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Sonny Says, 'I'll Walk Free Yet,'
As Nemesis Gets A Free Pass
Note: all of the posts below can be found on ganglandnews.com 
 

 


[sonnyfranzese02]Crusty Colombo wiseguy John (Sonny) Franzese, who celebrated his 96th birthday yesterday at a federal prison hospital in Massachusetts, is vowing to walk out a free man at the end of his sentence in four years. Or at least be pushed out in a wheelchair. That’s what he recently told his son Michael, the former mob capo who famously turned from Mob to God, disavowing his own old criminal ways, but who still supports his dyed-in-the-wool mobster father.

Former Mob Associate Cops 
Plea In 1992 Double Murder

[colandra]On the eve of his scheduled trial this week, a former Colombo family associate who allegedly took part in a grisly double murder during the crime family's bloody 1991-93 war, copped a plea deal that calls for him to receive a fixed sentence of five years behind bars.

Charged With Knifing, Benny
Also A Suspect In Shooting

[bennygeritano]Hot tempered mob associate Battista (Benny) Geritano was released on bail this week to await trial for a pre-Christmas eve stabbing at a trendy Brooklyn restaurant bar, but he is still cooling his heels behind bars. Instead of spending his days and nights on Riker's Island, he's now holed up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. 


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Jersey Boys Waiting To Take
The Stage In Bookie Case
 
 
 
Law enforcement authorities in two states have amassed lots of evidence to establish that from 2005 until about 2010, Luchese capos Joseph (Big Joe) DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna ran a lucrative, and well-organized gambling business that operated in New York, New Jersey and Costa Rica. Despite that, two key questions remain: Are the aging wiseguys guilty of state racketeering charges in either jurisdiction? And: Should they face trial now, despite allegations of improprieties and corrupt actions by New Jersey authorities that have delayed that case for years?

Joe Watts Wants A Refund

John Gotti was famously photographed giving a $50 bill to a homeless guy. And many other wiseguys have made a show when picking up a tab, or donating to one cause or another. But the last of the real big time spenders in Gang Land, bar none, is longtime Gambino associate Joseph Watts.

Tommy Shots Prison Inmate
Number; Could It Be A Typo?

Say this for Colombo mobster Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli: His recent gripe about his unusual federal prison inmate number has sparked widespread comment among readers equally puzzled about the numerology that determines who gets what digits and why.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 

 


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Gotti Lawyers Air Bad Blood In Valentine's Day Legal Joust
 
 

 

 

There was no love lost on Valentine's Day in the courtroom of Manhattan Federal Judge John Koeltl when three former attorneys for John (Junior) Gotti faced off in a hearing. The legal issue was whether an associate of Gotti's Gambino crime family got a raw deal in a sentence handed down nine years ago. Personality issues loomed even larger. On one side was celebrated defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman who rose to fame when he won the first of four hung juries for Gotti in 2005. On the other side was Charles Carnesi, who got Gotti off the legal hook three other times, including the trial in 2009, when he was charged with two murders.

Long Winding Road To Justice
In 1981 Shamrock Bar Slayings

Gambino mobster Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace was in Brooklyn Federal Court last week for a final appearance before his racketeering and murder trial for the senseless barroom slayings of the owners of a  Queens bar that is scheduled to begin later this month.

 Mob Wives Love Story: Father Of Bride Not Expected At Wedding; Neither Is The Groom

The latest mob nuptials were announced, appropriately, on Valentine's Day on Page Six of the New York Post. Ramona Rizzo, one of the VH1 lovelies on Mob Wives, who publicly traces her Mafia roots to her late grandfather, Bonanno button man Benjamin (Lefty Guns) Ruggiero, is to wed Joseph (Joe Boy) Sclafani, a Gambino soldier.


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Arrest In Recent Mob Rubout
May Jump-start Cold Case Hit
 
 

The tactics prosecutors are using to investigate an amateurish gangland-style slaying two months ago has mob leaders long suspected of taking part in a ten year old rubout paying very close attention to the arrest of Philadelphia mobster Anthony Nicodemo for the December 13 murder. For good reason:  Prosecutors seem to have the goods on Nicodemo, who is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the mid-afternoon shooting death of suspected informer Gino DiPietro. And they are sure to ratchet up pressure on Nicodemo to flip on cohorts in the DiPietro hit as well as those in a 2003 slaying for which he is also a suspect.

Uncle Joe Waits Behind Bars
For Racketeering Re-trial

Despite his acquittal on several charges, a federal judge turned down a request for bail Monday for Mafia boss Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi, who faces a retrial later this year on a racketeering conspiracy indictment for which a jury was unable to reach a verdict earlier this month.

Wining And Dining:
The Wiseguy Way

Prosecutors called it a meeting of the ‘board of directors” of organized crime, but the jury apparently thought otherwise of a 45-minute tape segment that was culled from a five-hour luncheon meeting at LaGriglia, a Kenilworth, NJ, restaurant where members of the Philadelphia mob, including capo Joseph (Scoops) Licata, met with  leaders of the Gambino family.


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Feds: Bartender Saw Bobby Glasses At The Shamrock Bar

 

More than 30 years after he witnessed a senseless double murder, a former Queens bartender is expected to contradict his prior testimony and finger a top Gambino mobster as one of three gunmen who shot and killed the owners of a Woodhaven bar back on April 11, 1981. Sources say that the ex-barman, Patrick Sullivan, is the mystery witness that federal prosecutors cited on Mafia Takedown Day as the "eyewitness" who would identify capo Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace as "one of the shooters" in the Shamrock Bar killings. Vernace, who has been held without bail for nearly 26 months, has gotten used to his khaki, prison-issue fatigues, and wore them during jury selection this week. Defendants have the option to wear a respectable suit and tie, but, in an unusual gambit, Bobby Glasses has decided to let jurors know he'll be behind bars throughout his expected four-to-six week trial that begins Monday.


 Third Extortion Case Is A
Charm For Big Billy Scotto

What a difference two years makes. The future looked pretty bleak for William (Big Billy) Scotto on Mafia Takedown Day. Hit with extortion and labor racketeering for the third time in four years, he was just out of prison for his second rap, and faced 20 more years behind bars. Today? Well, Big Billy is still looking at the Big House, but it's hard to envision a better possible outcome for the veteran Gambino wiseguy.

Judge: Lousy Lawyer Not That
Bad; Mikey Spat Still Guilty

Poor Mikey Spat. Known for purposes of indictment as Michael Spataro, the mob associate has been in prison for more than eight years after a controversial conviction at a trial at which his defense lawyer seemed to be little more than a bystander. And even though his former mouthpiece has admitted to a laundry list of failings during the trial, Spataro is still looking at another 12 years behind bars.


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March 14, 2013

Gotti Niece Was Set To Testify At
Gambino Mobster Murder Trial - But Feds Send Her Home
 
 
Linda Gotti, daughter of one mob boss and niece of another, was all set to make Mafia history yesterday by testifying against a member of her father's Gambino crime family in a murder trial. But it wasn’t to be. Federal prosecutors decided not to call Gotti, who has long been estranged from her imprisoned father, Peter. The reason, sources told Gang Land, was not because Gotti was reluctant to take the stand. Far from it. Even though she had told the feds she could not identify Gambino capo Bartolomeo Vernace as a killer in the senseless 1981 Shamrock Bar slayings, she was willing to talk about how the terror of possible mob retribution had made her and other likely witnesses keep quiet for years about what they saw that night.

Great Granddaughter Wants 'Poppy Boy' To Come Home

On the street and on prosecution documents, acting Colombo crime boss Andrew Russo is "Andy Mush." But his great granddaughter knows him by a far sweeter nickname: "Poppy Boy." That's the term of endearment used by four year-old Virginia who is rooting, along with great-grandmother Ruth and dozens of other members of Russo's large extended family, for "Poppy" to come home next week after being locked up for the last 26 months.

Feds Hook Charlie Tuna
Three Times In Three Weeks

Did someone pin a big "Catch Me!" sign on the back of Charlie Tuna? For 13 years after he got out federal prison in 1999 after serving time for a variety of heroin and weapons charges, Charles (Charlie Tuna) Giustra avoided any encounter with the law. Then, all of a sudden, during a three plus week stretch over the Christmas holidays, he managed to swim into a trifecta of federal raps in New York and New Jersey.


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March 21, 2013

Wiseguy Jousts With Ghosts In Shamrock Bar Murder Trial
 
 

 


Gambino wiseguy Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace is jousting with ghosts at his trial for the 1981 Shamrock Bar murders. As proof of his guilt in the double killing at the Queens bar, the feds have offered the words of a dead mob associate who triggered the shootings to try and prove Vernace’s role in the murders. They also employed the testimony of two former mob associates who weren't present at the bar to pin the rap for the senseless slayings on Bobby Glasses and his pals, Frank (Frank the Geech) and Ronald (Ronnie The Jew) Barlin. But at least the turncoat ex-associates are alive.

 Bobby Glasses Saw It Coming

 

Ever since he was acquitted of state murder charges in 2002, Bobby Gasses Vernace knew, in his heart of hearts, that FBI agents would someday team up with federal prosecutors and try to convict him for the Shamrock Bar murders under the racketeering statutes, according to mob turncoat Howard Santos.

Feds May Take Death Penalty
Off Table In Cop Killing Trial

Joe Waverly isn’t off the hook, but that lethal injection needle may be sliding off the table. A federal judge has put off the murder trial of Colombo mobster Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace until September as prosecutors indicated that Attorney General Eric Holder may be reconsidering the government's intention to seek the death penalty for the slaying of police officer Ralph Dols.


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March 28, 2013

Turncoat: I Don't Want A Job;
FBI Will Pay Me For My 'Work'
 
 

 

That old saw that gangsters are just guys afraid to earn an honest living? Well, that’s a pretty good description of Howard Santos, the ex-gangster turned witness for the feds in the trial of mobster Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace. After living large as a trusted Gambino family associate for 28 years, Santos pleaded guilty in 2009 to attempted murder and other crimes. At the age of 42, he flipped, and began playing for the FBI. But when his undercover work ended a year later, Santos couldn't bring himself to get a real job, even if it meant he might get bounced from the coddled cocoon of the federal Witness Protection Program.


 DEA Agent Walked With God
But He Danced Like A Devil

Former drug enforcement agent Louis (Louie The Actor) Diaz says he danced with the devil but walked with God when he worked undercover against major league heroin traffickers. Last week, he took the stand against Vernace and admitted that he did quite a few devilish things himself during those same years.

Judge Shoots Holes In Alibis;
Mob Caterer Gun Rap Sticks

Wannabe TV chef Frank (Frankie D) DiMattina used seven lawyers and 20 alleged alibi witnesses in his recipe for getting off the hook on charges that he used a gun to shake down a business rival for a lucrative school lunch contract. But the soufflé fell flat last week when Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein took a hard look at the explanations the Genovese associate concocted a few weeks after he was convicted of extortion.


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April 4, 2013
Giannini Quartet Finds 'My
Blue Heaven'
In Sunny Florida
 
 

The Giannini crew, an infamous group of teenaged gangsters, had already begun terrorizing several Queens neighborhoods when Steve Martin hit the big screen in 1990 as a relocated mob snitch in My Blue Heaven. In the movie, Martin meets some old New York crime cohorts in his new home town and goes into business with them. Today, four turncoat members of that violent Ridgewood, Queens-based gang are enjoying their own real-life My Blue Heaven down in sunny Florida, Gang Land has learned. It's some crew: Included among the renegades is a former co-leader who took part in five murders as well as the shooting of a 15-year-old girl who refused to have an abortion. Last week, the oldest member of the Giannini quartet, 43-year-old Giuseppe (Joey) Gambina, surfaced at the murder trial of mobster Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace.

 Judge Rewards The General
For Gorgeous Death Plot Tip

Last November, after he was caught threatening to kill his wife and her lover, the feds put some distance between themselves and a star witness, Generoso (Jimmy the General) Barbieri. But last week, all was merry again. The government praised the turncoat Bonanno mobster for turning on his mob boss, and a federal judge hailed The General for his "courage" in alerting the feds about a murder plot against former top prosecutor Greg Andres.

Gambino Capo Takes 'Little
Vacation' In Upstate NY

 

 

Longtime Gambino capo Joseph (Joe The Blond) Giordano has somehow managed to avoid federal racketeering charges that have landed many of his fellow wiseguys stretches in federal prisons around the country. His luck with state prosecutors has been a different story. 

 
 
 

                                                                                                                                                                


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April 18, 2013
Jurors Finally Clean Up
After A Deadly Spilled Drink
 
 

Bartolomeo "Bobby Glasses" Vernace killed in order to burnish his mob credentials, a jury decided yesterday after a five-week-long racketeering trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. The verdict is the first to find anyone culpable in a vicious, 32-year-old double murder – the shooting deaths of two tavern owners in a stupid and petty argument over a spilled drink, killings that some local law enforcement had long seemed less than enthusiastic about avenging.

 Gravano Greed Killed Garofalo,
Not Canaryism, Say Daughters

Wearing dark jailhouse blues and a heavy chain for a belt, Gambino family associate Danny Fama made a brief appearance in Manhattan Federal Court this week. He smiled at three rows of family and friends who showed up in support, then sat down next to attorney Seth Ginsberg to see if the government was ready to show any of the cards it’s holding in his new indictment for an old murder. It wasn't.

A Double Talking Witness
Gets Caught Telling Tales

It wasn’t enough to turn the tide for his client, but defense attorney Charles Carnesi convincingly undercut the testimony of a key government witness in the Bobby Glasses Vernace trial, winning a rare FBI admission that its own cooperator had significantly changed his story.


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May 2, 2013
Mama's Boy From The Bronx
Works For Uncle Sam vs. Mob
 
 

Mob hanger-on Anthony Zoccolillo has no shame admitting he's a mama's boy. The outspoken poster child of the short-lived reality TV show, Mama's Boys of the Bronx, lived with his mom. You got a problem with that? What Zoccolillo isn't too keen on shouting out is that for the last few months he's also been working for his uncle. His Uncle Sam, that is. And his target has been the Genovese crime family. That's why Zoccolillo is identified as CW-1 in a complaint that was quietly filed two weeks ago charging a Bronx-based mobster with raking in more than $2 million while smuggling thousands of pounds of high-grade marijuana into New York from northern California in the last year.

 State To 80-Year-Old Drug Dealer: 'Never Let You Go'

 

Mob associate Ernest Malizia is not exactly in the kind of shape to be a major threat to society. He's 80, and has a heart condition that requires a defibrillator. He's been hospitalized for infections numerous times. But when he ends a 12-year sentence for a federal parole violation next week, Malizia will be scooped up by state authorities for a stay in their own prisons. The reason? He is charged with violating a separate New York state parole.

Feds Want 20 Years Behind Bars For Acquitted Persico Pal

Brooklyn federal prosecutors are asking a judge to give a 20-year prison sentence to mob associate Francis (BF) Guerra, despite his acquittal by a jury of murder and racketeering charges. The sentence proposed by prosecutors Nicole Argentieri and Allon Lifshitz is five years longer than the deal they offered Guerra in exchange for pleading guilty to two murders and the related racketeering charges that he was acquitted of in a hard-fought trial nearly ten months ago.


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Feds Dump Productive Mob Turncoat; He Gets Eight Years
 
 

Six years ago, mob associate John (Big John) Bologna flipped. For two years, he wore a wire for the FBI. He gave the feds "immensely useful assistance," and they nailed onetime acting Genovese boss Arthur (The Little Guy) Nigro for murder. But Big John screwed up royally along the way, and because of that, he may suffer the same lonely death behind bars as The Little Guy. The case of Big John Bologna, whose cooperation enabled the feds to convict five gangsters for murder and five others and a mob lawyer for a slew of other crimes, is an exception to the usual government rule of looking the other way when a turncoat violates his "cooperation agreement." In Bologna's case, prosecutors actually breached his agreement.

 Turncoat Capo To FBI: 'I Want
My Loanshark Money Back'

 

Big John Bologna isn't the only cooperator who failed to measure up. The FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office publicly acknowledged last fall that turncoat Colombo capo Reynold (Ren) Maragni was a huge disappointment. After using him as window dressing in two trials, prosecutors did not call him as a witness in a money laundering case he made by tape recording two gangsters in an elaborate sting operation.

Judge Watches Video; Gives Benny Two Years For Stabbing

A Brooklyn Federal Court judge sentenced mob associate Battista (Benny) Geritano to two years in prison last week for the pre-Christmas eve stabbing of a patron in a Bay Ridge Brooklyn restaurant bar – but the hot-tempered 40-year-old gangster's troubles are far from over.


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May 16, 2013
Jailed Ex-Con Wants Out: I'm Divorced From Gangsterism
 
 

Try as he might, Daniel Fama, who was indicted last month for taking part in a 1990 gangland-style slaying for John Gotti, is having a difficult time keeping his distance from the Gambino crime family. Several times while he was behind bars for drug dealing and murder from 1992 until 2009, the family proposed him to be "made" when he came home. But each time, law enforcement sources say, Fama turned the offer down. More recently, sources say, after three years of post-prison federal supervised release without incident, he was again offered a "button." Again, he said no. Last month, Fama got one more proposal to sign up again with his old gang. This time, however, the offer came from the FBI, in the person of veteran G-man Theodore Otto, who tried to flip Fama.

 Stand-Up Dad Gets Razzed About Sins Of Turncoat Son

 

Like a good, loving son, Frank (Frankie Steel) Pontillo picked up his father in south Jersey last month and drove him to a halfway house in Brooklyn. His dad had served 22 years behind bars for a controversial drug rap in which the key evidence were tape recordings made by the Turkish National Police. His old man probably wishes he had taken the bus.

Turncoat Capo Stiffs Lawyer;
Judge Gives Him A New One

Add lawyer Richard Shanley to the long list of folks who have gotten the shaft from Colombo mobster Reynold (Ren) Maragni since the federal government signed the career criminal to a cooperation agreement following his arrest on Mafia Takedown Day two years ago.


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May 23, 2013
Rudy Santobello, Wiseguy
Who Wised Up Serpico To Mob-NYPD Ties, Dead At 84
 
 

Rudolph (Rudy) Santobello, the cop killing gangster whose friendly, kid-glove treatment by station house detectives outraged a young NYPD cop named Frank Serpico has died. Santobello, a Genovese capo whose last prison stretch ended in 2000, was 84. Details of his demise could not be obtained, but sources confirm the cause did not stem from his Gang Land activities. In recent years, Santobello had moved up in the powerful Genovese family. A secret 2006 FBI report lists him as a "member of the hierarchy." Law enforcement sources say he maintained a low profile while overseeing lucrative loansharking and bookmaking rackets from Bronx locations. Sources say that six years earlier, when he got out of prison, he abandoned his social club on Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section – the Club Arthur – that was a focal point of his federal racketeering conviction in 1994.

 Judge Delays Long-Delayed Sentencing One More Time

 

The courtroom was packed yesterday for the long-delayed, and sure to be controversial sentencing of Colombo associate Francis (BF) Guerra, who was acquitted of murder and racketeering last year but found guilty of selling his pain meds. About 15 friends and family members along with a dozen mob-busting FBI agents and federal prosecutors were squeezed into Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes's courtroom to learn her verdict. It was not to be.

Broke? Watts The Story Joe?

Joe Watts, brokester? Well, that’s the claim in newly arrived paperwork from the rolling hills of West Virginia regarding the current financial situation of longtime Gambino associate Joseph Watts whose lifestyle earned him a well-deserved rep as one of the richest, big-time spending gangsters of all time.


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May 30th, 2013


Feds: Fama Admitted 1990 Mob Hit; Keep Him Locked Up
 
 

Tough guy Daniel Fama was sharp enough to start a multi-million dollar a year business just two short years after spending 17 years behind bars for drug related murders. So you’d think that he’d be smart enough to keep his mouth shut when FBI agents arrested him for taking part in a 23 year-old murder. Think again. Fama, who displayed a winning way with words in a letter to the court last month, gabbed away as if he were with old pals admitting his guilt in the 1990 murder of Edward (Eddie The Chink) Garafolo and even copping to his "struggles" with addictions to heroin and oxycodone after his release from prison in 2009.

 Feds: 100 Years For Little Dino

 

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are seeking a tough 100-year-prison term for Dino (Little Dino) Saracino, a low-level Colombo family mobster who was acquitted of three murders at his racketeering trial last year. By comparison, that’s the same sentence that Saracino’s mob boss, Carmine (Junior) Persico, received in the historic Commission case in 1987.

Last Gasp For Frankie D

The restaurant/catering hall business must still be treating Frank (Frankie D) DiMattina pretty well these days. Despite numerous costly legal setbacks over the past two years, the Genovese family associate is still shelling out big bucks for high-priced lawyers in his long-shot battle to overturn an extortion conviction and a pending six year prison term.


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June 6, 2013
A 500-Pound Gorilla Hounds Hotshot Lawyer Jeff Lichtman
 
 

For years, mob associate John Matera has been saying that he was offered – and rejected – a 20-year-plea deal for murder in early 2004, a month before he hired lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman to try his case. For years, the celebrated defense attorney has countered that the scenario laid out by his former client never happened. Recently, he reiterated that on the witness stand in a contentious conflict of interest lawsuit the gangster filed against the lawyer. But last month, Matera's new lawyers filed a copy of the long-denied plea offer. It appears to back up their allegation that Lichtman took a $75,000 fee, but then pushed Matera to take the same plea deal he had previously turned down. The reason, Matera's current attorneys say, was so Lichtman could then represent another suspect in the same 1998 gangland-style slaying.

Camera Nabs Suspect In Shooting Of Reputed Mobster

 

Did the 47-year-old Queens man who was shot by an unidentified black man in East Harlem last week really tell police he was a Bonanno soldier, as the New York Post reported? And was the shooting part of an ongoing feud with the Luchese family, as the paper also reported? Probably not, say Gang Land sources. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some intriguing mob truths about the incident.

Wiseguy Out Shopping Curves Into Drunk Driving Arrest

There is no doubt about the mob pedigree of Peter Lovaglio. There is also no doubt that the Bonanno mobster, who has been under house arrest for months, acted pretty stupidly last week when he crashed into a parked car near his Staten Island home, and was arrested for DWI.


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New Bonanno Boss Speaks
Softly; Hides In The Bushes

June 13, 2013

 

The Bonanno crime family has chosen a cagy, soft-spoken, hands-on mobster to guide the beleaguered borgata back to the good old days when its leader was a respected wiseguy – not the first Mafia boss to switch sides and work for the feds. Sources say the new acting boss is an old-school mobster who is well versed in mob weaponry, from the long rifle to the black jack. Meet Thomas (Tommy D) DiFiore, a 70-year-old gangster from Commack, Long Island. Sources say the Bonannos have selected DiFiore to revive their diminished rackets and replenish the crime family coffers that their 70-year-old ex-boss Joseph Massino drained when he flipped in the hope that he might someday walk out of the Big House rather than leave in a body bag.

Joe Massino Looks For Same
Deal As Brother-In-Law Sal

 

Joe Massino looked like he wanted to kill his brother-in-law when he testified against him. But the ex-Bonanno kingpin has a new view of the world these days. Nine years after that courtroom confrontation, Massino hopes that the same judge who sentenced his turncoat underboss, Salvatore Vitale, to “time served” will cut him the same break when he appears before him next week looking  for a sentence reduction.

Judge: Ex-Con No Danger; But
Keep Him Behind Bars Anyway

Just because there’s a lot of evidence that Daniel Fama took part in a 1990 mob rubout, that doesn’t mean he is currently a danger to the community, and can't be released on bail, a federal judge ruled last week. But, the judge added, the evidence against Fama is so great, he just might flee rather than appear for trial. Which is why Fama is spending his summer in a federal lock up.


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June 20, 2013

FBI Cuts Mob-Busting Agents Again; Down 60% Since 2008
 
 

 

Memo to Big Frank, Bowat and Stevie Wonder: Relax. That woman you saw the other day who looked out of place probably wasn't an FBI agent. Neither was the guy who eyeballed you near your house. And don't worry about that suspicious-looking car that pulled up alongside you last week – or fret about using your cell phone, for that matter. The FBI now has only three agents assigned to cover the entire Luchese crime family, Gang Land has learned. You may be old-school mobsters who made a vow never to give up The Life, but the FBI has little interest in onetime underboss Frank (Big Frank) Lastorino, or former acting boss Anthony (Bowat) Baratta – or even the borgata's current boss, Steven (Stevie Wonder) Crea.

FBI Digs Up Likely Remains Of Rubout For Jimmy The Gent

 

Late Tuesday, during their second day of digging in a Queens basement, FBI agents unearthed the suspected remains of a mob hit victim slain about 40 years ago. Officials believe the victim was killed by a Bonanno family gangster as a favor to Jimmy The Gent Burke, the mastermind of a daring $6 million dollar airlines heist who died in prison in 1996, Gang Land has learned.

Frankie D Should Have
Asked For A Non-Jury Trial

Too bad mob connected restaurateur Frank (Frankie D) DiMattina didn't have a bench trial. If he had, Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein says he would have acquitted him of charges that he brandished a gun while extorting a rival caterer, instead of sentencing him to six years in prison.


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June 27, 2013

Judge Derails Slow Moving
Mafia Takedown Day Case
 
 
The overwhelming majority of the cases lodged against 127 defendants on Mafia Takedown Day have been resolved, but the one alleging a 30-year-long extortion scheme on the New York-New Jersey waterfront by the Genovese family and corrupt union officials is on a very slow track. This week, the latest snag for the long-delayed September trial of the 103-count indictment had a most unusual origin – the trial judge. Newark Federal Judge Dennis Cavanaugh, who had decided all the pretrial motions in the case, abruptly announced that he's retiring from the bench in January and washed his hands of the case.

Feds Tell Richie Nerves: Skip
Grandchild's Graduation Party

 

Colombo consigliere Richard (Richie Nerves) Fusco surely was angry the feds didn’t let him attend a graduation party for his granddaughter last Sunday, but it may have been for the best. The gaunt 76-year-old gangster is looking so poorly since his stint in solitary confinement that his presence at the party probably would have put a damper on the festivities.

 

Feds Use Mob Lawyer Tactic
To Discredit Defense Witness

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn used a tried and true defense tactic last week in the government's quest for a 20-year sentence for Francis (BF) Guerra, a Colombo family associate who was acquitted of murder and racketeering last year but found guilty of selling his prescription meds.


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July 4, 2013
Mayor Mike v Dapper Don:
Fireworks Faecoff Of The Ages

Outgoing New York Mayor Bloomberg promises a last blast tonight, a gala Fourth of July Fireworks extravaganza on the Hudson River. But no matter how amazing the pyrotechnics, it won't compare with the show that the late John Gotti used to throw during his heyday as the Dapper Don. Today, Bloomberg will revel in the last fireworks display on his long mayoral watch, but 25 years ago today, Gotti was center stage for his annual Ozone Park blast outside the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club on 101st Avenue. “This is just something we do for the neighborhood,” Gotti told reporters during a brief bow in front of the Bergin, according to Mob Star, the best tell-all book about Gotti's life and times ever written, coincidentally by Gene Mustain and yours truly.

 
 

Ernie Boy Takes Five For
$1.2 Million Shakedown

 

Oreste (Ernie Boy) Abbamonte, a federal prison inmate most of his adult life, knows how to live it up when he's not locked up. The 64-year-old Gambino soldier, who spent 25 of the past 31 years behind bars, blew every dollar of the $1.2 million he extorted from a Long Island contractor from 2006 to 2011, according to court papers filed last week.

Ousted ILA Union Official
Sings The Waterfront Blues

For most of his working life on the New Jersey piers, former dockworkers union official Robert Ruiz was a grunt like everyone else, paying his dues and taking his lumps like the rest of his fellow longshoremen. It was only after 27 years of rank and file sweat that Ruiz was bumped up to a union job. And that post only lasted two years before his arrest on racketeering charges in 2011. That, argues lawyer Marc Agnifilo, makes his client more victim than defendant.


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July 11, 2013

Alite: Junior Gotti's A Mama's
Boy; I Was His Babysitter

He’s living life on his own terms and doesn’t care who knows it. John Alite, the mob hitman who testified against former Gambino family acting boss John (Junior) Gotti,  said he has no regrets about his decision to cooperate with federal authorities. But the soft-spoken one time gangster bristled at the notion that his life in the underworld is often defined – incorrectly he said – by his association with the Gotti family. Alite tells Gang Land he chose not to go into the Witness Security Program after his release from prison last year. He moves around on his own and has occasionally visited his old neighborhood in Queens. He said he’s not hiding from anyone. Those who know him understand why he did what he did. Those who don’t ought to mind their own business.

 
 

Skinny Joey & Danny Pro;
Ex-Cons To Icons?

 

They both have Mafia blood lines and they’ve both been “away.” Now they’ve made a connection and are hoping to cash in on their story – or stories. Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, the onetime boss of the Philadelphia crime family, and Danny (Danny Pro) Provenzano, the great-nephew of Genovese crime family leader Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano, have a business arrangement.

Judge Set To Wield Hammer Against Uncle Joe's Cohorts

Mafia boss Joseph Ligambi is slated for a retrial on racketeering conspiracy charges but four of Uncle Joe's co-defendants are scheduled to be sentenced for their related convictions over the next week. First up before Philadelphia Federal  Court Judge Eduardo Robreno is family underboss Joseph (Mousie) Massimino.


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July 18, 2013

Mob Busters: Massino's Sweet Deal Just Doesn't Smell Right

As expected, Joseph Massino got a sweet "time served" reward last week for being the first full-fledged Mafia boss to turn informant. But while Massino and his attorney convinced Judge Nicholas Garaufis that he deserved to be set free, several current and former law enforcement officials told Gang Land that the ex-mob kingpin gave the feds information of little value as part of a dandy scam he pulled on the government. Massino's decision to cooperate came just minutes after his conviction for seven murders on July 30, 2004. But the feds were not interested, and for more than six months refused to give him a cooperation deal. That all changed in early 2005, after Massino convinced prosecutors that his acting boss, Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano, had proposed killing assistant U.S. attorney Greg Andres.

 
 

Beleaguered Bonannos Squeeze
In A Little Labor Racketeering

 

Despite being battered by the feds over the last decade, the Bonannos are still engaged in their usual money making rackets. They've also found time to get back into labor racketeering, activity in which the crime family has traditionally been only marginally engaged. That's according to a grand jury indictment filed last week in Manhattan.

Wiseguy Yearns To Return
To The Sunshine State

To cap off a busy Bonanno family week, Florida based capo Gerald (Jerry) Chilli decided to plead guilty to violating the provisions of his post prison supervised release by meeting with several family members rather than contest the issue at a full blown hearing.


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July 25, 2013
Fama: Sammy Bull Can Clear
Me Of 1990 Mob Murder Rap

Daniel FamaSalvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano helped the feds put Mafia boss John Gotti and nearly 40 other Gambino wiseguys behind bars. The current issue is whether Gravano can open the jailhouse doors for a mob associate who, Gang Land has learned, is looking for help from the onetime turncoat underboss. Last week, lawyers for Daniel Fama, who is charged with taking part in the last rubout ordered by the Dapper Don, told Manhattan Federal Court Judge John Keenan that they want to call Sammy Bull as a defense witness. That's despite the fact that Gravano has told the feds he personally chose Fama to drive the two gunmen on the hit team to and from the 1990 gangland-style slaying of mob-connected contractor Edward Garofalo.

 
 

Sally KO Fights Tapes & Texts
Made By Bronx Mama's Boy

 

Salvatore LarcaFormer Mama's Boys of the Bronx co-star Anthony Zoccolillo recorded so many phone calls and text messages he exchanged with Genovese mobster Salvatore (Sally KO) Larca about alleged drug deals that the feds were pretty sure that Larca would cop a plea deal last month. But they were dead wrong.

Judge Delays Long-Delayed Sentencing One More Time

Judge Sandra TownesThe courtroom was packed yesterday for the long delayed sentencing of Colombo associate Francis (BF) Guerra, who was acquitted of murder and racketeering last year but found guilty of selling his pain meds. About a dozen friends and family members squeezed into Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes's courtroom along with a bunch of mob-busting FBI agents and federal prosecutors to learn her verdict. It was not to be. Again.


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August 1, 2013

Bobby Glasses Too Late For 12 Year Deal; Faces Life In Prison

Bartolomeo VernaceGambino crime family consigliere Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace made a last-minute bid to snag a 12-year plea deal the feds had offered him to resolve the murder charges he was facing from the 1981 killings of two Queens bar owners, Gang Land has learned. Unfortunately, he didn’t make up his mind to bite the bullet until February 25, the Monday morning before jury selection was due to begin. Too late, prosecutors said. The deadline for the 12-year deal expired on Friday, they said. If he wanted to cop a plea, he’d have to take 17 years.

 
 

Card Shark Mob Associate
Pulls For An Inside Straight

 

Michael RussoMichael (Mush) Russo is trying to pull an inside straight. The mob associate and avid card shark may not get it, but give him credit for having the kind of nerve that wins big pots. That’s because Russo, who won a lenient sentence for racketeering after asserting that his problems stemmed from a gambling addiction, is now seeking special permission to pursue a career as a "professional poker player."

Wiseguy Gets 18 Months For Yuletide Mob Meetings

Gerald ChilliThe good news for Bonanno capo Gerald (Jerry) Chilli is he won't have any problems regarding any Christmas get-togethers he has with wiseguys this year, or at any time in the future. The bad news is that he will have to serve an 18-month prison term for the Yuletide gatherings he attended during the last holiday season.


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August 8, 2013

FBI Snitch Frankie Blue Eyes:
'You name it, I did it. Murder,
Arson, Drugs, Kidnap & More'

Frank SparacoThe sons of imprisoned-for-life Colombo boss Carmine (Junior) Persico weren’t the first mob princes who were served up to the FBI by longtime snitch Frank (Frankie Blue Eyes) Sparaco. More than 25 years ago, Gang Land has learned, Sparaco worked as an FBI informer about the sons of Joe Colombo, the late Mafia boss for whom Persico's crime family is named. Law enforcement sources say Sparaco began informing on the Colombo brothers – Anthony, Joseph Jr., and Vincent – and scores of wiseguys and mob associates from all five New York families back in 1987, the year he went to prison for home invasion and racketeering.

 
 

Wiseguy Learns That No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

 

Vincent Dragonetti Despite protests from the U.S. Probation Department and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office, Gambino wiseguy Vincent (Marbles) Dragonetti performed court-ordered community service helping the Friends Of Rockaway in its efforts to rebuild the oceanfront community that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The Godfather Of Souls

Paul GaccioneGenovese associate Paul (Doc) Gaccione, currently serving 20-years-to-life for murder, is at work on his second book behind bars. His latest is called The Godfather of Souls. It's a sequel of sorts to his first, Beyond The Beyond, My Journey to Destiny, which he finished shortly before a Bronx jury found him guilty last year in the gangland-style  rubout of Angelo Sangiuolo.


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August 15, 2013

Gambinos Take Page From
Chin Gigante's Bag Of Tricks

Domenico CefaluThe Gambino crime family has a new wrinkle on the ploy that legendary Godfather Vincent (Chin) Gigante used for years to insulate himself from the long arm of the law. No, not a crazy act, but Gigante's use of an up-front boss – ably served in the Commission trial by Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno – to take the heat if the FBI gets too close. In fact, sources say the family's Sicilian-born boss, Domenico (Italian Dom) Cefalu, and underboss, Frank Cali, have done one better than Gigante. They have a revolving panel of three septuagenarian capos who serve as the family's "street boss" in dealings with other capos and important soldiers.

 
 

Two Years Later, Feds Finally
Push To Jail Guilty Gangsters

 

Benito Valenti

The long delayed sentencing of a pair of Bonanno family associates just got delayed a little longer. Two weeks ago, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn moved to have Nicolo (Nick) Valenti and his uncle Benito (Benny) Valenti detained without bail. The move came two years after the duo could have been locked up because they  copped plea deals to extortion and faced mandatory prison terms.


Wiseguy: Give Me Back The
$20,000 I Loaned FBI Snitches

Joseph SavareseColombo soldier Joseph Savarese, who complained last October that refusals by codefendants to accept "a global plea" deal in his Mafia Takedown Day case were messing up his plan to go to prison and pay for his crimes, will get his wish today. But first, he's looking for payback from the FBI.


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August 22, 2013
'Sham' Sentencing Served Up
Frankie Steel As DEA Snitch

Frank PontilloTwo years ago, distinguished Brooklyn Federal Judge I. Leo Glasser sentenced a longtime Colombo associate to probation as part of an elaborate charade designed to establish the gangster's credibility and enable him to work undercover for the DEA, Gang Land has learned. The sham sentencing, in which the U.S. Attorney's office and other federal agencies played important roles, worked like a charm. It enabled Frank (Frankie Steel) Pontillo to wear a wire for more than a year. But the overall impact of his work for the DEA seems to have been a bust.

 
 

Mob Wife: Mob Nuptials With
Jailed Wiseguy Still A Go

 

Gambino soldier Joseph (Joe Boy) Sclafani was hammered with a 15-year sentence for drug dealing last week, but a jailhouse wedding to his fiancé of Mob Wives fame, Ramona Rizzo, is still in the cards, the raven-haired beauty told Gang Land yesterday.

Alicia DiMichele; A Real-Deal Contender for Mob Wives?

In recent weeks, the rumor has been afloat in Gang Land's entertainment division that a real-deal mob wife, Alicia DiMichele would join Mob Wives in Season IV. Her addition to the cast would seem to be a natural. For one thing, DiMechele pleaded guilty last summer to her own scams, embezzling funds from a trucking company she ran with her gangster husband, Edward (Tall Guy) Garofalo. For another, her husband's dad, Edward (The Chink) Garofalo was whacked in 1990 on direct orders of the mobster father of Mob Wives co-star Karen Gravano.


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August 29, 2013


Trio Pleads Guilty in Garbage Case; Baseball Bat Assault of FBI Operative Still a Mystery


William Cali
Three Genovese family gangsters pleaded guilty last week to two loansharking schemes that led to a brutal baseball bat beating of an FBI operative working undercover against organized crime activity in the waste hauling industry in New York and New Jersey. But the feds have not been able to link the trio — or anyone else for that matter — to the vicious February 26, 2012 assault against the independent private carter who wore a wire for three years. The main target of the probe, 77-year-old lead defendant Carmine (Papa Smurf) Franco, is still awaiting trial on labor racketeering charges along with 25 others.

Mob Homecoming Day for the Cantarella Crime Family

Richard CantarellaIt'll be a mob homecoming of sorts for the Cantarella family in Brooklyn Federal Court next month, nearly eleven years after they all gathered there together as co-defendants in a racketeering case and were facing the possibility of spending the rest of their lives behind bars.

No Clowning Around; Not a Good Month for Nicky Mouth

Nicholas SantoraThe dog days of August started out pretty well for Bonanno capo Nicholas (Nicky Mouth) Santora, but it's been downhill since then for the 71-year-old mobster. He's bounced from one borough to another, and one jail to another. After a week in a Bronx halfway house, and two weeks in a Manhattan federal lockup, Santora is now cooling his heels in a local Manhattan jail.


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September 5, 2013


DEA Arrested Mob Wives Star With Boyfriend; Let Her Go, Kept Her Jewelry


Ramona RizzoMob Wives star Ramona Rizzo has her own beef with the feds, Gang Land has learned. And unlike the legal problems of Rizzo's imprisoned boyfriend and fiancée, mobster Joseph (Joe Boy) Sclafani, hers appear to be a very legitimate gripe. Sclafani has long been on the radar of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Gambino soldier recently pled guilty to drug charges and is due to spend 15 years in prison. The DEA had him dead to rights when agents arrested him two years ago. But Rizzo has also been getting the evil eye from the DEA.

Prison Officials Zap Elderly Mom's First Sunday Dinner With Son In 24 Years

Joseph Chilli 3dIt was a few days after Mother's Day, and Rose Chilli, an elderly widow who had also lost a son and daughter in recent years, was excited about the big Sunday dinner she had planned. It would be the first home cooked meal for her son Joey in 24 years. But it was not to be.

Nick And Uncle Benny Valenti Face The Music Tomorrow

Benito ValentiTomorrow is judgment day for gangsters Nicolo (Nick) Valenti and his uncle Benito (Benny) Valenti. The long-delayed sentencing of the two Bonanno associates who copped plea deals to loansharking two years ago was put off for a couple more days more on Tuesday when their lawyers contested FBI tapes in which one defendant was heard implicating his co-defendant in a potential sale of a silencer-equipped handgun.

 


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Sept 12, 2013

Feds Dump Mama's Boys Of The Bronx Snitch; Hit Him With Heavyweight Drug Charges

Anthony Zoccolillo The stool pigeon gig for Bronx-based conman-mob associate Anthony Zoccolillo has gone much the same way his co-star role went last year on the Mama's Boys of the Bronx reality show: it ended very quickly, with not even a ghost of a chance at reruns, or an encore performance.

The feds won't talk about it, but Gang Land has learned that after using Zoccolillo's help to bring overwhelming drug charges against a powerful Genovese mobster and three cohorts in April, the feds have dissed and dumped him just as decisively as the TLC channel did when it shut down Mama's Boys of the Bronx.

Joe Saunders Dead At 77; Bonanno Wiseguy Gave Emphatic Thumbs Down To Killing Family Members Of Turncoats

Joseph CammaranoJoseph (Joe Saunders) Cammarano, an old-school wiseguy who drew a firm line against killing innocent relatives of mob turncoats in a memorable tape recorded talk with top Bonanno family mobsters 10 years ago, cashed in his chips last week at a federal prison hospital. Cammarano, 77, was serving 15 years for the murder of a legitimate mob target: a wayward fellow mobster.

Salvatore GravanoDefense Moves Ahead With Plan To Call Sammy Bull Gravano In 23-Year-Old Murder Ordered By John Gotti

It's taken nearly eight weeks to get there, but the lawyer for a mob associate awaiting trial for a 23-year-old rubout ordered by John Gotti will soon interview the late Dapper Don's former right-hand-man-in-crime in an effort to establish his client's innocence, Gang Land has learned.


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September 19, 2013


Tommy Shots Sentencing On Hold As Judge Weighs Strong Motion For New Trial


Thomas GioeliFormer Colombo acting boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli won an astounding acquittal on six mob murders by an anonymous jury last year, only to be found guilty on a single racketeering count. Now, Gioeli is trying to overturn that one conviction, citing evidence favorable to him that prosecutors improperly withheld during his trial.

In court papers, the mobster's lawyers are coming in heavy: They charge the government with "gross misconduct" for withholding information that contradicted testimony of two key mob turncoats during the trial, and for failing to disclose it until more than a year after the jury's verdict.

Suspected FBI Informer Who Fled To Las Vegas Kills Wife, Self In Bloody Murder-Suicide

Nicholas LanzaNicholas Lanza, a suspected FBI informer who took part in the home invasion robbery murder of a Brooklyn man and his dog in 1992, shot his wife to death and then turned the gun on himself in Las Vegas two weeks ago, Gang Land has learned. The bloody murder-suicide is not expected to have an effect on the case of Bonanno associate Neil Messina, an old Lanza cohort who pleaded guilty to the 21-year-old slaying earlier this year and is slated to be sentenced for it in six weeks.

Richard FuscoRichie Nerves Fusco Checks Out After Funeral For His Brother-In-Law

Mob taps also for Colombo family consigliere Richard (Richie Nerves) Fusco, 77, who died suddenly last week. Fusco's death came three short months after he completed a meager debt to society – a sweet four month prison term he received after copping a plea deal to extortion charges that called for two years behind bars.


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September 26th, 2013


Bronx Mama's Boy Bombed On TV But He's An Emmy Winner For The Feds

 


Anthony Zoccolillo
His TV career didn't amount to much, but Anthony Zoccolillo, the former Mama's Boy Of The Bronx co-star, turned in an Emmy-worthy performance as an FBI snitch. Thanks to his efforts, federal agents last week nabbed three sons of imprisoned-for-life acting Bonanno boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano on drug charges. Zoccolillo's undercover work also led last week to  loansharking charges against a powerful Genovese capo who was a codefendant of late Mafia boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante a decade ago.

The Basciano boys – Vincent Jr., Stephen and Joseph – were each tape recorded conversations in March and April of this year telling the Bronx mama's boy about their various roles in transporting hundreds of kilograms of marijuana from California for distribution in New York.

Mob Wives Dad Is Out Of Prison And His TV Star Daughter Wants Everyone To Know

Anthony And Renee GrazianoMaybe there’s something about so-called reality show TV lights that inspire wannabe actors to start snitching.

Two short years ago, when Bonanno mobster Anthony (TG) Graziano moved from federal prison to a halfway house in Brooklyn, it was his ex-son-in-law Hector (Junior) Pagan, a mob associate and a bit player on Mob Wives, who flipped, and tape-recorded him and helped put him back behind bars.

Acquitted Of Murder, Racketeering; Mob Associate Gets 14 Years For Selling His Pain Meds

Judge Sandra TownesYou've probably heard of jury nullification. Where jurors ignore the evidence to acquit a defendant of crimes he likely committed.

Okay, now meet the flip side: judicial nullification.

Stating that she disagreed with a jury's verdict acquitting a Colombo family associate of two mob murders and racketeering charges, Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes sentenced Francis (BF) Guerra to 14 years in prison this week for selling his own legally-prescribed pain meds.

  


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October 3, 2013


Vinny Gorgeous Hits The Law Books In Longshot Push For Freedom

 


Vincent Basciano
On the streets they called him Vinny Gorgeous. But in his current haunts, the Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado, it's likely they'll soon begin calling him Vincent John Basciano, Esquire, #30694-054. That's if his fellow inmates haven't begun doing that already.

It's taken a while, but in recent months, a Basciano pro-se motion for a new trial has gotten the attention – as well as some action – from prosecutors in Brooklyn who convicted him of two mob murders and the federal judge who gave him a life sentence for each slaying.

Judge Turns Down Tommy Shots and Little Dino; Sentencings Set For Next Month

Thomas GioeliOnetime Colombo acting boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli, who's had some social media experience as a righteous blogger accusing the government and the media with persecuting him, may want to check out the legal work that his Bonanno family counterpart has been doing lately.

Tommy Shots will soon be in a similar – but not quite as severe – situation as Vinny Gorgeous.

Three Years Later, Feds Remember That A Valuable Cooperating Witness Is Dead

George BaroneGeorge Barone, the irascible Genovese family wiseguy who, as a senior citizen, helped the feds make waterfront racketeering cases against the late Vincent Chin Gigante, as well as powerful Gambino family mobsters was last seen testifying in a courtroom in Brooklyn 2009.

After that, he dropped off the federal government's radar, in more ways than one.

 


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October 10, 2013

Heart Throb Turncoat Chris Paciello Puts Down Philly Boss Joe Merlino At Heated Miami Arena

 

Chris PacielloIt was the NBA playoffs in June and the sizzling Miami Heat was on its way to another win at American Airlines Arena. But the real scorcher was the red-hot staredown that turncoat gangster and nightclub heart-throb Chris Paciello was having with Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino. The two tough guys exchanged looks-that-could-kill across their court-side seats.

The eyeball-attack began after Merlino spotted Paciello, who became a government cooperator in 2001, seated near him at the game, according to a reliable Gang Land Florida source. Skinny Joey, the source said, threw Paciello "dirty looks" and wouldn't stop even after "Chris stared right back at Joe."

Feds Give Mob Wives A Little More Leeway Than Mob Grandpas

Jennifer GrazianoAlicia DiMichele is fortunate there's a bit of a double standard regarding female members of mob racketeering schemes. Otherwise, the sexy mother of three who posted pictures of herself in Las Vegas with Mob Wives cast members last week would likely be facing a bail revocation hearing for associating with an-ex con, namely Jennifer Graziano, the creator of Mob Wives.

Graziano, the president of JustJenn Productions and the executive producer of Mob Wives and the Big Ang spinoff, is a convicted drug dealer. She pleaded guilty to managing a lucrative marijuana distribution ring in the late 1990s and was sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2001 as part of a plea bargain.

Bonanno Gangster Gets Sweet 10-Year Plea Deal For Two Gangland-Style Deaths; Lawyers Say He Deserves Less

Neil MessinaMob associate Neil Messina got a sweet plea deal this year when prosecutors agreed to recommend ten years in prison for racketeering charges that include two slayings that took place more than 20 years ago. But his lawyers say he's a changed man and deserves even less time behind bars when he faces the music for his crimes next month.


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October 17th, 2013


New Jersey Turns Up The Heat In Luchese Gambling Case

Matthew MadonnaThey called it Operation Heat. But for the past three years, a New Jersey racketeering case against thirty-four members and associates of the Luchese crime family, including two alleged leaders, has been on a back burner.

It looks like that is about to change.

A status conference, the first in more than two years, was held in Morris County Superior Court last month. Pre-trial motions from the defense are due at the end of this month and another conference is set for December. A trial is expected to begin early next year.

Feds To Use Rejected Evidence In Retrial of Uncle Joe Ligambi

Joseph LigambiFederal prosecutors are hoping that a different jury will look at the same old evidence and come back with a different verdict in the case against Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi and his nephew, mobster George Borgesi. Jury selection Begins on Oct. 31. Ligambi, 73, and Borgesi, 50, face a racketeering conspiracy charge centered around the gambling and loansharking operations of the crime family.

Scarfo's Wife, Cousin Cop Guilty Pleas In Massive Fraud Case

Nicodemo S. ScarfoThe government calls is a sophisticated mob "bust out."

Nicodemo S. Scarfo and his business partner, Salvatore Pelullo, got their hooks into a Texas-based mortgage company and siphoned off  $12 million through phony consulting contracts and  bogus  multi-million dollar business purchases, according to a pending indictment in federal court in Camden.


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October 24th, 2013

Today's Gangsters Use Reality Shows Like Mob Wives To Settle Scores

Alicia DiMichele
During John Gotti's heyday, the gun was the mob weapon of choice for settling scores. But things have changed since Gang Land began clocking wiseguys a generation ago. These days, there’s no need for rough stuff. If you’re looking for payback, you just go on reality TV and tell the world. An excellent vehicle for this method is the popular show, Mob Wives, the so-called reality TV show that is officially frowned upon by all so-called legitimate wiseguys who are still out there.

Gang Land has learned that the next season of Mob Wives, which features sexy mother of three Alicia DiMichele as its newest star, will demonstrate Cosa Nostra’s new television revenge scheme in several different ways. And the show could have a big impact on the future of a mob associate who will be standing trial for the last rubout ordered by the late Dapper Don.

Sammy Bull Says Little Joe's Got It Wrong

Daniel FamaMeanwhile, Danny Fama’s pending trial for the murder of Edward (Tall Guy) Garofalo’s dad, Eddie the Chink, is getting a direct boost from none other than Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano himself. Attorney Charles Carnesi has told a federal judge that the turncoat underboss backs up his claim that Fama is innocent of federal murder charges that were lodged against him earlier this year that he killed the demolition contractor in 1990 to keep him from cooperating with the feds.

Anthony RussoJurors Don't Buy His Rap But Feds Do So Big Anthony Flies The Coop

Jurors didn't buy his trial testimony, but turncoat Colombo capo Anthony (Big Anthony) Russo convinced the people that mattered most that he was now a good guy. As a result, he walked out of court a free man last week after serving 33 months behind bars for crimes that carry a recommended minimum prison term of 22 years.


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November 7, 2013

Jailed Racketeer Finds Unusual Ally In Fight For Freedom: Wife Of Mob Superior

Edmund Boyle
Longtime Gambino family associate Edmund (Eddie) Boyle says he quit the mob a decade ago and shouldn't be behind bars today. To back up his claim, he's offering an unusual witness: the wife of his former mob supervisor. A prolific bank burglar, Boyle was acquitted of a murder rap in 2010, but was hit with a 20-year sentence for an unrelated racketeering conspiracy conviction,

Boyle was found guilty of being part of a Gambino family racketeering enterprise. But he claims that mob wife Catherine Carbonaro backs up his assertion that he officially withdrew from that entity more than five years before his 2008 indictment. In court papers, he has asked Manhattan Federal Court Judge Colleen McMahon to dismiss the indictment, either before or after an evidentiary hearing, as a matter of law, and to free him from prison immediately.

Knife-Wielding Benny Guilty In Pre-Christmas Eve Stabbing

Battista GeritanoHot tempered mob associate Battista (Benny) Geritano beat charges that he sliced the owner of a trendy Park Slope pizzeria back in 2011. But then he was accused of a second stabbing incident just before Christmas last year. And this week, his luck ran out. After watching a surveillance video that showed Benny wielding a knife just a few feet away from a bar patron who had been stabbed three times 30 seconds earlier, jurors on Monday quickly voted to convict him.

Theodore Persico Sr.Capo Teddy Persico Goes Home 20 Years After Palm Sunday Arrest At St. Patrick's Cathedral

He hasn't been seen around his old haunts yet, but after serving a 22-year prison term he got for being a point man in a bloody two-year-long mob war, Colombo crime family capo Theodore (Teddy Bear) Persico has been released from prison.

 


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November 14, 2013

Philly Mob Boss Merlino Dubs Chris Paciello The Wimp; Mob Wives'  Boss Says Show Won't Impact Murder Trial

Joseph MerlinoThe angry voice coming out of the telephone was clearly upset about what Gang Land wrote last month about him and turncoat gangster Chris Paciello: "This is Joey Merlino. The only thing in there that was the truth is that he was at the game and I was at the game," the Philadelphia mob boss said about our report that Paciello threatened to knock his teeth out at a Miami Heat basketball game.

Merlino, who relocated to Florida after serving a 14-year prison term for racketeering, never mentioned Paciello by name in his call. But there was no doubt he was the object of Skinny Joey's rant. "He never got out of his seat," said Merlino. "He never came up to me, he was scared to death. He never even looked my way. It never happened."

Mob Associate Wants His Guilty Plea Back After Judge Rejects Sweet 10-Year Sentence Requested By Prosecutors

Neil MessinaNeil Messina is having major second thoughts about his guilty plea to racketeering charges involving two mob-connected murder plots. The gangster's second-guessing follows a surprise decision last week by a usually lenient federal judge to reject a prosecution request for a sweet ten year sentence for the Bonanno crime family associate. As a result, the gangster will move to take back his guilty plea and go to trial, Gang Land has learned.

Junior GottiStabbed Junior Don Takes A Page Out Of Dapper Don's Book

The late John Gotti once proudly told his son Junior that he wouldn't admit robbing a church even if he got caught "with a steeple sticking out of my ass." So if he was around today the swashbuckling Dapper Don would have to be at least a little proud of Junior. Unhappy that his son was stabbed, but pleased that the erstwhile Junior Don didn't talk to the cops about it.


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November 28, 2013

Geezer Genovese Gangster Guilty In Garbage Case; Gambino Gangsters Get Ready For Trial


Carmine Franco
Carmine (Papa Smurf) Franco, the geezer Genovese gangster at the heart of a three-crime-family cabal over private garbage pickups in the metropolitan area cut a plea deal last week that will cost him less than three years in prison and $2.5 million – if he lives long enough, that is.

By statute, Papa Smurf, 78, was facing up to 45 years. The uusual plea agreement calls for Franco to fork over $500,000 when he is sentenced in March to 27 to 33 months behind bars. He will start paying the remaining $2 million in three equal $666,666.66 installments a year after he concludes whatever final prison term he gets for his involvement in a widespread  labor racketeering scheme that spanned six counties in New York and New Jersey.

So far, 15 of the 29 defendants have pleaded guilty in the scheme. But two Gambino gangsters plan to contest charges based on more than 500 tape recorded conversations that a longtime fixture in the mob-controlled private sanitation industry named Charles Hughes made during a three year-long FBI probe.

Colombo Consigliere Acquitted Of Cop Killing

Joel CacaceJustice for Ralph Dols is again justice denied. In a second distressing verdict for the family of the slain NYPD cop, a Brooklyn federal court jury acquitted Colombo family consigliere Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace of ordering the 1997 execution murder of the 28-year-old police officer. The jury took only four hours on Tuesday to exonerate the imprisoned Cacace, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence for ordering four 1987 mob hits, including the murder of an administrative law judge.

Thanksgiving Blues For Little Angelo

Angelo SpataWhether they chow down at the family home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn or at their sprawling farm in upstate Saugerties, Persico family members will have to cut Angelo (Little Angelo) Spata some slack today as he stuffs himself with turkey and all the trimmings at Thanksgiving Day dinner. The reason for any possible gluttony is easy to explain: This may be the last holiday celebration that the son-in-law of Colombo boss Carmine (Junior) Persico enjoys outside of prison walls for the next 18 or so months.

 

Mob Boss: The BookMob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'Arco, The Man Who Brought Down The Mafia, the sizzling hot new book by Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins is at bookstores everywhere. It's available online atAmazon.com and Barnes & Noble for much less than the $27.99 list price. You can also get it from Apple, from BooksAMillion, and manyindependent book sellers.

Mob Boss is a "gripping, novelistic biography ... a bulls-eye," says The New York Times.


Pick up a copy! S
ee why Pete Hamill, Jimmy Breslin, Nick Pileggi,Mister District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, and folks like you who've posted reviews at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble are raving about Mob Boss.

Click here for more info about Mob Boss and to take an online tour of Little Al's New York.

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Dec 5th, 2013

Vito Rizzuto Shoots His Way To The Top Of The Montreal Mafia, Again

Vito Rizzuto
It was 32 years ago, back on May 5, 1981, when a virtually unknown gangster named Vito Rizzuto shouted, "Don't move, this is a holdup," and burst out of a closet in a Brooklyn social club with both guns blazing. Actually, what followed was a lot worse than a holdup. In the legendary rubout that followed, Rizzuto helped gun down three Bonanno capos, a grisly slaughter that set the table for Joseph Massino to take over the crime family and for Rizzuto to establish himself as the Godfather of the Montreal Mafia.

Fast forward to today. Massino is just a 71-year-old roly poly turncoat who lives in hiding and is the boss of nothing. But after a six-year stretch in a U.S. prison, the 67-year-old Rizzuto is back on top of the heap in his hometown where he’s believed to be waging an old-world vendetta against those who did wrong by him while he was away. Law enforcement officials believe he is getting even with the gangsters who killed his son and his father while he was away, thus re-establishing himself as the top gun in town, while leaving the dirty work to others.

In the 14 months since his return to Montreal, there have been nine murders in what law enforcement officials and other sources in the U.S. and Canada describe as an unprecedented mob war for power with Rizzuto at its epicenter.

Judge: It's A Close Call But Little Angelo Is A Shoplifter

Angelo SpataAs his parents, his wife, and his three children looked on sadly, Angelo (Little Angelo) Spata, the son-in-law of imprisoned-for-life Colombo crime family boss Carmine (Junior) Persico suffered through a long, embarrassing hearing Monday at which prosecutors sought to revoke his bail. Brooklyn Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto pronounced Spata guilty of the very un-mobster-like petty crime of stealing $164 worth of lighting equipment from the Home Depot in Coney Island.

Union Official With $260,000 Salary Stands Alone In Mob Labor Racketeering Case

Robert ScalzaRobert Scalza, secretary treasurer of Local 173 of the International Brotherhood of Trade Unions has updated the old saw that there is no honor among thieves. The same rule now extends to allegedly corrupt union officials linked to the Genovese crime family. The 68-year-old Scalza is charged with trying to extort James (Jamie) Bernardone, a secretary treasurer for a rival union that like the IBOTU, is controlled by capo Conrad Ianniello.


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FBI Agents Warned Murder Vistim Fingered By 'Mafia Cops'; But Wiseguy Rejected The Warning


Anthony DiLapi
A murder victim who was fingered by notorious Mafia Cops Steve Caracappa and Louis Eppolito sloughed off an FBI warning that he was targeted for death shortly before a Luchese family hit squad tracked him down and killed him, Gang Land has learned.

Anthony DiLapi, a short, stocky mobster was polite but firm when FBI agent Pat Marshall tracked down the transplanted wiseguy in California where he had relocated after fleeing New York where rivals had seized control of his crime family.  "He said, 'I don't know what you're talking about, but if I do have a problem, I'll take care of it,'" Marshall told Gang Land.

Marshall wasn't surpised by DiLapi's reaction. It was similar to others the G-man had heard during 14 years as a mob-busting agent in New York. It's what they always say, he told Andy Stefanak, who became his FBI partner after he transferred to the Los Angeles office a year earlier.

Brooklyn DA-Elect Taps Distinguished Mob Prosecutor As Second-Mark FeldmanIn-Command

The buzz began at 350 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn a few weeks ago when his name appeared on the transition team of Brooklyn District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson. It reached a crescendo last week when he showed up there to interview supervisors for outgoing DA Joe Hynes about working for their new boss.

Mob Wife Upstages Gangster-Hubby's Sentencing; Faces Music Next Month

Alicia DiMiceheleAlicia DeMichele awaits sentencing for her own crimes next month. But last week the winsome mother of three managed to upstage her co-conspiring gangster hubby at his own sentencing for racketeering and murder conspiracy. And she did it without saying a word in court. One day after her debut on Mob Wives, the raven-haired beauty pranced into the same courtroom where she's slated to be on January 6 to face the music for stealing union benefit funds.

  


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December 26th, 2013


Gennaro Langella, Colombo Underboss Convicted In Commission Case, Dies Behind Bars

Gennaro LangellaThen there were two.

Former Colombo underboss Gennaro (Jerry Lang) Langella, one of seven top mobsters from three crime families who were sentenced to 100 years for racketeering convictions in the historic Mafia Commission case, cashed in his chips in a federal prison hospital last week. He was 74.

Langella was found guilty of sharing in a Mafia controlled "concrete club" that received a 2% kickback from all Manhattan construction projects over $2 million. He is the fifth top echelon wiseguy to succumb to the de-facto death-behind-bars-sentence they all received back in 1987. Only Langella's boss, Carmine (Junior) Persico, 80, and former Luchese consigliere, Christopher (Christy Tick) Furnari, 89 – both are housed in prison hospitals – are still hanging in there.

In the early 1980s, while bristling over a $50,000 dispute with the Gambino family, Jerry Lang took part in a discussion that foreshadowed – and accurately forecasted – the spectacular 1985 Christmas time assassination of Gambino boss Paul (Big Paul) Castellano as a "kill or be killed" affair between Big Paul and the upstart rebel faction headed by John Gotti.

Angelo SpataColombo Family Gangsters Are Always Picking On Little Angelo

Like thousands of other wiseguy types before him, Angelo (Little Angelo) Spata collected a litany of letters from an assortment of friends, relatives, business associates, politicians, law enforcement officials and clergy which say that for one reason or another he deserves a break on his upcoming sentencing day.

Vito RizzutoGodfather Of Montreal Mafia Succumbs To Cancer

The Grim Reaper played a nasty Christmas week trick on Vito Rizzuto. On Monday, the 67-year-old Bonanno family wiseguy's bloody drive for revenge as he shot his way back to the top of the Montreal Mafia was abruptly interrupted when he succumbed to an unlikely gangster disease: natural causes. 

 


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January 9th, 2014

Lawyer For Newest Mob Wives Star Rips Feds, And The So-Called Reality Show Too


Alicia DiMichele
The attorney for Mob Wives newest star, Alicia DiMichele, says Brooklyn federal prosecutors are demanding a "vastly excessive" $96,000 fine from the raven-haired beauty only because of her TV stardom. As for the show itself, it’s no big deal, lawyer John Wallenstein argues in a hard-hitting attack. In fact, he says, the so-called reality show caters "to people who have no lives of their own."

Ouch.

Wallenstein said the fine proposed by prosecutors Nicole Argentieri and Allon Lifshitz is nearly ten times greater than the maximum called for in his client's plea deal. That's a breach of the signed agreement they made with DiMichele, and should be rejected out of hand, the lawyer argues in papers filed with Judge Sandra Townes.

And for all its faults, says Wallenstein, the show does not "demonize the government" or "glorify organize crime and those who participate in it," as the prosecutors asserted last week. More importantly, writes Wallenstein, his client has taken responsibility for her actions, both in court, and on Mob Wives, despite claims by prosecutors that she hasn't.

Ralph BalsamoWiseguy Ralph (The Undertaker) Balsamo Did Nothing Wrong; His Brother Did

Since Bronx funeral parlor operator John Balsamo is the brother of Genovese soldier Ralph (The Undertaker) Balsamo, it would seem a reasonable assumption that any federal probe of the family business has something to do with organized crime. That would be wrong. In fact, very wrong.

Robert ScalzaUnion Exec Is A Labor Racketeer; Keeps His $260G Salary A Few More Months

It hurts to give up a $260,000 a year union official's job, especially after earning that hefty salary for 20 months while under indictment for labor racketeering. But Robert Scalza finally followed the lead of his codefendants and copped a sweet plea deal rather than take his chances at trial.


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January 16th, 2014

Grim Reaper Punches Frank Illiano's Ticket


Frank IllianoFrank (Punchy) Illiano, a tough Brooklyn mobster who used a friendship from his boxing days to get away from the always warring Colombo family and into a long rewarding career with the powerful Genovese clan, died last week much differently than many of his old cohorts – in his bed of natural causes. He was 86.

Illiano, a key gunslinger in the Gallo brothers rebel faction during the 1960's and early '70s was implicated – but never charged – in many mob hits during those violence laden years. They include the infamous Neapolitan Noodle killings in 1972 of two businessmen and the wounding of two others in the bar area of an Upper East Side restaurant seconds after four Colombo rivals who had been standing there were seated for dinner.

In the mid-1970s, his wiseguy life improved immeasurably following an extraordinary mob move orchestrated by then capo Vincent (Chin) Gigante, an old boxing buddy. Along with Albert (Kid Blast) Gallo, the only Gallo brother who was still alive, Punchy was released by the Colombos, and placed in a crew headed by Gigante, according to knowledgeable sources on both sides of the law.

Alfonso D'ArcoLittle Al Told Crazy Joe To Shut His Mouth

Former acting Luchese boss Alfonso (Little Al) D'Arco knew early on, years before he was even proposed to be a "made man," that there's a time to open your mouth and a time to keep it shut. This was especially true in dealings he had with two old pals of Punchy Illiano – Joseph (Crazy Joe) Gallo, and his younger brother Albert, whom D'Arco knew as "The Blast."

Carmine FrancoFeds: Key Garbage Case Witness A Sex Pervert Who Likes 15-Year-Old Girls

The feds disclosed last week why they have been giving out sweet plea deals to wiseguys and associates of three crime families who were snared in a massive sting operation into the scandal-tarred private sanitation industry in New York and New Jersey: their main witness is a sex pervert who preys on 15 year old girls.


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January 23, 2014

Garbage Gangsters Get Super Sweet Plea Deals; Keeps Sex Pervert Witness Off The Stand


Anthony Bazzini
A week after federal prosecutors disclosed that their key witness in the huge mob waste hauling case had preyed on 15-year-old girls, they gave super sweet plea bargains to the last two holdout defendants. The plea deals will keep many sordid details about the FBI's undercover operative – and how he was handled – under wraps. 

The gangsters got offers they couldn’t refuse: low-end guidelines of 15 months for one, a year for the other. The deals were cut last week, right after a Manhattan federal judge indicated he would give the defense some leeway in questioning witness Charles Hughes about his 2008 arrest for soliciting sex from a girl he believed to be 15-years-old.

The guilty pleas close out the first of three trials that were scheduled in the 29-defendant case alleging mob control over the private sanitation industry in five counties in New York and New Jersey. So far, 19 defendants from three crime families, including geezer gangster Carmine "Papa Smurf" Franco, a Genovese associate, have copped plea deals.

The Baker Wants A Re-trial, And Lots Of Dough For His Troubles

Mario FortunatoA mob connected baker who was found guilty of murder at two trials –but saw both convictions later reversed on appeal – is headed for his third trial for the same crime, the 20-year-old rubout of a loanshark in a Brooklyn social club. But this time, it's Mario (The Baker) Fortunato who is pressing the charges in civil court, claiming that he was wrongfully imprisoned for the hit, and deserves a big payday from New York taxpayers for the pain and suffering he endured.

Charles GiustraLuchese Gangster Gets A Pass On Garbage; Gets Hammered For Coke

Luchese associate Charles (Charlie Tuna) Giustra, an alleged major player in the three-family cabal charged in the private sanitation industry indictment, is slated to receive the stiffest sentence of all the gangsters who have copped plea deals in the massive labor racketeering case. But it's not because of anything to do with picking up garbage.


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January 30th, 2014

Low Level Hood Gives Up Big Mob Secrets To Nail Top Mobster For Lufthansa Heist

Vincent AsaroThe secret witness who helped the feds finally collar a top mobster for his alleged involvement in the storied 1978 $6 million Lufthansa Airlines robbery is a low level hood who for years was in the right place at the right time.

Gang Land has learned that the man identified in court papers as CW-1 is 67-year-old Gaspare (Gary) Valenti, a cousin of Vincent Asaro, the powerful Bonanno family wiseguy indicted last week for what is still the biggest heist in New York history.

Valenti is an unlikely songbird of the mob's best-kept secrets. He has a short rap sheet and a shorter mob pedigree, records show. But for many years he was in an excellent position to see what his Cousin Vinny was up to, and the mob tales he spilled to the feds provided the key evidence leading to the arrest of the 78-year-old Asaro for the Lufthansa heist, as well as for a 45 year old murder.

Thomas DiFioreNothing To Do With Lufthansa, But Bonanno Boss Is Behind Bars Too

Memo to prison officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn: It might be a good idea to keep acting Bonanno boss Thomas (Tommy D) DiFiore away from family capo Vinny Asaro while they're residing at your facility in Sunset Park. From what we know and hear about Tommy D, he'd like to strangle Asaro.

 Hector PaganTurncoat Gangster Strikes Out With Mob Wife TV Star

Turncoat gangster Hector (Junior) Pagan is slated for his debut as a government witness in March. But his ex-wife, Mob Wives star Renee Graziano, won't be in the gallery blowing him kisses when he takes the stand at the trial of two low level gangsters in Brooklyn Federal Court


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Feb 6th, 2014

Real Life Bada Bing Boss Flips

Anthony Cardinalle
Call it a Bada Bing bonanza for the feds. The owner of the Lodi, New Jersey strip club that served as the setting for The Bada Bing during Tony Soprano's eight and a half year run as the world's most beloved TV mobster, has done the unthinkable: He's become a full-fledged cooperating witness for the feds, a guy that Tony, Paulie Walnuts and the rest of the crew would revile as a rat.

And there's another life-topping-fiction twist: Anthony (Tony Lodi) Cardinalle, who lined his club with posters of Tony Soprano and who posted the words "Thank You Jimmy, Farewell Boss" on the sign outside Satin Dolls, the real-life name for his Route 17 jiggle joint after Gandolfini's death last June, is himself a real-life gangster.

Gang Land has learned that mob turncoat Cardinalle is associated with the Genovese family's Garden State wing. What's more, he's been plying his trade in the same waste management industry as the fictional mob boss did during the years he was holding court in The Bada Bing.

Turncoat Garbage Gangster: My Partner In Crime Needs A Shrink

Howard RossAnthony (Tony Lodi) Cardinalle and Howard Ross know each other almost 20 years. They met while both were inmates at the federal prison in Schuylkill Pennsylvania. Later, they were members of the same Genovese family crew and shared payoffs from the same extortion victim. They were codefendants in the same labor racketeering case and Cardinalle gave Ross a job as a doorman at his topless joint. But they are not friends.

Reputed Mob Loanshark Faced 20 Years; Made Deal For Two; Gets Zero Years

Judge Nicholas GaraufisWilliam (Billy) Panzera had faced 20 years when he was hit with loansharking charges, but last week he was looking at up to two years in a plea deal. And prosecutors wanted to see him get it. They told the Judge that Panzera was a longtime Genovese associate and had "sanctioned" violence against his victim, just like he did in 1993 when he told a cop who arrested him, "I'll have you killed by my father," who was also a mob associate.


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Feb 13, 2014

Hit Men Got The Guns They Used To Kill Albert Anastasia In Boxer's Hotel Room


Stephen Graummata
Stephen (Stevie Coogan) Grammauta, the lead gunman in the spectacular hotel barbershop slaying of Albert Anastasia, lived out the autumn of his years in a cramped one bedroom apartment in Queens, Gang Land has learned. And he seems to have faded away since his last public sighting in 2007, a few days before his 91st birthday.

And that's too bad. Because in recent months, Gang Land, which first identified Grammauta as a primary shooter in the notorious 1957 execution, has gleaned some intriguing never-reported details about the spectacular rubout from some old investigative files compiled separately by the FBI and NYPD.

For starters, the records indicate that minutes before the killing at the old Park Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Avenue and 56th Street, Grammauta and his partner picked up the murder weapons in the upstairs room of a mob connected boxer who was at the hotel and whose uncle and ex-manager were both members of Anastasia's crime family.

Anthony ZoccolilloMama's Boy From The Bronx Still Acting The Part For The Feds

The suits over at TLC, the Discovery Channel sister station that features so-called reality shows, may have acted too quickly when they dumped Anthony Zoccolillo and his Mama's Boys From The Bronx show after only two weeks back in April of 2012. With his new federal government handlers, Zoccolillo's been the gift that keeps on giving.

Judge To Crybaby Extortionist: Show Me What's So Bad About Your Ankle BraceletFrank DiMattina

Convicted extortionist Frank (Frankie D) DiMattina, a mob-connected restaurateur who once thought he could be a celebrity chef with his own cable TV show, has always had delusions of grandeur. But two weeks ago he seemed to lose all contact with reality. DiMattina, who should be cooling his heels behind bars for two years now, went into court and asked his sentencing judge to remove his ankle bracelet monitor. Reason? It's made life difficult for him.


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FEB 20, 2014


The Mob Boss's Son Who Went Legit Gets Ready For Prison


Michael Persico
Michael Persico, the "good son" of Brooklyn's most powerful and notorious mob chieftain – the  son who was supposed to have kept a healthy arms-length distance from father Carmine's criminal affairs – is finally preparing to go to prison.

Barring any last-minute postponements, Persico, 57, will stand before Judge Sandra Townes in Brooklyn federal court on February 28 and take his medicine for admitting that, like older brother Alphonse (Allie) Persico, he too ventured into the family business.  

But not too deeply. Although accused of racketeering and multiple murders in a sweeping indictment, the only crime the good son admitted in his plea deal is what the government calls "conspiracy to commit extortionate extension of credit." That's loan-sharking to the rest of the world, and while it's a crime clearly predicated on the threat of violence, it's still fairly low-rung as mob offenses go.

Honor Thy Late Neighborhood Wiseguy

Frank IllianoFrank (Punchy) Illiano may be gone, but the sandwich lives on. The legendary Brooklyn mobster who died last month at age 87 gained mob fame as a member of Crazy Joe Gallo's zany gang in the 1960s. He later rose even higher in the ranks after he jumped to the Genovese crime family.  But his long career never took him far from the South Brooklyn streets where he was raised. And when he was mourned at Sacred Heart and St. Stephen's R.C. Church on Summit Street in Carroll Gardens, friends, family and neighbors greatly outnumbered any former colleagues.

Mob Drug Kingpin Knows How To Get Around

Franco LupoiSay this for Franco Lupoi, the allegedly mobbed up narcotics smuggler at the center of last week's big Mafia drug bust: the man managed to get around quite a bit while keeping a low profile. Before his arrest as the mastermind in a 17-defendant case that spanned two continents and involved smuggling cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Guyana, Mexico and Italy (inside frozen fish, no less), Lupoi apparently managed to stay out of trouble, at least in the USA.


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A Starring Role, Minus Cameras, For Ex-Mob Hubby Bumped From Mob Wives


Hector Pagan
Former Bonanno crime family associate Hector Pagan missed his star turn on his ex-wife's reality TV show when he decided to turn government informant in 2011. His brief television career flamed out when Gang Land revealed he had worn a government wire, snitching out his mob capo father-in-law among many others. This made him ineligible for what was to have been a prominent role on that year's upcoming season of Mob Wives, the inexplicably wildly popular show starring Renee Graziano, the former Mrs. Hector Pagan, and a host of other mob-tied lovelies.

So it's too bad for Pagan, now that he's about to be a true star witness in Brooklyn federal court, that there won't be any TV cameras there to record him as he relates what are sure to be riveting tales of crime.

In trial slated to begin March 4 before Brooklyn Federal Judge John Gleeson, Pagan will take the stand for the first time. He'll be testifying for the government against two former gangster pals who are charged with the July 2, 2010 robbery and murder of a traveling check-casher who doubled as a mob money launderer.  What will be most fascinating will be the part when he gets to the murder. That's because the shooter that day was Hector Pagan.

In Long Delayed Docks Case, Mobsters Bark Back At WaterfrontNunzio LaGrassoWatchdogs

The government says that Nunzio LaGrasso, a former New Jersey dockworkers union leader with a hang-dog mug that registers every one of his 63 years, has never been anything but a tool for the mob, a labor faker made wealthy thanks to his powerful wiseguy cousin, Genovese soldier Stephen Depiro.

Richard DehmerAging Mob Enforcer Awaits Trial At Home; A Retirement Home

Meanwhile, no one involved in the long drawn-out mob waterfront case is getting any younger, especially 78-year-old Richard Dehmer, who is accused of acting as an enforcer and debt collector for the gambling operation controlled by Genovese mobster Steve Depiro.


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