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

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Genovese mobster told debtor that his skin color saved him

A high-ranking mob enforcer from Queens told a gambler who owed his boss money he was saved by the color of his skin.

Federal prosecutors say alleged Genovese family soldier Israel "Buddy" Torres, 66, bragged about using racist language to threaten a man over a $30,000 debt owed to a mob capo, recently filed court papers reveal.

“Come up two days, you better have the f---in’ money. If you don’t, you know what’s gonna f---in’ happen,” the tough guy allegedly said during a secretly taped 2011 conversation.

“You’re f---in’ white,” Torres allegedly continued. “If you were a f---in’ n-----, you’d be dead now.”

Cops collared Torres in August along with nearly 40 other alleged wiseguys from the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno and Philadelphia crime families.

The group ran a massive gambling and loansharking racket spanning from Massachusetts to South Florida, according to a federal complaint released by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.

The alleged La Cosa Nosta members, playing different roles in the sports gambling operations, used websites to keep track of wagers and proceeds, prosecutors said.

Several of the men are accused of running an illegal operation in Yonkers that took horse bets and staged poker and dice tournaments.

“The mob remains a scourge to this city and around the country,” Bharara said in a statement. “Today’s Mafia is fully diversified in its boundless search for illegal profits.”

Torres has been unsuccessfully pushing for bail since his arrest.

Authorities contend he is a career criminal and enforcer for Pasquale "Patsy" Parrello, “a made and high-ranking member of the Genovese crime family,” who does his dirty dealings out of his Arthur Ave. restaurant in the Bronx, Pasquale’s Rigoletto.

“Now you’re responsible for it,” Torres claims he told the debtor who owed money to Parrello. “So use your f---in’ head because you’re not gonna see me again. Somebody will see you, it ain’t gonna be me.”

Torres is charged with racketeering, conspiracy and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering. He faces 40 years behind bars if convicted.


Mobster gets 14 years for killing Bonanno family boss in Canada

Raynald Desjardins, the prominent Quebec mobster who once boasted about keeping his mouth shut and serving his time in jail, has been sentenced to another stint in penitentiary, a 14-year sentence in connection with the murder of Salvatore Montagna, a one-time boss of the Bonanno crime family who had tried to take over the Montreal Mafia.
Because of the time already served since his arrest, Mr. Desjardins only has six and a half years left to in his sentence.
The case had been notable because it involved gangland settlings of accounts as various factions vied for power in the absence of the Mafia godfather of the time, Vito Rizzuto. Furthermore, the RCMP helped crack the case by decrypting BlackBerry messages and using covert cellphone tracking devices – but seven defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a deal that forestalled the police being forced to divulge more about its state-of-the-art surveillance technology.
In an e-mail, federal prosecutor Paul-Alexis Gauthier confirmed that Mr. Desjardins was sentenced Monday by Quebec Superior Court Justice AndrĂ© Vincent at Montreal’s Gouin courthouse, an ultra-secure facility initially built for biker trials.
He was initially charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.
The five years Mr. Desjardins has already spent in detention since his December, 2011, arrest was counted at a 1.5 ratio and the resulting seven and a half years deducted from his 14-year sentence.
Mr. Gauthier said the judge made no mention on ‎parole eligibility.
In his previous episode behind bars, a 15-year sentence for conspiring to smuggle 700 kilograms of cocaine, Mr. Desjardins was denied parole amid allegations he was still acting like a kingpin while behind bars.
This time, his safety is not guaranteed. Police last year charged Maurice (Mom) Boucher, the former Quebec Hells Angels kingpin now serving a life sentence, with plotting the murder of another inmate – Mr. Desjardins.
A rare francophone Quebecker who rose to prominence in the Montreal mafia, Mr. Desjardins was once a close associate of Mr. Rizzuto, the most powerful Mafia don in Canada until his 2013 death.
After Mr. Desjardins got his statutory release from his previous drug-trafficking sentence in 2004, he said he had built a new life as a construction entrepreneur.
However, the Charbonneau inquiry into corruption in the construction industry later heard that Mr. Desjardins managed to gain influence in a trade union.
Labour organizer Ken Pereira testified that when he had trouble with a corrupt executive at the FTQ-Construction union, he was summoned to a meeting with Mr. Desjardins.
“Listen, Ken,” Mr. Pereira said Mr. Desjardins told him. “I don’t know if you know, but I did 11 years in prison. I kept my mouth shut, I did my time, and that’s the way it should be.”
The Crown alleged that intercepted BlackBerry messages show that Mr. Desjardins and Mr. Montagna were rivals in the mob power struggles that erupted during the time Mr. Rizzuto was serving a sentence in the United States for racketeering, between 2004 and 2012.
Court evidence show that Mr. Desjardins complained to his men that Mr. Montagna’s crew was encroaching on their bookmaking, loan-sharking and protection rackets.
Mr. Montagna was gunned down in November, 2011. According to court testimony, shortly after the killing, Mr. Desjardins sent a terse BlackBerry message to an associate, Vittorio Mirarchi: “Done.”
“Perfect,” came the reply.
The next evening, the RCMP, which had been reading Mr. Desjardins’s messages, conducted an officer outside his house to deploy a mobile device identifier (MDI), a controversial machine also known as an IMSI catcher or a Stingray, which identifies the mobile phones in a given area.
Mr. Desjardins and his men were arrested on Dec. 20, 2011.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in July, 2015. Seven other defendants also pleaded guilty to lesser charges the following spring.
The Montreal Gazette reported this summer that Mr. Montagna’s widow, Francesca, testified at a court hearing that she would respect whatever sentence was imposed on Mr. Desjardins but, addressing him, said: “I will never forgive you. I tried, but I can’t. You will never know the harsh pain and struggle you caused us.”


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Junior Gotti reveals plans for Christmas day family meal

John Gotti Jr. cooks with the fishes.

The son of the late Dapper Don broke omerta and gave The Post a sneak preview of the spicy seafood stew he will serve Christmas Day at the Gotti manse in Oyster Bay, LI.

The Domestic Don, decked out in a red turtleneck, Christmas apron and signature Adidas track suit, whipped up the tasty dish Wednesday night in the kitchen of Saggio’s restaurant in East Norwich.

The key ingredients: calamari (squid), extra large shrimp, little neck clams, olive oil, garlic, parsley, white wine, black and red pepper.

“The shrimp, the calamari and the clams are all cooked separately. You do the calamari first because it takes the longest to make,” Gotti instructed.

“Then you are gonna make the shrimps next. Then the clams. Then … you’re going to marry them all together.”

It’s a meal made for a made man.

Gotti got the recipe after good friend Angelo Noviello made him the dish just after Gotti got out of prison in 2009. He makes male and female versions.
“If I’m making this for my sister Angel, who likes seafood … I add butter. Butter adds a sweetness to it. [But] Italian men like hard stuff. We like the hard garlic. The black pepper, the red pepper. We like the olive oil.”

Gotti said the secret ingredient is the red pepper.

“I like it flame-throwing hot,” he said. “I like the flames flying out my ass!”

In Italian households, Dec. 24 is the Feast of the Seven Fishes. So seven fish dishes is “mandatory,” Gotti said. “My mother enforces that rule.”

After all the eating and partying on Christmas Eve, “By Christmas Day, nobody wants to be bothered anymore. Everybody’s had enough, they’re tired,” Gotti said. Which is why it’s the perfect time for his delicious, but simple, seafood stew. The rest is pot luck.

“My father-in-law makes the lasagna, my wife makes the red sauce,” he said. “My sister Angel makes the ham. [Longtime family friend] Deborah Davis, she makes the turkey and the macaroni and cheese.”

On top of all that, there’s Chinese takeout.

“Everybody shows up with something. It’s a lot of food. We make enough food for 200 people,” Gotti said. “And I’m not kidding.”

Gotti said he will start serving food around 5 p.m. to the 60 or so family members and close friends who stop by. When people start to drift off around 10 p.m., Gotti will organize a card game of Continental that often lasts until the next morning.

Gotti said his seafood stew — unlike revenge — is best served warm.

Chicago outfit soldier arrested after secret recordings catch him planning robbery

A reputed Chicago Outfit soldier was arrested on gun charges this week after he was caught on undercover recordings bragging about plans to break into the home of an elderly suburban lawyer and force him to open a safe filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars, federal prosecutors say.

"Nothing gets my juices flowing like putting a gun to someone's head, taking their stuff, and making it mine," Charles "Chuckie" Russell was quoted in a court filing telling a government informant. "It will be a great Christmas, I'm telling you."

Russell, 67, was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly went to a South Loop deli to purchase eight guns from a person who turned out to be an undercover federal agent, according to a 26-page criminal complaint unsealed Thursday. He was charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ordered held until a bond hearing in early January.

An alleged member of the Chicago mob's Grand Avenue crew, Russell was sentenced in 1992 to 35 years in prison for an aggravated criminal sexual assault conviction. He was acquitted of attempted murder in that case, records show. He was released on parole in March 2011.

Last month, a confidential informant told agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that Russell had been bragging about being "a top ranking member of the mob," according to the complaint.

At a meeting at a coffeehouse on Taylor Street, Russell allegedly told the informant he was the head of a prolific gang of burglars called the "Bishop" boys that was responsible for hundreds of burglaries and home invasions over the past several years.

On Dec. 16, Russell met the informant along with an undercover agent at the Boundary Tavern and Grille in Wicker Park, according to the complaint. During the conversation, which was secretly recorded, Russell talked about plans for an upcoming robbery of a man in his 70s who was believed to have as much as $750,000 in cash in a safe in his home, the complaint said. Russell said he'd been casing the home for years and had an "ex-girl" who was on the inside and knew the location of the safe and other valuables.

"If he doesn't open it, we're gonna make him open it," Russell said, according to the complaint. "They always open for me, believe me. I bring my butane torch, put it on the bottom of their feet, they open it."

According to the complaint, Russell wanted help on the robbery. He told the informant and the undercover agent that his crew would be equipped with all the proper tools to avoid detection, including police scanners, masks and a change of clothes. He also said their biggest worry would be if the victim had a heart attack, because if "he (expletive) drops dead, we got a (expletive) murder," according to the complaint.

"The fun for me is the score," Russell allegedly said on the recording. "That's how I get my adrenaline. ... You know how long it takes to come to down for me? I counted money one night for so long my hands were filthy."

Later in the conversation, Russell talked about buying firearms from the undercover agent. On Monday, the three men met again at the Gale Street Inn in Jefferson Park, where Russell gave the agent a list of guns he was looking for, including an Uzi submachine gun and an AK-47, according to the complaint.

During the meeting, Russell handed the undercover agent a driver's license depicting an African-American man and then showed him a cellphone photo of a car that was riddled with bullet holes. Russell said he was showing him "some decent work" of his, and that the man was "no longer with us."

"All (expletive) blood and brain all over the (expletive) seat," Russell was quoted in the charges as saying. "Went right through his head and out that side. Take (the car) and drop it off in the black community, another black bastard gets caught with it."

Chicago police confirmed that the man depicted in the driver's license photo was killed in November, according to the complaint.

Russell's arrest marked the latest blow for the once-feared Grand Avenue crew made famous by colorful and violent leaders such as Joey "The Clown" Lombardo and currently believed to be headed by Albert "Little Guy" Vena, who is Russell's brother-in-law

In 2014, alleged crew members Robert Panozzo, Paul Koroluk, and others were arrested on sweeping racketeering charges alleging an array of crimes going back to at least 2007, from home invasions and armed robberies to burglaries, arson, insurance fraud and prostitution.


Elderly witness at Whitey Bulger's trial arrested for 1991 murder

A witness in the James “Whitey” Bulger trial was arrested Tuesday in relation to the 1991 armed robbery and murder of an armored truck guard from Athol, according to Paul Jarvey, a spokesman for Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early.
Ralph DeMasi, 80, of Amesbury, will be charged with killing and robbing Edward P. Morlock Sr., who was 52 at the time, Jarvey said in a release. DeMasi allegedly shot and killed Morlock as he was carrying money bags from a Shaw’s grocery store on Lincoln Street.
DeMasi and other suspects allegedly escaped the robbery and shooting in a getaway car, Early’s office said. The three others allegedly involved have died in the years since the incident.
“I have seen first-hand the hard work and dedication that has gone into this case,” Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent said in the statement. “Hopefully, this arrest brings some measure of closure to the family of Edward Morlock.”
DeMasi is due be arraigned Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court. Morlock’s death is the latest in a long line of criminal allegations against DeMasi. In 1992, he was sentenced in US District Court to 24 years in prison in connection with a September 1991 attempted holdup of a Brink’s armored truck in Newburyport, the Globe reported.
At Bulger’s 2013 trial for the murder of 19 people, among other charges, DeMasi testified that he was wounded while riding in car that Bulger allegedly fired at, killing William O’Brien in 1973, the Globe reported.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Judge slaps $2 million dollar bail on John Gotti's grandson

A Queens judge has set $2 million bail for the late John Gotti’s namesake grandson, who has been behind bars since his August arrest on drug charges.
John Gotti, 23, can thank Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles LoPresto for the chance at freedom, but will still have to wait for a bail sufficiency hearing before the dough can be posted.
A date for the not-so Teflon grandson’s hearing has yet to be set.
If he is freed, the accused prescription-drug peddler will be forced to wear an ankle bracelet and surrender his passport, the judge said.
The beefy Gotti’s dad is Peter Gotti, the son of the Dapper Don who ruled the Gambino crime family — and evaded successful prosecution — until he was finally put away for life in 1992 when his right-hand man, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano ratted him out to federal prosecutors.
The elder Gotti died of cancer in a federal prison in 2002.
The namesake was arrested after cops raided his grandpa’s Howard Beach home, and discovered him with a veritable trove of drugs and cash.
The bust came just two months after Gotti was stopped with some 200 Oxycodone pills and various other drugs stuffed inside his car console.
Gotti has been in drug treatment while at Rikers, according to his attorney Gerard Marrone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

More bad news for Philadelphia mob associate

This has not been a good month for wannabe wiseguy Ron Galati.

The South Philadelphia auto body owner with the Godfather complex was sentenced a few weeks ago to a maximum of 29 years in prison in a Common Pleas Court insurance fraud and murder-for-hire case.

And on Monday a three-judge panel with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his appeal of an earlier federal murder-for-hire conviction for which he is serving a 22-year stint.

The only break the 66-year-old mob associate has gotten from the legal system is a ruling that his Common Pleas Court sentence will run concurrently with his federal time.

Jailed since his arrest in 2013, Galati still has about 15 years to serve on his federal time which, in theory at least, will eat up a big chunk of his Common Pleas Court sentence. (He faces a minimum of 14 years and eight months on the Common Pleas Court charges.)

The soap opera-like Galati saga is quintessential South Philadelphia. Galati, described as a friend and associate of mobsters Joseph Ligambi, George Borgesi and Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, often talked and acted like a mobster and frequently quoted lines from Goodfellas, one of his favorite mob movie.

Friends and associates have insisted that Galati was all talk, that he enjoyed the mobster motif even though he was never a part of the reality. The feds offered a different spin.

Authorities have long suspected that Galati's body shop was used to outfit a stolen van used in an infamous mob shooting targeting then boss John Stanfa on the Schuylkill Express. Portholes had been cut in the sides of the van to allow shooters to spray Stanfa's car with bullets as both vehicles traveled at high speed along the eight-lane highway during morning rush hour traffic.

Stanfa's son, Joseph, riding in the back seat, was wounded in the attempted hit which occurred during the height of a 1993 mob war between Stanfa and Merlino factions. No one has ever been convicted in that shooting.

Galati's reputation as a standup guy was enhanced after he was convicted in the late 1990s of insurance fraud and served nearly three years in prison, rejecting attempts by authorities to cooperate against organized crime figures and tell what he knew about the van.

Galati returned to South Philadelphia after his prison sentence and again went into the auto body shop business.

His first murder-for-hire conviction revolved around allegations that he had offered to pay two hitmen to kill the boyfriend of his then estranged daughter Tiffany.

The boyfriend, Andrew Tuono, was shot outside his Atlantic City home in November 2013. Tiffany Galati was at Tuono's side as the hit went down, but she was not injured. She subsequently testified for the prosecution at her father's federal trial. Tuono, who survived the shooting, also was a government witness along with the two hitmen and a third Galati associate who admitted helping Galati recruit the shooters.

The Common Pleas Court case centered on a massive insurance fraud scam run out of Galati's South Philadelphia auto body shop. That case, brought by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, also included allegations that Galati had recruited the same two hitmen to killed a rival body shop owner and his son who Galati believed were cooperating in the insurance fraud investigation.

That hit never went down, but the two gunmen were prepared to testify that Galati had offered them cash to kill Joseph Rao and his son.

Galati has steadfastly denied that allegation. This fall he entered no contest pleas to the insurance fraud and murder-for-hire charges in the Common Pleas Court case. Ironically, his daughter was in court that day supporting her father. She and Tuono ended their relationship shortly he was shot. She has since reconciled with her family, according to friends and associates. Galati's son, Ron Jr., was sentenced to house arrest and probation in the same insurance fraud case.

The appellate court ruling this week appeared to end any hope Galati Sr. had of reducing his prison time.

A three-judge appellate court panel rejected a somewhat technical argument in which Galati claimed that his conviction for aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime was unwarranted. Galati appeared to be arguing that a phone call he made to set the murder-for-hire plot in motion did not legally constitute aiding and abetting.

"Galati's effort to cast his involvement in a scheme that ended with a man being shot as lacking the use of physical force is creative," the appellate court wrote. But the panel found it insufficient to warrant overturning his conviction.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Feds bust offshore gambling ring run by the Genovese family

Much of the criminal interaction of the thirteen men was caught by investigators via intercepted conversations.
Leave the gun, take the Metamucil.
A crew of grizzled and graying members of the Genovese crime family was hauled into Brooklyn court Thursday on charges they ran a lucrative off-shore sports gambling ring and engaged in loansharking.
Thirteen men — including alleged made member and ringleader Salvatore “Sallie” DeMeo, 76, one of two septuagenarians of the old-fellas bunch — are accused of running gambling site 4Spades.org based in Costa Rica.
He and other reputed Genovese associates were arrested Thursday morning stemming from a long-term probe into their loansharking and bookmaking activities by the state Attorney General and NYPD.
DeMeo, who has a heart condition, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Judge Danny Chun set bail at $300,000.
Prosecutors said in court that DeMeo served as the “boss” of the multi-million dollar organization and has a criminal history dating back to 1984.
The senior wiseguy landed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list after going on the lam in 2000 as feds tried to arrest him on racketeering and bank robbery charges.
Meanwhile, another 76-year-old, Mario Leonardi, allegedly sold more than 30,000 untaxed cigarettes throughout New York with his cohort Gennaro Geritano, 62, authorities said.
Also indicted were Eugene Orefice, 48; Anthony “Buckwheat” Giammarino, 65; Joseph Tommasino, 52; Thomas Alexiou, 55; Rocco Maglione, 46; Windsor Lewis, 66; Vincent Taliercio, 65; Jackie Charlton, 53; Michael Epstein, 48, and John Giglio, 55.
All have pleaded not guilty.
Lewis’ attorney Marissa Benton told the judge that he is a retired corrections officer and has a son in the NYPD.
She added that he’d had double bypass surgery last year and had a pacemaker.
Chun released Lewis on his own recognizance.
“These defendants allegedly went to great lengths to trap their victims with exorbitant rates, all while evading our gambling laws and taking offshore bets,” said AG Eric Schneiderman in a statement.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

John Gotti's grandson rejects plea deal for drug charges

The late John Gotti’s namesake grandson shunned a plea deal during his Queens court appearance on drug charges Wednesday.
Peter Gotti

Prosecutor David Chiang offered the accused prescription drug peddler 12 years in prison and five years post release supervision.

The 23-year-old faces anywhere from 15 to 25 years-to-life in prison, if convicted on the felony charges.

But his attorney, Gerard Marrone, poo-pooed the deal as he left court.

“That’s rejected, we are not taking that,” he said dismissively, before adding that if the offers don’t improve his client will be headed for trial.

The notorious mobster’s son, Peter Gotti, called the DA’s offer “disgraceful.”

“End of story, please,” the elder Gotti said with a waive of his hand.

The well-muscled mob-offspring was collared in August after cops descended upon his late grandfather’s Howard Beach home, and discovered a cache of money and drugs.

He was arrested just two months prior after authorities allegedly found a Gucci bag stuffed with more than 200 Oxycodone pills and other drugs in his car console.

Gotti will return to court Jan. 25.


DeCavalcante captain admits offering undercover FBI agents $50K to kill rival mobster

A reputed high-ranking member of the DeCavalcante crime family admitted Wednesday to soliciting undercover federal agents to murder a disrespectful associate.
Charles Stango, 72, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark to a charge of using a telephone to solicit the murder.
Stango, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, was a captain in the Elizabeth-based organized crime outfit, said to be the inspiration for the HBO series, "The Sopranos."
Prosecutors say Stango offered $50,000 to two people he thought were assassins to carry out the the killing.
Those assassins, prosecutors say, were actually undercover FBI agents who ended the investigation to protect the would-be victim.
Court documents state investigators believe the group is currently operating under the Gambino crime family, one of New York's infamous "Five Families."
Stango was one of seven members and associates of the Elizabeth crime family charged in March 2015 following an undercover investigation that court documents say began as early as 2012.
Stango admitted to Judge Walls that while living in Henderson, Nevada, he used a phone to solicit multiple people to kill another associate of the DeCavalcante family he perceived to have been disrespectful.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Stango was angered after he came to believe the associate had falsely represented himself as a "made man" in the family, and insulted a high-ranking family member.
Stango, who was on supervised release from a prior racketeering conviction in New York at the time of the crime, also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of that release.
Walls said Stango faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In exchange for his guilty pleas Wednesday, prosecutors agreed not pursue other charges from the complaint, including those stemming from the sale of more than a pound of cocaine to an undercover investigator.
Stango's sentencing before Walls is scheduled for March 28, 2017.