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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Defendants seek to sever upcoming mob trial

Mobster turned FDNY firefighter gets 27 months in prison for cocaine dealing

Anthony Cilento, a Brooklyn firefighter and alleged mob associate.
A DISGRACED FDNY firefighter linked by prosecutors to the Bonanno crime family was sentenced Monday to 27 months in prison for being a member of a cocaine crew that hawked drugs in Brooklyn.
Anthony "December" Cilento, who worked out of Ladder 166 in Coney Island, has been jailed for a year and pleaded with the judge to go easy on him so he could return home to his wife and 2-year-old son.
“There hasn’t been a night during during my incarceration that hasn’t been sleepless and me staring at the ceiling of my cell because of my shame and embarrassment,” Cilento, 33, told Federal Judge Brian Cogan as he asked to be sentenced to time served. “I swear, I’ll never do anything again that will cause me to be separated from my son.”
Cilento pleaded guilty to being part of a crew that delivered dope to the homes of its customers in Brooklyn — a gig he quit after joining the Bravest in 2008.
There’s no evidence that Cilento, a Marine Corps sergeant who served in Kosovo, was a drug dealer after entering the Fire Academy.
Still, prosecutors charged he remained an active member of dead Bonanno soldier Anthony Seccafico’s mob crew.
Cilento took a swipe at prosecutors, saying he had been given a chance to walk away from the charges in exchange for becoming a snitch. “I’m a man of integrity. I will not lie or exaggerate the truth to harm someone else,” he said.
 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Police arrest Genovese family associate after high speed chase

Jackson Police have arrested Bernard Furst, a known associate of the Genovese crime family.   Furst and an associate were captured by police after a high speed chase.
Police allege a gun was thrown from the car during the chase.    “They’re accusing me of all kinds of things … the most ridiculous is thing  that they mentioned  was that we were planning a bank robbery.” Furst commented at the time of his arrest.
Arrested with Furst was a Jersey City man who had recently been sentenced to eight years in prison for a bank robbery.  Furst’s companies, Engineered Heating and Cooling Corp. and Imperial Air Conditioning were also being investigated as fronts for a wide crime syndicate operation at the time.

http://www.jacksonnjonline.com/2012/07/26/jackson-police-blotter-june-5-1968-mafia-associate-arrested-in-jackson/34396/

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Small investigation leads to a murder and some big fish

As New York City's oversight agency for private garbage-haulers, the Business Integrity Commission handles complaints that tend toward the mundane: stolen containers, illegal dumping, bid-rigging.
Investigators had little reason to believe a suspected arson in 2009 at a Staten Island carting company would be much different. But over the next three years, the fire would lead them to an extraordinary series of alleged crimes, including one that was a first for the commission: murder.
The investigation -- which spiraled into allegations of robbery, betrayal, revenge and organized-crime connections -- culminated in federal indictments last week of two men and shined a light on an obscure agency whose work goes largely unnoticed.
"We look at every loose thread that needs to be pulled," said agency Commissioner Shari Hyman. "And you can see what can unravel when you do these kinds of investigations."
Established in November 2001 as the Organized Crime Control Commission, the small agency was later renamed and given law-enforcement and regulatory control over industries with historic mob influence: more than 1,500 private carting companies, three wholesale markets and local shipboard gambling.
In April 2009, New York City Police Lt. Chris Murphy and Detective William Martin, who are both assigned to the agency, opened what seemed like a run-of-the-mill investigation. Four trucks were reported to have been torched at Coney Island Container Service, a carting company located in an isolated spot on Staten Island.
But the probe soon grew into something larger. The New York City officers, working with commission investigators Dominick Albergo and Nelson Cortez, found the business was owned by a Department of Sanitation worker who had his agency's permission to run a private garbage-hauling firm, according to the commission and the department.
The owner, Anthony Castelle, and his lawyer didn't respond to a request for comment. He pleaded guilty to an unrelated weapons possession charge in May, according to the Staten Island District Attorney's office. The commission announced in June it had declined to renew his company's registration. He still works for the city, the department said.
The alleged arson appeared to have its roots in an August 2008 dispute, Lt. Murphy said. A man named John Ferris gave $250,000 to a pair of longtime friends of Mr. Castelle, Christopher Garguilo and James Donovan, for safekeeping, Lt. Murphy said. Mr. Ferris said he had worked for Mr. Garguilo.
But when Mr. Ferris tried to retrieve the money, the men balked, the lieutenant and Mr. Ferris said.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Ferris said he gave Mr. Garguilo $500,000, not $250,000, that he had taken from his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child. Mr. Garguilo didn't return a call for comment.
Over the next several months, the three feuded, investigators said. Messrs. Garguilo and Donovan were arrested in November 2008 on menacing charges after allegedly threatening Mr. Ferris with a gun. Mr. Ferris was arrested in April 2009 after allegedly setting one of their cars on fire, a charge he denied. Then came the blaze at Coney Island Container Service. The New York Fire Department deemed the fire to be arson, but no one was ever charged.
The menacing and car-fire cases eventually were dropped because of a lack of cooperation from the victims. Mr. Ferris denied any involvement in the fire at Coney Island Container Service.
While probing that case, the agency investigators discovered that during Mr. Donovan's arrest for menacing, officers seized from his car what appeared to be a customer ledger, $62,000 in cash, deposit slips and checks from local businesses.
Their attention shifted. In March 2010, Mr. Donovan became the subject of a new investigation: Authorities believed he was collecting insurance checks from auto-body shops for a fee and giving the shops the cash value of the checks. The shops would pocket the money without declaring it, allowing them to avoid paying taxes. Lt. Murphy said their investigation found that Mr. Donovan was cashing more than $1 million worth of these checks a year through connections at check-cashing stores and clearing more than $100,000 annually from the alleged scheme.
Over the following months, investigators said, Mr. Donovan's alleged scheme was linked to dozens of companies in "Operation Tax Grab."
But before any charges were filed, Mr. Donovan was killed. The focus of the case changed once again, and so did Mr. Donovan's role -- from suspect to victim.
A surveillance camera that investigators were using to watch Mr. Donovan at a friend's auto-body shop caught something on July 2, 2010: Four men approached Mr. Donovan, appearing intent on robbery.
The men struggled with Mr. Donovan, who was shot in the leg. The robbers made off with $90,000 in cash and $60,000 in checks, according to Lt. Murphy. Mr. Donovan died several hours later at a local hospital.
Now it was a murder investigation, which brought Brooklyn homicide Detective Peter McMahon into the probe. Still, investigators had few clues.
A break came weeks later when detectives followed a trail from a bank surveillance camera. A man spotted depositing some of the allegedly stolen checks -- and who was subsequently arrested on an unrelated narcotics charge -- placed calls from Rikers Island that were ultimately traced to a parolee, Nunzio "Nicky" DeCarlo. Federal prosecutors identified Mr. DeCarlo as a member of the Colombo crime family when he was arrested in 1987 on racketeering charges. He was later convicted and served 18 years in prison.
Those calls plus other clues, including DNA from discarded cigarette butts that Detective McMahon had collected from the scene and phone taps -- another almost unheard-of tactic for the Business Integrity Commission -- led investigators over the following months to three other men: Hector "Junior" Pagan, Richard Riccardi and Luigi Grasso.
Mr. DeCarlo died in October 2010 at his Staten Island home from an overdose of drugs, including heroin, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's office.
On July 11, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted Messrs. Riccardi and Grasso on charges of robbery conspiracy, causing death through the use of a firearm and using or carrying a firearm. They pleaded not guilty and were ordered held without bail.
Mr. Riccardi's attorney, Joseph Benfante, said his client was falsely implicated. "Richard Riccardi is innocent of these charges," he said. Mr. Grasso's attorney, Robert Soloway, didn't return calls for comment.
In mid-2011, Mr. Pagan agreed to cooperate with federal investigators in continuing probes, including a case that resulted in the arrest on racketeering charges of several alleged members of the Bonanno crime family. His role as government informant emerged during a federal court hearing in Brooklyn in February.
Included among the defendants was his former father-in-law, Anthony "TG" Graziano, once named by a "confidential source" as a member of the Bonanno family, according to federal court papers. Mr. Graziano pleaded guilty to extortion on April 9. His lawyer didn't return a call for comment.
Mr. Pagan, whose ex-wife Renee Graziano is on the VH-1 television show "Mob Wives," hasn't been charged in connection with Mr. Donovan's murder. Ms. Graziano declined to comment for this article.
"Unprecedented might not be the right word, but it might be close," Lt. Murphy said of the investigation. "We started with that arson job three years ago and now it's the tax evasion and the homicide and guns we've gotten and everything."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443343704577551424218831592.html

New England mob associate sentenced to 7 years in prison

folcarelli.jpg
Mob associate Albino Folcarelli was sentenced Thursday morning to seven years in federal prison for participating in the extortion of $25,000 from an employee at a Johnston auto body shop.
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith decided to give Folcarelli, 54, a break because he did not feel that the career criminal deserved a stiffer sentence than six other mobsters and mob associates who were indicted with him last year.
Sam G. Nazzaro, a federal prosecutor assigned to organized crime cases in Washington, D.C., asked Smith to sentence Folcarelli to 110 months in prison. Smith said that he was not comfortable imposing a penalty that was harsher than the 108 months he gave to Edward Lato, a capo regime in the New England mob.

http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/07/mob-associate-s.html

New TV show called The Mob Doctor filmed in Chicago

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When it came to choosing a location for Fox’s new drama “The Mob Doctor,” it didn’t take long to settle on Chicago.
“It’s tough to beat Chicago for a mob town,” co-creator Rob Wright said told TV critics Monday.
“There’s really not a bad angle to shoot in Chicago,” Wright added. “It’s got an Old World feel to it, but it’s still very modern. It lets us take the legacy of Al Capone and bring it into the 21st century.”
Premiering Sept. 17, “The Mob Doctor” is one of several new fall shows built around female physicians. Others include Fox’s comedy “The Mindy Project” and the CW dramedy “Emily Owens, M.D.”
The lady docs in those shows are like Bridget Jones in scrubs, struggling with self-esteem issues and romance woes. The protagonist in the “Mob Doctor” has more pressing concerns.
Jordana Spiro (“My Boys,” “Harry’s Law”) plays tough-as-nails Dr. Grace Devlin, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Bridgeport who does double duty as a doctor for the mafia.
Devlin got roped into this Faustian bargain thanks to her screw-up brother, who landed on the mob’s rhymes-with-hit list.
To keep her sibling alive Devlin has to do the thugs’ bidding, which includes a variety of Hippocratic Oath-breaking tasks like removing incriminating bullets from dead bodies, patching up bad guys and attending to a racehorse with an uncontrollable erection (based on a true story, we’re assured).
“She has a moral compass but … the mob can be seductive,” said Wright (“Crossing Jordan”). “It’s going to be fun to see how far we can push her.”
Steppenwolf Theatre co-founder Terry Kinney (“NYC 22,” “Oz”) recently joined the cast as a bad guy. The show also features Evanston native Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights,” “Off the Map”) as Dr. Brett Robinson, Devlin’s love interest who’s in the dark about his girlfriend’s moonlighting gig with the mob. While she’s mixed up in the underworld, he’s embroiled in the equally cutthroat world of politics — especially in Chicago.
“As we move forward in the first season, we marked out some really interesting stories involving local politics and local politicians,” executive producer Carla Kettner said. “Chicago is such a rich tapestry of different forces coming together. As we know, even in state politics in Illinois, that’s not always rosy.”
Shooting begins Wednesday in Chicago, the setting for Spiro’s old TBS comedy “My Boys,” in which she played a sportswriter for the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Grace Devlin is more of a White Sox fan,” Spiro said. “I feel like I’ve covered the bases now in Chicago sports.”
The hospital portrayed in “Mob Doctor” is a mish-mash of three locations: McCormick Place, an old wing at Rush Medical Center and a set on the West Side built for the show.
“It’s a uniquely Chicago story,” said William Forsythe (“Boardwalk Empire”), who plays mob boss Constantine Alexander. In Chicago, he said, “it’s not all that usual that someone like Grace could grow up close to that [mob] world and yet be a legitimate person trying to make it.”
Forsythe knows a thing or two about portraying Chicago mobsters. He did a turn as Al Capone nearly 20 years ago in the TV show “The Untouchables.”
“I’m the king of Chicago again,” he said. “I get to bring the Outfit back to life.”

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/13951514-421/chicago-tough-to-beat-as-location-for-new-tv-gangland-drama-the-mob-doctor.html

Chicago Outfit ties come at a high price for a couple

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Being married to the mob can get expensive.
For one senior citizen couple, William and Ann Galioto, it could wind up costing them $473,485.62.
Plus interest.
The potentially big bill marks the end of a fascinating tale involving a horse ranch in Big Rock, just west of Aurora, a chatty mistress, and the head of the Chicago mob.
It begins as many sad stories do, as a love story — or at least as a story of mutual attraction in the flattering lighting of a Cicero strip club more than 25 years ago.
That where’s a young woman, tending bar, met an up-and-coming Chicago mobster named James “Little Jimmy” Marcello.
Marcello fell hard for the bartender, so hard he began a relationship with her lasting for decades.
In 1986, Marcello signed a contract to buy a ranch in Big Rock for him and his mistress. They used assumed names, Connie and James Donofrio, and even gave the property a cute name — the C&J Ranch, records show.
Marcello paid his mistress thousands of dollars a month for living expenses. He figured she would never rat on him, even though Marcello learned early on that his mistress had once been a snitch for the federal government.
Little Jimmy was wrong.
Just how wrong he would learn in 2007, as he sat in a federal courtroom in Chicago, as a defendant in the historic Family Secrets mob trial, watching his former mistress testify against him.
By then, Marcello ran organized crime in Chicago. His conviction in the Family Secrets case would send him to prison for life. Marcello helped murder several people for the Chicago mob, including setting up Anthony and Michael Spilotro. In 1986, Marcello drove the brothers to the Bensenville area home where they thought they were receiving promotions within the mob.
Instead, they were beaten to death.
As part of Marcello’s sentence, a federal judge ordered him to pay more than $4.4 million in restitution.
The court order would create complications for the Galiotos.
Ann Galioto is James Marcello’s sister and an entrepreneur in her own right. She is listed as the president of a company that ran a strip joint, Allstars Gentlemen’s Club, for years in west suburban Northlake, before the club burned down in 2010. At the time, the fire attracted the attention of federal investigators, as did the financially creative way some of the club’s strippers were allegedly being paid, according to a law enforcement source.
Ann’s husband, William, is a former Chicago cop, who made headlines in 1995 when Mayor Daley killed a multimillion-dollar low-interest city loan to him and his partners to build a movie studio on the West Side, over concerns about Galioto’s past.
More recently, William Galioto had his name on another real estate deal — Marcello’s horse ranch in Big Rock, the feds say.
While the feds allege Marcello bought the property, it was put in William Galioto’s name. At one point, while Marcello was in prison, he was secretly taped by the feds discussing whether the property should be transferred out of his brother-in-law’s name to one of Marcello’s flunkies. Marcello was worried he couldn’t trust the Galiotos, according to the feds.
That never happened, and in 2008, after Marcello was convicted in the Family Secrets case, Galioto sold the ranch for about $500,000.
The feds contend that William Galioto was merely acting as a front for his brother-in-law, Little Jimmy. Prosecutors call William Galioto nothing more than Marcello’s “alter ego” in the ranch sale.
The feds want those sale proceeds, however they can get it.
A federal judge will decide if the Galiotos will be on the hook for the money. An attorney for the Galiotos declined to comment Monday.
So for now, the federal tab goes to the couple — $473,485.62.
Plus interest.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/13947907-452/mob-ties-come-at-a-high-price.html

Scarfo Jr codefendant seeks judge's recusal from upcoming trial




Salvatore Pelullo, the Elkins Park businessman charged with Nicodemo S. Scarfo in a $12 million financial fraud case.
Reputed mob associate Salvatore Pelullo, a key figure in a multimillion-dollar fraud case, says U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler should step down as trial judge because of bias and demonstrated "favoritism" toward the government.
Among the examples cited by the wannabe wiseguy?
Pelullo said the judge failed to wish him a happy birthday.
In an affidavit that is part of the motion asking the judge to recuse himself, Pelullo said that during a break in a pretrial hearing in March, Kugler inquired about the health of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Page, a prosecutor in the case who had recently had a baby. Pelullo noted that Kugler asked other prosecutors "to pass on your good wishes."
Conversely, Pelullo said, "you had all my information and did not wish me a happy birthday."
Pelullo's birthday was in April.
Pelullo, 45, acknowledged that the comparison "sounds ridiculous," but said it underscored his perception that he would not get a fair trial before Kugler.
The judge has given no indication when he will rule on the request. The motion was filed Wednesday, a few hours after federal prosecutors asked for the court to order a "mental competency" test for Pelullo.
Pelullo and mobster Nicodemo Scarfo Jr are accused of orchestrating the takeover and looting of FirstPlus Financial, a Texas-based mortgage company. The government alleges that the two siphoned more than $12 million out of the company through a series of phony business deals and bogus consulting contracts.
The charges are based on a lengthy FBI investigation that began in 2007 and concluded with a 25-count indictment handed up in October. Ten others, including several lawyers and an accountant, have also been charged.
Pelullo's motion asking Kugler to recuse himself has at least temporarily derailed the already slow-moving pretrial proceedings.
The trial is not expected to begin until some time next year and could take from four to six months.
A status conference Thursday was quickly adjourned by Kugler, who put all pretrial proceedings on hold while he considers the motion.
In the affidavit, Pelullo accused Kugler of acting as "the government's interpreter" during legal arguments and said that "leaves an impression of bias or prejudice." He also said the judge applied different standards in determining who should be free on bail.
Pelullo and Scarfo, 46, have been denied bail. All the other defendants have been freed pending trial.
Troy Archie, Pelullo's court-appointed attorney, argued that Kugler's knowledge of the case prior to the indictment raised questions about his impartiality.
Kugler signed several of the wiretap authorizations required by the FBI during its investigation. Court documents indicate that the evidence in the case includes 8,500 conversations secretly recorded over a two-year period.
In signing the authorizations and in reviewing FBI affidavits that were part of the wiretap applications, Archie argued, Kugler gained information about the case and about Pelullo that could influence his future rulings.
Archie also contended that Kugler did not fully disclose to defense attorneys his pre-indictment involvement and said that "this failure is alone sufficient to establish that his impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
Prosecutors have 30 days to respond to the recusal motion.
In a separate filing earlier Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D'Aguanno asked Kugler to order a "psychiatric and psychological examination" of Pelullo.
Among other things, the prosecutor cited complaints from Pelullo and his lawyer that medications Pelullo is receiving in the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia "have rendered him 'unable to reasonably assist counsel in trial preparation.' "
In an earlier motion seeking bail and house arrest, Archie had said his client took prescription medication for depression, mood stabilization, and anxiety.
The motion included a letter from one of Pelullo's doctors indicating that Pelullo had "a history of . . . substance abuse," that he was bipolar, and that he suffered from mood swings and erratic behavior.

http://articles.philly.com/2012-07-27/news/32890197_1_kugler-pelullo-and-scarfo-salvatore-pelullo

Nobody ran harder and faster through Vegas than this guy

English: This is Jimmy Chagra in 2005 at my ho...
I'm seated across from a darkly handsome man in his early 60s. We are on the patio of a municipal golf course in Mesa, Ariz. It's late June, and the temperature is 114. We are outside because I don't want innocent golfers settling their $2 bets at the sandwich bar to overhear our conversation.
The man I'm speaking with could easily have played a lead role in "The Sopranos." I can tell he's had a hard life. I'm aware that he's recently been released from 24 years in a variety of federal prisons. His name is James Madrid, but that's not his real name.
He has been assigned the new moniker because of his membership in an exclusive club that you and I never want our children to join. It's called the Federal Witness Protection Program.
- - -
In 1969 Jimmy Chagra was 24 years old and working in the family carpet business in El Paso. The store's slogan: "A floor without a rug is a like a kiss without a hug."
It was steady work, but Jimmy knew his life was going nowhere. He had gone through basic training with an Army reserve unit, had unsuccessfully tried a semester of community college, and had a brief marriage behind him. Meanwhile, his eight-years-older brother Lee had graduated from the University of Texas Law School fourth in his class and was developing a reputation as one of the best drug defense attorneys in the Southwest.
Jimmy admired and envied Lee, especially the material things that his success provided: fast cars, faster women and gambling trips to Las Vegas.
Then one day Jimmy got a phone call that would change everything. It was from his buddy Pete Krutschewski, back from a tour in Vietnam as a highly decorated helicopter pilot. Pete explained that even with the many medals he'd earned fighting for his country, he'd been unable to find a good job.
Pete was bitter at following a brave and righteous path without any reward, and he convinced Chagra that with Jimmy's fluency in Spanish, and his flying skills, they could become partners in the marijuana business. It was an industry that was sweeping the country, particularly on college campuses where so many students were against the war. Pot was the popular drug of choice to celebrate music, free love and the advent of a counter culture that drew its spiritual license from the heart of Haight-Ashbury and the Woodstock Generation.
On their first drug run from Mexico City in a rented plane, Jimmy and Pete unloaded more than 700 pounds of grade-A weed to a band of trust-fund hippies in Aspen. They netted $85,000 on the transaction. Jimmy Chagra would never look back.
Over the next 10 years, Jimmy and Pete and their posse of renegades would become arguably the largest marijuana importers in the world.
Their empire grew to a fleet of six planes and four freighter ships. They had the prime minister of the Bahamas, Lynden Pindling, on the payroll to allow their ships safe passage through the Bahamas. They also paid DEA officials and border cops to look the other way. Jimmy even cut a deal with Mafia crime boss Raymond Patriarca to allow his ships to unload their cargo along the Massachusetts coastline.
It was not long before Lee Chagra was drawn into his kid brother's business. The lure of regular shipments that netted between $5 million and $10 million a drop was too great to pass up.
When Jimmy and Lee Chagra flew into Las Vegas in the mid-'70s on their gambling forays, they would bring millions of dollars of cash in foot lockers, which they would store in the casino cage at Caesars Palace.
"Count it out, and we'll settle later," Jimmy would tell the cashier. Many a night, the Chagra brothers would play all six spots on a blackjack table, for anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 a hand. A pit boss once approached Jimmy and said the casino was short of cash because they'd been hit hard in the baccarat pit by some Asian high rollers. He asked Chagra if they could borrow $5 million from him. He made the hotel sign a marker.
He paid off one cocktail waitress's $50,000 mortgage when he heard she was raising three kids by herself.
If "whale" was an operative term in the casinos back then, these guys were Moby Dick and his twin brother.
Jimmy once had Frank Sinatra moved to another room at Caesars, because he and his entourage wanted the Sinatra Suite. Although Frank was packing the showroom every night, the casino was netting more from Chagra's gambling losses.
When Sydney Pollack was filming "The Electric Horseman" in the Caesars casino, Jimmy was given a small speaking role, in part because he was supplying primo weed to the crew and some of the actors.
Life was good for Jimmy Chagra throughout the 1970s, until it all came crashing down with the murder of his big brother around Christmas of 1978.
- - -
Fast forward to the patio in Mesa, where we pick up on the conversation with the man now called James Madrid. It's June 29, 2006.
Through numerous phone calls and close connections, including our former mayor who had successfully defended Chagra in what was called "the trial of the century," I find myself sitting across from Jimmy Chagra in the only one-on-one filmed interview he has ever allowed.
Jimmy has been released from his long prison stretch in part because he has terminal lung cancer, and in part because he provided information on other crimes.
If it's true that Dying Men Don't Tell Lies, that might explain why in that initial session, and over the next 18 months, I become privy to the story behind the only assassination of a federal judge in U.S. history. I learn the details of how the father of actor Woody Harrelson first approached Chagra with a proposition to carry out the hit - which he was later convicted of - and what it's like to stay alive in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary when other death row inmates know they will gain notoriety by taking out the most famous inmate in their cell block.
Jimmy tells me about a night he heard horrible screaming coming from the cell next to his, and how after a long moment of eerie silence a human head with blood pouring out the neck came rolling past his cell.
This is just one of dozens of grizzly tales I am to hear from this man with a fictitious name.
"Prison is not a nice place," he tells me over and over again.
I can't speak to the total truth of all the stories I got from Jimmy Chagra in the last year of his life, but the ones I was able to check out all proved to be true. And one thing I can say with certainty is that in my 37 years in Las Vegas, I have yet to meet anyone who ran harder and faster through this city than him.
Within an hour of his death on July 25, 2008, I received a phone call from his wife Linda that Jimmy was gone. He had six children from different wives, but I was just the second person she had called with the news.
There's a movie or three in there somewhere.
Las Vegas author Jack Sheehan writes monthly for the Review-Journal.

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/no-one-ran-harder-faster-through-vegas-162504686.html

Feds seeking accused hitman's alibi during attempted murder of retired mob boss

Enrico Ponzo- 1994 (FBI photo)
Federal prosecutors want the former fugitive they’ve accused of trying to whack now-retired New England mob chief Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme outside a Saugus flapjack restaurant to detail in writing where he was and what he was doing on June 16, 1989, between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m., when Salemme was dodging bullets.
The U.S. attorney’s office filed the request Friday for Enrico M. Ponzo’s alibi. Ponzo’s attorney David Duncan could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Ponzo has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including racketeering, con-- spiracy to commit murder and use of firearms.
A trial date has not been set.
The 44-year-old reputed gangster and father of two was on the lam for 14 years before authorities captured him in February last year running a cattle ranch in Idaho under the assumed name Jeffrey John Shaw. Ponzo is accused of trying to kill Salemme on June 16, 1989, at the International House of Pancakes on Route 1 in Saugus as part of a failed coup of La Cosa Nostra’s Patriarca family.

Mobsters arent made like Al Capone anymore

Al Capone
Here’s how things have changed in organized crime.
Back during the Depression, Al Capone was the welfare system in Chicago. He ran his own soup kitchens.
Now, the gangsters themselves are on welfare.
We have all these busts this week, and what have we learned from the gang of Juan “White Boy” Guzman? For one thing, they’re not just a “crime” family, they’re a welfare family.
White Boy’s future mother-in-law — she’s on “Social Security” (more likely SSI or SSDI) and lives in a “subsidized apartment.” Think Sect. 8. According to her lawyer, she “does try to get housecleaning jobs from time to time.” I’ll bet. When was the last time she filed quarterly estimated tax statements?
Providence has always been mobbed up. Raymond Patriarca operated out of the National Cigarette Service Company on Federal Hill. His successor, Baby Shanks, had a Laundromat.
This larger drug gang that was mixed up with White Boy — their Providence contact ran the Mango Bar & Grill. And the boss wasn’t some guy named Raymond or Luigi either. The Mango’s proprietor was one Thevenyn Nova.
In a gang where at least one of the members was a once-deported illegal alien — pardon me, “new American” — you will be shocked to know that multiple driver’s licenses were the norm.
From the 97-page DEA affidavit on the larger gang:
“Chala bears no resemblance to the RMV photograph (on his license) ... In addition to the name BONILLA, agents were also able to locate two additional MA driver’s licenses with ‘Chala’s’ photograph, under the names Erich Diaz and Jonathan C. Parilla, both of which have criminal records related to drug trafficking.”
Try not to let this destroy your faith in the security measures of the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
In the new gangs, discipline isn’t quite what it used to be. On June 12, a fellow named Kelmyn Mejia leaves the lovely city of Lawrence on his way to Providence with an alleged 130 grams of heroin in the car. The old-timers might have had a crash car travelling behind the drug vehicle, to ram any cop car that tried to pull over the mule.
None of that for Mejia. He gets out of I-495 by himself and guns the car up to 80 mph. Blue lights appear, the rest of memorialized in the DEA affidavit.
The Mafia bosses used to talk about “the old country.” Now, the new Americans talk about making a pickup in Costa Rica, only they call it the land “where the pineapples and yuccas are.”
One thing that’s no different? The new crowd’s texts are just as illiterate as everybody’s else. Here’s Toribio looking for some people:
“Heyyy Kathy wassup I need to get in contact with Onassi or mike if u have any of there numbers please.”
You wanna know wassup, Toribio? You have the right to remain silent ...

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view/20220713they_dont_make_em_like_capone_anymore/

Defendants raise fair trial issue in Scarfo Jr case

Nicodemo S. Scarfo in a Morris County courtroom.
Arguing that the taint of organized crime will deny them a fair trial, six defendants who are charged along with mobster Nicodemo Scarfo in a multimillion-dollar fraud case don't want to be sitting at the defense table with the South Jersey wiseguy when a jury begins deliberating their fates.
The defendants, charged in what authorities allege was a racketeering scheme in which more than $12 million was taken from FirstPlus Financial, a beleaguered Texas mortgage company, have filed severance motions asking to be tried separately.
"La Cosa Nostra allegations could have a highly prejudicial effect," an attorney for Gary McCarthy argued in a motion for severance filed last month , adding that the allegations of mob connections created the risk a jury would find defendants "guilty by association rather than by real evidence."
McCarthy, 53, a New York City tax and estate planning lawyer, is one of 13 defendants charged in the 25-count indictment handed up in November. Authorities allege that McCarthy helped set up companies and business transactions that were part of a racketeering scheme.
He and the other defendants charged in the scheme have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors are expected to oppose the requests for severance. Their reply brief is due next week.
Authorities allege that Scarfo, 46, and mob associate Salvatore Pelullo, 44, took control of the FirstPlus board of directors in 2007 and used phony business deals and bogus consulting contracts to siphon millions out of the company.
The money was used to finance a lavish lifestyle for Scarfo and Pelullo that included the purchase of an $850,000 luxury yacht, a $715,000 home, expensive automobiles, including a Bentley valued at $217,000 and an Audi worth more than $100,000, and free use of the company's corporate jet to travel around the country.
Most of the severance motions suggest Pelullo; Scarfo, the son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo; and several other defendants who were part of the day-to-day decision making at FirstPlus should be tried first.
Those defendants would include John Maxwell, 59, who was the company's chief executive officer, and Maxwell's brother William, 52, a lawyer who did extensive work for the company.
William Maxwell is charged with taking $3.5 million in legal fees for little work and passing $1.5 million on to Scarfo and Pelullo through consulting contracts.
Scarfo and Pelullo were charged with using their ties to the Lucchese crime family to force their way into FirstPlus in 2007 and of resorting to intimidation to advance their scheme.
They are also tied to what McCarthy's lawyer described as an "arsenal of weapons" that has nothing to do with the charges McCarthy and several other defendants face.
During a series of raids in May 2008, the FBI found three handguns, two rifles, a shotgun, and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition on the yacht, two handguns in Pelullo's home, and another handgun in Scarfo's home.
As convicted felons, Pelullo and Scarfo are prohibited from having guns or ammunition.
McCarthy's lawyer also argued that if all the defendants were tried at the same time, the trial would last "many, many months" and the jury would be hard-pressed to distinguish among the multiple charges and the layers of evidence.
"A monster trial such as this would create an exceedingly high danger that [McCarthy], a defendant more on the periphery of this case . . . will be crushed beneath the weight of the government's case against other defendants named in more counts and charged in more conspiracies," he argued.
Evidence includes "8,500 recorded conversations, one million hard-copy documents, and tens of millions of electronic files," according to the severance motion.
The trial is expected to take four to six months.
Other defendants who have asked for severance include David Adler, 64, a New York lawyer who handled SEC filings for FirstPlus; Howard Drossner, 50, an Ambler accountant who handled financial records; William Handley, 61, described as a "long-time friend" of Pelullo's who became chief financial officer of FirstPlus after the alleged secret takeover; Donald Manno, 65, Scarfo's long-time Cherry Hill defense attorney; and John Parisi, 50, Scarfo's cousin, who authorities allege managed one of the New Jersey straw companies Scarfo and Pelullo set up to loot FirstPlus. In his severance motion, Drossner's lawyer argued that "sensational and inflammatory allegations" about the mob would deny him a fair trial.
Scarfo and Pelullo are the only defendants being held without bail.
Other defendants include Scarfo's wife, Lisa Murray-Scarfo, 32, who is charged with bank fraud in connection with what authorities allege was a scheme by Scarfo to illegally obtain a $500,000 mortgage on a $715,000 house in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County.
The Scarfos gave up that house shortly after they and the other defendants were arrested in November. Murray-Scarfo and Todd Stark, 43, were the only defendants not charged with racketeering conspiracy.
Stark, of Ocean City, pleaded guilty to a weapons offense last month and awaits sentencing.
He faces a guideline range of 12 to 18 months, according to his lawyer. Scarfo and Pelullo face the stiffest potential sentences if convicted. Both are looking at 30 years to life.

http://articles.philly.com/2012-07-24/news/32805708_1_scarfo-and-pelullo-salvatore-pelullo-firstplus

Former New England mob boss moved out of Rhode Island jail

Louis Manocchio mug_20110120132318_JPG
The former mob boss of the New England mob has been moved out of the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls and is on his way to another prison to serve out the rest of his sentence, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.
Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, 85, of Providence, was transported Friday from the Central Falls facility where he has been housed since February 2011, multiple sources tell Target 12. One source said it could take "several days" for the US Marshals service to transport him to the prison where he will continue to serve his 5 1/2 year sentence.
The Wyatt Detention Center is a temporary facility to house US Marshal detainees waiting for trial or in the process of being transported to a permanent prison.
Reached by phone his attorney Joseph Balliro Sr. said he was not aware that his client was moved, but he said that isn't unusual.
"I've had inmates taken out of a shower and told 'it's time to go,'" Balliro said.
During sentencing in May, Balliro asked U.S. District Court Judge William Smith to recommend his client be moved to Florida because of health concerns.
Asked what is ailing Manocchio, Balliro said he's "doing reasonably" well for a man of his age.
"He's got the customary problems of an 85 year-old," Balliro said.
He said he does not know where Manocchio will end up, but is happy to know he is no longer at the Wyatt.
"Everything about it is lousy," Balliro said. "The confinement conditions, the food, the visits, everything is lousy about it."
Sources tell Target 12 Manocchio will not end up in Florida but is moving to a warmer climate.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons website puts Manocchio's status as "in transit."
Once he reaches his new home, Manocchio will have roughly four years left to serve. He's been in federal custody since his arrest in January 2011 when he was picked up at Fort Lauderdale airport about to board a plane back to Providence. It took nearly a month to get the aging mobster back to Rhode Island to face charges.
Manocchio pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy for shaking down strip clubs for protection money.
In all nine defendants have been charged in a sweeping crackdown into organized crime. Seven men have pleaded guilty and two are still headed for trial.

http://www.wpri.com/dpp/target_12/inside_mafia/manocchio-moved-out-of-rhode-island

The Last Don set to testify at upcoming murder trial of NYPD officer

http://api.ning.com/files/*n5WDh-q1XTn9V1ZJinAmMB58B7zdaI6ZD0mIcA5-68isWPvaFD8VRzjdULO*kR6rTyHX7X0ZfFehLsWYXUKeXZOugK68fb1/massino_j.jpg
The “Last Don” is now slated to take the witness stand at the upcoming death-penalty trial of a ranking Colombo mobster who allegedly ordered the murder of an off-duty NYPD officer, attorneys said yesterday.
Former Bonanno crime-family boss Joseph Massino — now an FBI informant — is expected to testify against Colombo consigliere Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace, who’s charged with sanctioning the 1997 hit on NYPD Officer Ralph Dols because the cop had married the wiseguy’s ex-wife.
Last year, Massino — once dubbed “The Last Don” — became the first boss in New York mob history to take the witness stand as a federal informant.

Republican Senator seeks answers on mob ties


Sen. Orrin Hatch is pressing a member of the National Labor Relations Board for answers on his past ties to a controversial union after Fox News and others reported on the group's extensive criminal past.
In a letter sent last week to NLRB member Richard Griffin, the Utah Republican senator flagged the charges, "ranging from racketeering and embezzlement to workplace sabotage and crimes of violence," faced by members of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
The IUOE, a union of heavy equipment operators, is where Griffin previously served as general counsel. Hatch cited recent reporting by Fox News and others about union members' criminal past in questioning Griffin on his own involvement.
"While it appears that you did not directly represent any accused members or officials of IUOE locals in these proceedings, these reports raise questions regarding your tenure at the union," Hatch wrote.
Hatch asked Griffin about his role in a slew of cases involving union members and associates. Hatch and other Republicans are also annoyed over the fact that Griffin was installed via recess appointment -- meaning President Obama named him to the seat without a Senate vote.
Hatch said in his letter he does not consider the appointment to be "legitimate," and complained about the lack of public vetting.
"Under normal circumstances, such matters would properly be explored during Senate confirmation hearings," he said. "However, because of President Obama's decision to bypass the Senate with respect to your nomination, the Senate has not had an opportunity to fully examine either your record or your qualifications."
Hatch, in protest of the recess appointment, actually sent the letter to Griffin's old union office and not the NLRB.
But Griffin caught wind of it anyway. An NLRB spokesman, without going into detail, said Griffin is preparing a response to Hatch.
Public documents obtained by Fox News show that more than 60 IUOE members have been arrested, indicted or jailed in the last decade on charges that include labor racketeering, extortion, criminal enterprise, bodily harm and workplace sabotage.
In some of the more egregious examples, federal prosecutors alleged in February 2003 that the Genovese and Colombo crime families wrested control of two IUOE locals, and stole $3.6 million from major New York area construction projects -- including the Museum of Modern Art and minor league baseball stadiums for the Yankees and Mets in Staten and Coney Islands.
Congress and the American public may never know whether Griffin's fiduciary responsibilities as general counsel were compromised by the avalanche of arrests, indictments and prosecutions of IUOE members.
Before joining the NLRB, he served in various positions at the IUOE dating back to 1983.
Griffin was sworn in for the NLRB post in January of this year.

New England mobster turned secret FBI informant sentenced 7 to 9 years in prison


Mark Rossetti, a well-known Mafia figure who was secretly cooperating with the FBI as an informant, was sentenced to seven to nine years in state prison Thursday for planning a break-in at a Roslindale home.
Rossetti, 52, a captain in the New England Mafia who was convicted earlier this month of planning the break-in, had been serving as an FBI informant at the time. He had schemed, in the crime, to rob a drug dealer of heroin and thousands of dollars in cash.
A codefendant — Yasmani Quezada, 31, who had ties to the drug dealer — was sentenced to 4½ to seven years in state prison.
Rossetti was charged two years ago as the leader of a crime ring known as the ­Rossetti organization. He is set to go to trial on other charges related to the operation of the crime ring, including drug dealing, loan sharking, and extortion.
The breaking and entering was only the first component of his trials. But Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Connors said that in handing out the sentence he was taking ­into account Rossetti’s history of crime, including an ­armored car heist two decades ago.
“This was a crime of elaborate planning, and it was a predatory crime,” Connors said.
Court records related to the cases of several of Rossetti’s defendants revealed last year that the Mafioso, who has been called a suspect in several slayings, was secretly working as an FBI informant. The FBI released a statement saying that it worked with State Police and that its relationship with Rossetti was terminated.
But the relationship came under intense criticism, and it was not known what the FBI knew of Rossetti’s crimes. US Representative Stephen Lynch, citing the agency’s scandalous relationship with James “Whitey” Bulger, called for hearings to determine whether the agency was following its own protocol on the use of informants in dealing with Rossetti.
The FBI said Thursday that it is conducting an internal ­review of the relationship.

http://articles.boston.com/2012-07-27/metro/32871695_1_fbi-informant-drug-dealer-rossetti

Rising star in the Gambino crime family gets 10 years


One of the leaders of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced to over 10 years in prison by the Manhattan federal court on July 26.
Alphonse Trucchio—one of the youngest mobsters to be made a captain in mafia history—previously pledged guilty on Feb. 17, for narcotics trafficking, assault, illegal gambling, and loansharking—which is the collecting of credit at extortionate rates.
“They can’t take my honor,” said capo Alphonse Trucchio, 35, as marshals escorted him from the courtroom after sentencing in Manhattan Federal Court.
Although this mafia traditionally purportedly spurned drug trafficking, Trucchio looked over a large drug trafficking ring, which operated primarily in Queens, New York. He rose to power after his father was given a life sentence in 2005. He joined the crime family at age 20, and became its leader 10 years later. He is currently 35 years old.
“Alphonse Trucchio rose to a leadership position in the Gambino crime family at a young age, and his future may have seemed bright—but now the life he chose has led, as it has for so many others in the mafia, to living behind bars,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

In addition to time behind bars, Trucchio has also been sentenced to five years of supervised release. He must pay $100,000 in forfeiture, and a $500 special assessment fee.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/brooklyn-based-mafia-leader-sentenced-to-10-years-271088.html

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Inmate pleads guilty to escape from prison transport van


If you lived in central Kentucky in April of 2010, you'll remember the name Derek Capozzi.

The federal inmate escaped from a prisoner transport van in Woodford County and kept people in the area on edge for the three days he was on the run.

He was finally recaptured in Versailles behind a factory.

According to court documents, on Monday in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Capozzi entered a conditional guilty plea to escape.

That means he admitted to escaping, but it allowed him to still appeal two things, a double jeopardy claim and a medical necessity claim.

According to court documents, Capozzi claimed he only escaped because he wanted medical help for a hole in his heart.

Capozzi had been moved from a prison in Maryland to the Grayson County Detention Center in Kentucky because he was a witness in a federal case in London.

He was being taken to Blue Grass Airport in Lexington when he escaped.

At the time of his escape, Capozzi was serving a lengthy sentence for federal crimes, including dismembering a 19-year old girl.

Capozzi is scheduled to be sentenced on the escape conditional guilty plea on September 4th. 

http://www.wtvq.com/content/localnews/story/Federal-Inmate-Pleads-Guilty-To-Escape/dd4C7zu1P0ukeiKt_g8rsA.cspx

Feds plan to use violent history against the Philly mob

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mob associate claims he escaped prison transport bus to get medical care

An inmate with Mafia ties is asking a judge to have a heart, claiming his own ticker is in such bad shape, he just had to escape from federal custody to seek help.
Derek A. Capozzi, convicted in a gangster-related killing in Massachusetts, said he kicked out the back of a U.S. Marshals transport van in April 2010 because he can't get the medical care he needs while behind bars.
Prosecutors said when he was on the lam for several days, he didn't seek any treatment. And when he was captured in a Dairy Queen parking lot in central Kentucky, marshals said, he had a different excuse for escape: "I'm pulling 53 years."
Capozzi is to appear before U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood on Monday in Lexington on a federal escape charge.
Capozzi is in prison for his role in the 1996 killing and dismemberment of 19-year-old Aislin Silva. She was ordered killed by the leader of the Mafia-affiliated gang that Capozzi belonged to, so she wouldn't be able to cooperate with federal investigators, prosecutors said.
Capozzi claimed in court documents that several doctors have determined he needs to have his heart repaired after he was stabbed in the chest in 2008 while in a federal prison in California.
"In the time leading up to his escape and subsequent to his apprehension, (Capozzi) experienced irregular heartbeats and restrictions of breath," his attorney, Steven Milner, wrote in court documents.
Capozzi contends he has
repeatedly been assured his heart problem will be addressed, but each time he is transferred to another state before anything is done. The judge has not been persuaded by Capozzi's medical pleas, ruling the inmate may not argue that he tried to escape to seek medical attention.
"Moreover, there has been no explanation as to why he believed that escape would provide him sufficient opportunity to seek competent medical care without further interference by (Bureau of Prisons) officials or law enforcement officers, given that he must have known that he would be the subject of an extensive manhunt," Hood wrote.
Motions filed Friday indicate Capozzi intends to plead guilty but reserve the right to appeal the judge's rejection of his medical necessity defense.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Malloy has said Capozzi didn't seek medical help after his escape.
"He hid out in a dentist's office," Malloy wrote in court documents.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21132489/inmate-claims-he-had-escape-get-medical-care

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia by Sal Polisi


 John Gotti with son John Jr.
 
John Gotti with son John Jr.
 
From the forthcoming book THE SINATRA CLUB by Sal Polisi and Steve Dougherty to be published by Gallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed by permission.

Johnny Dio did me a couple of favors in Lewisburg (federal penitentiary) when he got me out of the prison factory and onto the yard detail. Three years after I got out, Dio called in those favors. I don’t know if it was because I said something he didn’t like or I didn’t pay him respect or maybe he could sense that I thought he was a vicious prick. Whatever the reason, he gave me the kind of assignment you’d give your worse enemy. It made me wish I never heard of Johnny Dio.
He was inside the joint, but he still had power and influence in both the Lucchese and Gambino Families. The son of a capo in Florida was sleeping with the wife of another made guy. If the kid had been made himself, he would have been whacked for messing with the man’s wife. The old dons back in Sicily knew that’s how family feuds began. The Sicilians figured kill the guy right away and you’ll save yourself a lot of carnage. The Family involved — I don’t know if the capo’s kid and the guy whose wife he was f------ were in the same Family or not; I was never told and I knew better than to ask — they consulted Dio in prison and asked him what to do. He suggested they use the old Murder Incorporated punishment. Instead of killing the f-----, they should cut his balls off. Dio said he knew just the man for the job; an ex-con who owed him — me.
I’ll spare you and and me the details, but I did it. And after I did I wished I’d gotten the hell out of the Life before I did.
Things sicker even than that were going down that year. There was an orgy of off-the-books killings like the Mob had never seen before. Traditionally all Mob hits had to be approved by a boss, and approval was granted only if there was good reason to perform the murder. Killings to settle personal scores or those motivated purely by greed were forbidden. By the late 1970s, those rules were forgotten or ignored. Guys started doing unsanctioned hits over drugs and money left and right.
SINATRA22N_7_WEB

My own boss and friend Dominic Cataldo was one of the worst offenders. He’d been whacking drug business partners without permission for years. The richer he got, the more paranoid and bloodthirsty he got. Dom used to do hits on guys right in the back of his restaurant, the Villagio Italia (Ozone Park), then he put them in the trunk of his car and drove them up to Boot Hill. Now he started planting guys there faster than they could dig their own graves. Which was Dominic’s idea of a good joke.
Boot Hill was upstate off the Taconic Parkway near Beacon, New York. He told me how he got a guy to help take a body up there one day. He got the guy to dig the hole and they threw the body in. Then Dom said, Oh, s---, he forgot to see what the stiff had on him. So he got his helper to get down in the hole and see what he could find. The guy searched the body and handed a wallet, a wad of cash, a watch, a ring, and a gold chain up to Dom. Dom said, “Thanks,” and shot him in the head. Then he shoveled dirt on top of both dead guys.
Dom thought that was a f------ hoot.
He saw killing as the solution to every problem. He told me he was having trouble at home and his wife threatened to leave him. He said to her go ahead, get the f--- out, but if you do I’m going to kill your parents. That was Dom’s way to solve his domestic problems — whack the whole family.
SINATRA22N_8_WEB
Dom was just one of many homicidal maniacs in the Mob at the time. There was a total breakdown of order. The killings were not about power struggles between the families, weren’t turf wars, weren’t even about revenge. There was no plan or strategy. It was just a bloodbath. There was nothing like it before in the whole history of the Five Families. I guess it was the death throes of the Mob.
You had crews like Roy DeMeo’s that performed hits like Murder Incorporated, only they did them with or without contracts. DeMeo’s crew were Gambinos under Nino Gaggi. They did a lot of business with the (hit men John and Charles) Carneglias, whacking guys connected to their auto-exporting business and using Charles’s acid drums to get rid of the bodies. They also killed indiscriminately. They’d whack the guy delivering a pizza if he couldn’t break a $20.
They turned killing into some kind of blood orgy where they shot victims and drained the blood and stripped naked and cut up the bodies. They got naked so they didn’t get guts and brains and gore on their clothes. But a bunch of naked Mob guys drenched in blood? That’s some sick s---. It was during that time when the Mob was on a blood rampage that Dom started making noise that it was time I got my button. I think in his coke-eaten brain he was getting more and more paranoid and suspicious of everybody around him, counting me. He was starting to worry that I might flip on him or rip him off.
My entire career as a hoodlum, I expected that sooner or later I’d kill on order and get my button. By the time getting made became an issue, I wasn’t interested anymore. I had grown sick of the Life and sick of the death and the killing.
I think Dominic sensed that, because when he finally gave the order that would make my bones, it wasn’t to whack a guy but simply to participate in a murder. For my initiation into the Colombo Family, I was ordered to dig a grave. I drove out to the Hamptons and found a spot along a deserted stretch of beach. The soil was sandy, but it still took me most of the night to dig a hole six feet long, three feet wide, and six feet deep. I finished and went to meet Dominic back in Ozone Park. When I got there, he said the deal was off. The guy he was going to whack had won a reprieve. I drove back to the beach and filled in the hole before dawn.
Later that day I went to watch one of my sons’ Pop Warner games. I was standing on the sidelines, and I looked down and saw that I still had sand on my shoes from the grave digging. I stamped the sand off my feet. It felt like something filthy, that I had brought something from the world of death and violence there to the playing field where my son and all those other boys were playing.
It made me realize that I didn’t want any part of that world anymore. A friend had said to me that once you pull the trigger, you can’t stop the bullet, you can’t take it back. Burying a body wasn’t exactly pulling the trigger, but if I had done it, if Dominic had killed the guy and I had shoveled sand over the corpse, I wouldn’t have been able to take that back either.
SINATRA22N_1_WEB
I’d seen John Gotti a couple of months before at a Pop Warner football game. The coach had cut his son Frankie from the starting lineup because he was overweight. John drove out to the game and raised hell about it. It was hard to believe that the coach didn’t know who John was, but he didn’t back down. He said Frankie was a good player, but he was out of shape and huffing and puffing in practice. The coach said he’d put Frankie back in, but he needed to trim down first. The coach stuck to his guns and Frankie stayed on the bench.
John was furious. He pulled me aside and said he was going to take care of that f------ coach. He was dead serious. He wanted to whack the Pop Warner football coach. I realized he was just like Dominic. He thought whacking guys was the solution to any problem.
John was my friend, and in a way he was even my mentor. But what I learned from John in 1980 (after the neighbor who killed Frankie in a car accident disappeared, presumed murdered) was that I was finished. I was done with the madness and killing and death. I was done with the Mob.
That year I drove upstate, to a little town outside Port Jervis. I shopped around for a house and bought a big piece of property outside town. I started to fix it up so when the time was right I could move my family up there and get my kids as far away from the Life as I could go.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mob-lost-mind-sinatra-club-psychos-killed-reason-article-1.1119280#ixzz21N086Bvu