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

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bonanno family soldier and butcher dies from pancreatic cancer

Michael "Mike the Butcher" Virtuoso, a reputed soldier in the Bonanno crime family and owner of an East Williamsburg meat market that was a destination for Brooklyn foodies, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer. He was 58.
Virtuoso pleaded guilty last fall to shaking down former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s limousine driver in the store’s walk-in meat locker. But in June the stricken gangster was granted a compassionate release from the Metropolitan Detention Center by Federal Judge Sandra Townes.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Virtuoso operated a loanshark racket out of his Graham Ave. Meats & Deli, where he also prepared delicious hero sandwiches and Italian specialties.
There’s a video posted on YouTube of a worker making a multi-meat sandwich called Willie’s Italian Special. Adam Kuban of the Serious Eats blog called it a sandwich that “all Italian deli sandwiches should aspire to be.”
“He was truly one of a kind and will be missed,” said defense lawyer Joseph DiBenedetto.


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