.

"Cassano" received a bi-weekly paycheck of $4,166.67 from TSG, the records show. But at the same time he was supposedly working for the safety company, he was spending his days driving Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio, a powerful Connecticut-based Genovese crime captain on his rounds all over the metropolitan area.

Dino SaracinoLittle Dino Wants Out Of The 50 Years Club

Colombo soldier Dino (Little Dino) Saracino is calling on a noted appeals lawyer for help in getting him out of Brooklyn Federal Court's infamous 50-years club that includes legendary 100-year-old gangster John (Sonny) Franzese and still incarcerated Gambino mobsters Gene Gotti and John Carneglia.

Michael MazzaraLet's NOT Go To The Video Tape

That's what lawyers for four mob-tied suspects charged in a pair of bank heists that allegedly netted more than $5 million are telling a federal judge.

 


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July 20, 2017


Big-Time Bank Burglars Overdrawn On Love

The girlfriends of two enterprising mob associates charged with carrying out a pair of sensational multi-million dollar bank burglaries have turned on their boyfriends and cooperated with federal authorities, Gang Land has learned.

First to flip was the paramour of the burglary crew's accused ringleader, Michael Mazzara, according to an FBI affidavit that federal prosecutors used to obtain a search warrant for two Mazzara properties in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Mazzara's former sweetheart – identified as CS-1 in the affidavit – handed over "valuable baseball cards contained in plastic cases, gold and silver bullion coin proof sets, and loose coins dating principally from the 19th century," according to an affidavit by FBI agent Bradford Price. The loot was hidden "inside an unfinished wall on the third floor" of a house that Mazzara was renovating next door to his home, the memo states.

Roman KitroserKingpin Drug Dealer Says He Was Unfairly Snared In A Left Coast Wiretap Mill

There is no doubt that Roman (The Jew) Kitroser, a longtime Luchese associate, was a "kingpin" drug dealer. The feds seized 75 kilos of drugs, a cache of weapons, and $2 million in cash when they arrested him in Brooklyn in December of 2014. Those are some of the key reasons that led Kitroser to plead guilty two years ago.

Frank RadiceFive Days Later, Jury Hangs Itself In Two-Day 'No-Show Job' Mob Trial

It took just two days to present testimony about an alleged no-show job held by a mobbed up former Teamsters union member in Brooklyn Federal Court. Meanwhile, the jury – apparently on its own work-to-rule slowdown – took five days to make up its mind.


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July 27, 2017


Judge: Murder Trumps Sweet Plea Deal; Gives Mob Prince Five Years For Loansharking

It was the longest running mob case of the decade — if not of this millennium. Seven years after he was indicted, and five years after his guilty plea, Michael Persico — long considered the "good" son of Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico, who had avoided his dad's mobster ways — was sentenced to prison.

Still, the case is far from over. But at Persico's much delayed sentencing on Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court, the arguments were lengthy and heated. At one point, a lawyer for the defendant compared his client's behavior favorably to that of President Trump.

That was shortly before Judge Dora Irizarry dropped the hammer on the mob prince and sentenced Persico to the maximum five year prison term he faced for loansharking, declaring that the successful businessman had gotten away with murder 24 years ago.

Carmine PersicoCarmine Persico Says It's His Turn For A Get Out Of Jail Card

Call it the Senior Citizens Get Out of Prison Pass: Legendary Colombo family gangster John (Sonny) Franzese got one. So did Luchese big Christopher (Christy Tick) Furnari, the only other living wiseguy sentenced to 100 years in the historic Mafia Commission case. Now Carmine (Junior) Persico, having served 32 years behind bars, thinks it's about time he gets one from the U.S. Parole Commission.

Gerard BellafioreSkeevy's Got The Sunshine State Blues

Mob associate-turned-FBI-snitch Gerard (Skeevy) Bellafiore is having a tough time in Florida. Down in the Sunshine State, the only folks Skeevy can finger for wrongdoing are lawyers, prosecutors, jailers and law enforcers who bring him back and forth to court where he's awaiting trial for his July 4, 2016 arrest for trying to rob a sidewalk bank with the help of a long-handled fishing gaffe.


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August 10, 2017

Drug-Addled Luchese Associate Now A Prized FBI Stool Pigeon

Robert SpinelliA mob associate who helped try to kill the sister of a turncoat mob capo – an incident that arguably marked the low point in the history of the American Mafia – is now the government's key witness in a major new racketeering indictment against his old gangster cronies, Gang Land has learned.

Robert Spinelli was one of five mob hoods who stalked a Brooklyn mother of three for weeks before ambushing her as she returned from dropping two of her kids at school. The failed 1992 hit was a brazen effort to convince the woman's brother not to take the witness stand against now imprisoned-for-life Luchese boss Vittorio (Vic) Amuso.

Today, it's Spinelli who is a much-prized federal witness, and his undercover work, sources say, was crucial to the blockbuster indictment of 19 Luchese gangsters on May 31. Among those charged in the case are the crime family's top three mobsters, and one of their sons, who are accused of a slew of racketeering charges, including the murder of former Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish.

Roland BedwellMob-Linked Union Official Says He's A Labor Racketeer

A mob-connected union leader who boasted of his ties to Gambino family mobsters while shaking down contractors copped a plea deal to extortion charges this week rather than have prosecutors air some remarkably frank tapes about his Mafia dealings at trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Bertram DukeBirdy Duke Flies The Coop

 He faced life in prison when he was jailed last year as part of an unusual plot by Genovese gangsters and Crips gangstas to whack a mob associate. But the aptly nick-named Bertram (Birdy) Duke flew away free last week after receiving a "time served" sentence for his role in the case.


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August 17, 2017


Parole Commission OKs Parole For Mob Boss – When He's 118

The moribund U.S. Parole Commission seems determined to make sure that mob boss Carmine (Junior) Persico does what then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani famously declared most of the mobsters convicted in the historic Mafia Commission case would do after they were hit in 1987 with unprecedented 100-year prison terms for labor racketeering: "Die in prison."

The Parole Commission, Gang Land has learned, made that pretty clear this month when the 84-year-old Persico showed up for a scheduled "mandatory parole" hearing and was told that, unlike any other inmate in the history of the federal prison system, he would need to serve 66 years behind bars – not 30, as the Commission's guidelines state – before he gets his hearing.

Persico and his lawyers appeared on August 2 for a hearing that would have required his parole, his lawyers say, because there was no "reasonable probability" he would commit a crime if released and because he had committed no serious or frequent rules violations since he was imprisoned in February of 1985. Federal parole was abolished in 1987, but the Parole Commission still holds sway over Persico and 955 other inmates convicted before then.

Salvatore BattagliaWaterfront Watchdog Chases Mob-Connected Workers Off The Docks

The Waterfront Commission has been busy policing the New York and New Jersey docks. This week, it prevented two relatives of convicted labor racketeers with one mob family from getting high-paying jobs, and it bounced a veteran longshoreman off the piers for his close ties to mobsters from two other crime families.

Robert SpinelliFeds Used Undercover G-Men In Takedown Of Luchese Family Leaders

Robert Spinelli, a mob associate who once plotted with others to murder a turncoat capo's sister to send a message about the peril of working with prosecutors, isn't the only cooperating witness in a racketeering and murder case against 19 Luchese family gangsters, Gang Land has learned.


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August 24th, 2017


Skinny Joey And The Rooster Talk About 'Work'

Joseph MerlinoIt was just two wiseguys talking about the way they do business.

"It's easy to kill somebody," said Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino.
"It's simple," agreed Genovese capo Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio.
"You're my friend," continued Merlino, spelling out how easy it is. "You trust me. I tell you, `Listen, drive me home right now.' Get you in the car. I shoot you in the fuckin' head and it's over with."

Whether Merlino or Onofrio, who uttered those words in one of more than 800 tape-recordings made during a federal investigation that stretched from New England to Florida, have ever shot anyone in the head is a matter of conjecture. Neither has ever been convicted of murder. Onofrio has never even been charged. Merlino, on the other hand, has beaten several murder and attempted murder raps.

Philip NarducciMob Hitman Goes Gastronomic

Philip Narducci did nearly 25 years for his conviction in a murder-racketeering case in the late 1980s that took down mob boss Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo and most of his organization. That's ancient history, says Narducci, who's now a big presence in the restaurant business. 

 

Michael AvicolliUnsolved Mob Murders High On Feds' Agenda

While the tape of Skinny Joey Merlino and Rooster Onofrio discussing how to whack someone may prove to be irrelevant and inadmissible in the New York racketeering case, the feds in Philadelphia might be able to put it to good use. That's if investigators and prosecutors in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District (aka Sovereign District) of New York have kissed and made up and agree to share information.


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August 31, 2017


Bronx Boy, Age 107, Sings Praises Of Mob Capo To Sentencing Judge

Pasquale ParrelloPasquale (Patsy) Parrello is the central figure in the huge federal racketeering case in Manhattan featuring 46 defendants with ties to five crime families that was filed last August, and the feds say he's a violent mob capo who deserves six plus years in prison. But don't try telling that to Joseph Binder, a 107-year-old son of Russian immigrants, one of the oldest residents in the Bronx and a personal pal of the borough president.

In a touching letter to Parello's sentencing judge, Binder describes Parrello as a sweet and loving guy who "became the son I never had."

Binder, a U.S. Navy vet who served in World War II, told Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan that when his wife of 47 years, Angelina, died in 1987, "Pasquale befriended me" and "treated me as one of his own family, inviting me to family Sunday dinners" and has been a true friend to him and scores of others for many years.

Venero ManganoBenny Eggs Mangano Cashes In His Chips, At 95; RIP

As a member of the Greatest Generation, Venero Mangano flew 33 bombing missions as an Army Air Force tail gunner and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. As Benny Eggs, he was a legendary Genovese family wiseguy who famously told prosecutors to shoot him 50 years later when they asked him to testify against boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante. Two weeks ago, the onetime Greenwich Village-based bookmaker cashed in his chips at the ripe old age of 95.

Michael PersicoChief Judge To Mob Prince: Have A Happy Birthday; Then Go To Prison

Brooklyn Federal Court Chief Judge Dora Irizarry gave Michael Persico, the businessman son of Colombo crime family boss Carmine (Junior) Persico a nice break last month when she ruled that he could wait three months more before beginning his five-year sentence for loansharking.


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Sept 7, 2017


Feds To Judge: Patsy's A Violent Recidivist Mobster; Hit Him Hard

Pasquale ParrelloLast week Gang Land told you all about the wonderful things that a 107 year old Bronx denizen had to say to the sentencing judge about his pal, mob capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello ("...the son I never had.")

This week, it's the feds' turn and they've got some very different stories to tell about the owner of Pasquale's Rigoletto, the famed Arthur Avenue eatery, who faces sentencing today in Manhattan Federal Court.

For their account, prosecutors drew on Parrello's many acid-tongued comments as tape-recorded by a cooperating witness in the case in asking Judge Richard Sullivan to give the Genovese crime family wiseguy up to 78 months in prison – a possible life sentence for the 73-year-old mobster.

Carmine CariniMob Associate Found Sleeping With The Fishes In Mill Basin

Law enforcement officials are looking into suspected mob ties of Carmine Carini, the 35-year-old ex-con who was found dead in the waters off Brooklyn's Mill Basin on Saturday, and they are also looking to question two friends who "went missing" last weekend, Gang Land has learned.

Jennifer LopezAsk Andy: Welcome To Las Vegas (Or, Bugsy Siegel And Billy Wilkerson Are Flipping In Their Graves)

Whether or not you're one of the 250,000 fans who have seen Jennifer Lopez in her All I Have show at the Planet-Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas since she began her "residency" there last year, the time is right for a primer on Sin City. Just the other day, Jenny From The Bronx said that folks go there – some 43 million people spend about $35 billion for hotels, meals, gifts, tours, and gambling each year – "to let loose and have a good time."


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September 28, 2017


Sources Say Turncoat In Huge Mob Case Is Behind Bars

John RubeoWe know that mob restaurateur Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello is now locked up behind bars, thanks to the seven-year sentence he pulled in the huge Mafia case in which he was the lead defendant. And we know that many of the more than 40 defendants in the case are there too, or will be, after they face the music in the courtroom of Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan.

But the question that has been buzzing around Gang Land for two months now is this: Where, oh where, is John (JR) Rubeo, the Genovese crime family associate who flipped and wore a wire for the FBI for five years, helping to snare Patsy and a passel of others?

While no one is offering conclusive evidence, the word on the street is that JR is now in the same place as his old buddy Patsy, and the others: locked up and behind bars.

Thomas LeonessaFeds Nail San Gennaro Slugger For Another Brutal Assault That's Caught On Video

Law enforcement officials have identified Thomas (Tommy Stacks) Leonessa, a Genovese gangster with a long rap sheet, as the slugger who delivered a brutal and very public beating to a mob informer during last year's San Gennaro street festival, Gang Land has learned.

Frank SalernoFrankie Boy Won't Be Delivering Messages For Uncle Mikey Nose Any Time Soon

Two years ago, Bonanno soldier Frank (Frankie Boy) Salerno escaped unscathed when he was caught delivering messages from his imprisoned mob boss to his troops in the field. But Salerno paid dearly this week for relaying a different kind of message – this one to a man he thought was a drug dealer eager to buy Salerno's cocaine.


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October 5th, 2017


Judge Gives 'Kid' In Huge Mob Case Five-Plus Years, And A Lecture

Anthony Camisa
At 25 years old, Anthony (The Kid) Camisa is the youngest defendant in the huge five family Manhattan Federal Court mob case that boasts more than 40 defendants. But on Monday, The Kid got one of the stiffest sentences – five and a half years in prison. He also got a stern lecture from the judge that he was lucky he didn't get more time for the kidnapping at gunpoint of a gambler who tried to beat him out of $10,000.

Judge Richard Sullivan chastised Camisa for becoming a "gun toting thug on the street" for the mob despite a good upbringing. The judge went on to warn the young man that next time anyone flashed a gun around him he should "jump out a window" to get away.  "If you show up before me again," the judge said, "you can count on the fact that I will give you the most time I can."

But Sullivan also gave a 15 minute tongue-lashing to assistant U.S. attorney Abigail Kurland for asking the judge to impose a more severe prison term than the 64-to-70 months called for in the plea agreement that the government reached with the defendant in May.

Frank RadiceTake Two In Gambino Wiseguy's 'No Show' Job Trial

No one would talk about the retrial later this month regarding Gambino soldier Frank Radice's alleged no show job, but both sides hope that jury deliberations don't last longer than the trial testimony. That's what happened in July in Brooklyn Federal Court. Jurors took five days to weigh two and a half days of testimony before deciding they were deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict


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Oct 19th, 2017


Coke-Snorting, Facebook-Loving Turncoat Flips On Ronnie G

Ricky KesslerFederal prosecutors in Brooklyn have signed up a coke-snorting, Facebook-loving Howard Beach hoodlum named Ricky Kessler to help them with their monstrous racketeering case against Bonanno capo Ronald (Ronnie G) Giallanzo, Gang Land has learned.

The feds' case focuses on a massive loan sharking and extortion scheme that Ronnie G has allegedly run for the past 17 years, resulting in an estimated haul of some $26 million, according to the government.

Sources say Kessler, a 47-year-old childhood friend of Giallanzo, secretly began cooperating with the FBI in the summer of 2014. That was more than a year before a gun-toting one man crime wave from Howard Beach named Gene Borrello turned on Ronnie G and his capo uncle Vincent Asaro after the NYPD nailed Borrello for a slew of home invasions from New York to Florida.

Salvatore DeMeoSallie D's Not Running Away From Tax Fraud Charges

In 2001, Genovese mobster Salvatore (Sallie D) DeMeo had good reason to run – and did – when he was out for a stroll and spotted FBI agents near his home: They were set to arrest him for a $382,000 bank robbery. But those days are long since gone, his lawyer declared last week when DeMeo was hit with evading $367,000 in taxes, and the feds said he was a flight risk.

Vittorio AmusoLuchese Hierarchy Getting Battered By Family Relatives

Old-school mob tough guy Vittorio (Vic) Amuso, the 82-year-old Luchese chieftain, has to be shaking his head in disgust at the number of relatives of his wiseguys who have turned on the hierarchy of the crime family he left behind 26 plus years ago.


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Oct 26, 2017

Joey Merlino Going 'All In' Against Sovereign District Of NY

Philadelphia mob chieftain Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino has been called many things over an underworld career that stretches across four decades.

But in his heart Merlino, 55, sees himself as a guy who likes to place bets.

"I'm a gambler," Merlino said shortly after finishing up a 14-year prison sentence for racketeering back in 2012. "That's not illegal. I like to bet. I'm not a bookmaker. I don't like bookmakers."

Bradley SirkinMerlino's Florida Pals Pay A Stiff Price In Fraud Case

It could turn out that the only defendants convicted of racketeering for being part of that made up organized crime entity known as the East Coast LCN Enterprise case are two Florida residents who were listed as the 45th and 46th defendants when the New York indictment was announced back in 2016. How's that for irony?

Ron PreviteMob Informant Ron Previte Always Did It His Way

Ron Previte, the Philadelphia cop-turned-gangster-turned-government witness, died two months ago after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 73.


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November 2nd, 2017

Feds Use Turncoat Capo's Tapes But Leave Him High And Dry

Peter LovaglioPoor Peter (Pug) Lovaglio. For months, the turncoat capo wore a wire for the feds, making tapes that prosecutors say provided excellent intelligence against mobsters with several crime families, Gang Land has learned. But the one conversation Lovaglio wants to hear – the one where a mob-busting NYPD detective allegedly told him, "Don't worry" about pleading guilty to a vicious 2015 barroom assault – lies buried in a pile of tapes he made, and the feds are in no rush to dig it out.

We know Lovaglio wore the wire because Gang Land has obtained a sealed March 15, 2017 letter in which prosecutors disclosed that Pug made many "audio recordings." The letter goes on to state that those recordings "may include conversations" Lovaglio had with Organized Crime Investigation Division detective Joshua Vanderpool. But prosecutors added that they were yet to listen to them, and are not "aware of the substance of any recordings" made between the mobster and the detective.

There's also a second letter, also dated March 15, the day before Pug was sentenced to eight years for assault on the owner of a Staten Island sushi bar. In that one, prosecutors wrote that Lovaglio had provided "valuable and extensive assistance" to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office since the Spring of 2016 even though he did not have a cooperation agreement with the government.

Dino CalabroGunman In Execution Murder Of NYPD Cop Rewarded For Fingering Mob Higher Ups

Dino (Big Dino) Calabro, the triggerman in the only known execution murder of a New York City cop by the American Mafia, was rewarded for his cooperation with an 11 year sentence last Friday. He will soon rejoin his family in the federal Witness Protection Program – if he hasn't done so already.

Al CaponeAsk Andy: 50 Years of National Mafia Meetings           

Sixty years ago next week, on November 14, 1957, four inquisitive law enforcement officers set up a roadblock on the only road to the estate of Joseph Barbara in Apalachin, NY. By sheer luck they happened on an emergency Cosa Nostra National Meeting. After identifying and detaining more than 50 men of Italian extraction, it was clear that mobsters from around the nation had attended a major meeting. It was a shocking revelation that remains a watershed moment in the history of the American Mafia.


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November 23, 2017 


Benny The Blade Blows Up, Accuses His Judge Of Bias; His Lawyer Backs Him Up

Battista GeritanoSix months ago, the judge in his case sent mob associate Battista (Benny The Blade) Geritano to get his head examined. First, Geritano wouldn't come to court. Then, when he did come, he acted out. Then he wanted to represent himself on charges of sending a threatening letter to the 83-year-old lawyer who had defended him at his 2013 trial for a barroom stabbing in Brooklyn.

The prison psychologist determined that Benny was "not suffering from a mental disease or defect." But it turns out that what Geritano really needed was anger management counseling.

Last week, at a pre-trial conference, Geritano blew his stack at Brooklyn Federal Judge Sterling Johnson and called him "biased," causing Benny to be led out of court by a deputy U.S. marshal. Benny's explosion came right after the judge signed a "force order" giving the FBI the right to take a DNA sample and a palm print from him as part of the government's continuing investigation.

John GambinoJohn Gambino; Cousin Of Carlo, Capo For John Gotti, Dies At 77

John Gambino, a longtime member of the Sicilian faction of the Gambino crime family and a powerful capo during the reign of the late John Gotti, died last week of natural causes. He was 77.

Vincenzo MorenaTwo Snared By Canadian Turncoat Home For Thanksgiving; Two Behind Bars

A judge refused to set bail for the Bonanno wiseguy who conducted the videotaped induction ceremony in Canada of mob informer Vincent (Enzo) Morena, but the lawyer for the Gambino soldier whom Moreno stung on loansharking charges convinced two judges that his client wasn't a danger to the community and could be released on bail while he awaits trial.


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Feds Make 'Junior' Daniel Marino Pay For His Father's Sins

Daniel MarinoThe son of Gambino capo Daniel Marino didn't take or place any bets, and he didn't win or lose any money. But that didn't stop him – after a long and twisting account of his actions – from pleading guilty to illegal gambling, even after a federal judge urged him not to. The plea means that Daniel A. Marino became a felon at the age of 50. Not because he's a criminal, but because of who his father is.

No one connected to this case would talk about it. But make no mistake about it: If Marino wasn't the son of a powerful mob capo, he wouldn't be awaiting sentence in February for illegal gambling. It's also highly unlikely he would have even been indicted, let alone on racketeering charges as a member of a made up entity called the East Coast LCN Enterprise. 

But rather than go to trial as a codefendant of Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, Marino pleaded guilty on November 9 before Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan. He did so even after Judge Sullivan pointedly asked if he really wanted to say he was a felon in front of a dozen family members and friends who were in court to support him and whom the judge had warmly recognized. "Yes, your Honor," responded the junior Marino sadly.

Luigi RomanoLouie Sunoco Gets Three-Year Deal For Murder Plot Against Gas Station Thief

 Luigi (Louie Sunoco) Romano, a mob-linked businessman who faced life in prison if found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot, has landed a sensational plea deal that will cap his sentence at no more than three years.

Ronald GiallanzoRonnie G And His Bonanno Crew Looking For Plea Deals

 Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say they are "optimistic" that Bonanno wiseguy Ronald (Ronnie G) Giallanzo and his entire crew of Howard Beach cohorts who allegedly shot up the streets of Queens in recent years will be pleading guilty to charges stemming from the $26 million racketeering scheme that he has allegedly headed for the last 19 plus years.


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Reply with quote  #198 
Dec 7th, 2017


Feds To Sic Latest Turncoat Wiseguy On Skinny Joey

Peter LovaglioIn a surprise move, federal prosecutors in Manhattan will showcase their latest Mafia defector at the racketeering trial next month of Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, Gang Land has learned.

The new cooperating witness is Peter (Pug) Lovaglio, a violent, hard-drinking Bonanno capo who blinded the owner of a Staten Island sushi restaurant in a vicious unprovoked barroom assault two years ago. Lovaglio is currently doing eight years for the incident in which he smashed a cocktail glass into his victim's eye.

In court papers, prosecutors say Lovaglio will team up with John (J.R.) Rubeo, another controversial mob turncoat who tape-recorded hundreds of talks with scores of gangsters, against Merlino and Genovese capo Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio, the only defendants who haven't copped guilty pleas in the 46-defendant case.

Vincent AsaroFeds Retract Plot To Kill Prosecutor; Still Want 15 Plus Years For Asaro

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have owned up to making a big mistake six months ago:  crediting a jailhouse snitch who fingered Bonanno wiseguy Vincent Asaro for plotting to kill a prosecutor who had failed to convict him for the spectacular $6 million Lufthansa Airlines robbery but was trying to put him behind bars for arson.

Henry SentnerAsk Andy: Manny Gambino Kidnap Fiasco

A rookie mistake by 81-year-old career criminal Henry Sentner 10 weeks ago – getting stopped for speeding on Interstate 80 in Wyoming in a rental car with 35 pounds of marijuana on board – brought to mind the murder of Jimmy McBratney that John Gotti is said to have committed for Carlo Gambino on May 22, 1973 to avenge the kidnap-murder of Don Carlo's nephew Emanuel.


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