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

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Philly mobster pleads guilty and asks judge to be sent to jail immediately

A reputed Philadelphia mobster has pleaded guilty to extorting a man who took out a loan from him, and asked the judge to send him to prison right away.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that after a bit of confusion, it was determined Philip Narducci could surrender Monday and begin earning credit toward the prison term of 12 months and one day he agreed to serve in a deal with prosecutors.
Narducci is no stranger to serious allegations. A former member of Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo's crew, he spent decades in federal prison after he was convicted in 1988 on racketeering charges. He also was convicted of participating in the 1985 gangland hit on bookmaker Frank "Frankie Flowers" D'Alfonso, but was later acquitted in that case.
Lawyer Brian McMonagle says 56-year-old Narducci is eager to return to the restaurant he runs called Chick's — named after his father, purported mob captain Frank "Chickie" Narducci Sr.


Mob lawyer gets time served for helping put Vinny Gorgeous away for life

A former mob lawyer who turned canary against Bonanno crime family boss Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano was sentenced Friday to time served — three days — by the same judge Basciano once tried to have killed.
Defendant Thomas Lee cried and hugged his attorney after Brooklyn federal court Justice Nicholas Garaufis handed down the sentence.
“Good luck, and have a good life,” Garaufis told Lee, nearly 14 years after the defendant took the stand against Basciano to finger him for racketeering, including acts of murder, murder conspiracy, and solicitation of murder.
Lee admitted to abusing his power as a lawyer to pass messages from acting boss Basciano to the family’s incarcerated official head, Joseph Massino, in 2004 regarding a murder plot.
“I don’t blame my upbringing, I don’t blame my neighborhood, I don’t blame my father’s drug addiction,” Lee told the court Friday, referencing his mob-tinged childhood in The Bronx. “The most important thing is that I’ve broken the cycle.
“The self-inflicted wounds are the worst,” the 51-year-old said. “And the difficulty is, the story I injected myself into is folk, it’s created.”
Lee spent three days in jail, just long enough to be arraigned, in 2005 before being set free on $2 million bond and heading straight into the federal Witness Protection Program, where he remains.
While he had faced between 121 to 151 months behind bars following his guilty plea to a charge of racketeering, prosecutors went to bat for him in a letter to Garaufis, given his testimony at multiple trials.
The judge Friday thanked prosecutor Amy Busa for the submission, which he described as “all these many years later, bringing back these memories I had hoped to forget.”
Garaufis was named on a 2006 hand-written hit-list Basciano passed off behind bars while he was awaiting retrial, after a jury deadlocked on his first trial.
Basciano was eventually convicted on racketeering charges, including acts of murder and murder conspiracy, and is serving life in prison.
Lee declined to comment through his lawyer, Joel Cohen, though the attorney lauded the sentence.
“I think he earned the sentence he got,” Cohen said.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Killer of Gambino boss knew he was a marked man right after shooting

Anthony Comello knew he was a marked man as soon as he pulled the trigger.
Within moments after gunning down Gambino crime boss Frank “Franky Boy" Cali outside his Staten Island home, the unhinged 24-year-old murder suspect frantically fired off a text, reading “I’m on the run.”
“My family is marked,” he wrote, according to Staten Island prosecutors at a bail hearing for Comello Thursday.
Comello has been indicted for the execution-style killing of Cali in front of his victim’s home on March 13. Police sources said that Comello was outraged that Cali demanded that his niece stop seeing the Staten Island resident.
Cops arrested Comello three days later at his family’s New Jersey home.
His attorney, Robert Gottlieb, asked that Comello be released on $1 million bail at Thursday’s hearing but a judge refused the request, claiming that he had already showed that he was flight risk by leaving the state after the murder.
At previous court appearances, Gottlieb expressed fears about the accused killer’s continued safety behind bars.
Mob-style retribution against Comello is expected.
FBI perp walk Frank Cali Prosecutors claimed that Cali acted as the Gambino ambassador to the Sicilian mobsters and as a liaison between D'Amico and the Sicilian connections to the Inzerillo family. Cali was charged with racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy along with D'Amica and DiMaria.
FBI perp walk Frank Cali Prosecutors claimed that Cali acted as the Gambino ambassador to the Sicilian mobsters and as a liaison between D'Amico and the Sicilian connections to the Inzerillo family. Cali was charged with racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy along with D'Amica and DiMaria.
“He must know his life is worth nothing,” one-time Bonanno family associate Joe Barone told the Daily News in March. “He doesn’t have a chance in hell. It’s a matter of time. Even if the wiseguys don’t get him, he’ll get whacked by somebody looking to make a name.”
Comello is accused of driving his truck to Cali’s Todt Hill home and crashing the vehicle into the mobster’s parked SUV. When Cali came out to investigate, Comello opened fire on the unsuspecting mob boss, prosecutors say.
Sources indicated the suspect’s fingerprint was recovered from a license plate on the victim’s damaged Cadillac Escalade.
Comello pumped 10 bullets into the doomed boss, officials said. During an extradition hearing following his arrest in New Jersey, he had inked “United We Stand” and “MAGA Forever” on the palm of his hand.


Monday, May 6, 2019

FBI subpoenaed Long Island town seeking records on Genovese crime family members

Oyster Bay Town Hall received a federal subpoena seeking records about members of the Genovese crime family, a town official said Monday.
“Names that they’ve asked us about seem to tie into the Genovese crime family,” said Deputy Town Supervisor Gregory Carman Jr. “There are no members of the Genovese crime family that I know of that work for the town.”
Carman said the information request was “very broad” and asked for “any records” of the people named.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the town,” Carman said.
John Marzulli, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District, declined to comment.
Two plainclothes agents arrived at Town Hall shortly before noon and left about 10 minutes later. After they left, one of them showed a reporter FBI identification and referred questions to the FBI press office. Calls to the New York City FBI press office were not returned Monday.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lucchese associate charged with home invasion beating of reality TV star

It's the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" meets "The Sopranos."

A career criminal with past ties to the mob has been charged with beating up a former RHONJ cast member and her fiance after breaking into their home in 2017.

James "Jimmy Balls" Mainello, 51, was arrested at his home in Bayonne on Friday nearly two years after the bizarre attack in which "an Italian guy with a North Jersey accent" told the pair: "This is what happens when you f*** with people from Paterson."

Monmouth County prosecutors said Mainello and another man were lying in wait inside the Banyan Boulevard home of David Cantin on May 13, 2017, when Cantin and Dina Manzo were bum-rushed by the two assailants as they walked through their front door.

Cantin said he was beaten with a baseball bat, breaking his nose, while the other assailant pushed Manzo against a wall and covered her mouth. Manzo said he then pushed her to the floor and kicked her, according to the affidavit of probable cause against Mainello.

Manzo said the man then took her engagement ring off her finger and gave her that menacing greeting from Paterson.

Prosecutors did not publicly state whether they knew what motivated the attack.

The victims told police that the robbers tied them up and left after taking $500 in cash in Cantin's wallet.

Cantin told police he could not identify the pair because they wore hats with bandanas over their faces. He did describe one of the men as being "an Italian guy with a North Jersey accent."

Cantin freed himself and called police about 10:54 p.m. He and Manzo were hospitalized.

In a joint statement released by the couple's attorney on Friday, Cantin and Manzo said they “so grateful to the New Jersey law enforcement authorities, whose diligent investigation over the last two years culminated in today’s arrest."

"Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern for our well-being. We’ve had such a great support system,” they said.

Prosecutors on Friday did not say how they came to identify Mainello as the suspect. They also have not said whether they've identified the second robber.

Mainello has a criminal convictions history in New Jersey dating back to the late 1980s, including a nine-year burglary sentence in 1994. In 2005, federal prosecutors in New York tied him to an organized crime robbery conspiracy, for which he was convicted. He was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and then placed on three months of house arrest in 2009 after violating the conditions of his supervised release.

A federal judge also ordered Mainello not to "associate with any member or associate of the Luchese organized crime family" or any Mafia group.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Mainello had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“I want to congratulate our investigations team and our counterparts at the Holmdel Police
Department for never letting up on finding answers for this crime," Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. "Dogged determination and a lot of good old-fashioned police work went into making this arrest possible.”

In the Holmdel case, Mainello was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree aggravated assault, third-degree theft, third- and fourth-degree weapons offenses and third-degree criminal restraint.

Manzo, whose legal first name is Claudine, appeared in the first two seasons of the Bravo reality-TV show with her sister, Caroline. She returned in 2014. Her Facebook profile shows her last name as Cantin but the couple has not said whether they've married.

Manzo grew up in Wayne and many of the show's cast members have hailed from Passaic County.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Genovese mobster and four associates plead guilty to loansharking and gambling scheme

A “made” man in the Genovese crime family and four alleged associates copped to a slew of illegal scams that paid “tribute” to the mob, police said Wednesday.
The group was busted by New Jersey police in 2014 as part of an investigation that the ensnared 11 people who cops say were connected to the crime family — including alleged Genovese capo Charles Tuzzo.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday that the five had hands in running a “massive” loan-sharking operation, an off-shore gambling network and a money-laundering scheme — all of which netted millions of dollars.
In one of the schemes, Domenick Pucillo, 61, of Florham Park, financed an operation that let customers cash fat checks under the table at a popular Portuguese restaurant in Newark, PortuCale Restaurant & Bar.
Owner Abel Rodriguez would charge a 3-percent fee to hide the income from the feds — 1 percent of which he’d pocket, while the other 2 percent was passed along to Pucillo, according to authorities.
Pucillo, the head of Tri-State Check Cashing business, paid a quarter of the profits to Manuel Rodriguez, who would then give a cut to Tuzzo and reputed Genovese soldier Vito Alberti as “tribute,” authorities said.
Pucillo faces 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree conspiracy to commit money laundering before Superior Court Judge Donald Collester Jr. in Morris County.
Robert Spagnola, 71, of Morganville, and Alberti, 60, of Morristown, will both be recommended for five years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree criminal usury.
Manuel Rodriguez, 53, of Chatham,  pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy to commit money laundering and faces four years.
Coppola, 42, of Union City, admitted to promoting gambling and is expected to serve 180 days of probation.
The status of Abel Rodriguez’s and Tuzzo’s cases was not immediately known.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Whitey Bulger's cause of death finally revealed

James "Whitey" Bulger Jr., a cold-blooded mobster who was found dead in a West Virginia prison cell six months ago, died of “blunt force injuries of the head," according to a death certificate obtained Thursday by an NBC affiliate in Boston.
The document states the 89-year-old was assaulted inside his cell, where he was found shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2018. The manner of death was homicide, according to the document.
Although the document provides the first official word on how Bulger died, law enforcement officials previously said his killers struck him with a padlock stuffed inside a sock and then wrapped him in a blanket to try to conceal the attack.
Bulger lived as a fugitive for 16 years and even topped FBI’s most-wanted list before he was found living near in Santa Monica in 2011. He was convicted two years later and was serving a life sentence for 11 murders, extortion and racketeering schemes that authorities said earned him more than $25 million.
The Irish-American crime boss had been transferred to the high-security United States Penitentiary, Hazelton just a day before he was killed.
No one has been charged in his death, but a potential suspect is Fotios "Freddy" Geas, a Massachusetts hitman who reportedly hates “rats.”


Accused murderer of Gambino family boss indicted and held without bail

The man accused of gunning down Gambino mob boss Francesco “Frankie Boy” Cali on Staten Island was indicted for murder and ordered held without bail at his Wednesday arraignment.
Anthony Comello, 24, was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon at state Supreme Court in the cold-blooded killing of Cali outside the mobster’s Todt Hill home last month.
Cops said Comello open fire with a 9mm pistol after luring Cali, 53, outside by backing a pickup truck into the gangster’s Cadillac Escalade SUV.
Investigators suspect the killing was revenge for Cali ordering his niece not to date Comello, law enforcement sources have said.
Comello pleaded not guilty to the slaying.
The case is due back in court on May 9.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Philadelphia soldier pleads guilty to selling meth and faking pawnshop robbery

An Atlantic City man Tuesday admitted staging a fake robbery of a Union County pawnshop to perpetrate an insurance fraud and distributing methamphetamine, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Salvatore "Sam" Piccolo, 67, a Philadelphia mafia member, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to distribution of 216 grams of meth and one count of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a news release.
Piccolo said that on April 19, 2014, he and an accomplice entered a pawnshop in Union County, purportedly to sell some silver items. Once inside the shop, the accomplice displayed a handgun while Piccolo, wearing a nylon mask, chained the front doors closed to prevent anyone from entering.
The owner was bound, as a pretense, while Piccolo and his accomplice looted the safe of what the owner told police was about $60,000 in cash, several pieces of jewelry and a handgun.
The owner later submitted to his insurance company a fraudulent-loss claim for which he received about $174,000.
Piccolo also admitted making three sales of meth totaling 216 grams to an undercover FBI agent. Subsequent laboratory analysis determined the meth to be 99 percent pure.
The distribution of meth carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for July 18.