Sunday, December 30, 2012

Candid Shots: Roy DeMeo Goes Hunting

These candid photographs of former Gambino capo Roy DeMeo, who operated a massive stolen-car ring and ran a crew that specialized in doing hits for hire, as well as for fun, tell their own story.....

The photos were provided to me by a mob historian seeking to uncover Roy DeMeo's FBI files.

It was the crew's body disposal method -- dubbed the Gemini Method, after a bar Roy owned and used as his HQ -- that earned them the nickname "Murder Machine" from Jerry Capeci.

The FBI suspect the crew murdered between 150 and 200 people in the 1970s and early '80s -- at least.

Candid photographs of former Gambino capo Roy DeMeo, who operated a massive stolen-car ring and ran a crew that specialized in doing hits for hire.
Former Gambino capo Roy DeMeo has a word with someone standing off-camera...

These photos prove quite chilling to those knowledgeable about Roy, a man whom John Gotti himself feared. The tough gangster destined for mob infamy actually turned down Gambino boss Paul Castellano's request that he and his Bergin crew whack DeMeo.

"That guy has an army of killers," Gotti's brother, Gene, said on a wiretapped phonecall.

Alleged Mafia Bodyguard Survives Shooting

From the National Post

This one is a week old, but those following Canada will be interested...
A man described as a bodyguard for the Montreal Mafia — who helped prepare an arsenal of heavy firepower during a deadly feud — has survived being shot in another attack in Montreal’s continuing underworld unrest.

Giuseppe Fetta, 33, was shot near his car by a gunman who approached on foot Monday morning. He was in hospital while police searched for the attacker. Mr. Fetta was considered part of the Mafia’s protection wing in 2006 by police who placed him near the bottom of the Rizzuto crime family’s hierarchy, part of a 26-man cell under the command of Francesco Arcadi.

Mayor of St-Remi arrested on fraud charges amid Quebec corruption inquiry
‘Don Corleone’ figure who helped install Rizzuto family to top of Canadian Mafia released from U.S. prison
Mafia hit?: Montreal police probe death of man found riddled with bullets in SUV

Late on Christmas Eve in 2005, police watched him and three others gather outside the Consenza social club, the Rizzutos’ headquarters, for an overnight vigil. The mob was embroiled in a feud and the bosses wanted to ensure no one touched their headquarters during Christmas.

Later, secret police video caught him and others playing with an array of guns.

Mr. Fetta pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm and committing an offence for a criminal organization in 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Montreal Mob War: 'Precise Hits on Both Sides'

Vito Rizzuto is battling an alliance of underworld figures who
have joined against him.
This is an interesting story, as it offers insight into exactly whom Vito Rizzuto and his family have been fighting against since his return to Canada from a U.S. prison...

From Sun News:

TORONTO - A low-key mob war being waged in Quebec won't rattle this province because Ontario is the economic engine fuelling the battle, sources say.

Ontario is the source of most of the wealth for organized crime while the violence for the most part remains in Quebec.

The province, according to investigators and an organized crime expert, is bankrolling European operations, often targets of tough money laundering and asset seizure laws.

The war in Quebec intensified when chieftain Vito Rizzuto returned home in early October.

It's a battle that has pitted Rizzuto against an alliance of underworld figures who have also sided with a group of opponents, some of whom are based in Ontario.

It has been a war of precise hits on both sides, where key members have been assassinated and, along the way, possibly a few internal squabbles were settled as well.

"The longer Rizzuto stays alive, the stronger he gets and the weaker the Calabrians get," a police investigator said. "So many people made so much money with him, including the Calabrians, things could return to the way they were."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Feds Use Informant to Nab Gambino Crime Ring

From GangsterBB.NET Forums:

An informant wearing a wire helped the FBI catch a crew of New Yorkers with nicknames like "Augie," "Jimmy Boy" and "Charlie Tuna" as they attempted to steal and sell $1 million worth of cigarettes, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

The informant also helped nab an East Hanover man who allegedly sold the informant cocaine, according the U.S. Attorney's office.

Eight people — seven of them from New York, one whose residence isn't known — were charged in the alleged cigarette theft conspiracy. All face charges of conspiracy to commit cargo theft. Two — Augustine Guido and John Torlone — also face charges of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce. They could each face up to five years in prison and $250,000 per offense, if convicted.

Carmen T. Marticci, 37, of East Hanover, alone was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He could be imprisoned for as much as 20 years, and could face a $1 million fine. He's already incarcerated on an unrelated matter, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

The investigation reaches back to January of 2010, when the informant and 72-year-old Guido of Staten Island attended a funeral together, according to the statement. Guido was recorded asking the informant if he knew of any warehouses they could rob, and said he was interested in stealing perfume, cigarettes and pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Cooperating with the FBI, the informant took part in a sting operation in which he and the eight men stole a tractor-trailer loaded with 270 cases of counterfeit Pall Mall and Lucky 7 cigarettes from a warehouse in Edison, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Federal agents placed video cameras and other evidence-gathering equipment in the area, it said.

In June, the informant met with some of the men to discuss the planned theft of the trailer — another recorded meeting — the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

3 Mob Wives Crack Top 25 Worst Reality Stars List

From Complex:

23. Karen Gravano and Drita D'Avanzo (Mob Wives, VH1)
Drama is what Mob Wives thrives on, but the two-season-long feud between Karen and Drita went stale long before it was finally resolved this year. While we’ll admit it was good TV both times they came to physical blows, there’s only so much of watching the two of them complain about how much they hate the other on camera before the urge to change the channel to another rerun of Keeping Up With the Kardashians comes into the picture.

Both Karen and Drita had recently done things they should have been sorry for (namely, trying to kill each other in their fight), but the majority of the issues they were sparring over were decades old, kept alive by grudges that were never truly let go. Both of them could have decided to chill out long before they actually did. It would have saved a lot of hours that could have been put towards giving Big Ang more screen time.

22. Ramona Rizzo (Mob Wives, VH1)
We would have included Ramona in the previous slide about her Mob Wives co-stars Karen and Drita, but after some deliberation, she's too special (read: annoying) to share a spot with anyone else.

Ramona is a new cast member who's introduced as the granddaughter of mobster Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero, as well as the childhood friend of Karen, whom she’s so close to that they refer to each other as cousins.

Bensonhurst Bank Robber Awaits Sentencing

From Bensonhurst's News Blog:

Gary Fama, who held up the Capital One Bank last year has been found guilty of the crime.

Fama and his accomplice Jack Mannino, who has been dubbed the “7-second bandit” for his speedy heist jobs, met in prison and decided to rob the bank together on December 29th, according to the New York Daily News. Both men also have ties to the Gambino crime family.

The robbery went wrong after a dye pack exploded and their transmission blew out. They jumped out of the damaged getaway car and left behind Mannino’s wallet and cellphone.

After the FBI tracked him down, Mannino made a deal with the police to testify against Fama. He’s waiting on his sentence, according to a New York Post article.

Fama, an ex-con with previous firearm and drug convictions, now faces up to 17 years in prison on bank robbery and firearms charges.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Is Newest Mob Wife Hiding in Plain Sight? We Think So

We think the other new member of "Mob Wives" has been hiding in plain sight (see below YouTube clip); but first a "tease" from about the kickoff episode of "Mob Wives" Season Three:

After a break in at her home, Renee fears that she and her son AJ are being targeted for being associated with a rat. While Drita and Karen have finally settled their differences, Drita now finds herself in the middle of a feud between Carla and and Renee that involves allegations of infidelity and drugs. As Ramona breaks some difficult news to her children, Big Ang is recovering from yet more cosmetic surgery and visited by a long-time friend, LOVE MAJEWSKI. Love, infamous for her past in the mob life, is back from Miami and ready to reconnect with the girls-- some of whom are not so happy she is back in town. Drita and Big Ang try to help settle the feud between Carla and Renee by bringing them together to talk things out over brunch but when the knives come out, things get ugly-- fast.

Now we are putting our two cents in here: We think Love's big feud is with Ramona Rizzo; we are basing this on the fact that there was a rivalry between Love and Ramona's sister back in the old days, when both Love and Ramona's sister were both dating Chris Paciello -- and neither lady knew about the other while this "ménage à trois" of sorts was going on... A source also told us that most of the cast seems to be ganging up on Carla, which likely means Carla and Drita, as those two are tight, or have been...

Also, this post on YouTube, and other things, make use wonder if the second new mob wife is hiding in plain sight.


The copy under the video clip:

Published on Dec 16, 2012

On December 14th MOB WIVES hosted an event for victims of Sandy and Mob Wife Toni Marie Ricci organized a MOB WIVES signing of a Michael Bell Hand-Signed Fine Art Print of "The Ring" from his famous "TICKET TO RIDE" Painting Series for auction.

Mob Wives Star Majewski Slams Danielle Staub

From All About The Real Housewives:

Love Majewski will star in Mob Wives season 3 and recently slammed former RHONJ star Danielle Staub via twitter! VH1 quoted Love for saying, “You’re either gonna love me or hate me, there’s no in between.” That’s when a viewer responded and said, “that sounds like what Danielle said on Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

Danielle then got involved writing, “I’m flattered to be quoted! Thank you xoxoxo!”

LOL. I can’t contain myself right now. Love wasn’t having it and slammed Danielle responding, “Ain’t nobody quoted yo dusty ass and u was just hated period. #THIRSTY tryin to come on my TL [timeline] #Beat it!”

LOL still laughing. Oh Danielle the Delusional Staub! Do you think Love copied Danielle or is that just a normal saying?

Body Count Continues to Rise in Montreal

Two were shot in a Montreal cafe this
past Friday.
Bodies are falling left and right in Montreal; here are the latest hits in Canada...

From the Montreal Gazette:

A masked gunman killed one man and seriously wounded another in a small café in St-Léonard Friday afternoon in what is believed to be a Mafia shooting.

Authorities responded to 911 calls of shots being fired at 2:20 p.m. at the Café Domenica-In, located at 7830 Provencher St. next to the Metropolitan Highway.

Police found one man inside the café suffering from cardiac arrest who had been shot in the head. The 37-year-old died two hours later in hospital. The other victim was found hiding at the nearby Montreal Choppers motorcycle store, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the neck. He is listed in stable condition.

La Presse reported Friday night the shooting victim was Domenico Facchina, who had a criminal record for two minor charges linked to marijuana and receiving stolen goods. Police could not confirm the information.

Café Domenica-In is not known to police, but the neighbouring Montreal Choppers belongs to Giuseppe De Vito, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison last June for his connection to a mafia-led attempt to smuggle 218 kilograms of cocaine into Montreal.

De Vito’s ex-wife, Adele Sorella, is awaiting trial on charges of killing their two daughters, age 8 and 9, in their family home in Laval in 2009 while De Vito was in hiding from the police.

On Monday, a man with known ties to the Mafia was shot in Montreal’s north end on St. Laurent Blvd. Giuseppe Fetta, 33, was taken to the hospital after having been shot at around 10 a.m. on St. Laurent between Sauriol and Fleury Sts.

He was standing beside a car when a man approached on foot and shot him at least once, and then ran off, police say. .. read rest

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Defense Rests, Juror Removed In Philly Mob Trial

"Uncle Joe" will spend the
holidays in the can.
From WTXF FOX 29:

They won't be going home for Christmas, but several accused mobsters appear upbeat as their Philadelphia racketeering trial nears an end.

After two months of testimony from prosecution witnesses and two days from the defense, the trial's now on hold until January.

Seventy-3-year-old Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi is charged with running Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra for the past decade. Six others are also charged in the racketeering case.

Ligambi's nephew, defendant George Borgesi, wished supporters a happy holiday as he left the courtroom to return to prison Wednesday. He even extended the greeting to prosecutors.

The trial resumes Jan. 3 with closing arguments.

Earlier Wednesday, one juror was removed amid concerns about media coverage of a potentially mob-linked slaying last week.

The victim's name had come up at trial.

More from

The judge presiding over the racketeering trial of reputed mob boss Joseph Ligambi and six associates dismissed a juror this morning, one week after reports of a mob-related killing in South Philadelphia.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno didn't publicly explain why he dismissed the man, identified as Juror No. 5. But lawyers had previously said the man was the only juror who admitted during private talks with the judge that last week's murder of Gino DiPietro might influence his view of the case.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Video of Renee on "Mob Wives" Season Three

Renee Graziano on her favorite and least favorite things about being on Mob Wives – VH1 Blog

Mob War: Rizzuto Bodyguard Shot in Montreal

From the Toronto Sun:

MONTREAL - Bullets continued to fly in Montreal's escalating Mob war as Rizzuto bodyguard Giuseppe Fetta was shot several times in the city's north end on Monday.

Fetta, a convicted gangster, was shot in the chest and legs by a gunman who fled the scene. The condition of the 33-year-old wasn't clear as of Monday afternoon.

He's the latest victim of a series of shootings that have dogged Rizzuto crime family members who have been marked for death.

Fetta is a longtime Rizzuto associate and was one of dozens of Mafiosi rounded up during Project Coliseum, a massive 2006 police raid that also netted family patriarch Nick Rizzuto Sr.

Fetta was seen loading and unloading high-calibre weapons in a garage not far from where he was shot on Monday. He was released on parole in 2008.

The shooting victim is believed to have been working as a bodyguard for Fransesco Arcadi, who took over the Rizzuto family on a temporary basis while family boss Vito Rizzuto was serving time in the United States.

In October 2008, Fetta had his own problems in an east-end Montreal jail after he was rounded up in the raid.

He was injured in a street-gang attack after Italian gangsters allegedly referred to their black rivals as "animals and monkeys that grow like mushrooms."

Fetta was stabbed with box-cutters and plastic knives but turned the tables on his attackers and chased one off a ledge, causing him to shatter his leg.

"Mob Wives" Stars Carla & Renee Go at It in Season 3


Earlier today, it was reported that Mob Wives star Renee Graziano called Carla Facciolo mean, uneducated, and ignorant. Renee confirmed that the two go at it on Season 3′s Mob Wives and said she absolutely despises Carla!

Carla is now responding to Renee Graziano EXCLUSIVELY to AllAboutTRH saying, “Renee is a clown . She wants to say I’m mean. Maybe everyone should know the real Renee . She did nothing but bash everyone’s family’s fathers husbands boyfriend and god knows who else. If anyone is mean dumb and ignorant its her! How the hell can she say she was hurt by me when her own husband betrayed her and ratted on her own father! That’s mean!”

Carla continues, “As for me and Renee’s friendship it seems everyone has it twisted. Me and Renee were friends as teenagers. We never hung out after that! We know each other but she was never my BFF . She really needs to stop saying we were friends for 20 years cause that definitely is not the truth.”

Renee also claimed Carla “wrecked” homes which is far from the truth! Carla says, “As for me wreaking houses well she got the wrong girl! I Never was the one to wreck anyone’s family . I know plenty of Renee’s friends who were wrecking houses including herself! I never stole anyone’s man as she says . She’s just jealous I had boyfriends and never had a problem getting one!

Renee addresses that she is hurt Carla because she is uneducated about her disease saying, “The beginning of the show is very serious. Carla is mean and ignorant and uneducated about my disease. She’s a name-caller. I despise Carla.”

Carla’s response? She tells us, “Renee does not have a disease she has a drug problem and that’s why she acts crazy and tells lies and makes up sick stories! Renee needs help and I’m praying she gets it . Renee’s been though a lot but so have a lot of people and they never acted the way she does. She strives for attention and will do and say anything to get it . For a girl who preaches the bible so much she’s definitely no saint! She more like a devil in disguise . Renee has major issues she need a lot oh help and I hope she’s getting it!”

[Renee responded to Carla's response today by calling in an interview with Curvy.]

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another Rat in 'Mob Wives' Midst

Turns out the DEA has flipped another Staten Island drug dealing mobster with connections to “Mob Wives,” albeit much less strong than in the case of Hector Pagan, Renee Graziano’s ex-husband who flipped while he was a regular character on the show. So reports Jerry Capeci’s column today.

Following in the footsteps of Pagan – who wore a wire on Renee’s father and several Bonanno mobsters, including boss Vincent “Vinny TV” Badalamenti – is Frank “Frankie Steel” Pontillo.

As Pagan was an unsavory witness due to his role as triggerman in a robbery/slaying in 2010, the mobsters he flipped on got off with “relatively sweet plea deals,” as Capeci writes.

The 350-pound 42-year-old Pontillo was nailed selling 5 kilos, and has so far helped the DEA in two cases.

As for Pontillo’s connections to “Mob Wives,” in one case, he bought drugs off of Anthony Cracchiolo, who appeared on Big Ang, getting him busted, as we reported here.

In a second link to the show, Pontillo bought a pound of grass from Gambino associate Lee Fama, who says on the recording Pontillo was making at the time that he had had dealings with the “mystery boyfriend” of “Mob Wives” lead Carla Facciolo.

As Capeci writes: “That’s Carla’s boyfriend? From Mob Wives?” Pontillo is heard exclaiming on the tape.

“Yeah… That’s him. You know the mystery boyfriend that Renee is always talking about,” said Fama, who then imitates Renee: “Your boyfriend is a piece of shit. He puts his hand on my ass.”

The identity of the boyfriend is still a mystery -- as he has not been named in any court papers.

Carla’s spokesperson denies this, saying Carla doesn’t have a boyfriend, then qualifying her statement by adding that he could be someone she dated in her past.

Philly Mob Hit Called 'Dumbest' Ever Seen

George Anastasia posted a great article today about the Philly mob hit in which the soldier who did the killing all but waved a banner over his head declaring his guilt. But there are deeper implications here: the hit took place right in the middle of a major trial focused on the Philly mob bosses. Talk about irony: The defense has been hammering at the point that there is no violence in any of the charges against "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his cohorts, as well as the fact that the don himself runs a kinder, gentler mob -- at least compared to preceding bosses Joe Merlino and Nicodemo Scarfo.

I bet there is a certain soldier being charged with first-degree murder with whom Uncle Joe would like to personally have a "sit down."

From the Big Trial: "Mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo has been charged with first-degree murder in a gangland shooting that one police investigator called the "dumbest" mob hit he has ever seen.

A former federal prosecutor agreed, calling the broad daylight slaying of Gino DiPietro Wednesday afternoon "amateurish" but indicative of what the Philadelphia crime family has become.

Nicodemo, 41, was taken in to custody less than 30 minutes after the shooting. Witnesses had spotted him fleeing the scene in an SUV and gave authorities the license tag number. The vehicle was registered in Nicodemo's name and listed at his address, a few blocks from where DiPietro was gunned down.

The married father of two young children was arrested at that home without incident. He was charged with murder, conspiracy and weapons charges Thursday afternoon after a ballistic test linked a gun found in his car with a bullet fragment from the murder scene. Police also found gloves and a ski mask in the vehicle, a black Honda Pilot, according to an investigative source."

Read complete article: Big Trial

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mob Hit Goes Down as Feds Rest in Ligambi Trial

Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi is on trial for a host
of charges, not one of them murder.
Police in South Philly are investigating what could be the mob-sanctioned shooting murder of a 50-year-old man, which occurred hours after prosecutors rested their case in the trial of reputed Mafia boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi.

Anthony Nicodemo, 41, a reputed mob soldier, was under questioning by police, who are also moving to obtain a search warrant for his home.

According to, a woman from the neighborhood heard five gunshots around 3 p.m., which is about when Gino DiPietro was repeatedly shot in the back while entering his truck in what looks like an ambush. He died of his wounds.

"He was in out and out trouble. He'd been in jail for drugs," a neighbor of the murdered man told the newspaper about DiPietro.

Nicodemo pleaded guilty in 2009 to helping operate a bookmaking ring inside Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino.

Since mid-October, Ligambi and several of his high-level associates have been on trial for a host of nonviolent charges, including loan-sharking, extortion and illegal gambling. Since murder was not among the charges, the DiPietro killing, if it is a mob hit, may have happened at the worst time possible for the defendants. 

It is possible the shooting could have an impact on the trial, especially of Nicodemo is charged with the crime, although law enforcement officials have reportedly said DiPietro could've been whacked by non-Mafia-related drug dealers.

As the defense prepares to put on its case next week, this week's focus had to do with payments to Ligambi from Top Job Disposal. (The trial is in recess for the rest of this week.)

A secretary testified that Ligambi came in every week for a $1,000 paycheck; Ligambi also received Teamsters health and retirement benefits. "Yet she said he was the company’s only salesman, and she never knew him to bring in any new business," reports the Daily Local News.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ex-Rizzuto Ally Latest Slain in Montreal Mob War

A younger Rizzuto
The and other newspapers are reporting what is likely the latest slaying in the mob war between Vito Rizzuto and those with whom he is fighting for control of the Montreal Mafia.

Former Rizzuto ally Emilio Cordileone was slain this past weekend.

The reports that the killing is "the latest manifestation of the power struggle being waged in Montreal’s underworld, experts said. And there’s likely more bloodshed to come.

"Montreal is like a powder keg right now. And there is a sense that the violence is no longer one-sided," Mafia expert Antonio Nicaso said in an interview on Sunday." Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the end of it."

Cordileone's body was found "riddled with bullets and slumped in a white Range Rover SUV about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday... Cordileone had no criminal record. However, his name came up numerous times during Operation Colisée, the RCMP probe into organized crime," the Journal reported

"The main thing our investigators are looking at: Is this connected to Italian organized crime," Constable Dany Richer was quoted as saying in the article.

Joseph Di Maulo was slain.
More mobsters have been spending a lot more of their cash on armour-plated cars, following Rizzuto's lead, as the violence continues to grow in the Montreal underworld.What is really proving a challenge to both investigators and the media is trying to determine which mobsters are on which side -- and who exactly is running the opposition to the Rizzuto family? Does Vito even know?

Providing the background for the ongoing feud, the noted that Rizzuto was considered by Canadian and American authorities to be "Canada’s top Mafia figure in the 1990s and 2000s." Rizzuto lost his father and eldest son, as well as his wife's brother, to mob violence in Montreal while he was serving a prison term in Colorado for his role in helping former Bonanno boss Joe Massino whack a trio of capos moving to take over the crime family in the early 1980s from boss Philip "Rusty" Rastelli.

Love Majewski Joining Cast of 'Mob Wives'

Love Majewski

Love Majewski is one of the two new cast members of "Mob Wives."

This was confirmed by VH1 today; no word yet on the identity of the second wife.

We originally identified Love as the new mob wife in an Oct. 9 blog post, which we yanked down in the face of sharp denials from two members of "Mob Wives."

Love was featured in "I Married a Mobster," and is known for once dating club king/Bonanno associate Chris Paciello a couple of decades back, which was part of the focus of Love's episode, called "Love Hurts."

As Investigation Discovery notes: "Through Staten Island mob daughters like herself, Love Majewski meets Chris Paciello, a member of the Bonanno crime family, as well as Ray Merolle's "The Untouchables," the car-theft operation that inspired [the film] "Gone in 60 Seconds." When Chris grows abusive, Love asks for Ray's protection, becoming at once his personal property and accomplice to theft. Chris moves to Miami, but is eventually arrested for murdering a porn king's wife, while Ray is convicted of more than 100 counts back in Staten Island. This leaves Love to live her life in limbo, trying to date normal guys but never fully escaping the FBI's radar."

Part of Love and Paciello's story was also laid bare in the true crime book A Mob Story by Michele R. McPhee, which focuses on Paciello's life story -- but still has a lot of Love in it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interview With a Hit Man for the Mexican Mafia

The interview is audio only; no video!

"English" Shaun, on his website, Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood), is running a multi-part interview with a hit man for the Mexican Mafia named Frank.

[Editor's Note: While this site focuses on the Italian Mafia, and I can't stand how the word "mafia" has been bastardized for usage as a generic handle for any crime group, I have to say that: a.) this interview is interesting, b.) Shaun is a friend of mine whom I have known for years (he even included me in the acknowledgement section of his book Hard Time), and c.) it's my blog, I can do whatever I want!]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mob Still Sees Big Dollars in Controlling Unions

From last January's "largest Mafia bust in American history."

From the National Legal and Policy Center:

The Genovese crime family has a well-earned reputation as the most feared of New York City's five Mafia organizations. An FBI bust this spring may weaken that standing. Local unions are hoping so. On April 18, an 18-count indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging 11 arrestees with racketeering, embezzlement, extortion and other offenses. At least eight are Genovese soldiers or associates, including capo Conrad Ianniello, nephew of recently-deceased onetime acting boss Matthew Ianniello. U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, Eastern District of New York, stated: "This indictment is the most recent chapter in this office's continued fight against organized crime's efforts to infiltrate unions and businesses operating in New York City." All defendants, save for one, have pleaded not guilty. Her spokesman told NLPC this week that all other cases are still pending.

New York's La Cosa Nostra families in recent years have seen attrition in their ranks as a result of aggressive law enforcement. Two cases stand out. In February 2008, federal agents arrested some 60 Gambino made men and associates (including Genovese and Bonanno members) for crimes including murder, racketeering, theft, and loan sharking. By the end of that September, virtually all defendants pleaded guilty; about three dozen were sentenced. The bust was part of a sweep, called Operation Old Bridge, coordinated with Italian authorities. Three years later, in January 2011, hundreds of FBI agents, U.S. marshals, and New York State and New York City cops arrested nearly 120 persons named in an 82-page, 16-count indictment for murder, racketeering, money-laundering, extortion and other offenses. It was the largest Mafia bust in American history. Nearly three dozen of those arrested were full-fledged members of the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese or Lucchese crime syndicates; others belonged to the DeCavalcante (Northern New Jersey) and Patriarca (New England) families. The entire Colombo leadership, for the time being, was taken out of commission. Dozens of other defendants were associates of various mobs.

Labor unions figured in each case....

Read full article

Philly Mob Expert Anastasia Turns to Blogging

Reporter-turned-blogger Anastasia has occasionally written
for Jerry Capeci's
George Anastasia, the Philadelphia Inquirer's resident mob expert/reporter for 38 years has left the newspaper to blog about Philly courtroom drama for, a new blog launched by prominent Philly attorney Jim Beasley, Jr.

We took an excerpt, below, from a Q&A that Five Families of New York City did with Anastasia; this segment involves the Ligambi trial in Philly:

This is the Philly mob’s biggest trial since Joey Merlino went down. Is it an exciting trial to cover?
I’ve covered a lot of these, and it is not as dramatic, partly because there are no murders. There’s no hit man turned government informant. This trial is really a picture of the mob in 2012. It’s a shadow of what it used to be. It’s all about greed and money and holding onto power, even though you don’t have as much power as you used to… I guess it’s always been about greed and money, but the money is a lot less today. If you want excitement, you’ve gotta go the 8th floor [of the courthouse]. That’s where they are taking forever to pick the Kaboni Savage jury. Twelve murders, and he’s already been convicted of being a cocaine kingpin. The Ligambi trial is the swan song for the traditional mob, but it doesn’t mean that the underworld is any safer. Kaboni Savage is the real gangster, not Joseph Ligambi.
You’ve been covering the Philly mob for decades. Anyone ever put a hit out on you?
John Stanfa put a hit out on me. I didn’t know it at the time. But he didn’t like the stuff I was writing. This was when he was the boss in the mid-1990s. But the guy who was supposed to come after me, Sergio Battaglia, he became a cooperating witness before he had a chance. He told me, “We were supposed to get some grenades and throw them through the window… it was nothing personal.” I said, “I have a wife and kids — that’s personal.” But you go after a reporter, and you just create more problems.
As an added attraction, we are including a lead in to Anastasia's first BigTrial blog post:

The Forgotten Man at the Mob Trial | Big Trial:

Every day around 4:30 Joseph "Scoops" Licata stands up, puts his hands behind his back and waits for a federal marshal to slap handcuffs on his wrists.

Then Licata and four other defendants who are being held without bail are led off to the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia. The routine has been playing itself out for two months now at the racketeering conspiracy trial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and six co-defendants (two are free on bail) in federal district court in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

President Obama's Exec Order Could Finish Off Mafia

President Obama's EO 13581 could literally tear apart what is
left of the American Cosa Nostra.
President Barack Obama last year issued an Executive Order that authorizes the Treasury Department to designate certain crime rings as "transnational groups" in order to freeze their U.S. assets and ban American citizens and companies from conducting business with them.

This order has already been used against some foreign crime rings, with some speculating that the American Mafia -- the Gambino crime family, in particular -- could be next.

The Free Republic noted that the Gambino crime family could finally be undone due to the fact that it is allegedly strengthening its ties to Sicily.

Under President Obama's Executive Order 13581, issued on July 24, 2011, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, several transnational crime groups have been put on the Treasury Department’s blacklist already, including the Yakuza from Japan, the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia in Italy, Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas and Central America’s Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13.

The Free Republic speculates that "perhaps the Gambino crime family may be next. Although all five of New York’s Mafia families allegedly have ties to the Sicilian Mafia the Gambinos reportedly are most deeply entrenched with their overseas paesanos. Apparently several of its reputed leaders "have strong ties to Sicily, including through the Palermo-based Inzerillo clan, as reported by Ed Scarpo for Cosa Nostra News." [Yes, we were surprised to find this mention here, as well.]

According to Wikipedia, the Inzerillo-Gambino Mafia clan claims it "is a transatlantic Mafia family, based in Palermo and New York City... In Sicily, the family clan is centered around the Inzerillo, the Spatola and Di Maggio families, while in the United States the Sicilian faction in the Gambino crime family is the core of the group. The Inzerillo clan hailed from the Passo di Ragano neighbourhood in Palermo. They were relatives of New York City Mafia boss Carlo Gambino."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Which City Should Get Its Version of Mob Wives?

Jennifer Graziano, as widely reported, has confirmed that both Miami and Philadelphia would get their own extensions of Mob Wives... or could, if VHI decides to expand the franchise.

So name your poison -- Philly, Miami or neither... Where is VHI's franchise going to expand into next... Please vote in our latest poll...

A Look at Underground Gambling: the Mob's Lifeblood

An "underground" poker game in progress.
A program that aired on National Geographic's cable channel purported to take viewers inside the world of underground gambling.

The hour-long special focused on one "Mikey Tatts," who claims to run his own game -- and while trying to eke out a living from his entrepreneurship, is constantly seeking to upgrade his players' venues, as well as add to his regular clients more and better players (preferably docile, deep-pocketed types).

The drag in Mikey's sails: "Cops wanna bust me and gangsters wanna rob me..." He adds, "It's not like the old days," meaning back when cops took payoffs or just looked the other way, considering gambling a harmless vice. But as we see, it's not so harmless when you are a gambling addict and can't win, so you keep borrowing more cash from a loanshark, who usually is a mobster or related to some other crime ring.

Law enforcement over the years has learned it is the "small" traditional street crimes -- underground gambling, escort services and loansharking, which are thought of as basically "victimless" crimes -- that give the mob the assets to make the big business moves, such as buying mega-quantities of drugs, and bribing union and political figures, etc.

What is interesting about this show, to this blogger anyway, is how the participants -- and NatGeo, either knowingly or unknowingly -- likely hid the hand of the Mafia in this card game operation, though there are small hints here and there.

"Mikey Tatts" runs a regular card game -- and helps players
who tap out but want to keep their seat at the table.

I mean, does anyone familiar with the life really think one man could hold his own regular card game, no-limit hold-em, with up to 22 players and $45Gs on the table on any given night, in the nooks and crannies of places like Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan, without either the protection or at least the approval of the mob?

I'd say absolutely not. If logic is not enough, consider that Mikey is also a loanshark, although on the show he operates more like a friend who loans money to his gamers, no mention of juice.

Mikey, who comes across as very charming and likable, calling everyone "bro," looks like the epitome of the stony eyed modern gangster, with beefy arms covered in ink and just the right touch of bling to grab enough attention; he looks exactly like the gangsters and associates I have met in recent years, who wear jeans and black muscle shirts instead of expensive suits and ties. Even Mikey's waxed eyebrows are a common preening and primping habit of guys in certain places, but to me they give a man a rather bizarre appearance. Asks 'Did "The Sopranos" Kill Mafia Dramas?'


BOARDWALK EMPIRE BEGINS in Atlantic City on January 16, 1920, the evening before the implementation of the Eighteenth Amendment. Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the Treasurer of Atlantic County, stands before a crowded meeting of the Women’s Temperance League. He is every bit the model politician, first paying tribute to the branch’s chairwoman and then recounting his impoverished childhood, ravaged by his father’s alcoholism. The crowd hangs off his every word, the camera panning over their tearful faces as they gasp and look on in sympathy and admiration. Nucky delicately takes his leave — not before offering support for women’s suffrage — with an assertion that, “Prohibition means progress.”

Outside the meeting, Nucky’s driver and understudy Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) marvels at the harrowing tales divulged on stage. Nucky shakes his head with a wry smile as he climbs into his Rolls Royce. “The first rule of politics,” he reminds Jimmy, “is to never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” The yarns he has spun for the meeting are certainly more story than truth, but the phrase’s wider meaning becomes clear as the engine starts and the car drives off. From the chastity of the Women’s Temperance League — envisioning a teetotal society standing to moral attention — we cut to the Atlantic City waterfront, resplendent with flappers, brass bands, and copious amounts of liquor...

Click above link for complete article

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Farese, Romanello Leave Court 'Free and Clear'

Reputed Colombo consigliere Thomas Farese, charged with money laundering, and Genovese capo Anthony Romanello (left), charged with extortion, walked out of the courthouse after the juries returned not-guilty verdicts.