Current Leaderships of the Five Families

The Chin was the most powerful boss up until his death.

By piecing together various newspaper reports we can view a rough snapshot of who is running each family and where each borgata still holds the most sway--at least prior to the events of  January 20, 2011.

Many, however, predict the "biggest bust in the history of the world," or whatever they are calling it, will not have much of a long-lasting impact on the American Cosa Nostra.

One trend leaps out: It seems triumvirates are replacing the long-standing tradition of a single-boss institution. It's like they are taking the boss, underboss and consiglieri, making them of equal rank, and creating a panel to run some of the families. It could help in that it will no doubt confuse the Feds, who like those pyramid charts with all the headshots taped to the wall, stop any one man from becoming too powerful, and ease potential problems that could arise if factions are created.

And the Genovese Family, not the Gambinos,  is recognized as the most powerful Cosa Nostra family in the United States. We can probably thank John Gotti for ruining the Gambinos, once run by one of the greatest Mafia lords in history: Don Carlo.

And despite all the hoopla about the Last Don-turned rat Joe Massino and all he did for the Bonannos in the post-Donnie Brasco days,  it seems the sharpest and wiliest boss since the death of Carlo Gambino was Vincent the Chin Gigante, who died in 2005. Since Gigante's reign, the Genovese family has been strong and successful because of its continued devotion to secrecy--stemming from edicts from the Chin. According to the FBI, many family associates don't even know the names of Genovese family members or even other associates. For years Fat Tony Salerno was even thought to be boss, though no one seemed to ever fully believe Chin's psycho act, especially after turncoats like Sammy Bull started talking.

This approach -- creating separate, isolated cells out of crews --- makes it more difficult for the FBI to gain incriminating information from government informants. Seems LCN is learning something from al-Qaeda. I don't link the mob with terrorists, I say they are learning some tactics from them; that's the extent of the connection. I'd rather have wiseguys run the docks than anyone else -- they'd take care of any terrorists wandering around better than the police could.

From 2005 to 2008, federal authorities successfully prosecuted the Gambino administration, several capos, and many soldiers and associates. Since both federal and New York State authorities rounded up the entire Gambino family hierarchy in early 2008, there is an apparent power-vacuum in the Gambino family. Many speculate the new acting boss is the legendary Castellano-loyalist Daniel "Danny" Marino of the Queens faction of the family. Fresh out of jail, Carmine Agnello is also being watched very closely.

A March 2009 article in the New York Post stated that a three-man panel of street bosses Daniel "Danny" Marino, John Gambino and Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace was running the Gambino family while the administration members were in prison. The article also stated that the family included of approximately 260 "made" members. Both street boss Jackie D'Amico and acting underboss Domenico Cefalu had finished serving prison terms on November 3, 2009, but D'Amico was kept in custody and pled guilty to new charges that will keep him in prison for up to three more years.

Today the Gambino family still controls the piers in Brooklyn and Staten Island through infiltrated labor unions. A pair of indictments in 2009 and 2010, respectively, show that the family is still very active in New York City.
On November 18, 2009, the NYPD arrested 22 members and associates of the Lucchese and Gambino crime families as part of "Operation Pure Luck". The raid was a result of cases involving loan sharking and sports gambling on Staten Island. There were also charges of bribing New York City court officers and Sanitation Department officials. On April 20, 2010, Gambino capo Daniel Marino and thirteen other members/associates were arrested and indicted for numerous criminal activities. In addition to the racketeering charges, the fourteen defendants were charged with murder, sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor, jury tampering, extortion, assault, wire fraud, narcotics trafficking, loan-sharking and gambling. All the defendants pleded guilty to lesser charges.

Although in prison for life, Victor Amuso remains the official Boss of the Lucchese family. However, it is unclear as to how much influence Amuso actually exerts over the family. In the last few years, a three-man ruling panel consisting of Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli, Aniello "Neil" Migliore, and Matthew Madonna has been running the family. All three men are long time capos in the family, but Migliore is believed to be the most powerful. Migliore has been a major player in the family for more than 30 years and is said to have huge respect on the street. Arguably, Migliore brought some stability to the Lucchese family for a short period. The family's presence remains strong in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and New Jersey. In 2009 the Lucchese family was handed three federal indictments showing that the family continues to be very active in organized crime, especially in labor racketeering, illegal gambling, and extortion.In one of the indicitments ruling panel members Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna were charged with controlling an ring that extorted and bribed businesses and construction sites in Manhattan and the Bronx.

A March 2009 article in the New York Post stated that the Lucchese family consists of approximately 100 "made" members, possibly making it the smallest of the Five Families, although not the weakest. It is probably the third most powerful, as the Bonanno family has had to deal with their Boss turning government informant and their next Boss being deported to Canada. While the Colombo family have been damaged ever since the family wars of the 1990s and the multiple indictments relating to it in the 2000s.

Carmine "Junior" Persico, at age 76, allegedly remains boss of the much-weakened Colombo family. He is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina. Persico had designated his son Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico as his successor. However, in December 2007, Alphonse Persico and UnderbossJohn "Jackie" DeRoss were convicted of ordering the 1999 killing of William Cutolo and were sentenced to life in prison.

John "Sonny" Franzese, 92 years old and a bitter Persico enemy, is allegedly underboss. Franzese has spent much of his life in prison and is under tight parole restrictions, but has still assumed a top spot in the family. In May 2007, Franzese was arrested on parole violation charges stemming from meetings with Colombo caporegimes and high ranking members of other crime families. Franzese was released from jail in 2008. In 2011, he went back in.

Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo, longtime capo and former street boss, assumed the role of acting boss after the 2008 arrest of Thomas Gioeli.Vincenzo "Vinny" Aloi is said to be the current Colombo Consigliere. He is currently living in Florida and considered to be semi-retired.

In June 2008, acting boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, former consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, captain Dino Calabro, mob soldier Dino Saracino and several members and associates were indicted on multiple racketeering charges. These charges included drug trafficking, loan sharking, extortion and three murders dating back to the Colombo Wars. As of October 2010, Gioeli is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

On December 17, 2009, the FBI charged members of the Colombo family with allegedly engaging in drug trafficking, extortion and loansharking. The crew was operating in Massachusetts, Arkansas, Rhode Island, New York and Florida. The leader of the crew is the current "Street Boss", Ralph F. DeLeo. He grabbed a piece of territory in Boston for the family. As the new street boss, DeLeo is not a New York City based mobster. He met Alphonse Persico in prison in the early 1990s and when he was released he became a made member in the family. DeLeo became street boss after the Gioeli arrest in 2008.

On January 26, 2010 capo Dino Calabro, facing trial for murdering a New York police officer, became a government witness. His testimony could be devastating to the family leadership. On July 20, 2010. Michael Souza became a government witness, testifying against Anthony Dentico of the Genovese crime family.

The morning of January 20, 2011 members of the Colombo crime family as well as the other four major organized crime families in New York City were arrested on charges of murder, narcotics trafficking, and labor racketeering.

Under the rule of former Boss Joseph Massino, the Bonanno family climbed back to the top of New York's crime family hierarchy and once again became a top power in America's underworld, but high level defections and convictions have left the family a shell of its former self once more during its long criminal history. Vincent Basciano is serving a prison sentence for racketeering and Salvatore Montagna has been deported to Canada. Both were appointed acting bosses during Massino's imprisonment and after Massino's defection to the FBI.

On January 11, 2010 Jerry Capeci quoted sources as saying that Nicholas Santora and Anthony Rabito, who were both released from prison in 2009 and are still unable to meet freely with their fellow wiseguys, are supporting capo Vincent Asaro to become the new boss of the family. Asaro also has close ties to Queens-based mobsters from the Lucchese, Gambino and Genovese families who have voiced their support for him, sources say. A key player in the recent talks is Vito Grimaldi, who is viewed as an adviser to the Zips (Sicilian mobsters in the United States).

Capeci's sources say Asaro, who for many years has had dealings as both a mob supervisor and cohort of Sicilian wiseguys, may win Grimaldi's support. Another candidate with key Sicilian backing is Vincent Badalamenti. Due to Joseph Massino deciding to cooperate with the FBI, both sides agree that the family will no longer take orders from the man he previously appointed acting boss, Vincent Basciano. "[Joseph Massino's] word don't count any more," said one source, adding that even if his words still had clout, it made no sense.


When Vincent Gigante died in late 2005, the leadership went to Genovese capo Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo, who was apparently running the day-to-day activities of the Genovese crime family by 2006. In 2006, Genovese underboss and former Gigante loyalist, Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano was released from prison. That same year, former Gigante loyalist and prominent capo Dominick Cirillo was allegedly promoted to consigliere in prison. By 2008, the Genovese family administration was believed to be whole again.

In March 2008, Daniel Leo was sentenced to five years in prison for loansharking and extortion. Underboss Venero Mangano is reportedly one of the top leaders within the Manhattan faction of the Genovese crime family, and acting consigliere. Lawrence Dentico ("Little Larry") was leading the New Jersey faction of the family until convicted of racketeering, loansharking and extortion charges in 2006. Dentico was released from prison in 2009. In July 2008, one-time Gigante street boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo was paroled from prison after serving 12 years. What role Bellomo plays in the Genovese hierarchy is open to speculation, but he is likely to have a major say in the running of the family once his tight parole restrictions are over.

A March 2009 article in the New York Post claimed Daniel Leo was still acting boss despite his incarceration. It also estimated that the family consists of approximately 270 "made" members. The Genovese family maintains power and influence in New York, New Jersey, Atlantic City and Florida. It is recognized as the most powerful Cosa Nostra family in the United States. Since Gigante's reign, the Genovese family has been so strong and successful because of its continued devotion to secrecy. According to the FBI, many family associates don't know the names of family leaders or even other associates. This information lockdown makes it more difficult difficult for the FBI to gain incriminating information from government informants.

According to the FBI, the Genovese family has not had an official boss since Gigante's death. Law enforcement considers Leo to be the acting boss, Mangano the underboss, and Cirillo the consigliere. The Genovese family is known for placing top caporegimes in leadership positions to help the administration run the day-to-day activities of the crime family. At present,capos Bellomo, Ernest Muscarella, Cirillo, and Dentico hold the greatest influence within the family and play major roles in its administration. The Manhattan and Bronx factions, the traditional powers in the family, still exercise that control today.

In 2010, the FBI convinced Genovese mobsters Anthony Arillotta and Felix L. Tranghese to become government witnesses. They represent only the fourth and fifth Genovese made men to have cooperated with law enforcement. The government is using Arillotta and Tranghese to prosecute acting capo Anthony Palumbo and Arthur "Artie" Nigro in the Massachusetts faction for the murders of Angelo Sangiuolo and Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno.


  1. Asshole, Persico and Franzese are not enemies. The two men settled the Gallo war for Profaci, Backed Joe C . Both men have weilded power since the 60's, a large part of the time in jail. Both are ruthlesss & brutal. Sonny the smarter guy and bigger earner has not moved freely since 67, ye he managed to conceive and implement a billion dollar gas tax daisey chain. Whatever else you write note these two are giants within their own sub culture and among law enforcement types. Not paper machete tigers created by the press to spice up sales

  2. Gambino Family SilverLake

  3. Acting boss Chosen1
    Underboss shocker
    Consigliere klutz

  4. Never kno who runs wat now...


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