Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Secret recordings played during first day of Springfield mob trial

More than a year after the arrests of five men charged with extortion and other crimes, one defendant has taken his case to trial, exposing rarely seen dealings of the reputed local arm of the Genovese crime family.
What is expected to be a week-long trial kicked off Tuesday in U.S. District Court with Richard Valentini, 52, of East Longmeadow, as the last man standing.
Co-defendants Ralph Santaniello, Giovanni "Johnny Cal" Calabrese, Francesco "Frank" Depergola and Gerald Daniele have cut plea deals in the case and await sentencing.
The first day of opening statements and testimony featured dueling arguments. Federal prosecutors have portrayed Valentini as a large, looming presence brought along to intimidate alleged victim Craig J. Morel, while defense attorney Jared Olanoff contends his client attended just one of many meetings and amounted to a benevolent foil.
Morel is the owner of towing and scrap metal business C.J.'s Towing Unlimited. He went to Massachusetts State Police troopers in 2013 after Santaniello and Calabrese ambushed him at his land in Hampden, demanded $50,000 plus ongoing monthly "tribute" to their new "crew" and threatened to kill him if he didn't comply.
Santaniello smacked Morel across the face to drive home the message.
Appearing at a meeting with troopers with a fat lip, Morel — a former city police officer who was fired for misconduct in 1990 — agreed to cooperate with an investigation and record 16 subsequent meetings in October and November of 2013.
Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Brendan O'Toole testified for the prosecution on Tuesday and is expected to continue on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, jurors saw and heard an Oct. 4, 2013 meeting among Morel, Calabrese and Valentini. Below are excerpts from the Oct. 4 recording made at Morel's remote plot of land, where he was planning to rebuild a home that had burned down eight months earlier (participants are identified by their initials):

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Feds bust Gambino and Bonanno mobsters on Long Island

A bunch of Long Island mobsters were busted Tuesday on a host of criminal charges including loan sharking, drug dealing and running illegal casinos, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors unveiled a 13-count indictment charging six members and associates of the Gambino organized crime family, and a member of the Bonanno organized crime family with racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling and obstruction of justice.
The charges against the seven men include alleged criminal activity on Long Island and in Brooklyn that took place between January 2014 and December 2017, officials said.
The gambling offenses included illegal poker games, electronic gaming machines and internet sports betting.
In one intercepted call, one of the suspects, John "Johnny Boy" Ambrosio, an acting captain in the Gambino family, was caught on tape telling someone there was no need to travel to a casino — "you can play right here" and "save gas money."
Arrested along with Ambrosio were Frank "Frankie Boy" Salerno, a soldier in the Bonanno family, Thomas Anzaone, Alessandro "Sandro" Damelio, Joseph Durso, Anthony Rodolico and Anthony Saladino, associates of the Gambino family, who were busted Tuesday.
They were scheduled to be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Gary Brown in federal court in Central Islip.
"The arrests in this case prove organized crime families haven't gone away, and continue to plague our communities with their general disregard for anything other than their own greed," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney.
Officials said several of the suspects distributed a variety of narcotics including cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. Authorities said Saladino and Salerno engaged in the distribution of wholesale quantities of cocaine, including 12 separate sales to an undercover cop totaling more than half a kilogram.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gotti Jr thinks new movie about his father is too violent

Junior Gotti has a reel beef with the upcoming movie about his murderous mob boss dad: “Way too much violence.”
“When Hollywood sees a mob movie it has to be a bucket of blood, not family,” the godfather’s son told The Post. “If Hollywood gets the movie 70 percent correct, I’ll be thrilled.”
Still, the Mafia scion said John Travolta, who stars in “Gotti” as the infamous Gambino crime family boss, “acted the sh-t out of the film.” While John Gotti Jr. hasn’t seen the final cut of the beleaguered biopic, whose Dec. 15 release was indefinitely postponed last week, he was on the set for nine of the 27 days of shooting.
“The days I was there, John hit the ball out of the park,” Junior said.
He says the film did not stick to the narrative of his 585-page book, “Shadow of My Father,” from which it was adapted.
Gotti said the original screenplay was a “monster” 189 pages about his father’s “blood family,” which would have meant a four- or five-hour movie to get it right. “The violence would have been appropriately staggered,” he said.
Now the blood gushes in a condensed 1-hour, 50-minute flick.
The movie has had four directors, including Barry Levinson, Joe Johnston and Nick Cassavetes and now, “Entourage” alum Kevin Connolly, who Gotti calls a “Long Island guy who grew up not far from the Gotti stronghold.”).
Junior said the Cassavetes version was “killings by the bucket,” including one fictitious scene with the Teflon Don “pulling up to a construction site with a dead guy in the backseat with a ‘Colombian necktie,’” a reference to the brutal throat-slashing M.O. of the drug cartels.
Junior said Cassavetes was an “OK guy,” but he “failed miserably” at re-writing the screenplay.
“To me it was ‘Jason meets Goodfellas.’ It just wasn’t the story that we had written,” he said.
Gotti said Levinson toned down some of the violence and the final result is a combination of the first and last screenplays, bloodier than Junior hoped for, but “less than what Hollywood wants it to be.” He said Travolta addressed his concerns about violence and that he was the “one constant” during filming.
He says Travolta “was so sure of his performance” that he negotiated a buy-back clause with the studio, Lionsgate, and is now activating it to give the movie its “proper respect.”
Gotti said that contrary to reports last week, the biopic wasn’t whacked by Lionsgate, but that the film’s producers, led by Travolta, sought wider distribution and bought the film back with the help of financier Edward Walson, whose resume includes five Broadway plays and eight films, including Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.”
Gotti said Travolta invited Walson and his group for a private screening and Walson was “blown away.”
The new investors are looking to roll out the movie in May at the Cannes Film Festival.
Junior said now “Gotti” will no longer have to stare down the barrel of the “Star Wars” blockbuster during the holiday movie season.
Asked to sum up his dealings with Tinseltown, Gotti said, “There was a hell of a lot more honor in the street.
“When you shake somebody’s hand and give your word — you have to honor it — or else. In Hollywood, there is no ‘or else.’”
Meanwhile Junior says he is hard at work on a new project, a book and documentary called WITSEC Mafia, which profiles former mob turncoats who commit crimes following life in the Witness Protection Program.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Prosecutors want mafia information kept from jury at upcoming trial

Manhattan federal prosecutors are trying to block jurors in an upcoming mob case from hearing dirty laundry dredged up about several witnesses who are expected to testify at trial.
Philly mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino and Genovese capo Eugene "Rooster" Onofrio are among some 46 wise-guys charged last year in a massive racketeering scheme. Most of those charged have already pleaded guilty.
But Merlino, 55, and Onofrio, 75, have not admitted wrongdoing, and their trial is set to start Jan. 16, 2018, records show.
Prosecutors with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, in a motion filed Friday, asked that certain witness background information be kept out of the courtroom.
Two of the G-men who are expected to testify were previously scrutinized by the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility over their handling of the mob case, records show. The probe included a look at the agents’ “supervision of a cooperating witness and documentation of their work," according to a court filing.
One agent was cleared during the inquiry.
But the internal review found that the other agent dropped the ball by failing "to timely generate and upload several investigative reports during the course of the investigation," and was slapped with a five-day suspension, the motion states.
Prosecutors are asking Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan to prohibit Merlino and Onofrio's lawyers from asking about the internal FBI investigation.
Bringing up this investigation, prosecutors argue, wouldn't provide meaningful insight into the agents' credibility — and could confuse and distract the jury.
Thomas Nooter, who represents Onofrio, told the Daily News he will "be opposing the prosecutor’s attempt to limit cross-examination on the FBI internal investigation."
Prosecutors also want to keep defense lawyers from asking two cooperating witnesses about past incidents of domestic violence.
These two witnesses told the feds they had "been involved in several physical altercations with domestic partners." They don't appear to have been prosecuted in relation to these incidents, the feds said.
"These incidents have no bearing on the truthfulness of the cooperators] and their discussion at trial would be inflammatory and without probative value," prosecutors claim.
Prosecutors won’t try to prevent Merlino and Onofrio's lawyers from asking about "their direct involvement in other violent assaults, which led to bodily injury."
According to court papers, one witness "participated in a violent assault in or around 2011 in which the victim was injured, and has also been involved in other assaults," while the other cooperator "has committed assaults using a glass and a bottle."
Neither the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office nor FBI commented on the filing.


Genovese captain rejects plea deal and prepares for trial in 2018

Accused Genovese mob boss Eugene “Rooster” O’Nofrio has given up on plea talks and is headed to trial for racketeering, his lawyer confirmed on Thursday.
“We want to make the government prove anything they’re alleging against my client,” lawyer Thomas Nooter said following a Manhattan federal court hearing.
Just last month, O’Nofrio, who allegedly ran crews on Manhattan’s Mulberry St. for Conrad Ianniello while he was in prison, was set to plead guilty to the charges against him, including allegations of loansharking and cigarette trafficking.
Instead, he pleaded “not guilty” Thursday to a superseding indictment.
O’Nofrio and reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joey “Skinny Joey” Merlino have been accused of being leaders of what the government has dubbed the East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise, a conglomerate of different mob families working together across multiple states.
They are going on trial Jan. 16.


NJ Transit writes huge check to family of Genovese mobster

Expenses from a tunnel project that was canceled seven years ago continue to haunt NJ Transit, which this year wrote a $6.13 million check to the family of a reputed mobster for land the agency wanted for the doomed project.
The settlement ended a seven year battle with the family of longtime North Jersey garbage magnate and Township of Washington resident Carmine "Papa Smurf" Franco over the value of a triangular piece of land that NJ Transit condemned for the ARC tunnel project canceled by Gov. Chris Christie in October 2010.
NJ Transit's board approved the settlement with M & C Franco & Co. in August, but officials declined to reveal the price tag until asked about it last week.
The 1.89-acre tract on the border of Hoboken and Weehawken could still be used for Amtrak's proposed Gateway Tunnel project as an access point for tunnel boring equipment, officials said.
That's because a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposal to build two new Hudson River rail tunnels recommends using the old ARC tunnel route.
NJ Transit and the Franco family fought in court over the value of the property since 2010. In 2012, a Hudson County jury valued the land at $8.15 million. However, a state appellate court gave NJ Transit a victory in 2016 after the agency appealed the verdict.
The three-judge-panel ruled that the higher value wasn't appropriate because it depended on the landowner winning approvals from two municipalities to change zoning to allow residential development on the property.
Carmine Franco was sentenced to a year in prison on racketeering charges in 2014 for a scheme to control waste hauling businesses. He was released on June 11, 2015, according to federal Bureau of Prison records.


Lawyer tells judge his gangster client too incompetent and shouldnt go to jail

Please cut him a break, judge — he couldn’t even sell cheap cigarettes!
A suspected mobster, who once claimed he had “borderline mental retardation” to avoid jail for violating bail, should not get any time behind bars for selling untaxed cigarettes because he was lousy at it, his lawyer argued in court filings.
Bradford Wedra, who copped on May 16 to trafficking untaxed cigarettes, is to be sentenced Friday. He is one of 46 accused gangsters busted in August 2016 in an alleged racketeering conspiracy that spanned the East Coast.
But Wedra’s attorney, Michael Sporn, wrote in papers last week that his client had a role in the scheme just because of a capo’s pity.
Others involved in the alleged scheme “complained … they did not want to work with him. He was not reliable. He was not doing a good job. He was not good at selling,” Sporn wrote in a heavily edited filing.
The mobsters were right, the lawyer said — Wedra was a horrible hustler.
“Bradford did have trouble finding storefronts that would buy his cigarettes,” Sporn wrote, asking Judge Richard Sullivan for leniency. “He also did not receive cases alone … He returned some of the cartons. He kept some cartons for his personal use. Mr. Wedra did not excel as a trafficker in untaxed cigarettes.”
Prosecutors have recommended Wedra be sentenced to eight to 14 months.
Several months after his arrest, Wedra was almost thrown in jail because he failed six drug tests while out on bail.
Sporn convinced Sullivan to give him a second chance, claiming he had “developmental disabilities.”
“Mr. Wedra has some developmental disabilities. He has some learning deficits. This has plagued him his entire life,” Sporn claimed. “It has been documented by psychiatrists that he has borderline mental retardation. The fact of the matter is, he cannot read and is very limited in his ability to write.”


Defense lawyer fights against potential testimony of mafia expert at trial

NJ orders closure of real life Bada Bing from The Sopranos

New Jersey has whacked The Bing.
Satin Dolls, the Lodi strip club that proudly served as the fictional "Bada Bing" in the landmark mob drama "The Sopranos," is one of two North Jersey go-go bars  ordered to cease operations, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced Thursday.
The Route 17 club and A.J.'s Gentleman's Club in Secaucus have until Dec. 17 to cease live entertainment due to alleged violations of state laws, Porrino said in a statement.
Their liquor licenses must be sold or transferred to a third party no later than Jan 3, 2018, according to Porrino and the N.J. Division of Alcohol Beverage Control.
The clubs and owners -- identified as members of the Cardinalle family -- have been under state investigation for more than six years, Porrino said.
"The division has alleged that Anthony Cardinalle, who was criminally disqualified from maintaining involvement with the clubs' operations, nonetheless continued to run the businesses," Porrino said. "The division also alleges that the owners failed to account for large amounts of cash flowing in and out of the businesses."
satindolls2.jpgSatin Dolls was used a shooting location for The Sopranos from 1999 to 2007.  
Cardinalle was indicted by the federal government in January 2013 for participating in a conspiracy by the Genovese crime family related to the waste-disposal industry in New Jersey and New York, Porrino said.
He pleaded guilty in December 2013 to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion and was ordered to spend 30 days in jail, and pay a fine and restitution.
The division said it has evidence Anthony Cardinalle continued to run the clubs, including after a 2015 robbery at Satin Dolls when Cardinalle spoke with Lodi police and identified himself as the owner.
On Nov. 20, N.J. division Director David P. Rible signed an order stating the Cardinalle family's involvement with the club must end.
"The Cardinalles may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that's not how it works. Their continued flouting of alcoholic beverage control laws cannot and will not be tolerated," Porrino said.
"Illegal activity was glorified at the 'Bada Bing' in the fictional world of Tony Soprano, but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey," he said. "It's time to shut it down."
No one answered the phone at Satin Dolls or at A.J.'s on Thursday afternoon.
Porrino said a 2011 consent order mandated that Luceen Cardinalle, the wife of Anthony who was listed as the sole shareholder of both corporations, turn over the licenses to her daughter, Loren Cardinalle.
The Cardinalles were ordered to pay $1.25 million in penalties as a compromise in lieu of revocation of both licenses, and Loren Cardinalle was ordered to transfer both licenses to a bona fide third party by Dec. 31, 2015.
"The holding of licenses to sell and serve alcohol is contingent upon the owners' behaving in a reputable manner," Rible said. "The Cardinalles, quite simply, have not played by the rules despite many opportunities to correct their behavior, and it's time to get them out of the alcohol business once and for all."
Anthony Cardinalle pleaded guilty in 1995 to federal income tax evasion for not reporting cash payments from gentleman's clubs in which he held undisclosed interests, Porrino said.
During an investigation, the state discovered Anthony Cardinalle was still involved with running the clubs, Porrino said.
Porrino said as the 2015 consent order deadline approached, Loren Cardinalle asked the Division for permission to continue to hold the licenses. A series of extensions were granted, with the latest deadline set for Sept. 28, 2017.
In May 2017, the division issued a notice of charges for criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity on the premises. Those charges are pending, Porrino said.
Bada Bing! Was a fictional strip club in "The Sopranos," which aired on HBO from 1999 to 2007.
A number of the series' most memorable scenes were filmed at the club, including when Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) threatens Tony Soprano with a gun for allegedly having an affair with his fiancee and the beating death of a preganant dancer at the hands of Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano).
Though Satin Dolls was a go-go or a bikini bar, Bada Bing! featured nude dancers, a practice outlawed in New Jersey establishments that sell alcohol.
When Tony Soprano actor James Gandolfini died at age 51 in June 2013, the staff at Satin Dolls set up a tribute to the actor near the bar that included a framed photo, shirts promoting the Bada Bing! and a hat with "The Sopranos" logo.
A large sign outside the club on Route 17 read "Thank You, Jimmy, Farewell Boss."
satin-dolls3.jpgThe sign at Satin Dolls after the death of James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano in the HBO series.


John Travolta says new Gotti movie coming in May 2018

John Travolta wants to make it clear why Lionsgate pulled his upcoming biopic Gotti just before it was to be released.

The Tracking Board reported that Lionsgate sold the film starring Travolta as the Teflon Don back to its producers less than two weeks before it was to bow. Of course, considering the subject matter, that fueled widespread speculation as to the cause.

But Travolta told Deadline he actually decided to change the plan because Lionsgate was planning a small release through Lionsgate Premiere, which is primarily devoted to genre films. Since Travolta believes Gotti deserves better, he sought out a financier to secure a new distribution deal for wide release. He found one in Edward Walson, producer of five Broadway plays and films incuding Woody Allen's Café Society.

"Unfortunately, the reports were speculation bordering on fake news," Travolta said. "Lionsgate was planning on a minimal release and I did an investigation into people who might have the interest and financial wherewithal to better release it. Ed is a fan of mine and of the Gotti story, and really wanted to see the movie. I invited his group, they saw it and bought it. That is the simple explanation for this. It wasn't dropped. It wasn't easy to get Lionsgate to give it up. They said no, twice, and I literally begged them to reconsider and they finally and generously let it go. We signed this deal about three weeks ago, to purchase back the film from Lionsgate. Our mistake was we should have said something right then, and discussed our plan for the film. We didn't anticipate this speculation that is so grossly wrong."

Travolta and Walson said they are close to a deal with a significant distributor and they'll submit the film to Cannes.


Feds drop plans to charge Bonanno captain with trying to kill prosecutor

Brooklyn prosecutors say they're no longer trying to prove an aging gangster was planning a hit on a federal agent — but they still want the judge to throw the book at the wiseguy.
Lawyers acknowledged they're having doubts about the reliability of a jailhouse snitch, and that's made them ditch efforts to show Vincent Asaro was plotting to rub out a federal prosecutor.
They didn't elaborate Monday on what they've learned about the confidential source, but noted the tipster's information "was corroborated in significant part."
Still, prosecutors continued to insist Asaro, an 82-year capo in the Bonanno crime family, deserved to be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison.
In May, prosecutors accused Asaro of the chilling execution scheme. They pointed to his alleged comments, which were relayed by a Metropolitan Detention Center confidential source with prior convictions for lying.
Asaro denied the plot and was never charged for it.
Asaro is awaiting sentencing by Judge Allyne Ross for ordering the successful 2012 arson of a car that cut him off. He pleaded guilty in June.
In 2015, jurors acquitted Asaro for his role in the notorious $6 million 1978 Lufthansa heist as well as other crimes, including a 1969 slaying.
While federal sentencing guidelines suggest Asaro should receive a roughly five- to six-year sentence for having the car torched, prosecutors said Ross could weigh other bad behavior — including crimes he was acquitted of.
They also initially argued the judge could consider the alleged threats on the prosecutor’s life, but conceded in a letter Monday that the judge should not rely on information from the jailhouse informant.
Still, prosecutors said Asaro deserves a long sentence given his "lifelong allegiance to a dangerous criminal organization and his participation in a litany of crimes."
His lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.


Two more mobsters plead guilty in extortion case

Two more alleged associates of the New York-based Genovese crime family have pleaded guilty to extortion charges in western Massachusetts.
Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts William Weinreb's office says 61-year-old Francesco Depergola and 53-year-old Gerald Daniele entered the pleas Wednesday in federal court in Worcester.
They join 54-year-old Giovanni Calabrese and 50-year-old Ralph Santaniello, who pleaded guilty last month. A fifth man, Richard Valentini, is headed for trial on Dec. 11.
The men were accused of loansharking and extortion in Springfield involving both legitimate and illegal businesses. Prosecutors say they used violence, exploited their affiliation with La Cosa Nostra and made implied threats of murder to instill fear in their victims.
Sentencing for Depergola and Daniele is set for March 9. Santaniello and Calabrese will be sentenced Jan. 29 and 30, respectively.


Reboot of Mob Wives is in the works

“Mob Wives” is returning to the small screen.
“I get incessant emails and DMs on social media and requests for more,” the show’s creator Jennifer Graziano told Page Six on Friday. “A lot of the fans love the original cast members and love ‘Mob Wives’ as a whole, and I think enough time has passed [since the death of show fixture Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola] and the demand is there [for a reboot].”
“It’s still gonna be focused on the East Coast,” the show’s star Renee Graziano‘s sister confirmed. “It’ll be in New York and the surrounding areas, not necessarily Staten Island. I’m always open to expanding to any city that makes sense with a good cast.”
Jennifer could not confirm if the show would return to its home on VH1 or who from the old cast would be returning.
The show premiered in 2011 and ended in 2016 after Big Ang’s death. Castmates Brittany Fogarty and Karen Gravano were banned from her funeral while Drita D’Avanzo and Carla Facciolo paid their respects.
Ramona Rizzo, Alicia DiMichele, Natalie Guercio and Marissa Jade also made appearances on the show.
A rep for VH1 did not immediately return our request for comment.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

New head of FBI in Chicago says they will be refocusing on the Chicago Outfit

The FBI declared war on Chicago mobsters 58 years ago this week, when then-director J. Edgar Hoover started the nation's "Top Hoodlum Program."

That secret federal investigation marshaled dozens of agents and cunning surveillance as Chicago mob bosses and rackets were targeted. Top Hoodlum forged the way for future mob investigations here, culminating in the 2005 Family Secrets mob murder case that dismantled some of the Outfit's upper echelon.

After a decade-long lull in major mob cases here, the newly installed head of the FBI in Chicago is pledging to refocus on organize crime.

"The Chicago Outfit? We haven't forgotten about you," said Chicago Special-Agent-in-Charge Jeffrey Sallet in an interview with the I-Team.

Sallet began this month as the leader of the FBI's Chicago field office, after stints in New Orleans, New York and Boston-where he was considered an expert in mob investigations.

While Sallet concedes the FBI/circa 2017 is being pulled in many directions-from terrorism and corruption to street gangs-he says the mob is still a criminal force in Chicago that cannot be overlooked.

"A group of people who wake up every single day with the idea of stealing and taking money from other people through intimidation and power is a group that we need to look at," said Sallet. "The Chicago Outfit is 100 years old, so when you look at an organization that is 100 years old and say we're not going to work those guys because they're done, would be a huge mistake."

In November 1959, the FBI began an aggressive effort against the Chicago Outfit, planting listening devices in a Michigan Avenue tailor shop and in a Forest Park tavern, both frequented by mob bosses.

During the Top Hoodlum investigation, law enforcement technology was in its infancy. A microphone hidden in the Celano tailor shop on Chicago's Gold Coast was hardly miniature-sized. State-of-the art listening devices then were as big as 16-inch softballs. Federal agents broke into the tailor shop and put the mic behind a baseboard according to FBI records obtained by the I-Team-the device believed to have been masked by a radiator. The federal paperwork is part of the recently-released JFK assassination files-some of which tracks suspected Chicago mob involvement in the presidential murder plots.

The implanted microphone was nicknamed "Little Al" by law enforcement agents-in memory of Al Capone. Six decades ago such a hidden device required no court order-only the approval of FBI director Hoover. A specially-assigned squad of nine FBI agents monitored the bugs and used the information they overheard to learn the hierarchy of the Outfit and pick investigative targets. Conversations gleaned from the tailor shop eventually led authorities to Anthony "Joe Batters" Accardo and Sam "Mooney" Giancana along with several dozen other top hoodlums.

Sallet cut his teeth on mob cases in the Northeast. His investigation of the Bonanno crime family in New York City led to a conviction of its mafioso and more than 100 other La Cosa Nostra figures. He also worked on the capture of Boston's notorious crime boss and long-time fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger in 2011. Sallet was assigned to FBI headquarters in Washington when top brass approved the Chicago Family Secrets investigation, that eventually took down 14 top gangsters and solved 18 mob hits.

"Mob guys or Outfit guys whatever you want to call them are resilient," said Sallet. "Where there is an opportunity to make money, they will engage. The reason they don't kill people the same way they did 25 years ago is because it's bad for business."


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Twin brothers busted in murder of Gambino associate found in waters off Brooklyn

These Brooklyn twins were deadly double trouble.

Bloodthirsty brothers Louie and Vincent Iacono were busted in the mob-style rubout of a pal whose body was found in the waters off Brooklyn — with a cinder block tied to his ankles, police said Thursday.

The 36-year-old Iacono brothers were charged in the murder of mob scion Carmine Carini Jr. after their extradition from Indiana to New York, police said.

The duo were nabbed Sept. 6 after a 12-mile, high-speed chase ended with the Iaconos in handcuffs

The dead man was identified as Carmine Carini Jr., 35, the son of a Gambino crime family associate by the same name. Cops said he was beaten to death with a hammer, and the Iaconos were arrested with the possible murder weapon in their car.

Carini was found floating in the Mill Basin Inlet off E. 58th St. and Avenue U on Sept. 2, just a few blocks from the home he shared with the alleged killers.

His body was wrapped in a tarp bound with duct tape, cops said, and he was weighed down with an orange cord tied from his ankles to the block.

The body was also tied to a bucket filled with construction materials in an effort to keep the remains submerged.

Law enforcement sources said Louie Iacono repeatedly struck Carini in the head with a hammer as he tried to rob his roomie inside their E. 64th St. apartment around Aug. 30.

He then recruited his brother to help dispose of the corpse, with the siblings subsequently heading west to dodge investigators.

Carmine Carini, 35, was found dead wrapped in a tarp and chained to a cinder block in the waters of Mill Basin near Avenue U and East 58th Street just blocks from his house in Marine Park.

Carini’s body surfaced a few days later, with investigators determining the victim suffered massive head trauma, a broken skull and a broken jaw.

Cops quickly identified the Iacono brothers as suspects when their names surfaced in interviews with the victim’s family and neighborhood friends, police said.

The brothers were zipping along Interstate 70 in Henry County, Ind., when a cop stopped their Chevrolet Avalanche for tailgating and a license plate violation.

When the cop asked for identification, driver Louie Iacono sped off, according to county officials and the Courier Times newspaper.

Cops pursued the brothers off the highway into a nearby Walmart parking lot where Louie drove onto a patch of grass in a bid to escape.

He ultimately pulled up to the store entrance, jumping from the car and running inside the superstore.

He was grabbed by police near the cash registers, cops said. Vincent remained in the car, where cops arrested him and found a stash of prescription pills and heroin, officials said.

Cops also found three hammers in the vehicle — including one covered in blood, prosecutors said.

Investigators now believe the duo were driving cross country when they were busted.

The body was found on September 2nd in Brooklyn.

Henry County police charged Louie Iacono with criminal recklessness, resisting law enforcement and drug possession. His brother was also hit with resisting law enforcement and drug possession.

Both pleaded guilty to the charges on Nov. 17 and were sentenced to time served. By then, they were linked to the Brooklyn murder and held for extradition.

After the brothers waived an extradition hearing, NYPD investigators traveled Monday to the Midwest and delivered the duo back to New York, a department spokesman said.

Police charged Louie Iacono with murder for allegedly killing Carini and tampering with evidence. He was ordered held without bail Thursday at his arraignment.

His brother, charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, was held on $250,000 bail.

“(Vincent Iacano) is charged for his role in the wrapping of the body,” Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough said Thursday. “They weighed it down with cinder-blocks and dumped it in Jamaica Bay, then fled.”

Louie Iacono has five prior arrests, according to court records, including for criminal mischief and driving without a license.

His brother Vincent has been arrested 23 times, mostly for drug possession and trespass, cops said.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Gambino associate sentenced to two years in prison

A reputed Gambino crime family associate was sentenced ​Monday ​to ​two years behind bars for his role in a $15 million, bi-coastal marijuana trafficking ring.
“I regret my actions,” Stephen Gallo, 66, mumbled before Judge Neil Ross scolded the alleged mobster and told him it was time to give up a life of crime.
“You are going to drive yourself into a situation where you will truly never be able to recover,” the judge told the aging mobster, who also battles an opioid addiction. “Mr. Gallo, put an end to it now.”
“I will your honor, I will,” he responded softly before he was whisked into a holding cell by court officers.
Defense attorney Robert Gallo–no relation–told the court before his client was sentenced that substance abuse had contributed to the purported associate’s role in the drug scheme.
The 66-year-old was part of a crew accused of shipping some 350 pounds of pot from California to New York from Feb. 2014 to Nov. 2014, using the U.S. Postal service or rented trucks.
Gallo has admitted to being the primary weed distributor and seller in New York, saying he used another defendant’s plumbing business to store and process the marijuana.