Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bath Ave. Crew Member "Crazy Joey" Wants Story Told

Joey Calco
Publishers Marketplace reports: "The Joey Calco Story (former Bonanno hitman) by Richard Cagan (out May 2014)."

Cagan is a published author of several books, including one mob book, Mafia Cop: The Two Families of Michael Palermo; Saints Only Live in Heaven. I've never read it or him.

Looks like former Bath Avenue Crew member Joey Calco wants to tell his story. It was supposed to have been released already -- only, where is it?

As many of you -- especially former and current residents of  Bath Beach -- no doubt recall, Calco — a turncoat with two murder convictions under his belt — had reinvented himself in the witness protection program as Joseph Milano, the owner of Goomba’s Pizza in Florida.

Stallone to Play Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa

Scarpa in his strong days as arch enforcer and
"special agent" for the Feds.
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that a film about Colombo capo/lifelong informant Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa is slated to start filming early next year.

Brad Furman will direct and Sylvester Stallone will play the lead role; it will be a Millennium Films production.
Stallone could probably play a decent street
guy. But can he play a decent Greg Scarpa?

The script was written by Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the book and screenplay for the acclaimed mobster film Goodfellas, which was nominated for an Oscar. Pileggi also was the wordsmith for Casino, which won many kudos from critics but not much else. (I agree with many others: Pileggi was robbed -- he also should have been nominated for Casino, which he adapted from his own book.)

Both those films further benefitted from the immortal direction of Martin Scorsese, who is not involved with the Scarpa film, however.

According to Deadline: The "high-profile project [is] currently being pulled together and one they hope to put before the cameras next year, possibly in the first quarter."

Defamation Case Settled by "Undercover Cop" Publisher


We recently posted a story by Dan Goldberg that ran in the The Star-Ledger about the book "Undercover Cop" by Mike Russell. In the book Russell writes that he was an undercover New Jersey state trooper who infiltrated the mob and brought down dozens of wiseguys -- but only after taking a .32-caliber bullet to the head.

As noted in Goldberg's story:
Russell did infiltrate the mob and did pass on valuable information... But [retired State Police Capt. Nick Oriolo, whose name is misspelled in the book] estimates that only about 20 percent of the book is true. He does not recall Russell being shot in the head, which the book describes as a very emotional moment for the State Police sergeant, who was “blubbering” at Russell’s bedside. 

Anonymous Jury Sought for "Lufthansa" Bonanno Trial

Tommy D, Bonanno acting boss.
Prosecutors are asking the judge for an anonymous and partially sequestered jury for the trial involving reputed Bonanno acting boss Tommy "Tommy D" DiFiore, capo Vincent Asaro and other crime family members.

This is revealed in a court filing made last month by Loretta E. Lynch, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Specifically, the prosecutors requested that jurors' names, addresses and employment information not be revealed to the defendants or their attorneys. Also, it was requested that each juror be escorted by U.S. Marshals to and from court each day, and "at all times during recess."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Car Theft Isn't What It Used To Be for the Mob

Auto theft isn't the profit center it once was for Mafia families; the chop-shop would appear to be all but extinct today, too, according to a report in the New York Times. The bottom line as to why? "Stealing cars is harder than it used to be, less lucrative and more likely to land you in jail."

Auto theft isn’t much of a problem anymore in New York City. In 1990, the city had 147,000 reported auto thefts, one for every 50 residents; last year, there were just 7,400, or one per 1,100. That’s a 96 percent drop in the rate of car theft.

So, why did this happen? All crime has fallen, nationally and especially in New York. But there has also been a big shift in the economics of auto theft: Stealing cars is harder than it used to be, less lucrative and more likely to land you in jail. As such, people have found other things to do.

Bath Avenue Crew Rose High, Fell Hard

Bath Avenue Crew founding members.

Members of the Bath Avenue Crew were as young as 8 years old and probably weren't even aware of what they were doing -- aligning themselves with the biggest, baddest gang in America: Cosa Nostra, specifically the Five Families, though Anthony Spero, former Bonanno consiglieri, was the man for whom they would one day carry out orders that cost some their lives, others, their freedom and all, their souls.

Video Teaser for Buccaneer: The Odyssey of Jack Reed

As previously noted, Jack Carlton Reed, (September 30, 1930 – October 12, 2009) was a drug smuggler and co-defendant of Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas, Colombian drug baron and co-founder, with Pablo Escobar, of the MedellĂ­n Cartel.

Reed was a pilot for Lehder’s cocaine transport empire on Norman's Cay, an out island 210 miles away from the Florida coast, in the Bahamas. Reed flew the drugs for Lehder, who handled transport while Escobar handled production and supply.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Is There Even a Cosa Nostra in Philadelphia?

"Who knows him?"
Ralph Natale
--John Gotti, former boss of Gambino family, in response to Ralph Natale's question regarding if New York's families would support Sicilian-born John Stanfa as boss over Philadelphia. 

"If the mob was really the mob, I'd still be a mob guy."
--Big Ron Previte, former capo of the Philadelphia family.

As we noted in a recent post, mob memberships in Philadelphia were for sale around 10 years ago.

Someone could have made a cash payment to George Borgesi, supposedly the family's consiglieri, as late as 2003, as well as Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, in the 1990s.

Now we're learning that the problems go even deeper than that -- at least during the Philadelphia mob's Stanfa-Natale-Merlino period. In fact back then mobsters outside of Philadelphia questioned the bona fides of several members and the family hierarchy's legitimacy seems to have been a major issue.

At least until Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi began running the show. Only now he's supposedly retired...


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