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Showing posts from May, 2014

Franzese's Struggle Followed His 1986 Indictment

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It's certainly not too late to sign up -- and ensure your participation in the Michael Franzese webcast, about which a major announcement will be made in a few days.
Apparently, the mailing list gadget, below, doesn't show up in the mobile version of this site on some smartphones. So I've put it inside this post. Just enter your email address in the box.

Join our mailing list





If you are still encountering difficulty, shoot an email to me at eddie2843@gmail.com and I will enter your email address for you. Then you will just have to reply to a confirmation email that will appear in your inbox.

Michael Franzese is most widely known for the gasoline tax scam, one of the single-most profitable rackets ever operated by New York's Five Families. He also sported a clean-cut image and, as the son of "Sonny" Franzese, was described by the media as "Mafia royalty."

Cosa Nostra News for the Week Ending May 31

Produced with Bloodletters & Badmen.

Stories highlighted this week include webcast with former Colombo Capo Michael Franzese, as well as Teddy Persico, Bartolomeo Vernace, Former FBI Agent John Connolly and Camorra boss turned pentito, Antonio Iovine.

Alleged Corruption and Organized Crime in New Hampshire

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Former thoroughbred owner Michael Gill seems to be waging a one-man war against criminal activity in New Hampshire and horse racing -- something seemingly specifically related to the Penn National Race Track in Grantville, Pa. (The racetrack has a casino attached, one of 11 casinos in Pennsylvania, according to Philly.com.)

Or, as a press release issued today puts it: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely - Press Release - Digital Journal: "Over the last few months, Mike Gill has been documenting his allegations of corruption and organized crime in the State of New Hampshire in a series of videos. Today he is releasing what he hopes to be the final video in this series."

"I Started Killing in the '80s," Says Turncoat Camorra Boss O'Ninno

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The following story regarding the capture of the first Casalesi Camorra boss to flip includes a wealth of details about the man who folded under the pressure of solitary confinement. The information to which O'Ninno, or "Baby Face," as he is known, is privy can “make the Italian political and business worlds tremble,” world-famous journalist Roberto Saviano told The Daily Beast, which obtained a copy of the mob boss's court testimony.
O'Ninno, known widely as a bookkeeper for the Naple-based Mafia outfit, was also a quite prolific killer. “I started killing in the '80s,” he said, and his "hit lists" included police officers, bodyguards, opposition clan members, and "people in discotheques, on lonely roads and in broad daylight." He also took his wife and daughter with him as far away as Brazil and Portugal to participate in killings, "while they enjoyed what amounted to family vacations."

Want to Chat with Former Colombo Capo Michael Franzese?

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EXCLUSIVE: Readers of Cosa Nostra News will soon have an opportunity to ask former Colombo capo Michael Franzese anything they'd like (as long as it's not moronic gibberish; by that, I refer to the tone. Rudeness will not be tolerated. Anything can be asked, as long as it's sincere and with civility).

I may moderate the webcast which is being put together for you, the readers of this blog, specifically.
I, for one, have a few questions I'd like to pose to Michael regarding exactly how he managed the transition out of the Mafia. Also, there are gaps in the story about the murder of Champagne Larry Carozza. And what does his dad think of all this?

Because we decided that logistics would be too much of an issue -- think of the steak dinner scenario for example -- it's been decided that the event will be a live webcast (meaning, although nothing is finalized as of yet, you would participate from your home computer); since we'll likely only be able to accommodate a …

12 Years for Skinny Teddy in Scopo Slay

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Teddy Persico Jr., was sentenced today to 12 years for the 1993 murder of Colombo capo Joseph Scopo.

The hit carried out by the boyish hitman, John Pappa, was among the final casualties of a mob war that pitted Carmine Persico and Colombo family loyalists against then-acting boss Vittorio "Little Vic" Orena and a Colombo faction backing him up.

Specifically, Colombo capo Theodore "Teddy Boy" Persico, Jr., was sentenced to 12 years in prison for ordering underlings to whack Scopo, a key player for the Orena faction. In the summer of 1993, Persico managed to pass on the orders while attending his grandmother’s wake at Scarpaci Funeral Home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on leave from a previous prison sentence and accompanied by prison guards. (Teddy, incidentally, is Alicia DiMichele's ex-husband / husband(?) Eddie "Tall Guy" Garofalo's capo. DiMichele is due in court tomorrow.)

Conviction Overturned for Ex-FBI Agent Linked to Whitey Bulger

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WSJ.com: "A Florida appeals court on Wednesday tossed out the murder conviction of a former federal agent accused of participating in the killing of a Florida businessman who had run afoul of notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

John Connolly, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who was Mr. Bulger's handler for the agency, was charged in 2005 with joining a scheme to murder businessman John Callahan in 1982. Mr. Connolly was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Mr. Connolly wasn't accused of pulling the trigger in the murder. He argued that his conviction on second-degree murder charges violated the statute of limitations. In a 2-1 decision, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal agreed, saying the trial court wrongly classified his conviction so the statute of limitations didn't apply.

It's Life-Plus for Gambino Capo Vernace

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LongIsland.com: Yesterday at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Bartolomeo Vernace, a member of the administration of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the Gambino family), was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, plus 10 years.

On April 17, 2013, following a five-week jury trial before the Hon. Sandra L. Townes, Vernace was found guilty of a racketeering conspiracy spanning 1978 through 2011. The jury found that Vernace participated in all nine racketeering acts alleged as part of the conspiracy, including the 1981 double homicide of Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese, heroin trafficking, robbery, loansharking, and illegal gambling.

Rep. Grimm Kept Wiseguy "Mikey Suits" Alter Ego

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So that probably was him with the comments!

From the NY Daily News: "Meet Congressman Mikey Suits.

Rep. Michael Grimm, who posed as a mobbed-up stockbroker named Michael (Mikey Suits) Garabaldi while working undercover for the FBI, kept his wise-guy alter ego even after entering Congress, newly unsealed federal documents show.

Grimm’s cell phone was listed under a “Michael Garibaldi of Centurian Consulting” as recently as 2012, when prosecutors sought a court order for permission to track all his calls, the documents show.

The embattled Staten Island Republican, who is now under federal indictment, used the phone as his primary number as recently as last year, and even received mail addressed to a Michael Garibaldi, a source told The Daily News.

Informer Poses Alternate History of New York Mafia

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This is not an advertisement.... I love this journal, Informer, and if you've never read it or heard of it, it sets the benchmark for serious historical study of the Mafia in America. 

In a note, editor Tom Hunt explains something here about the study of the Mafia that should be remembered.


Informer: May 2014 Issue of Informer: "It would be both foolish and profoundly egotistical for any historian to believe that he or she had penned the “final word” on a subject. History is always being revised and expanded. New sources become available. New perspectives are applied to data. One historian's discoveries spark another's discoveries. That, really, is what makes the field of study exciting and alive.

A historian may be of far greater use for attempting to write the first word on a subject or a completely new interpretation of available data. Such an achievement revitalizes the field, as it sends colleagues scrambling to comprehend its ramifications, to compare the new acco…

Busy Week in Eastern District Court for Mafioso, Ex-Mob Wife

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REVISED: Comment moderation, except for older posts, was removed as it was slowing down discussion. Comments now will appear immediately.

Also, please consider starting an account with a nickname or some kind of name when commenting instead of leaving anonymous comments... Anyone wanting to do so in need of assistance, please email us.

Comments will still be reviewed, of course. ;-)

Thanks to MafiaNewsBlog.com for furnishing this info.

A slew of high-level mobsters and one mob wife will be in Brooklyn Federal Court this week for various reasons, including sentencing, plea bargains and conferences.

Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace is slated to be sentenced tomorrow morning by the Honorable Sandra Townes. The prognosis is life in prison for the Gambino capo who refused to cop to a lesser charge that included a 12-year sentence.

Film Spotlights Troubled MCA Probe

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"EXCLUSIVE: Revealed, how the MAFIA helped Ronald Reagan get to the White House. Shocking documentary reveals Mob connections that catapulted him to the presidency - and how a probe was thwarted at "the highest levels."

Taken at face value, that certainly sounds like an intriguing premise for a film about the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989); 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975); and President of the Screen Actors Guild (1947-1952, 1959-1960).

The UK's MailOnline was privy to an exclusive screening of the film in question, Wages of Spin II: Bring Down The Wall, produced and directed by Philadelphia filmmaker Shawn Swords, whose previous work focused on the "dark" world of television icon Dick Clark. Wages of Spin II will soon have its world premier.

New Mafia Show on American Heroes Channel

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American Heroes Channel: The Mafia's Greatest Hits uncovers the extraordinary truth behind some of the Mafia's most notorious outlaws, and reveals how the FBI and law enforcement developed the techniques to crack the organization and bring it to justice.

This is the story of the rise and fall of the Mafia, told by the people who brought it down.



Cosa Nostra News for Week of May 24

In Italy, Education Viewed as Key Threat to the Mafia

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Interesting Q&A from Italy's Democrats Really (Democratici Davvero), a faction within the Democratic Party (PD). Maria Rosaria Bindi, better known as Rosy Bindi, is an Italian politician and the current President of the Antimafia CommissionLuigi Ciotti is an Italian priest belonging to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Turin, deeply involved in the fight against illegality and organized crime such as Mafia.

Ciotti sets the stage for the discussion, noting the ages of the three Mafia groups in Italy; notes the North has been overrun as well, as early as 1983. The Mafia, aware of the renewed focus Italy places on it, has "changed its skin" (love that Italian way of phrasing) and now kills less and maintains a low profile. The New York Mafia has done the some: supposedly murder is no longer sanctioned to avoid the long sentences that compel the creation of turncoats and informants, which may mean gangland hits are now done only off the record, much like the drug busi…

Italy in Shock as First Casalesi Camorra Boss Flips

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A Camorra boss of the powerful Casalesi clan is collaborating with investigators in Naples, according to published reports.

Antonio Iovine, known as o'ninno or "the baby" due to his youthful face and swift climb up the ladder -- he is one of four bosses of the Casalesi clan -- all of which have been jailed for life following a major trial in 2008, began working with anti-Mafia prosecutors earlier this month.

Iovine, 49, reportedly led the business side of the clan's activities.

The Casalesi is the clan our roving correspondent Charles DeLucca has been reporting on for this blog.

Well, That's That, as They Say...

Well, that's that.

For some reason, the poll I was running regarding this blog's design lost all its data.
I was considering a redesign of the blog; the sliding panel up top, for example, takes up a lot of space that I could otherwise use.

I've never been crazy about the color scheme, either, frankly. The guy I partnered with last year, who disappeared on me (not in the literal sense! He won't return my calls or emails), created the whole thing without even asking me for feedback.

Treasure Trove of Links to Free "Mob Boss" Extras

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We finally finished "Mob Boss" by Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins (now we just have four more books to get through, then on to the next batch) and were doing a little more research on Al D'Arco when we found a whole ton of stuff right out there in the open on Gang Land News.

If you're interested in Al, the Luchese family, or the Mafia in New York in general, you might want to check out some of these links in this post from GangLand News:

D'Arco was the first acting Mafia boss to cooperate when he flipped in 1991. His testimony helped send more than 50 mob figures to prison, and his decision to defect prompted many others to follow his lead, including then-Gambino family underboss, Sammy Bull Gravano.

You can tour the tough streets near the Brooklyn Navy Yard where Al D'Arco was raised, and follow him through the Mafia social clubs of Little Italy and south Brooklyn on this special google map of Al D'Arco's New York.

Monaco Heiress Dies After "Mob Hit" on the Riviera

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REVISED: Hélène Pastor, 77, who was known to be close to Monaco’s Royal family, died this morning following the brutal May 6 attack in Nice on her and her chauffeur/right-hand man who died four days after the shooting.

The two were shot outside the L’Archet Hospital in the south of France.

Pastor died this morning from injuries. Although she awoke from an induced coma several days ago, her condition deteriorated overnight.

A report in Le Figaro said investigators suspected that one of Italy’s Mafias, either the Ndrangheta or the Camorra, was behind the attack.

Both crime gangs are said to be building property portfolios on the French Riviera as they seek to expand their foothold. Detectives believe the Mafia was trying to muscle in on the Pastor family's holdings, which include buildings worth billions in the area.

The Mob Boss Who Sued Life Magazine and Lost

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Just curious if anyone would be interested in learning about what happened to the late mob boss of San Jose, California, who sued Life magazine in 1968, and likely regretted his actions for the next 10 years, until he died in 1978.

Joseph Cerrito hit his stride as a Mafia chieftain by the 1960s. The obscure mob boss attended the Apalachin conference in 1957, although it is unclear if he'd officially been named boss of his borgata yet.
Cerrito, largely a footnote in books on mob history, also played an important role within the mob by updating Cosa Nostra bosses in Sicily regarding Joseph Bonanno's failed attempt to overthrow three Commission bosses and assume control of New York, a scheme that ended in a rather humiliating way for the proud Sicilian Man of Honor, who was forced out out of town with his tail between his legs.


Why Can't We Know Why? Nicodemo Trial Ends in Mystery Mistrial

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REVISED VERSION OF EARLIER STORY:Anthony Nicodemo's Philadelphia murder trial was declared a mistrial earlier today.

The question "why?" will be hotly debated, as only a tantalizing hint of the cause of the mistrial was revealed via the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, which issues a statement pinning the mistrial on "issues involving a juror." The prosecution had rested its case and the defense was to commence this morning. The timing is interesting.

Why can't they say why?

We've noted that this whole trial could be a ruse to gain leverage on Nicodemo, which would mean the end of the line for one mob boss. Recall that Nicodemo has been identified as a suspect in the 2003 murder of John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto....Law enforcement sources have said that Nicodemo could work a deal using his supposed information regarding the Casasanto murder and other acts of violence that authorities believe are linked to Joseph "Uncle Joe"…

Major Heroin Traffickers Flooding New York City

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An article on NYTimes.com details how this year's surge in heroin trafficking based in New York City has reached its highest level in 20 years, as the big players begin to consolidate control over the drug market here, as well as all along the East Coast. Law enforcement officials have mostly picked off the sloppy, small-time operators, the article noted.

Of particular concern: "Staten Island narcotics detectives have recorded a steep increase in the amount of heroin taken off the street there so far this year — up 61 percent compared with 2013. Detectives are also beginning to find organized networks of dealers there, in what had long been a haven of low crime rates and unlocked doors.

Luchese Capo Avellino Out on $1M Bail

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Luchese capo Carmine Avellino, 70, was let out on $1 million bail.

He departed Brooklyn Federal Court even though Federal prosecutors first argued that the mobster should be detained, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Celia Cohen consented to his release after another Avellino daughter posted her $1 million home as bail, according to the New York Daily News.

Salvatore's brother, Carmine Avellino, last week had been held without bail after his arraignment in federal court in Brooklyn. Avellino hadn't had enough time to prepare a bail application, his defense attorney said, so Magistrate Judge Joan Azrack ordered him detained until a bail hearing yesterday.

He faces a two-count indictment charging him with involvement in a scheme to extort repayment of a $100,000 loan from a victim in 2010.

The Question Arises: Will Nicodemo Testify

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According to Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog "Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo could wrap up his case tomorrow. Court does not meet on Friday. That would set the stage for what might be the biggest decision in [Anthony] Nicodemo's life. Does he take the stand in his own defense?

"A gag ordered imposed by Judge Jeffrey Minehart bars Zarallo and defense attorney Brian McMonagle from commenting about the proceedings. Several sources, however, say that McMonagle has not decided if he will put his client on the stand when the defense portion of the trial begins sometime next week.

"The case against Nicodemo is entirely circumstantial but the evidence linking him to the crime is difficult to ignore or explain away...."

Mob Wives Star Too Fat To Sue, Reports TMZ

'Grand Theft Auto V' -- 'Mob Wives' Star Is Too Fat To Sue | TMZ.com: "The makers of "Grand Theft Auto V" say they can prove "Mob Wives" star Karen Gravano was NOT the inspiration for one of their characters -- because Karen's way fatter. Gravano has sued Rockstar Games for $40 million ... claiming a character in the video game -- "Antonia Bottino" -- is a ringer for her. Rockstar fired back with its own legal docs ... saying Gravano's case is BS. The company seems to concede there's some resemblance, but the weight of the evidence is in its favor. Rockstar even tries to drive a wedge between Gravano and her friends, quoting one buddy who says Bottino looks like Gravano, but skinnier. The company's case is clearly thin."


'via Blog this'

Gangster Papa Smurf Sentenced to One Year, $2.5M Forfeiture

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One year and one day in prison.

That's the fate of Carmine "Papa Smurf" Franco for his role in a scheme to control commercial waste-hauling in the greater New York area.

Franco, 78, pleaded guilty in November to participation in conspiracy for racketeering, to commit mail and wire fraud, and to transport stolen cardboard -- across state lines yet!

Franco, an associate of the Genovese family, had worked with other Genovese mobsters, as well as guys with the Gambino and Luchese families to operate waste disposal businesses in New York City and in several New Jersey counties, engaging in extortion, loansharking, mail and wire fraud and stolen property offenses.

Jerry Capeci's Ongoing War on Stupidity in Mafia Books

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Anthony M. DeStefano runs a blog focused on the Bonanno family. Some interesting content is available there, though he admits he's unable to devote a lot of time to it right now because he's hard at work on his next book, slated for a 2015 release.

The book, by the author of Vinny Gorgeous: The Ugly Rise and Fall of a New York Mobster, King of the Godfathers and Mob Killer, provides a "unique look at organized crime over the years in New York City" and is titled Gangland New York: Faces and Places of The Mob. It will be published by Globe Pequot.

Let's all raise a glass and hope he's friends with Jerry Capeci, who is not very fond of writers who use the name of his long-running, widely acclaimed newspaper column, now blog. Nor writers who get their facts wrong and write a lot of fiction in books billed as nonfiction.

Firebombed: Pizzeria Owned by Family of Mobster Slain by Rizzuto

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The Montreal-Gazette.com reported that a small pizzeria and bakery was firebombed this morning. Because it is owned by the family of Moreno Gallo, who was shot dead last November while dining in Acapulco, Mexico (on Vito Rizzuto's orders, as many believe), it's probably more than a random act of violence.

Gallo was 68 when he was killed, in what was believed to be "a settling of accounts by Vito Rizzuto, former head of the Montreal  Mafia."

As for the firebombing, Montreal police received a call at 3:15 a.m. A man was seen leaving the area around Pizza Motta, located on the corner of Henri-Julien Ave. and Mozart E. Ave., just as the fire began. A Molotov cocktail was the apparent cause, as one was found at the scene.

Gallo was once part of Rizzuto’s inner circle, handling money and settling disputes over drug territory. He can be seen on video handing out stacks of cash, which Nick Rizzuto would shove into his socks. Vito was in prison at the time.

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Unfairness of "Testifying Down"; Mob Boss's Great Suspense....

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Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'Arco, the Man Who Brought Down the Mafia includes an anecdote about the "testify down" strategy used in mob trials.

In two recent cases in Brooklyn, the government used cooperating witnesses who were"big fish"—meaning they had admitted to more serious crimes than the charges faced by the people they were testifying against.


This is, generally speaking, the opposite of how cooperating witnesses are supposed work. Usually, legal experts said, the goal is to get those witnesses to admit to wrongdoing, cooperate with the government and to walk the investigation up the ladder, obtaining evidence against leaders or those potentially engaged in more serious crimes. In exchange, on the recommendation of prosecutors, cooperators typically end up serving reduced or no prison time.

Murder Committed on Property Owned by A&E Godfather

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A&E has added a new reality program to its lineup, Godfather of Pittsburgh.

No, it's obviously not the once legendary Godfather of Pittsburgh, John LaRocca. Rather, it's Naples-born Vincenzo Isoldi, an Italian-American who owns an empire of nightclubs and restaurants in the Steel City, where he has made friends and enemies along the way.


Eight one-hour episodes are slated to begin airing this fall.

One lauded restaurant he opened in 2006 had closed and was rented out as a nightclub known for quickly changing its name. In 2012, when it was called Fever, several gunshots were fired one night, critically injuring one woman and wounding three men.


American Ndrangheta: Toronto's Siderno Mafia

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That the Ndrangheta's Siderno Group, composed of clans based in Calabria, Italy, is present in Canada is an established fact.

In 1971, while arresting Francesco Caccamo for possessing a loaded .25-caliber handgun and six phony $10 bills, police searched his home in Toronto and found tucked away in a kitchen cabinet a 27-page document written in an archaic Italian script that was titled Come Formare una Societa, or How to Form a Society. It was a guide on the formation of a Ndrangheta cell; it also included some of the group's rules and ceremonies.

Caccamo and wife Rosa were arrested. The court ruled that the documents, henceforth given the nickname The Caccamo Papers, were genuine. Also they were similar to only three others ever found in the entire world.

When Reds Was Struck Down, the Family Stepped Up

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I am proud and pleased to present this excerpt from Hillary Cohan's published memoir, titled "Growing Up Jewish in the Mob." [This is a revised version of a story originally posted prior to the book's publication.]

Hillary's father was Nathan "Reds" Cohan, a top mob bookie who operated in the Washington, D.C., area for much of Hillary's early life. Reds passed away on December 2, 1988, in Savannah, Georgia.


Hillary does not "name names" in her book, admitting her father was connected to one of New York's five families as a top bookie.

He was of the Jewish faith; many don't understand the extent of the contribution made by the "Jewish mafia" to the establishment of Cosa Nostra; before the Italians, Jews and other ethnic groups had together formed an outfit called "The Combination," which developed and implemented many of the racketeers that the Mafia would later dominate--and take credit for.

Cops Seize $2.6M from Calabrians Linked to Operation New Bridge

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Earlier this month police in Reggio Calabria seized €2 million ($2.6 million) worth of property from alleged members of the Ndrangheta, specifically the Ursinus di Gioiosa Jonica clan, arrested in February of this year as part of Operation New Bridge,  a drug smuggling operation that tied the Calabrian Mafia in with both the Gambino and Bonanno crime families.

The operation is noteworthy because it spotlighted a $1 billion global drug ring that included members of both the Ndrangheta and associates of the New York Mafia -- specifically associates of the Gambino and Bonanno families.
As reported, following a two-year probe that involved wiretaps and an undercover American agent, law enforcement officials in a coordinated effort 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 …

In Genovese Extortion Case, Two Union Officials Plead Guilty

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Stephen "Beach" DePiro, the man at the top of this New Jersey federal indictment, was part of the big January roundup of alleged Mafia members; he was released on bail...

FBI — Union Officials Plead Guilty in Extortion Conspiracy Involving Christmastime Tribute Payments:

Three former International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) union officials admitted today that they conspired to extort ILA Local 1235 longshoremen on the New Jersey piers for Christmastime tribute payments, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced.

Vincent Aulisi, 82, of West Orange, New Jersey, the president of ILA Local 1235 from approximately 2006 through 2007; Thomas Leonardis, 56, of Glen Gardner, New Jersey, the president of the union from approximately 2008 through 2011 and former ILA representative; and Robert Ruiz, 55, of Watchung, New Jersey, the delegate of the union from approximately 2007 through 2010 and former ILA repr…

Genovese Mobster Get 5 Months in Waste-Carting Racket

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Reputed Genovese mobsters get five months in can over waste-hauling scheme - NY Daily News: "Two reputed New York mobsters each got five months in the can Tuesday for their trashy behavior.

Genovese crime family associates Dominick Pietranico, 83, and Joseph Sarcinella, 79, were among 32 people pinched in a mob scheme to control the waste-hauling industry in the city and New Jersey.

The aging crooks pleaded guilty in August to making extortionate extensions of credit."

Mafia Not Mentioned in Nicodemo Getaway Driver Trial

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After all that, Anthony Nicodemo was only the wheelman and not the shooter in what one police investigator described as the "dumbest" mob hit ever seen.

Only that no longer seems to be an accurate appraisal, as prosecutors at Nicodemo's murder trial, which opened yesterday before a Common Pleas Court jury, have made no mention of the Mafia and are not even alleging that it was a mob hit, which certainly wasn't the case back then.

Some may recall that the hit took place smack, dab in the middle of the second trial of  Philly mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi. Ligambi was let go after both efforts ended in mistrials, which may be the reason that prosecutors essentially whacked the mob as a motive for this trial. (Although as we note below, this whole trial could be a sham to gain leverage on Nicodemo to roll on Ligambi, which would mean the end of the line for the elderly mob boss keeping a low profile these days.)

Indicted Luchese Capo Tied to Historic Long Island Hit

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Newsday article by Anthony M. DeStefano: A reputed Luchese crime family captain who was once accused of taking part in the double murder of two Long Island carters in the 1980s pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal extortion charges following his arrest Monday by the FBI.

[Salvatore's brother] Carmine Avellino, 70, of St. James was held without bail after his arraignment in federal court in Brooklyn on a two-count indictment. Avellino hadn't had enough time, his defense attorney said, to prepare a bail application, so Magistrate Judge Joan Azrack ordered him detained until a bail hearing Monday.

The indictment accused Avellino of being part of a scheme to extort repayment of a $100,000 loan from a victim in 2010, according to a memorandum to court by prosecutors seeking Avellino's continued detention without bail. Avellino's brother Salvatore was once the driver for the late Luchese boss Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo.

[Editor's notes: Basically, "Luch…

Interested in the Mob? Sign up for Newsletter

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I know a huge percentage of my readers live in New York City and Long Island, which coincidentally is where a lot of the Mafia lives.

Are you truly interested in the Mafia? I am working on possibly setting up an event, which would be an "Ed Scarpo Presents Dinner with..." kind of an event.

Now, my idea of a good event is a small, limited gathering in a nice steakhouse. Me and maybe 10-12 others sit around a table and sip wine and discuss Cosa Nostra with a former member of the Mafia.
Face it, "former" is the next best thing. Unless you're a hardcore crook, you aren't going to get an opportunity to sit down with an active member.
I don't like crowds. I don't like sitting for hours on an uncomfortable chair... Like I said, think steakhouse and wine. (I'd add cigars, but you know the goddamn anti-smoking laws.)

‘God the Father’ Franzese Documentary Set for U.S. Release

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According to Variety, “God the Father,” a documentary about former mob boss Michael Franzese, is set for an Oct. 31 release.

“God the Father,” produced by Moshe Diamant and directed by Simon Fellows, documents the life and spiritual transformation of Michael Franzese, son of Colombo underboss John “Sonny” Franzese.

Moonstone Entertainment will preview “God the Father” next week at Cannes.
Franzese followed his father’s profession as a mobster, making his reputation in schemes such as an elaborate gasoline bootlegging scheme that involved collecting gas taxes and not paying the government. He renounced the life of crime in 1987 and began seeking redemption as a Christian.

And Now: The United States of Murder Inc.

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The Mafia is so popular it will soon be available to you in comic book form, courtesy of Brian Michael Bendis. Obviously, we have trouble with the premise behind the concept: What if the five families never lost? First of all, who says they lost? I'd say the obverse!
Washington Post:: Even the most casual of chats can turn into a comic-book idea when Brian Michael Bendis is on one end of the conversation.

That’s what happened awhile back when Bendis (known for writing such previous creator-owned works as “Powers,” “Scarlet” and “Brilliant,” as well some of the top titles at Marvel) and frequent collaborator Michael Avon Oeming were discussing the Mafia.

“We were toying with doing a crime book, and Mike said this idea about ‘What if the five families never lost?’ and I thought he was pitching, but he was just talking, saying nerdy things,” Bendis told the Post’s Comic Riffs.

“I literally went back, pulling all the research I’d been doing all these years [on the Mafia] because I’d al…

Kansas City Crime Family and 1933's Union Station Massacre

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Recent media reports have frenzied covering the fact that an "openly gay" NFL player, Michael Sam, had for his lover a man whose father and grandfather were identified as Midwest mobsters. Vito Cammisano, 23, is the grandson of the late Mafia boss William (Willie the Rat) Cammisano.

Vito's father, Gerlarmo (Jerry) Cammisano, also had known mob ties, and once served 14 months in prison. There is no evidence that Cammisano himself has ever been involved with the Civella crime family of Kansas City.
Vito’s dad pleaded guilty in 2011 to federal charges that he ran a $3.5 million illegal sports betting ring; he was sentenced to 14 months in prison. He also was ordered to forfeit $201,137, according to records.

A Little Girl Wants Her Dad

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A reader with whom I have been corresponding asked if I would publish a letter she'd written to her father, who she believes may see it here. She is hoping he will read this and contact her. If someone would like to contact Jennifer, or ask me for more details, please email me at eddie2843@gmail.com. Ed Scarpo.
Dear Dad,

My mom’s name is Debra A----- and her father’s name is Peter A-----.

I was born in the Bronx at Misericordia Hospital in 1972.  The Hospital is now known as Our Lady of Mercy Hospital.  I was given the name Jennifer and, I grew up in Selden Long Island.  The school that I attended was Infant Jesus in Port Jefferson Long Island.  I later attended St. Johns University in Queens New York.

I was told at an early age that I was adopted.  My childhood and, my life was good.  As I grew up throughout the years there was always a feeling of a loss.  At times it felt like an important part of me was missing.  I realized that special missing part of me happens to be my biol…

Scarfo FirstPlus Co-Defendant Sought Mistrial, Was Denied

The most recent news available for the FirstPlus Financial bust-out, according to court records, is that U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler declined to dismiss a host of charges -- including racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, extortion and money laundering -- against Nicodemo Scarfo and Salvatore Pelullo.

On April 22, Pelullo filed a motion asking the court to declare a mistrial in the prosecution of his alleged role in the extortionate takeover of FirstPlus Financial Group, a Texas mortgage lender. Pelullo has been unable to attend his own trial for a month, following an order from U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler barring Pelullo from the courtroom after he made several outbursts that may have been audible to the jury.

Pelullo said in his filing that by expelling him from the courtroom, Kugler violated his Fifth Amendment right to due process and Sixth Amendment right to be assisted by an attorney and tried by an impartial jury.…

What's Going on With Scarfo FirstPlus Trial?

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Charged with taking over the Texas-based FirstPlus Financial mortgage company and looting its shareholders of $12 million, Nicodemo S. Scarfo and Salvatore Pelullo face a week of idle wondering about their future fates.

There will be no testimony this coming week, according to U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler, who has to tend to some housekeeping issues.

The prosecution rested on April 22nd, and the defense began making its case, which was projected to last around three weeks at that time. Word is that George Anastasia has been in attendance.

The defense is said to be filibustering, which means, basically, stalling.

By the way, is anyone wondering why Nicky Scarfo Junior is a member of the Luchese family?

Why Cosa Nostra Still Most Powerful Crime Group in US

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Obviously, I am not going to name the man I interviewed for this story, or anyone connected to him, because to do so "would be committin' suicide," as he told me.
"I'm a journalist. I speak all the time--"
"I know, I know. Protected sources, Freedom of the Press. You fuckin' name anyone, you're dead. And it won't be me who does it. You can send the cops after me, I don't give two shits, they'll arrest me eventually for something, what's another murder to me?"
"Uhhh.... "
"Look you know who I am. Write the story like I tell you. It's about a guy I worked for who is dead for years so none of my people will know what the fuck you're talking about and everything will be fine. Just don't get cute and put any names in or you'll be fucking dead by the next day. If you fuck me tomorrow [meaning today], call your mother right after and wish her a Happy Mother's Day cause you won't live to see …

Get Your "Mob Wives" Fix--Every Orgasm in Renee's Book

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We are hard at work on our next story... Meanwhile we stumbled across this, which we've been holding for a while. We thought we'd post it now for those of you who have a hankering for something related to that infamous reality show about mob wives.

Playing with Fire is available now....

Jezebel.com has done a compilation of every orgasm in Renee Graziano's erotic novel, noting that the book is said to be "loosely based on her super sexy life in Staten Island as a single mom of an adult son who lives at home."

Playing With Fire is a "sex book." That's how Renee referred to it (multiple times) when she revealed on the Mob Wives season finale that she'd been writing the new Fifty Shades of Grey.

Need a Consiglieri.... Informed Comments Would be Great Too

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I have this strange proclivity to spend a lot of money accumulating research material like this 800-plus-page tome, full of records covering New York mobsters in the 1940s and 1950s. I would hate to have to put a single figure on all the cash I've doled out buying various books and electronic files. Now I gotta earn some money back or at least start showing something for my efforts....

Gonna write a book. Already started it actually. I have a rough outline to work from and am just finishing up some research.

Why's There No Ndrangheta in the US?

Been waiting for a couple of books, one of which arrived yesterday. Found a missing piece in my research of Canada. Will post story soon; hopefully I'll get the other book today.... Something else I wonder about: Is the Sixth Family still the Sixth Family, since Vito dropped dead on us? 
Organized crime is much more complicated in Canada than in the U.S., which makes me wonder if there was an underworld war we don't know about.
Why did the Calabrians find a home alongside Cosa Nostra in Canada, but not in the U.S.? Did they try to establish one here as well? A commentator, in an entirely different context, mentioned Anastasia and Costello in one message. What do the two have in common?
Is there a giant piece missing in known history of Cosa Nostra in the U.S.?

Current Status of Italy's Three Mafia Groups

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From the website Italy Chronicles, which reports Italian news in English (and is poorly titled, from a grammatical viewpoint), we offer this story regarding the opinions of Father Tonino Dell’Olio, the Roman Catholic priest who runs the international arm of the Italian anti-mafia association Libera.
Father Dell’Olio pulls no punches, saying Italy's media, which regularly touts the defeat of the Mafia, is outright wrong in that the country's Cosa Nostra, Ndrangheta and Camorra all continue to thrive and expand -- and are in fact global entities. Furthermore, he notes that while Italy’s politicians love to tout the huge sums confiscated in asset seizures, the act of taking money and property from mobsters does not diminish the organizations to which they belong.
The following was extracted from a larger story that you can read in its entirety via the hyperlink here: Italy’s Mafia Issue – Is Mafia Power Growing or Diminishing? | Italy Chronicles:
Preparations for the forthcoming 2…

Canadian Mafia Primer: Ndrangheta v Cosa Nostra

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I seek to present here factual information that supports my writing with regard to the Mafia in Canada. I also seek to address comments challenging me factually on my reporting of the dynamics of Mafia power at work in the Canadian provinces.

Key takeaway: Just because the Sicilian Cosa Nostra borgatas of Joseph Bonanno (one of New York's Five Families) and the more isolated Buffalo, NY-based chieftain Stefano Magaddino inducted Canadians, it does not preclude them from belonging to the Calabrian Ndrangheta as opposed to the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.
Information provided here is authoritative, as will be shown, which means if you are going to challenge me on Canada anymore, you better be able to address this first; otherwise, comments will no longer be posted.

That the city of Hamilton is the key to Ontario can be inferred.

Murders of Ndrangheta Hitters "Open a Lot of Questions"

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YorkRegion.com: Quebec is the place where the mob makes much of its drug money.

Ontario is the place where the mob hides that money.

This is mob expert Antonio Nicaso's simple diagnosis about why Ontario has historically been less violent, territorial and generally more peaceful than it's neighbour when it comes to gangland wars.

The major difference in Quebec is the Port of Montreal, which gives anyone controlling it a way to bring cocaine into North America.

"In Ontario, it's not about territory for the mafia; it's about investment," he said. "For that reason, they have to keep this place as peaceful as possible. You don't want to raise the alarm of people in Ontario. You don't want to associate Ontario with fear or violence. This is traditionally the difference between Ontario and Quebec."

Mob Juries Reach the Darndest Verdicts

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Seems juries are having trouble with turncoat testimony, though judges seem to be taking up some of the law enforcement slack when they can by basically ignoring jurors' verdicts and imposing the most draconian sentences permissible.
Take the recent case of Dino "Little Dino" Saracino, 41. The gangster must be feeling a range of emotions as he readies himself for transport to a federal prison where he will spend a half century, 50 years, for racketeering and conspiracy charges.

Now consider this: That is actually more than double the 18 years given to his former boss, Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli.

Interestingly, the same judge doled out both sentences.

It seems a bit unfair considering Little Dino was carrying out orders. Yes, he knew he'd earn his button, and as a former gangster once in the same position put it: "I wanted the order. I wanted to be completely in and trusted, and to believe that he liked me that much, that he trusted me to do anything …

Camorra Caught Running Fake Cancer Drug Racket in Europe

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The Local: A highly organized crime ring is behind the distribution of stolen and fake anti-cancer drugs throughout Europe, an Italian official told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Domenico Di Giorgio, the director of the prevention of counterfeiting at the Italian Medicines Agency, the pharmaceutical watchdog, said that “organized crime is certainly involved” in the racket, which has raised concern among pharmaceutical professionals that the drugs may be inefficient or even deadly.

Di Giorgio's agency is currently carrying out an investigation into the matter along with the Italian antifraud squad, the Nuclei Antisofisticazioni e Sanità Carabinieri.

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