Perspective on Mob's Marijuana Business


Arthur Mondella

We're jealous! Jealous that we didn't think of this first -- to incorporate the feedback of a Mafia expert to give the story of the suicided Cherry King more juice... 

Also, all you hear about is the mob selling heroin and cocaine, but they also sold a lot of dope (meaning weed, grass, smoke, pot, etc.) and this article quotes an ex-gangster to provide insight... One of our longtime readers commented about the prices, saying: "His prices are right for '90s prices," as our "Larry Jefe" notes in this story's Featured Comment below. He adds: "Since the late 90's most MJ in NYC was shipped from Vancouver thru Monteal and later in the 00's California, with an exception for the best quality indoor which NYC has always been known for growing."


From the New York Daily News: “Cherry King” Arthur Mondella was likely making millions of dollars from his secret pot-growing farm, according to an expert in the city’s illicit ganja trade — former pot farmer and ex-Gambino gangster John Alite.

Cops say Mondella grew at least 100 plants at a time in the basement of the Dell’s Maraschino Cherries factory in Red Hook — which could have earned him $10 million a year, according to Alite.



Alite said he grew his own “wacky tobacky” in three- month cycles, with about 100 4-foot plants yielding approximately three pounds of weed each. The pot was sold for a minimum of $3,000 a pound, he said.

“So that’s $1.2 million every three months,” he said. “If it’s higher quality we sold it for $6,500 a pound. So now you’re at about $2.5 million every three months.”

Mondella’s operation, Alite told The Post, was truly a growth business.

“You’re anywhere from $5 to $10 million a year in profit, if it’s higher quality like we had,” Alite said.

The Gambinos had for years been trucking in 10,000 pounds of pot at a time from Mexico. But in the mid-’90s, they started farming their own — first in a basement in Woodhaven, Queens, and later on an 18-acre property upstate, according to Alite.

“It made us millions of dollars a year, without a doubt,” said Alite, who now consults on crime for TV and movies at http://www.johnalite.com.

Mondella, 57, fatally shot himself in the head in a bathroom of his factory on Tuesdayas investigators opened a secret door leading to his huge, 50-by-50-foot basement grow house.

His funeral was Saturday at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary-St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Carroll Gardens.

Loudspeakers played Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” as his casket was carried from the church. He was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Comments

  1. skunk-hydro big name sellers at that time

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  2. First, I can assure you that an indoor 4 ft plant will yield 2-4 oz dried depending if it's a sativa (more potent, less yield), an indica like AK-47 (called that because it takes 47 days to flower) or a hybrid. They have strains in Cali that will yield up to 10 lbs outdoor are from plants the size of a BMW X-3. As far as the guy who u quote in the article his prices are right for 90's prices. Since the late 90's most mj in NYC was shipped from Vancouver thru way of Monteal and later in the 00's California, with an exception for the best quality indoor which NYC has always been known for growing. Their biggest customers were the delivery services that we have had since the 1990's. I love the blog and never comment but I had to this time.

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  3. 3lbs from a single 4 foot plant every 3 months is an extreme falsehood.

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  4. Hey there boss, (obvious pun not intended, respective TX slang). Was definitely missing the content but am sorry for your loss. Please accept sincere condolences. Love what you do and keep up the good work! Regards.

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  5. Yeah i already knew Alite was full of shit but nobody is getting 3 pounds from one 4 foot plant and nobody is getting that much money either,not that i would know anything about marijuana or any other kind of drug.

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  6. I had wondered if there was an LCN connection when I first read this in the Daily News. The simple fact that he's Italian from Brooklyn, ya know. I don't think there was.

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  7. I'm from Cali Bay Area and I agree. 3 lbs from 4 feet is not realistic at all unless it's a special new strain that nobody has heard of or seen. And 6500? Somebody is getting ripped off really bad considering the clubs sell the best grade for around 4000 and even that's a rip off

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  8. Sorry for your loss Mr. Scarpo. I have turned at least 20 people from the Detroit area on to this site. Everybody is hooked now and the word keeps spreading. Awesome site keep up the good work.

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  9. Ed, wishing you the best in what is never a good experience.

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  10. Take your time and I would like to extend my condolences to you and your family as it is never easy to deal with loss take the time you need to grieve. Take care

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  11. I live in Humboldt County and agree with Erob nd weed expert. Whoever wrote that article and or made the statement does not know wat they are talking about. 3lbs off a 4ft tall plant in a basement is laughable to anyone in the "business" out here. Especially back in the day when the grow technology was not quite wat it is today. So Alite saying all those numbers that was made is either a lie or he never saw the operation and foolishly believed numbers that sound like the DEA was presenting the info... Where they weigh the stem, root ball, dirt, etc etc...

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  12. Ohhhhhhh Alite doesn't lie..

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  13. So in the early- mid 90's Alite was pulling 3lbs off of 4fters in a basement?? That's not happening in today's world let alone when he was supposedly doing this. So an obvious false statement isn't a lie?

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  14. His prices were correct for the time so no, I don't think he's lying. He was discredited because the jurors in Gotti's fourth trial didn't like his testimony, or him which doesn't mean his info was wrong. Google the final count on the various charges in the indictment and you'll see how close junior came to conviction.

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  15. I spoke with Frank Gangi, these guys had "grow" houses all over Brooklyn, him and Billy Bright. I was surprised at the extent of their grass business.

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  16. So much for not selling drugs by punishment of death.

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  17. Course it was. This guy will be an expert and authority on 100 different things from pot to knitting by time this is over with. Compulsive liars always are ! You can't believe everything you read is an extremely accurate phrase in some places more then others but still it rings true quite often.

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  18. Take your time Ed, we're not going anywhere. Condolences to you and yours.

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  19. This "Alite is a liar" campaign -- probably fueled in part by enemies of this blog always trying to score points in the anonymous comments -- is getting tiresome....

    OK, we understand Alite was "discredited" according to the jurors in Gotti's fourth trial. Still, if you Google the final count on the various charges in the indictment you'll see how close Junior came to conviction.

    I didn't attend the trial so I have no personal impression of Alite based on the trial. To me, one or two jurors claiming to speak for the entire jury doesn't cut it.

    Also, imagine how far removed from the mob a juror on that trial has to be.
    As for the media covering the trial who also took potshots at Alite, we have to wonder if they we're actually frustrated at having to sit through four trials.

    It looked like the Feds were out to get Gotti because they were out to get Gotti.

    Is that John Alite's fault?

    And the story about the electrician... frankly I'm tired of listening to it.

    Alite was a victim of multimillion dollar lawyering and spent 18 years of his life in prison, including a Brazilian prison, the worst on earth quite literally. I've meet Alite personally and my impression of him is the same as George Anastasia's, only I don't know Big Ron Previte to compare him to.

    When we met John it was when we accompanied him to a juvenile detention center on Long Island to make arrangements with a supervisor about a presentation he is making for juveniles.

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  20. The Chin didn't refer to the Bonannos as the family of junk dealers for nothing.

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  21. As a general rule, rats have zero credibility, but I will make an exception for DC, Dominick.The next time Alite tells the truth it'll be a historic event so remember the date! Remember a while back he told tabloids he was Victoria Gotti's lover. Turned out that she was telling the truth, which means Alite lied. I just wasted time and space on a degenerate lying rat. Shame on me.

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  22. Keep sucking Alite off Ed

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  23. Hi ed philly take ur time bud my condolences to u and ur family

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  24. I as well dont know why there is so many Anti Alite folks out there, how often does somebody make themselves as available as he has to people interested in these matters. I would guess that 95 percent of the people who comment on here have not experienced life the way that this man has or done a tenth of the things he has done and he does not glorify these things he has started to speak out against them and is trying to make amends for the life that he lead up until his decision to turn his life around. As far as the weed comments attributed to him Im sure it was a case of him misspeaking as Im sure he was not the one clipping and trimming the plants so he misspoke big deal how many of us do that on a daily basis. He has admitted he ir a rat or whatever you wanna call him at least he isnt sugarcoating it like some others are currently doing but when a premier writer like George Anastasia states Alite is the most believable subject he has worked with that does say something considering Anastasia probably has access to anything he wants while researching books he signs onto. I commend Alite for making the changes he has and staying in his neighborhood to help kids from his hometown.

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  25. I'm not anti Alite or part of some smear campaign that people suggest is going on. But from reading the quotes that he said " 1.2 million every 3 months" from 100 3 pound plants is 100% false. If he was misspoken like you suggest because he wasn't the one trimming and handling it that doesn't make any sense either. Being someone who runs an operation like he claims surely wouldn't be trimming and working on the stuff, they hire workers and trimmers are the lowest on the totem pole, but the boss sure knows how much final product comes out of the operation and how much they are making. So I don't think he was misspeaking.. Maybe misquoted I don't know... But I do know that if that's the numbers he's claiming, those numbers are a lie because it's impossible.

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  26. The dude was caught in lies. He has done horrible shit and now he wants to be famous and you are helping him. Go had and give him another plug too Ed while you,are at it

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  27. The Chin from what I'm told had a very low opinion of the Bonanno crime family,and I'm referring to the post Joe Bonanno era. Between the drug dealing, many were on their own shit, the Joe Pistone Situation, the renegade capos problem, and the rats, its not exactly a model for a crime family.

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  28. Its fine as long as some people are extremely gullible and want to consider them selves as being in the know they will always be area's for these con men to operate. Plus it will always be someone else's fault according to the ones being taken for a ride as to why a guys credibility is being questioned even when its plain as day what he said is completely inaccurate. Again don't believe everything you read is a rule to go by around the way.

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