|Was Palazzolo set to take control of the|
Bonanno family's Queens action?
Arrested yesterday was mobster John Palazzolo, 77, a reputed street boss of the Bonanno crime family's Bronx faction -- or at least he was; it appears he's been knocked down in rank.
Apparently the Feds found him committing a serious crime: having coffee with other wiseguys.... Well, we take liberties here. He was found "suspiciously meeting" other mobsters in the parking lot of a diner.
When wiseguys meet in the parking lot of a diner wouldn't they naturally act suspiciously? What exactly defines "suspiciously"? We had a little chuckle over this one. It sounds to us like whatever is left of the FBI working OC in New York is crying out for attention...
While freedom of assembly is a constitutional right, Palazzolo was violating his parole terms, a trick used to lock up wiseguys all over the place.
Pumping up the arrest with more juice and even a New York Daily News headline, the feds said they "feared the old gangster was conspiring to take over Bonanno operations in Queens — which could possibly unleash a wave of violence among rival factions."
Citing allegations of “a conspiracy to conduct a war to control the Bonanno crime family,” federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis ordered the ailing oldfella to jail pending a hearing next month."
Palazzolo was released in 2012. He served 10 years for attempted murder and is not allowed to meet with other mobsters.*
Despite his parole guidelines, surveillance found him "having a suspiciously long meeting in the parking lot of a diner in Bayside, Queens with “Fat Anthony” Rabito, a consigliere of the Bonannos."
He also met with "mob boss Michael “Mikey Nose” Mancuso" -- not really, Mancuso is three years away from departing federal prison. Palazzolo had actually met with a mobster with "ties" to Mancuso.
|Tommy D doing the perp walk for Lufthansa...|
The Nose hails from the Bronx, an entity unto itself, as we noted in Cosa Nostra News: The Cicale Files, Volume 1: Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire (about which our hero at GangLand News appears to be absolutely clueless). The borough is widely ignored by Mafiosi in all the other New York boroughs.
In the face of this supposedly looming Cosa Nostra street war, "a puzzled Garaufis" asked: "Is there still a leadership of the Bonnano family?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” said assistant U.S. attorney Nicole Argentieri.
Palazzolo recently had been knocked down by the family and was poised to make a move, the source added.
According to the article, the power struggle in the Bonanno family involves "another imprisoned mobster," which might be a reference to Thomas "Tommy D" DiFiore who was recently sentenced to 21 months. The Queens-based street boss was locked up as part of the great Lufthansa heist (though in the end he accepted a plea for loan sharking involving a mobster named "Vinny Car Wash.").
* We found an interesting story about Palazzolo's plight written in 2005 for The New York Sun by Jerry Capeci:
"Palazzolo, 67, who is charged with the May 29, 1991, murder of mobster Russell Mauro, was in court two weeks ago for a routine hearing regarding a potential conflict of interest that arose for his attorney, Flora Edwards, when her former client, Bonanno boss Joseph Massino, began to cooperate with the feds.
If Massino were to testify for the government, Judge Garaufis explained, Palazzolo would have been at an extreme disadvantage because Ms. Edwards still owed loyalties to Massino. This meant she could not use any helpful information she had obtained from Massino, and would essentially be prevented from cross-examining Massino.
With the ever-growing number of mob turncoats in recent years, potential conflicts have become common occurrences in organized crime cases. Defendants in similar situations discuss the possible pitfalls confidentially with court-appointed lawyers and then make a more reasoned determination to either retain a new attorney or waive any potential conflict of interest and proceed with the lawyer in question.
Palazzolo was having none of that.
After Judge Garaufis listed numerous pitfalls of continuing to retain Ms. Edwards, Palazzolo stated that he understood them, but wanted to waive any potential conflict and proceed with Ms. Edwards without discussing the matter confidentially with another lawyer the judge offered to appoint "free of charge."
Prosecutor Greg Andres, obviously concerned that a conviction might later be overturned because Palazzolo had not consulted an attorney, suggested an adjournment to enable all parties to research whether the defendant's waiver would pass legal muster.
"I think there's nothing else we could do today," Mr. Andres said.
"I know what I am going to do today," Judge Garaufis said. "I'm directing the defendant receive a psychological evaluation to determine whether he's competent to waive anything. We'll start with that. I'm also going to appoint a guardian ad Litem for the defendant who will review the results of that to determine whether the defendant is capable of understanding what I'm asking him or whether he's under some duress.""
Shout out to Friends of Ours blog, which alerted us to this story today....