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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mob underboss says wiseguy Tommy Shots Gioeli whined about running two families at once

It's hard to run a crime family when you’ve got a young wife waiting at home.
When Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli was asked to fill in as head of the Colombo gang in the early ’90s, the accused killer whined about juggling the added responsibilities and a bride, a mob pal testified Tuesday.
Bonanno underboss Salvatore Vitale told jurors in Brooklyn Federal Court that Gioeli, then a mere capo, got the promotion at a time when the Colombo family was in a civil war and new soldiers were hard to come by.
“They want me running the family,” Vitale recalled Gioeli saying as he lit a cigarette in Von Leesen’s ice cream parlor on Long Island. “Don’t they know I have a young wife?”
Vitale said he laughed at the stressed-out gangster’s lament and offered him this bit of advice: “Tommy, jump in, the water’s fine.”
Federal prosecutors contend that Gioeli did just that, supervising a lethal crew of hit men responsible for six gangland murders and eventually ascending to acting boss of the crime family.
Gioeli, 59, who is on trial for racketeering and the murders, shook his head as Vitale, now a government informant, testified against him.
Gioeli’s wife, Maureen, 57, sat in the front row of the court’s spectator section on Tuesday. During a break in the trial, Gioeli looked at her, cackled and said, “Maw, I got married to a young wife. Unbelievable.”
In the early 1990s, Gioeli served as a go-between for the Colombos with the other crime families because there was too much heat on then-acting boss Joel Cacace, according to Vitale.
Vitale said he and Gioeli met in diners, Long Island hotel rooms and along the side of highways to discuss secret mob business.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Posa showed Vitale an address book he turned over to the feds after he began cooperating, and turned to a page with the names and digits for “Tommy Shots” and his driver, Dino Calabro.
Defense lawyer Carl Herman asked if there was a similarly named gangster in the Gambino family.
“There’s only one ‘Tommy Shots’ I know,” Vitale shot back.
Gioeli will hear more about his wife on Wednesday when former Colombo capo Reynold Maragni takes the witness stand. Maragni pleaded guilty to passing cash from an extortion racket to Maureen Gioeli while her hubby was in jail awaiting trial.
In case jurors concluded Gioeli is a killer before hearing all the evidence, Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian Cogan explained to them that the gangster is called “Tommy Shots” because “on one occasion he was shot.”


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