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

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Former Bonanno Captain also named Joseph Bonanno revealed as secret informant

He’s a Bonanno who betrayed the Bonannos — and his Mafia namesake might just be turning over in his grave.
Joseph Bonanno — a former acting mob captain who shares the name but is not related to the late founder of the notorious New York crime family — was unveiled as a government informant yesterday in Brooklyn federal court.
It was the first time that Bonanno was acknowledged publicly to have switched sides more than four years ago, agreeing to become a secret informant for the FBI.
The mobster recounted in his own words some of his underworld exploits and detailed how his decision to inform destroyed the family.
“I was known as ‘Joe the Rat,’ ” Bonanno said.
“I infiltrated the Bonannos, as well as other organized-crime families,” the mobster said in his statement, which was read in court by his attorney.
Bonanno recounted how he would “wear a wire and go undercover, and put my life on the line wearing these recording devices.”
At the hearing, Assistant US Attorney Rachel Nash and Bonanno’s defense attorney, Robert LaRusso, both praised his work, saying he helped build cases against some of the Mafia family’s highest-ranking members — including an acting boss, several underbosses and a consigliere.
But the once-tough wiseguy broke down crying as he recalled how his work for the feds has ripped his family apart and, as a result, he now suffers from anxiety and depression and lives a lonely life.
“My stepdaughter went to [my relatives] and told them I was a rat,” he said. “My sisters and family don’t speak to me either.”
His wife — who wasn’t present — summed up the situation in her written statement:
“We do not have contact with other family members. We live alone.”
Bonanno wept as he apologized to Judge Nicholas Garaufis for his past misdeeds.
“I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Noting Bonanno’s “extensive assistance” given to help prosecute the mob, the judge sentenced him to three years’ probation on racketeering charges.
The former wiseguy is currently in the witness protection program to hide his identity.


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