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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jurors gasp as mob informant calls former pal his friend on the stand


With a “friend” like this, who needs enemies?
A Mafia rat yesterday admitted to coldblooded murders, a comically botched bank robbery and an aborted laundry-detergent heist — but sent jaws dropping in Brooklyn federal court only after calling the mobster he was testifying against, “my friend.”
Joseph “Joey Caves’’ Competiello’s show-stopper moment came after a prosecutor asked him, “Do you recognize any other member of the Colombo family?”
“My friend Dino Saracino,” he replied, looking straight at that man, who could go to prison for life if jurors believe Competiello.
INDIGESTION: “Big Dino” Calabro (left) has turned rat against his dining partner, accused mob killer Thomas Gioeli.
INDIGESTION: “Big Dino” Calabro (left) has turned rat against his dining partner, accused mob killer Thomas Gioeli.
 
Supporters of “Little Dino” Saracino and co-defendan, Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, gasped. One sputtered, “What?!”
Gioeli is accused of ordering the 1997 murder of NYPD Officer Ralph Dols — a hit allegedly carried out by Saracino and his cousin Dino “Big Dino” Calabro — while Competiello sat in a vehicle ready to ram any police car that chased the two hit men.
Calabro, too, is also now cooperating with the feds.
During his own damning testimony last week, references were made to the fact that right before Calabro and his wife entered the Witness Protection Program, she visited Gioeli’s wife and asked to “borrow” several photographs from a family album.
The pix were soon turned over to the FBI, and one of them, released yesterday, shows Calabro and Gioeli sitting chummily during a meal in a restaurant.
Competiello didn’t call himself Gioeli’s friend in court, but seemed uncomfortable when he identified Gioeli as his former “street boss.”
“He’s wearing a black shirt,” said Competiello of Gioeli, before looking away.
One of Gioeli’s daughters wept during the testimony and said later, “He was our close friend for years.”
She and her sister had chirped, “Hi, Daddy,” at Gioeli when they walked into court.
Then the tone changed, as Competiello described some of the misdeeds he committed before becoming a turncoat 2008.
One was murdering a man suspected of stealing money owed to mobsters after, he said, Calabro told him to “take care of it.’’
He also described a bank robbery that went awry when the cinder block the thieves hurled at the bank’s window bounced off.
He and some pals also fled another heist — of a yard containing a load of laundry detergent — after they heard a description of Competiello’s car broadcast on a police scanner.
Asked why he stole the detergent, Competiello quipped, “To drink it,” before saying, “To sell it.”


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