The FBI and NYPD weren't invited to the Bonanno Christmas party at Bocelli's in Staten Island, but they were nearby. They took photos of some of the participants.
A federal judge summed up his feelings about the new Bonanno crime family boss hosting a Christmas party at an Italian restaurant in Staten Island by quoting Yogi Berra and Forrest Gump.
"In the words of the great Yogi Berra, it's déjà vu all over again," Judge Nicholas Garaufis said, somewhat sadly, in Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday.
"And that's all I'm going to say about that, in the words of Forrest Gump," he added.
Federal Magistrate Nicholas G. Garaufis
Garaufis, has presided over prosecutions of scores of Bonanno gangsters since 2002, including the reputed new street boss Joseph Cammarano, Jr., who was honored by the presence of more than a dozen high-ranking gangsters at the six-hour bash on Dec. 16 at Bocelli's restaurant.
The six-hour Bonanno Christmas party included more than a dozen high-ranking gangsters.
Mob minions made a pilgrimage to the mandatory party, which featured giving the boss envelopes stuffed with cash.
"This was a modern day version of what happened in Apalachin, New York," Garaufis said, referring to the 1957 conclave in upstate New York that proved the existence of the Mafia to doubters at the time.
Federal prosecutors say there was mandatory attendance for the gangsters to pay homage to Cammarano, Jr., who was celebrating his elevation to official underboss and acting street boss.
The judge, meanwhile, refused to release three gangsters on bail who violated their federal supervised release by associating with their fellow mob members. Cammarano has not been charged.