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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Bonanno associate pleads guilty to selling cocaine out of gelato shop

Would you like some coke with your gelato?
A reputed associate of the Bonanno crime family copped a plea Thursday in a narcotics-trafficking scheme that involved the sale of $40,000 worth of cocaine in a Manhattan gelato shop.
Salvatore Russo, 46, faces a maximum 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to distributing more than 500 grams of the drug.
Under terms of a deal with Brooklyn federal prosecutors, Russo agreed to serve the mandatory minimum sentence of five years, but can appeal if he gets slapped with any more time.
The beefy wiseguy, a naturalized US citizen who spoke with a heavy Sicilian accent in court, also faces a fine of up to $5 million.
“He’s accepted his responsibility and hopes for the best,” defense lawyer Joseph Conway said outside court.
Russo, who remains free on $500,000 bond pending his unscheduled sentencing, was busted last year in what authorities said was a coordinated, cross-border crackdown on mobsters operating in both the US and Canada.
He was indicted as a co-defendant and accomplice of reputed acting Bonanno captain Damiano Zummo, who was allegedly caught on a secret recording while taking part in a Mafia induction ceremony in the Great White North during 2015.
“You only answer to the Bonanno family,” Zummo told the newly “made” mobster, according to prosecution court papers.
Zummo and Russo conspired to sell more than five kilograms of cocaine between July and October 2017, according to their indictment.
More than one kilo was sold inside an unidentified Manhattan store that sold gelato, or Italian-style ice cream, on Sept. 14, 2017, according to the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office.
Zummo also pleaded guilty to a drug charge in December and is awaiting sentencing.


Philly mobster tells judge he has left behind former life of crime

After a life filled with Mafia hits and prison stints, onetime mob enforcer-turned-restaurateur Philip Narducci told a federal judge Tuesday he finally had traded in his crime family for a real one.
Sure, the occasion that had brought him to federal court was his sentencing in a loan-sharking case from just last year. And, yes, it featured claims of extortionate loans, Mafia-style threats, and an explosive encounter in which Narducci was said to have shoved his victim’s head against a car windshield.
But as he stood before U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Savage, Narducci — better known these days for the Washington Avenue gastropub Chick’s, which he co-owns with his wife — vowed that his priorities have changed.
“I just want to get back to my family and get back to work,” he said. “All my past is in my past.”
Savage was inclined to agree. Saying he believed Narducci would never risk returning to prison, the judge signed off on a deal to send him away for just one more year in exchange for his guilty plea to federal loan-sharking charges.
Narducci, 57, already has served roughly four months of that sentence, after asking to be taken into custody during a court hearing in May so that he could begin earning credit for time served. With early release for good behavior, he could get out as soon as next spring.
His sentencing Tuesday ended his latest bizarre case — one that brought the city’s long history of old-school Mafia prosecutions into sharp collision with a defense strategy that leaned on more modern anxieties surrounding immigration and terrorism.
A former member of Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo’s crew, Narducci has spent more than half of his life in prison and has been accused by investigators of involvement in at least three notorious gangland slayings, including the 1985 hit on Frank “Frankie Flowers” D’Alfonso.
A jury convicted him of that murder in 1989, but the verdict was overturned on appeal and a second trial ended in acquittal. After his release from prison on racketeering charges in 2012, Narducci had gone straight.
In January, though, federal agents arrested him again, alleging that he and a codefendant repeatedly threatened a South Philadelphia barber who owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of the pair’s efforts to collect were caught on an FBI wire.
But while prosecutors leaned on Narducci’s past to paint his new crimes as a return to the mob life, defense lawyer Brian J. McMonagle revealed in court this spring that the barber, his client’s primary accuser, had a complicated past of his own.
That man — a Lebanese national and frequent federal informant — once was found by a judge to have lied about his association with a political party with ties to the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah. Narducci maintains that the man conned him and played on his sympathies by asking for money for an organ transplant for his mother, which he later frittered away through gambling.
Government lawyers accused Narducci’s defense of trying to inflame a jury pool with reckless character assassination before a trial could even begin. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ortiz said Tuesday that the barber has received several threats since and still believes his life to be in danger.
Prosecutors have declined to discuss whether the one-year deal they cut with Narducci was motivated by concerns over the witness’ credibility in front of a jury.
“I believe the … sentence is fair and appropriate,” Ortiz said Tuesday.
McMonagle, meanwhile, pointed to the courtroom gallery filled with relatives and Chick’s employees as proof that Narducci has made a concerted effort to change his life. In addition to his business interest at the gastropub, the judge cited Narducci’s volunteer work with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Fresh Air Home, a beach retreat for urban kids, in North Wildwood.
Before this case, McMonagle said, “he was getting to that corner that he never quite turned in life.”
Ultimately, Savage decided to give him another chance to turn it.
In addition to his prison term, the judge ordered Narducci to complete three years’ probation upon his release and pay nearly $48,000 in fines and forfeiture. His codefendant, James Gallo, 44, was sentenced later Tuesday to time served after spending roughly a month behind bars earlier this year.
But before U.S. marshals handcuffed Narducci and took him away, Savage remarked: “This [case] may have saved you — this may have pushed you along that road to turning the corner.”
Narducci blew his wife a kiss, then addressed his supporters in the gallery.
“I’ll see youse guys soon,” he said.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Bonanno soldier shows up to court in a tracksuit and crocs


He kept his enemies close, his friends closer — and his stylist nowhere in sight.
A reputed Bonanno crime family soldier got four years tacked onto his supervised release Tuesday over his seeming inability to cut ties with fellow accused wiseguys — but the most egregious misdeed on display at his appearance in Brooklyn federal court may have been his attire.
Hardly setting himself up to be confused with Dapper Don John Gotti, Joseph Chilli III ambled before a Brooklyn federal court judge wearing a blue-and-white Reebok tracksuit and a pair of black Crocs to explain his repeated connections to accused mobsters. 
Photos show Chilli sported a similarly casual look — including a collared Fila shirt and white sneakers — during an arrest in 1989, a year when he and his father pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges, according to a Newsday article at the time.
Freed in 2015 after a cocaine and heroin distribution conviction, The Slobfather has been on supervised release under conditions that include avoiding his connected pals — but Chilli’s lawyer admitted he has kept to his own kind, meeting with at least three reputed mobsters between October 2018 and March 2019.
Post-prison, Chilli, 63, has been helming a produce-delivery service, for which former cellmate and fellow reputed wiseguy Dominic DiFiore was helping to find clients, said lawyer Vincent Licata.
The company — which keeps city restaurants and pizzerias stocked with “tomato sauce, olive oil and meat,” according to Licata — also employs the son of another purported mobster, Salvatore Palmieri, as a truck driver.
Not only that, Palmieri’s wife cleans Chilli’s house, according to Licata.
A third alleged member of La Cosa Nostra, Joseph Giddio, insisted on visiting the ailing Chilli at home to check on him, said Licata.
The attorney tried to argue that the connections were strictly business, but a fed-up Judge Nicholas Garaufis wasn’t buying it.
“I’ve been dealing with these problems with the Bonanno organized crime family for the last 18 years, including violations of supervised release,” said Garafius, extending Chilli’s monitoring by four years — just days before it was set to expire on Friday.
“It’s a little bit sophomoric and a little bit simplistic to say you’re engaging in business with [these] people,” said Garaufis.
“Work with people who don’t have these connections to organized crime.”


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Chicago outfit soldier dies before being sentenced

Charles “Chuckie” Russell once boasted to an undercover federal agent that he carried out thousands of burglaries over a four-year period.
And he bragged that his robbery victims never refused to open their safes for him. His tool of persuasion: a butane torch to the bottom of their feet.
Russell, 70, a reputed Chicago Outfit soldier, has died before he could be sentenced for gun possession in connection with a 2016 robbery plot, according to a filing in federal court Monday. He was suffering from prostate cancer, records show.
In late 2016, Russell was arrested when he bought guns from an undercover federal agent in Chicago. He pleaded guilty last year to possession of a revolver that agents found during a search of his home in Schaumburg.
Based on his criminal background, including convictions for murder and rape, he faced at least 15 years in prison.
Because of his illness, though, Russell was released from jail and allowed to live at home on electronic monitoring. He was never well enough to be sentenced.
According to court records, Russell had arranged to stay in a condo owned by his girlfriend, Patricia Spilotro, a relative of Anthony and Michael Spilotro, the Outfit members whose double murder in 1986 was featured in the movie “Casino.”
On Dec. 20, 2016, Russell, a reputed member of the Chicago’s mob’s Grand Avenue crew, met at a restaurant with a federal informant and an undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Russell enlisted their help in a plot to rob a 70-year-old former attorney of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At the same meeting, Russell also showed the ATF agent a photo of a car riddled with bullets, then handed the agent an Illinois driver’s license of a black man, saying, “He’s deceased.” Agents confirmed the man on the driver’s license was shot in November 2016. His killing remains unsolved.
Russell was arrested on Dec. 21, 2016, after buying eight guns from the agent.
Afterward, he supposedly said, “You guys did a really good job.”


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lucchese captain pleads guilty to murder conspiracy but dodges life sentence

A reputed Lucchese crime family capo copped to murder conspiracy and other charges on Tuesday — in exchange for just 13 years behind bars.
Steven Crea Jr. faced up to life imprisonment for his role in the 2012 rub-out of an unnamed Bonanno family associate, according to court documents.
Yet prosecutors agreed to give Crea just 156 months in the slammer in exchange for his guilty plea to charges of racketeering conspiracy, murder conspiracy in aid of racketeering, and attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.
Crea was arrested in 2017 along with nearly two dozen alleged mobsters — including his father, Lucchese second-in-command Steven “Wonder Boy” Crea Sr. and ruling boss Mathew Madonna.
The gaggle of goodfellas was accused in the 2013 whacking of Michael Meldish, the onetime leader of the infamous Purple Gang that did jobs for the Lucchese and Genovese families. Crea Jr. was not implicated in Meldish’s death.
Meldish was found dead in his vehicle from a gunshot wound to the head.
Madonna, Crea Sr. and others are awaiting trial.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Turncoat Genovese mobster denies lemonade assault charge

The region’s most notorious mafia killer was arrested Sunday and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly hurled a carton of lemonade at a female relative.
The dispute was over a sick dog, which a witness said Anthony J. Arillotta threatened to kill, according to court records.
Arillotta, 50, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Springfield District Court. Judge John McKenna set his bail at $500.
Assistant District Attorney Tyson Fung asked the judge to set bail at $2,500 cash, saying Arillotta, of Springfield, was on federal probation.
Arillotta was the federal government’s star witness in two separate mob murder trials in New York City in 2011 and 2012. He began cooperating with law enforcement shortly after his 2010 arrest, according to court filings and testimony.
In 2010 he pleaded guilty to the 2003 murders of former mentor Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and his former brother-in-law, Gary Westerman, and the attempted murder of a New York union boss. He served an eight-year prison sentence and opted out of witness protection. Sources said he returned to Springfield in the spring of 2017.
At his arraignment Monday, McKenna set Sept. 25 as a “clarification of counsel” date, saying Arillotta does not qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. Kevin Riva, a private practice bar advocate who was representing multiple defendants in district court Monday, represented Arillotta at the arraignment only.
Riva said Arillotta was working full time, and that a family member was at court to post bail.
According to Riva’s account of the incident, Arillotta is allergic to dogs; a family member left a sick dog at the home, and he wanted it removed.
A report on the arrest by Springfield police officer Brendan Linnehan said officers spoke with Arillotta’s son, who told them Arillotta had threatened to kill the dog, and that he then called a female relative, who arrived at the home with the victim. Arillotta and the victim got into an argument, “both screaming and calling each other various names,” the report said.
Arillotta “picked up a full carton of Lemonade” and threw it at the victim during the argument, Linnehan wrote. The victim was struck in the leg but did not suffer any visible injuries, the report said. She declined medical treatment.


Jennifer Lawrence to star in new movie related to the Colombo family

Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence is set to play a mob wife-turned-police informant in Mob Girl to be helmed by Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino.The upcoming crime drama is learned to be an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Teresa Carpenter’s non-fiction crime story under the same name. The script penned by Angelina Burnett will be produced by Lawrence along with Justine Polsky, Sorrentino and Lorenzo Mieli.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film revolves around Arlyne Brickman, a woman who grew up among mobsters in New York City. Over the course of time, she becomes a “mob girlfriend” who wanted a piece of the action herself. Later, Brickman becomes a police informant and a major witness in the government’s case against the Colombo crime family.
“Seeing this story from a woman’s point of view is a fresh and exciting approach to telling a classic mob story. We could not imagine a more perfect team of stellar filmmakers, with Jennifer starring in a tour de force role and Paolo at the helm, to bring Arlyne’s strength and unique perspective to life on screen,” Deadline quoted Brad Weston, Makeready studio’s executive, as saying.The film comes as the first collaborative project between Lawrence’s Excellent Cadaver and Weston’s Makeready.


Nevada black book removes dead Colombo mobster's name from list of excluded persons

The Nevada Gaming Commission has determined that a mobster named in Nevada’s Black Book can no longer hurt the casino industry.
The reason: He’s been dead for more than two years.
Charles Joseph “Charlie Moose” Panarella, who had a reputation as a brutally sadistic hit man for the Colombo crime family in New York, was removed from “The List of Excluded Persons,” commonly known as the Black Book, in a unanimous vote Thursday.
“Because Mr. Panarella is deceased, he no longer poses a threat to the Nevada gaming industry, so therefore the (state Gaming Control) Board respectfully requests his removal,” Deputy Attorney General Tiffany Breinig said in remarks to the commission.
Panarella would have been 92 when he died. Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who was a criminal defense lawyer for a number of mob associates before taking office in 1999, recalled his friendship with Panarella in his memoir “Being Oscar: From Mob Lawyer to Mayor of Las Vegas.”
“I had represented him in a number of cases, and you couldn’t find a more thankful client,” Goodman said in the book. “The feds, of course, had a different view of him. His reputation in the underworld was steeped in violence.”
Goodman said Panarella and a mob associate, Natale “Big Chris” Richichi, gave him a plaque that he hanged in his office as a reminder of their gratitude for representing them against federal charges.
“With me, he was always aces, always 100 percent, a very, very nice fellow,” Goodman said of Panarella in an interview Friday. “I know what they said about him, I know about the allegations where he apparently killed somebody and stuffed their private parts in their mouth, that kind of thing. But you could never tell that by the way that he treated my staff. He was always very decent. He treated the ladies in my office with respect and always was a very fine person and he had a wonderful family that accomplished a lot.”
Goodman also said he has never been a fan of “The List of Excluded Persons.”
“I’ve always said that the Black Book, ‘The List of Excluded Persons,’ is probably the most unconstitutional document in our nation’s history and the process attendant to it was silly,” Goodman said. “It was a way of law enforcement trying to cover up its inability to go after the real criminals by putting these fellows who were colorful and the subject of dime-store novel magazines into the Black Book without any nexus whatsoever with a violation of a gaming regulation or gaming law.
“Nothing in Charlie Panarella’s life would suggest that he ever was a cheat or took advantage of the casinos. It was just because he had a reputation.”
Panarella was placed on the ‘Excluded Persons’ list in September 1997. According to the listing, his last known address was in Las Vegas. He was known by seven aliases, and the listing said he was born in January 1925.
The attorney general’s office submitted a death certificate as evidence that he had died.
Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo said the certificate was signed July 18, 2017.
“You can see that this really isn’t a high-priority matter,” Alamo said of the removal.
There have been 34 names removed from the Black Book since it was established in 1960, mostly because the people listed had died, according to Alamo. He said three people have been removed while alive, including a pair of people who were excluded in 1965 and removed from the list a month later. He said his research did not uncover a reason for the reversal.
With Panarella’s removal, there are now 35 people on the list, including one woman.
Two have been on the list the longest: Alvin George Kaohu and Wilford Kalaauala Pulawa, since Jan. 23, 1975. Their last known addresses are in Hawaii.


Mafia son in court as brother he tried to have killed looks on

The mob scion accused of shelling out more than $200,000 to have his own father whacked in a McDonald’s drive-thru appeared in court Tuesday for the first time — as the brother he also tried to kill looked on from the gallery.
Anthony Zottola Sr. remained stone-faced as he shuffled into the courtroom following his arrest for allegedly orchestrating the murder of his Bonanno-linked father, 71-year-old Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola.
The 41-year-old’s brother, Salvatore Zottola, looked on from the front row in the gallery while an unidentified female relative sobbed nearby.
Salvatore, 42, survived a caught-on-camera shooting outside his family’s Locust Point home that prosecutors say was intended to “lure out” the elder Zottola.
Court papers claim Anthony plotted to kill both men for over a year, allegedly in an attempt to gain control of his father’s illegal gambling operation, which involved “Joker Poker” video games.
Prosecutors Tuesday confirmed all defendants are considered eligible for the death penalty — though they’ve yet to decide whether they’ll be pursuing a capital murder case.
Lawyers for and relatives of Zottola declined to comment as they left court.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Former union leader linked to Chicago mob sentenced to jail

Five months after he pleaded guilty to embezzlement, a onetime union leader with reputed mob ties told a federal judge, “The only reason I’m standing here today is because my name is John Matassa.”
Matassa faced sentencing Monday, more than two years after being hit with a 10-count federal indictment. He explained that he’d been targeted by the U.S. Department of Labor. But U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly saw things differently.
“You pled guilty to a felony to avoid going to trial,” Kennelly said. “That’s why you’re here right now. Not because your name is John Matassa.”
Then, the judge handed Matassa a six-month prison sentence and added six months of home confinement. The case stemmed from Matassa’s job as the secretary-treasurer of the Independent Union of Amalgamated Workers Local 711.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, Kennelly described that organization as “the weirdest union that I’ve ever seen.” He repeatedly mentioned that it collected barely enough dues to pay Matassa’s salary and expenses.
Matassa admitted last February to an embezzlement scheme in which he began in 2013 to split his weekly paycheck from the union with his wife. Prosecutors said she became the union’s highest-paid employee — despite not actually working for it. Matassa’s attorneys said she helped him do his job.
In 2014 and 2015, Matassa raised his wife’s salary without the approval of the union’s president or its executive board. Meanwhile, Matassa had applied for old-age insurance benefits from the Social Security Administration in 2013.
Those benefits would have been reduced if he made too much money. However, as a result of the arrangement with his wife, Matassa collected $75,108 in insurance benefits to which he was not entitled, according to his plea agreement.
The charges against Matassa followed a long career in which his name notably surfaced during the 2009 trial of John Ambrose, a deputy U.S. marshal who leaked details about mob hitman Nicholas Calabrese.
Calabrese became a key cooperator with federal investigators and was under the protection of the marshals. Matassa allegedly functioned as a go-between for the information that eventually made its way to then-imprisoned Chicago mob boss, James “Little Jimmy” Marcello.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Man who murdered Gambino boss is delusional with conspiracy theories

The man accused of gunning down a Mafia kingpin on Staten Island wasn’t intending to kill a mob boss that day, his lawyer says.
In his eyes, Anthony Comello was taking out “a prominent member of the deep state” — whom he allegedly tried to “arrest” at first.
“He ardently believed that Francesco Cali, a boss in the Gambino crime family, was a prominent member of the deep state, and, accordingly, an appropriate target for a citizen’s arrest,” said Comello’s attorney, Robert C. Gottlieb, in court documents filed Friday.
“Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support,” Gottlieb added, according to the New York Times.
The 24-year-old had been convinced that Cali was connected to the infamous QAnon conspiracy, which claims there’s a political “deep state” secretly running the country from within the government, among other things.
“Mr. Comello’s support for ‘QAnon’ went beyond mere participation in a radical political organization,” his lawyer said. “It evolved into a delusional obsession.”
Gottlieb intends to argue in court that Comello’s delusions about the QAnon conspiracy drove him to commit murder — and that they are enough to prove he is not guilty by reason of insanity. He’s seeking to have Comello placed in psychiatric care rather than prison.
According to Gottlieb, the young man’s obsession with the “deep state” and other QAnon conspiracies — like the belief that certain Democratic politicians are secretly pedophiles — led to him making multiple “arrest” attempts earlier this year.
In February, Comello allegedly tried to take Mayor Bill de Blasio into custody on two separate occasions, one of which involved him showing up at Gracie Mansion.
He then attempted to place two California Democrats under arrest — Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff — and even tried getting the US Marshals Service to help. But they reportedly denied his request.
The incidents were later confirmed by law enforcement officials.
Over the years, Comello made “thousands and thousands” of posts, messages and forum comments about the QAnon conspiracies, which Gottlieb plans to use in court as evidence.
“Patriot sleeper cells are awake,” he wrote on one occasion.
Gottlieb said Comello believed that Cali, a member of the Gambino crime family, had been connected to the deep state after seeing a post online that suggested Mafia figures were also part of the conspiracy.
He is accused of killing the mob boss on March 13 outside his Todt Hill home. The slaying was believed to be “premeditated” — with prosecutors charging Comello with second-degree murder.
“The defendant fired 12 bullets, striking him 11 times,” said Staten Island Assistant District Attorney Carrie Low at Comello’s bail hearing. “He drove by the victim’s house several times hours before the attack.”
During his first court appearance in March, Comello showed up with his palm covered in drawings of symbols and phrases tied to QAnon. Low described him at the time as a member of the “far-right organization.”
“He believes that only their laws are the laws he and the rest of this country should follow,” she said.
Comello is due back in court on Aug. 13.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Son of deceased Genovese boss Chin Gigante sentenced to 2 years in prison

Vinny “The Chin” Gigante’s love child, who is a reputed high-level wiseguy in the Genovese crime family, was handed a two-year prison sentence on Friday for what prosecutors described as a 16-year shakedown of a union official.
The sentence for Vincent Esposito, the 51-year-old son of Gigante and the boss’ longtime mistress Olympia Esposito, was on the low end of a stipulated sentencing range worked out as part of Esposito’s plea agreement.
Prosecutors had agreed to push for no more than 30 months on the racketeering conspiracy charge.
Esposito admitted to extorting annual payments from a United Food and Commercial Workers official from 2001 to 2017. When he was arrested in 2018, authorities raided his $12 million Upper East Side townhouse and found $3.8 million in cash, two unlicensed guns, brass knuckles and a​n actual​ list of made guys in La Cosa Nostra.
Esposito’s father, the former head of the Genovese family, was also known as “The Oddfather” for putting on an act in which he would shuffle around Greenwich Village in a bathrobe and slippers to help with his claims that he was legally insane — a ruse that fell flat in 1997 when he was sent to prison on eight racketeering charges.
At Esposito’s sentencing hearing, his attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, argued that Gigante’s reputation “cast a shadow” over Esposito.
“The name Vinny ‘The Chin’ brings up all kinds of feelings,” Lichtman said.
Before issuing Esposito’s sentence, District Judge Victor Marrero of the Manhattan federal court noted that he received 45 letters from Esposito’s supporters — including one from the guard keeping watch over Esposito for his house arrest — that paint a “glowing portrait” of the defendant. But he said the charges against him show a “dark side.”
“It’s probably fair to say that qualifying for membership in an organized crime family does not happen overnight,” Marrero said, adding that becoming a made guy doesn’t come from “public charity, solid citizenship and caring for widows and orphans.”
Esposito is required to surrender in 45 days.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Judge tells Bonanno captain he bears more responsibility and hands him 7 year sentence

Sometimes it really sucks being the captain — especially in the mafia. 
Joseph “Joe Valet” Sabella, a Bonanno capo who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison after a judge said he bears more responsibility than his underlings
“You were involved more extensively as a captain, as a leader, and you have to take responsibility as a captain to your family,” said Judge Alvin Hellerstein
The sentence was on the low end of the range of years suggested by the federal sentencing guidelines. And the racketeering conspiracy charge was not Sabella’s first — in 2004, while allegedly working as a foot soldier for the crime family, he and six other members pleaded guilty to various charges. 
Sabella moved up the ranks and, last year, he was one of 10 reputed Bonanno wiseguys who were collared. That included alleged acting boss Joseph “Joe C” Cammarano Jr., who was acquitted on racketeering and extortion charges in March.  
As part of his latest plea agreement, Sabella, 54, admitted to violently shaking down a former business partner with whom he owned a valet parking business outside of a Staten Island restaurant after he refused to pay up. 
Sabella also admitted to teaming up with consigliere John Zancocchio and another alleged member of the family in the savage beatdown of Steven Sabella — no relation — inside a Staten Island strip club and then extorting the beaten man’s interest in a loansharking business, two strip clubs and a gambling ring. 
Joseph Sabella, who appeared for his sentencing on Thursday in a gray blazer, a white shirt and dark pants, also admitted to using fraud to maintain control of a Brooklyn demolition company — shaking the company down for $20,000 a year for protection — and taking over a dump site where mob-backed companies could dump potentially hazardous materials for cut rates.
Sabella was ordered to surrender to a prison in South Carolina on Aug. 27.