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

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Feds say jailed Lucchese Boss responsible for too many murders to be released

Front page of the New York Daily News for June 19, 2023: Mobster tied to 9 slays moans about arthritis. Bloodthirsty ex-Luchese boss Vittorio "Little Vic" Amuso (r., in 1977), now 88, says he should go free because his hip aches and his teeth are falling out.

Mob boss Vittorio “Vic” Amuso has ordered so many killings, including one where a suspected snitch had a dead canary shoved in his mouth, that he should never be released from prison — and he’s still running the show behind bars, federal prosecutors say.

Amuso, 88, the head of the Luchese Crime Family, is asking for compassionate release, but federal prosecutors described a laundry list of murders and attempted murders on par with the bloody baptism scene from “The Godfather.”

“The effects of Amuso’s actions are long-standing, as the families of those slain at his command will never be able to obtain the relief that Amuso himself now seeks,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elias Laris wrote in a court filing Friday. “The murderous means that Amuso employed to reach his criminal ends weigh heavily against any form of compassionate release.”

In a court filing last month, Amuso’s lawyers described him as a changed man facing down his mortality and deteriorating health, including chronic arthritis so painful he needs a wheelchair to move, clouded and worsening vision and the loss of all his teeth.

He’s seeking release under the bipartisan First Step Act, which has led to the reduction of more than 4,000 prison sentences since it was signed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

But the feds say he’s still calling the shots for the Lucheses from his prison in Butner, N.C., describing how he orchestrated a leadership change in the crime family through coded letters in 2017.

“Amuso seriously misleads the Court when he touts his ‘perfect institutional record’ and low likelihood of recidivism, when in actuality he has continues to orchestrate the Luchese Crime Family’s affairs,” Laris wrote.

Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Frederic Block will decide on Amuso’s motion.

Block last year gave a break to Anthony Russo, ordering the killer Colombo capo’s life sentence cut to 35 years, which led to his release in February. Block praised the First Step Act and said Russo was punished with a longer sentence because he took his case to trial.

The feds laid out the nine murders and three attempted murders Amuso orchestrated between 1988 and 1991.

Nalo made the mistake of threatening to kill a Luchese associate and take over a gambling establishment in Queens that made Amuso $1,000 a week. He was shot to death at an Astoria travel agency.

On Feb. 6, 1989, Luchese associate Thomas Gilmore was murdered behind his home at Amuso’s command, because the boss thought he was an informant.

Three months later, Michael Pappadio, a Luchese soldier, met a bad end at a Howard Beach bagel shop because Amuso thought he was skimming from the boss’ garment industry proceeds. He was bludgeoned to death with a cable and shot in the head on May 13, 1989.

Then, on Sept. 13, 1989, Amuso ordered the killing of John Petrucelli, who bragged he was hiding Bonanno associate Gus Farace — who had murdered undercover DEA Agent Everett Hatcher earlier that year.

The La Cosa Nostra commission ruled that no one was allowed to help Farace escape, and Amuso ordered Petrucelli kill the fugitive. When he didn’t do the deed, Amuso ordered him whacked outside his Yonkers apartment. The mob later had Farace killed.

Four days after Petrucelli’s death, Amuso had John Morrissey, an iron workers union shop steward, killed because he was afraid Morrissey would cooperate with prosecutors and inform on the mob’s window replacement racket. He ordered Morrissey driven to a secluded area of New Jersey, where he was shot and buried.

In June 1990, Amuso ordered the killing of fellow Luchese member Michael Salerno, who was bitter about Amuso rising up the ranks of the family instead of him. Amuso thought Salerno might turn snitch, so he had his rival shot through the heart and stabbed in the throat.

On Aug. 24, 1990, longtime Lucchese soldier Bruno Facciola was killed because Amuso thought he was cooperating with prosecutors. He was lured to an auto-body shop, then tried to escape when he realized he was going to die. His attackers dragged him back inside, shot and stabbed him to death, and stuck a dead canary in his mouth — “which served as Amuso’s warning to potential informants,” according to federal prosecutors.

Facciola’s friends, Larry Taylor and Al Visconti, planned to avenge their buddy’s death, so Amuso ordered them killed as well — Taylor in February 1991, Visconti that March. Visconti was shot in the head and groin because Amuso heard a rumor he was bisexual, prosecutors said.

Amuso was convicted in June 1992 of murder and racketeering in a Brooklyn Federal Court trial where prosecutors linked him to the murders and attempted murders.

The prosecution that led to his downfall started in 1990, when he was indicted in a Mafia scheme to rig bids in the city’s window-replacement industry. Mob turncoats Peter Chiodo and one-time acting Luchese boss Alfonso D’Arco helped link Amuso to the killings.

Chiodo’s witness turn came after Amuso tried to have him whacked, because the boss thought he had already started cooperating.

Amuso’s lawyer, Anthony DiPietro, declined to comment on the government’s argument, saying that he’ll respond in court filings next week.



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