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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bonanno crime family selects jailed gangster Michael Mancuso as new boss

Michael "The Nose" Mancuso, far right, is now the top leader of the Bonanno crime family, sources told the Daily News. He will be the first top banana to hold that title since longtime boss Joseph Massino, who turned rat shortly after he was convicted in 2005 of racketeering and multiple murders.

The Bonanno crime family has picked a new leader — The Nose.

Devastated by federal prosecutions but not dead, the beleaguered New York City-based crime family is quietly rebuilding and has anointed Michael “The Nose” Mancuso as official boss, the Daily News has learned.

Mancuso, 59, would be the first top banana to hold that title since longtime boss Joseph Massino, who turned rat shortly after he was convicted in 2005 of racketeering and multiple murders.

It doesn’t matter that Mancuso has five years left to serve in federal prison for a murder conviction. The Colombo crime family is also led by an incarcerated boss, Carmine “The Snake” Persico, who is serving a life sentence.

“Mancuso’s the boss and he’s running the family from jail,” a key law enforcement source told The News.

At least 10 Bonanno mobsters have gotten their button — becoming made men — in the past 18 months, sources said, as the family is trying to replenish its ranks depleted by convictions. The Bonanno family has about 100 wise guys and hundreds of criminal associates, a source added.

A new underboss, Thomas Difiore, of Long Island, has also been tapped to run the family on the street, but he may be little more than a figurehead. The power squarely lies with Mancuso and his Bronx-based underlings, sources said.

The current Bonanno bounce-back couldn’t come at a worse time for the FBI; officials have reduced the number of squads dedicated to investigating the city’s five Mafia families from five to only two.

Veteran supervisory special agent Seamus McElearney, who oversaw the Bonanno and Colombo squads with spectacular crimefighting success, was transferred last week to a new post because bureau rules limit a supervisor to seven years in an assignment.

McElearney’s agents helped bring down top Bonanno members Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano and Vincent “Vinny TV” Badalamenti, and Colombo acting bosses Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico, Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace, Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli and Andrew “Mush” Russo, along with dozens of other mobsters.

“If you take your foot off their neck, they’re going to come back,” said a law enforcement source disgusted over the FBI changes.

“We’ve been decimated,” said another law enforcement source, adding that mobsters on the street are aware that surveillances of their activities have been reduced.

The FBI said it is “continually realigning resources based on the current threat assessment.”

The bureau called the staff reductions “primarily administrative” and “not a significant reduction in agents assigned to the five families.”

Mancuso is serving a 15-year sentence for carrying out the order to kill mob associate Randolph Pizzollo. He served 10 years for fatally shooting his wife in 1984.

“Michael’s looking for his day in the sun,” then-acting boss Basciano said during a 2005 jailhouse conversation secretly taped by Massino.

Mancuso’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.



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