Friday, February 28, 2014

Rudy's Friendship with Falcone Cause of Mafia Death Threats

The Sicilian mafia ordered the assassination of former mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani, a court in Palermo has heard, according to the UK's Mail Online. (Another surprising revelation from a separate trial in January unearthed a plot to blow up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.)

So know we actually have, in the form of Italian court records, corroboration for a claim Giuliani has been making for years. (More recently, we learned the Sicilian Cosa Nostra also had plans to whack former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, until they learned the extent of his security detail.)

Giovanni Falcone fearlessly hunted the Sicilian Mafia.
As we reported, Giuliani claimed that the Mafia in Sicily put an $800,000 contract on his head; He said this repeatedly as we note in the above linked story. He also repeated this as a guest on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable-channel show, "Oprah: Where Are They Now." A the Mail reported, which jibes with our take: "the onetime prosecutor and mayor seemed to relish that he was once important enough to be a target for organize crime."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why New York's Five Families Have Regained Power


REVISED, WITH NEW MATERIAL: A recent WSJ.com report noted that, despite stronger federal laws and the long parade of mob turncoats waiting to testify in court, New York's five Cosa Nostra families have managed to hold on, regroup and rebuild. They have survived, law enforcement officials and mob experts said, because of their "persistence and ability to adapt," the article noted.

In fact, the New York Mafia "has quietly staged a comeback and is now more powerful than it has been in years," Richard Frankel, special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York office, told the WSJ.


"Dark Web" Armories Ship Glocks, AKs to Your Front Door



Website offers Q&A with a spokesperson for The Armory, a notorious weapons marketplace lurking on the"dark web," a place full of shady characters and illegal products.

If you know two things about the deep web (perhaps based on new knowledge from House of Cards), then you know that it’s full of (A) shady characters and (B) illegal stuff for sale. You can browse the online aisles for drugs, child porn or the services of hitmen, or even tool up to do the task yourself by buying guns from a darknet arms dealer.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Profile of New York Mafia's "Weakening" Power Over Labor Unions

Avellino hedged his bets; he asked Luchese underboss Anthony "Gas Pipe" Casso for permission to murder Kubecka, who, Avellino feared, could serve up tasty new evidence
Sal Avellino ran the Luchese family's  interests in carting
on Long Island. He ordered a shameful double killing.
Organized labor is no longer the cash cow it once was for organized crime.

That was the apparent thrust of a recent WSJ.com report that noted the mob's infiltration of unions in the U.S. started to steadily weaken in the 1980s when then Manhattan U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani took aggressive measures.

The article offered two examples for the cause of the Mafia's decline on the union front: the 1986 Commission Case, at which defendants were charged with belonging to the Concrete Club, and the so-called Windows case of 1990.



The WSJ article, however, failed to note, or conveniently overlooked, a couple of things: namely two recent busts regarding a total of three mob families in control of two unions, one in private sanitation, the other concrete.

Yep. Apparently when Giuliani ended the Concrete Club, one of the bosses didn't get the message, even though he is serving life sentences because of it.

In the more recent case 32 mobsters and associates affiliated with both the Genovese and Gambino crime families were indicted about a year ago following a multi-year FBI probe into the mob's control of the private sanitation industry in New York and New Jersey. This was recently referred to in all those stories about Anthony Cardinalle, the longtime Genovese associate and fan of The Sopranos, known as "Tony Lodi." He owned, off the books, the New Jersey strip club that served as the Bada Bing, where Tony held court on HBO's since-completed The Sopranos series.

"Tony Lodi," who has been a turncoat for months, is allegedly one of nine members of a three-family panel said to have been in control of private garbage collection routes. In addition to the Genovese family, the Gambinos and Lucheses also were involved in the racket.

The other bust was much bigger and was sparked by what is usually referred to as "Mafia Take-down Day," when all those gangsters were rounded up in predawn raids in January 2011 all over the Northeast. It was later revealed that 101 mobsters and associates had been charged with racketeering crimes related to the Colombo family's ongoing control of Local 6A of the New York Cement and Concrete Workers. That's about the same number of mobsters and associates actually arrested on Mafia Take-down Day.

Yes, 25 years after the historic Commission Case, which proved the existence of the Concrete Club, mobsters were stilling running one of the same unions. Colombo boss Carmine "Junior" Persico, imprisoned for life following the Commission Case, was still the ultimate power behind Local 6A, the special counsel for the Laborers’ International Union of North America revealed.

Charley Lucky earned $12 million in
one year as a bootlegger. That would 
be about $165 million in today's dollars.
Persico controlled the union through several underlings over the years, including onetime “street boss” Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, currently incarcerated, and capo Dino "Big Dino" Calabro, who has been cooperating with the feds. Numerous Colombo wiseguys gave friends, family members, and cohorts with other crime families no-show jobs.

As recently as last October, it was reported that while one defendant, Ralph Scopo Jr., 63, had died, "wiseguy after wiseguy pleaded guilty to charges in more than a dozen separate indictments in New York."

It's quite a stretch to allege the Mafia's corruption of unions began waning back in the mid-1980s, with busts like these happening in the past few years. And who knows how many other crimes/potential investigations are taking place right now that could eventually lead to new revelations and indictments related to mob-domination of big labor, which was dealt a big blow in the South when workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, VW plant voted not to unionize. That decision was quite jarring to many people, and one has to wonder...

Owing to the above cases, and whatever else may be going on, the WSJ article added the usual provisos, including the fact that even though "some unions were definitely cleaned up, other unions weren't completely clean and other unions… were cleaned up but have been infiltrated again," said Richard Frankel, special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York office.

But it's shoddy reporting to not even mention these busts, whatever the reason, be it tunnel vision or the need to write a news story as per a more-senior editor's specs. It happens in newsrooms.

The Mafia and unions once went together like mortadella and provolone; New York's five families' involvement in unions likely preceded Prohibition, the outlawing of the production and sale (not, however, the consumption) of alcoholic beverages, which came to an end in December 1933, when the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.

The long dry spell—which lasted some 13 years—was over, and while tens of thousands of people spontaneously poured into Times Square to celebrate the end of the Noble Experiment (it took nearly New York City's entire police force, some 20,000 officers, to enforce crowd control), the Mafia was stretching its scheming muscles by creating new rackets, ramping up its focus on others, or assuming control of existing ones from other ethnic crime groups, mostly Jewish and Irish gangsters, which sometimes were allowed to profit as a subsidiary.

It's difficult to imagine the "cosmic change," as Selwyn Raab describes it, that faced the Mafia when Prohibition ended. Charles "Lucky" Luciano for one, reportedly told film producer Martin Gosch, the man who helped write the infamous gangland boss's controversial memoir published in 1975, that in a single one of those 13 dry years, he himself had earned a tidy $12 million (or $164.5 million in today's dollars). A lifetime fortune, both then and now, I'd say.

Initially, organized crime had mainly limited itself to simple rackets. (The word "racket," as used in this manner, is a U.S. invention, probably coined by a newspaper reporter to refer to the "new breed" of mobster that arrived in the 1930s. As Sammy Bullshit famously said: to be a successful Mafioso, one has to be both a "gangster and a racketeer," meaning one has to have the ability to be a strong-arm, stony-eyed killer, as well as the creative abilities and mindset of a businessman/entrepreneur.)

By simple, I mean they played both sides of the fence as hired muscle. Management needed to end a union strike? They'd hire local mobsters to crack the heads pf picketing workers. When the unions needed muscle to battle management's goons, they'd hire the same gangsters to ballbat the other team's heads.

Following Prohibition, though, the mob earned more from controlling union locals than it did as bootleggers during Prohibition. Union rackets have been operating for many decades, with a spectrum of rackets put into play from granular scams to the rigging of entire industries.

'Everyone who has seen the film "Casino," knows that the mob financed the Tangiers (really the Stardust, long gone from the Las Vegas strip) with money from the Teamsters pension fund.

We also know that Alicia DiMichele pleaded guilty to extorting $40,000 from the pension fund of Local 282 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

Alicia DiMichele
But stealing from the pension fund is only one way to milk a union. Like a restaurant or any other business, there are many ways the mob can capitalize on an asset it has seized. In fact, it has been alleged that the basic framework of a union, with elections, etc., makes it the perfect racket for the mob.

So what does the mob do when it "owns" a union? Jerry Capeci has written that, for the mob, controlling a union local is "like having your own little goldmine." A mobster (or associate) can appoint himself president of a local, earning a nice salary, and he can enhance his own power because he can distribute lots of jobs. He can appoint friends to serve on the administration, all earning handsome paychecks. He would have an office to fill (receptionists, secretaries, etc.). These prized jobs typically went to family members.

Our mob boss/union president can distribute other kinds of jobs to friends: "no-show jobs," meaning the guy just shows up to collect his paycheck (that is, if it's not being mailed to him); and "no-work jobs," meaning the guy has to be there, physically on the premises whenever he is supposed to be working; hence, those many Sopranos scenes in which the fellas are sitting on lawn chairs fanning themselves in the hot summer New Jersey sun right beside a busy construction site. Maybe they'd play cards, eat pizza. (Obviously, no-show jobs were preferred.)

Of course, our mob boss would need to hire a firm to clean the office, and another one to cut the lawn and plow the snow. Contracts would be given to say, cousin Joe, the landscaper. Whoever got the job, the mobster in charge would get a fat envelope in return for hiring the firm.

Consider the fringe benefits: leased cars from dealers who'd show their appreciation for the leasing agreements; expense accounts for nonexistent expenses. The rackets that can be spun from a union are only limited by the mobster's imagination.

That's all the small-time stuff, too. There are much larger rackets to be woven.

A mobster could use the union to scare the hell out of CEOs of companies using non-unionized-labor. A Teamster organizer shows up at some regional trucking outfit and the guy running it will be close to cardiac arrest. He could be saving close to a million a year in salaries and benefits by not having a union. So what would, say, a $75,000 a year under-the-table payoff be compared to the "threat" of unionization? Why, the CEO would probably hug and kiss the wiseguy (which is probably how they came to earn that particular nickname; I don't believe they like to be called Goodfellas, though. As one told me: "Hey, I am not a figment of Nick Pileggi's imagination." (Pileggi is the author of the books on which the films Goodfellas and Casino were based.)

And if a shop is unionized, a wiseguy can move into the president's office, offer management a sweetheart deal that screws the union members, pocketing a nice payoff. Any situation conceivable can produce a profit motive; it's only a matter of finding it.

When the mob owns companies that belong to the union that it also controls, it's only a hop, skip and a jump before the mob can dominate entire industries. One notable example: mob trucking firms eventually dominated transportation in the garment industry of New York City.

At one point, around 1970, the mob dominated unions wherever there was a Mafia family; that's a lot of cities and towns, all over the U.S.

Overall, the mob dominated, in one form or another, four major unions: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT); the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), for construction workers; the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE), and the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), for maritime workers.

So much money was at stake, the mob often had to make life-and-death decisions. In fact, one of the most mysterious murders of the 20th century was the result of the mob protecting its union interests: Who killed James R. Hoffa? (Well, he disappeared, forever, in 1975; I don't think he's stashed in someone's attic.)

In fact, three powerful union chiefs "disappeared" in the 1970s. A fourth, John O'Connor, a name that should be familiar to many who watch all those John Gotti documentaries, was a business agent for Local 608 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in New York. In the 1980s, he was shot in the ass as per the orders of Gambino chieftain John Gotti. This was after O'Connor had first ordered the trashing of a certain restaurant built with non-union labor. On a cold night in February 1986, some $30,000 worth of damage was done to the Bankers and Brokers Restaurant in Battery Park City. Did I mention it was owned by a Gambino member? Gotti went to trial for this; O'Connor testified but said nothing. He certainly didn't incriminate anyone. This was one of those trials Gotti fixed and won, earning a new nickname: the Dapper Don became the Teflon Don.

So tightly interwoven are mobsters and unions that while some mobsters earn a fortune pretending to be union bosses, some union officials pretend to be mobsters. If history has shown us anything, it's that corruption is contagious.

The flipside is tragedy. One of the most shameful episode's in Cosa Nostra history pertained to the mob's domination of the carting industry on Long Island.

Robert Kubecka
Late in 1977, Robert Kubecka, who had a degree in management and a masters in environmental engineering, inherited the family business: a small private carting business on Long Island founded by his father.

The operation started when Jerry Kubecka, Robert's father, moved to the small town of Northport, on Long Island, which is just off State Highway 10, a few miles northeast of Huntington. Jerry purchased an old fertilizer truck and for a dollar a week he carted to the dumps rubbish from households and businesses in the area. He branched out and the business grew, to the extent that he'd been under pressure to join the local union controlled by the area crime boss. In this case, Local 813, the union that represented garbage truck workers, which was then run by a mob-connected secretary-treasurer who took orders from heavyweight Gambino capo James "Jimmy Brown" Failla. The Lucheses also shared in the union local, and it seems the Kubecka "problem" fell under their purview.

Jerry stood up to the mob; he suffered continual harassment. He spoke openly to the law and told at least one reporter about his troubles in depth, which his son had agreed to take on. Robert knew what he was getting into; his own father wasn't about to trick him, as did Robert's partner his brother-in-law, Donald Barstow, with whom he was good friends.

Donald Barstow
At this time, the private carting industry picked up around three-fourths of Long Island's garbage and had been formed into a "trade group," the Melville, New York-based Private Sanitation Industry, Inc.Despite outward appearances, it was a mob creature designed to suppress competition, punish operators who needed punishing, bid-rigging, etc.

The honestly-run Kubecka business was serving as an example for other private carters who might have second thoughts about getting in bed with mobsters.

So, the low-level intimidation suffered by Jerry was passed on to Robert and Donald. It steadily grew and worsened. The two men refused to back down and started working with New York State's OCTF (Organized Crime Task Force). Based mostly on Kubecka's secret testimony, several high-level Lucheses involvined in the carting industry, including capo Salvatore Avellino and boss Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, were indicted.

In 1986, facing evidence from a bug planted in the Jaguar in which he drove Tony Ducks around discussing mob business, Avellino pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for using coercion to prevent Kubecka from bidding on waste hauling contracts on Long Island.

However, later that year Avellino hedged his bets; he asked Luchese underboss Anthony "Gas Pipe" Casso for permission to murder Kubecka, who, Avellino feared, could serve up tasty new evidence in new criminal and civil cases. Casso gave the nod.

Allegedly on August 11, 1989, Luchese gunmen Rocco Vitulli and Frank "Frankie the Pearl" Federico burst into Kubecka's office, where he and Barstow were working. Both men were shot to death.

On April 13, 1993, Avellino was indicted in federal court on racketeering charges involving the 1989 Kubecka and Barstow murders. Avellino first pleaded not guilty to both charges, then, in February 1994, he agreed to helping plan the two murders and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

On July 16, 1999, Avellino was indicted again in federal court on 15 counts of racketeering in the waste hauling industry from 1983 to 1998. In March 2001, Avellino pleaded guilty to using threats of violence to run his Long Island waste hauling business from federal prison. As part of a plea deal, Avellino was to serve five more years in prison after the end of his racketeering sentence. On October 13, 2006, Avellino was released from federal prison.

In 2009, Jerry Capeci reported that the aged Luchese capo had retired.

Barstow and Kubecka, honest men who stood up to Mafia pressure in ways few others rarely would even consider, let alone dare, are still dead.

According to the WSJ.com report, the Luchese and Genovese families remain the most active at infiltrating and exploiting unions.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Ndrangheta Dominated the Drug Trade

La Cicciolina, sans exposed breasts.

The following was written by Charles DeLucca, our itinerant journalist, who occasionally files reports with Cosa Nostra News based on his observations and thoughts regarding organized crime, Italian-style, in all its various guises and locals.

Most of the time, when I mention I am of Italian nationality, people ask me about every single issue relating to Italy. From Berlusconi to La Cicciolina (a Hungarian-born Italian porn star, politician and singer, famous for delivering political speeches with her breasts exposed).

They also ask my about the dynamics of organized crime. Certain topics are off limits because it’s really, really difficult to explain the truth about certain groups.

For instance, most of what we know about the American Cosa Nostra is from the movies, TV and pentitis (plural for “those who repent”; rats, turncoats, in other words).

Nobody knew much about la Camorra until Robert Saviano published Gomorrah in 2006. Then a film and television series followed, of course. (Here’s a clip, enjoy.)

What can you say about La ´Ndrangheta?

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Mob Wives" Ends on So-What Note, But Season 5 Is On

Natalie, far right, had the gall to tweet...
Mob Wives: New Blood was renewed for a fifth season this morning, following a terminally boring show finale last night. (Yes, we know the Reunion is next week, and Natalie and Renee are going to fight some more.)

The question remains, though: Who will be returning/not-returning for the fifth and, we predict, final season...

It's hard to write with passion about this show. I have come to a realization: the show, scripted or not, is serving merely as a platform to enrich these women so they'll never have to work again.

Is it coincidence that Renee, suddenly in the last episode, has written a novel, and has even found a publisher? (Probably sis acted as the agent and probably hired the ghostwriter, too) And the publisher is even throwing a book debut party--just in time for the season finale. (Of all the curve balls in reality TV, this is the most spectacularly offensive.)

Now, I can't recall, was there even one scene that showed Renee writing or talking about writing? I've been writing an awfully long time and know it usually takes years of practice to write a book (unless you hire a ghostwriter). You don't usually sit down and say, I'm gonna write a book, and presto, you complete a sell-able first draft... I know, I know, I am taking the show literally -- and you're not supposed to do that.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New York's Five Families Down but Not Out - WSJ.com

Mostly old news in this WSJ article, but we are extracting a few intriguing morsels for our own story:

For more than two decades, New York City's five organized-crime families were plagued by convictions brought on by strengthened federal laws and the increasing habit of higher-ranking members cooperating with the government.

Those years of high-profile decline created a perception that the city's mafia is on the verge of extinction. But law-enforcement officials and mob experts say the five families, while not the force they once were, are far from sleeping with the fishes. They have survived, the experts said, because of their persistence and ability to adapt.

"I don't know that I'd say La Cosa Nostra was what it was in its heyday but I wouldn't say by any means it's gone away," said Richard Frankel, special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York office.

Read rest at WSJ.com

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Mafia Films You Need to See




I read one of those 10 Mafia Movies That Made Their Mark lists and saw not a single surprise.

Here's five Mafia films that'll surprise you -- and I mean in a good way. I have seen all of them, some once, others as many as a dozen times. From the bare-bones budgeted Wannabes to the major studio release Running Scared, these movies add technique or simple great story telling to etch their mark....

Chicago Overcoat (2009) 
When Chicago mob kingpin Stefan needs a witness eliminated, Lou volunteers for one last big job so that he can retire. The task becomes complicated, however, when younger thugs resent Lou's interference.

'The Counselor' Masterfully Depicts Lives of Men of Violence

WARNING: THERE BE SPOLIERS HERE, APLENTY

video
Reiner explains what a bolito is.

Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” evokes a certain chill in the viewer, despite the fact it takes place on the searing Mexican border.

The film is a brilliant portrayal of men living lives of varying degrees of corruptness, from the entry-level outsider, the titular Counselor (Michael Fassbender), to the experienced professionals (such as Javier Bardem's character, the nightclub-owning Reiner, who lives in denial; and the jaded, looking-for-an-exit Westray, played by Brad Pitt), all the way up the chain to the drug kingpins, personified by the character named in the credits as jefe, played by the great Rubén Blades.

Cartels have been working with the Sicilian Mafia for some time; the recent bust in New York and Calabria reveals the Gambino and Bonanno families are in league with the Cartels, seemingly the middlemen between the big Mexican narcotrafficantes and the Ndrangheta.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Hijacking of the Italian Mafia

Home base for the Cosa Nostra (left) and Ndrangheta.
The Heart Mafia... the Nappa Valley Mafia... India's Sand Mafia... something called the Swedish House Mafia... and of course, the Israeli Mafia.

All those mafias were mentioned in articles brought to my attention via a single email from Google Alert, which is ever probing the content plastered all over the Web for several keywords of my choosing. This is one way I develop story ideas for this blog, which takes up a lot of my time, which, truthfully, could be more profitably spent on other endeavors.

The word "mafia" is getting a bit overused these days, and I first held this notion years ago, before I'd even heard of most of the above groups (the Heart mafia?). In fact, except for the Swedish House Mafia, I've never heard any of the above-mentioned coinages prior to today.

It seems like anytime you have one group dominating an industry or sector or area of expertise, you can label them the mafia (I use little "m" from now on, to differentiate these pretenders to the noun).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Luciano Book Offers New Revelations About Mafia Chief

Christian Cipollini's book on Luciano is due this May.
The Mob Museum Blog by Beverly Ford and Stephanie Schorow: The Italian-born gangster and head of [the crime family known today as] New York’s Genovese crime family who died in January more than 50 years ago was grossing $12 million from bootlegging, gambling and other illegal activities by the age of 28. Now that’s lucky.

He escaped several attempts on his life, including a notorious beating and stabbing attack in 1929 that left him with a scar and drooping eye. That’s lucky too.

He orchestrated the execution of several crime bosses – even luckier still since he survived to become one of the top crime bosses in the nation until dying of a heart attack in Naples, Italy, in 1962 at the age of 64.

But if you think that’s all to the story of Charles “Lucky” Luciano, think again.

Author Christian Cipollini has made some remarkable new discoveries about the gangster while researching his upcoming book, “Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangster Legend,” scheduled for release in May.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Stuff Found in Crazy Joe Gallo's Billfold After His Murder...

Arthur Nash posted the image below on his Facebook page: New York City Gangland - Rare Photo Book. He is the author of New York City Gangland, a compilation of some 200 rare photos of mobsters obtained primarily from private collections and law enforcement sources. Mob figures included go all the way back to Prohibition Days, but the book also includes contemporary gangsters, such as John Gotti.

This images features items found in Joe Gallo's wallet after he was shot to death in Little Italy.

As for Crazy Joe Gallo, I am betting that most of you know who he is.... He died on the night of his 43rd birthday, on April 7, 1972. Gallo had spent the evening celebrating at the Copacabana nightclub, then he and a few others stopped at Umberto’s Clam House on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. It was around 5 a.m.

A short while later, shooters materialized at the restaurant and fired a volley of shots; Gallo staggered out of the eatery and fell dead in the street.

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Godfather" Theme Played for Philly Mobsters at Celebratory Dinner

From Big Trial : It was mood music for a corporate takeover.

A few hours after a rowdy shareholders meeting formalized what federal authorities allege was Salvatore Pelullo's secret takeover of FirstPlus Financial, Pelullo hosted a celebratory dinner for company officers and members of the board of directors at a posh steakhouse in Dallas.

As he sat at the head of a long table in a private dining room at DelFrisco's on that night in October 2007, a violinist serenaded Pelullo repeatedly with the same song, said Robert O'Neal, then chairman of the board and president of FirstPlus.

O'Neal, testifying for the prosecution at the racketeering trial of Pelullo, mobster Nicodemo S. Scarfo and five other defendants, said the song was all too familiar and somewhat ominous.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Colombo Turncoat Sues for Rights to 'Break Shot'

Simon & Schuster stole the rights to mob informant Kenny "Kenji" Gallo's life story, titled "Break Shot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia," Gallo is alleging in a lawsuit seeking an injunction and damages for copyright infringement.

Yes, the book was recently featured on this site when I quoted from it, as well as recommended it to all readers.

I was quite surprised that the book was unavailable on Amazon, except for "used" copies, one of which I snapped up; I had loaned my copy out and never got it back. I would think the publisher would relaunch a new version of the book considering that it could leverage the fact that it keys in on certain individuals involved with a new cast member of the hit show "Mob Wives."

Kenji has filed a lawsuit filed against the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, alleging that the company purloined the rights to the book by registering the copyright in the names of co-author Matthew Randazzo and former publisher Phoenix Books.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ndrangheta, New York Mob Associates Arrested for Drug Smuggling

In New York, an alleged mob associate was arrested as part
of a series of coordinated raids between U.S., Italian law
enforcement officials.

Following a two-year probe that involved wiretaps and undercover agents, law enforcement officials in a coordinated effort today launched predawn raids in both Calabria, Italy, and Brooklyn, New York, to smash apart a $1 billion global drug ring that included members of both the Italian Ndrangheta and associates of the New York Mafia -- specifically associates of the Gambino and Bonanno families

More than 20 were arrested. In the U.S. one Ndrangheta member was arrested, as well as the two Mafia associates, and four others related to the various groups involved in the ring.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tony Soprano Beats Papa Smurf Any Day of the Week

Good ol' Tone, parking the SUV in front
of the Bing, HQ for the mob boss and
his key associates.
The recent flood of articles associating an unknown real-life mobster with a well-known fictional one has been getting big headlines this week, thanks once again to the enterprising work of journalist Jerry Capeci and his GangLand News website.

Anthony Cardinalle was indicted about a year ago, one of 32 defendants nailed following a multi-year FBI probe into the mob's control of the private sanitation industry in New York and New Jersey.

Cardinalle, a longtime Genovese associate known as "Tony Lodi," began cooperating with the FBI and Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office a week before Christmas, although GangLand News is also reporting that, according to sources, Cardinalle has been talking to the Feds months longer than that. In December, presumably after he committed to the other side, he plead guilty to the two counts charged against him, racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion; he also admitted his role in a plot to shake down a cooperating witness who owned a waste hauling company.

"Tony Lodi" is allegedly one of nine members of a three-family panel said to have been in control of private garbage collection routes, all of whom pleaded guilty before their racketeering trial could begin; it was scheduled to commence last month. In addition to the Genovese family, the Gambinos and Lucheses also were involved in the racket.

But if they all plead guilty to sweetheart deals already, then what good is Tony Lodi? Presumably he's going to rat on the non-mob-linked defendants...?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Memorial Ceremony for Scarpa, Bulger Victims This Saturday

Forensic analyst/congressional consultant Angela Clemente is holding a ceremony this Saturday to unveil a monument erected to memorialize 47 murder victims of mob hit men/FBI informants Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, Frank "Frankie Blue Eyes" Sparaco, and James "Whitey" Bulger.

Each victim's name will be engraved on the memorial, which stands about 6 feet tall and states:

"Death cancels everything but the truth."
In loving memory of all the victims who unnecessarily lost their lives; you will forever be entrenched in our hearts.
Dedicated by: Angela Clemente
I promise to dedicate my life to make sure that this will never happen again.


The unveiling is this Saturday (Feb. 8) at 1:00 p.m. at “The New Beginnings” rehabilitation center.

The address is:
12 Platinum Court
Medford, New York 11763
Tel. 631-286-6166
http://www.nbli.org

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Are Some Mob Wives Turning on Each Other?

Since I hyped a story about Big Ang's daughter, I feel it's only fair to balance the scales by alerting you all to this story, which says that the story was actually a complete fabrication deliberately spread by Renee Graziano and Carla Murino...

[By the way one of the linked stories mentions that Ramona Rizzo ended it with her fiancé, presumably based on the fact he'll be in the joint for the next 15 years for dealing cocaine. Drugs are the last surefire way any mobster with balls enough can still get wealthy. A commodity requiring no advertising with a huge markup! Easier than skimming from unions, I guess. Even easier than loansharking. Just gotta watch you don't get caught.]

From All About the Real Housewives: Renee Graziano and her friend Carla Murino are up to their old tricks. Apparently, since last Thursday’s episode, they came up with a plan on how to get the heat taken off of them, and it’s by using Big Ang’s daughter, Raquel Donofrio! Sources EXCLUSIVELY tell AllAboutTRH that Renee and Carla are using Raquel to clear Carla’s name of the cheating rumors with Alicia’s (DiMichele) husband Eddie, by leaking false stories about Raquel and Eddie having an affair. They want people to think that Alicia was blaming the wrong people, and want her to direct the blame towards Raquel!

Our insiders reveal, “Renee and Carla are disgusting. They are so obsessed with Alicia and mad about all the negative feedback they got from their ‘pretend’ sit-down on last week’s episode, that they are desperate to put the blame elsewhere. They are betraying Big Ang and her daughter Raquel, which is sick since Renee’s sister, Jen Graziano, is Big Ang’s manager. After the episode Renee gave a fake statement to VH1 about feeling bad about how she treated Alicia, so she doesn’t look suspicious planting fake stories. They are two pathetic, bitter, women, and stooping this low shows that.”

While I'm on the topic, I might as well bring you all up to date; I think Renee and Carla have turned on each other...

Bud Zuccaro Apparently Fourth Cooperator

Bud Zuccaro
The fourth witness apparently is Peter "Bud" Zuccaro, who testified against Charles Carneglia (who had been Zuccaro's best man) and John Gotti Jr in Manhattan.

The three other cooperating witnesses are Joe Massino, Salvatore Vitale, and a relative of the Asaros whom I refer to as The Mook, (a foolish, insignificant and contemptible person) Gaspare (Gary) Valenti.

According to court papers CW-4 was an associate of the Gambino family, who pled guilty pursuant to a cooperation agreement in the Eastern District of New York to two counts of murder in-aid-of racketeering, narcotics distribution conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. CW-4’s information has been corroborated by, among other things, physical surveillances, consensual recordings and the testimony of other witnesses. CW-4 cooperated in the hopes of obtaining leniency in sentencing and protection in the Witness Security program. At sentencing, the government moved, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1 and 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e), to permit a downward departure and/or below-guidelines sentence based upon the substantial assistance provided by CW-4 to the government; CW-4 was subsequently sentenced to time served plus one year and one day, which equated to approximately 85 months in prison.

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