Judge Sought to Scare Associate Out of the Mob

Micali's back tattoo was captured for posterity after his arrest.

Federal Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. seemingly took a 39-year-old Gambino associate under his wing, for a moment, anyway.

The judge warned Gambino associate John Micali that if he didn't stick to the straight and narrow from now on, he'd find himself six feet underground. (Mobsters die, though these days, it's usually via natural causes.)

Classified as a repeat offender, Micali was then sentenced to one year in federal prison for violating federal probation, and two additional two years for stealing Blackberry Storm and Apple iPhones at JFK Airport.

The devices, which ranged in price from $100 to $300, were bound for Asia.

Micali, called "dumbfella" in some reports, was pinched for swiping a shipment of smartphones and replacing the cargo with diapers.

The Feds built a case against Micali by tapping his own smartphone. The total score could have allowed the young gangster to pocket around $80,000; in the end, it cost around twice as much to get out on bail.
Micali previously served a 51-month prison sentence for burglarizing three banks. He was released a few years ago.

He allegedly was a Night Drop Crew member. A Mafia-linked gang, they specialized in bank burglaries from 1993 to 2003.

Micali is married to the daughter of former Luchese acting boss Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone.

In March 2003, Daidone was indicted for racketeering, loan-sharking, gambling and other crimes. On July 1, 2004, after being convicted on charges of loansharking and conspiracy to murder, Daidone was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors argued he was too dangerous to release on bail. A tattoo on his back didn't help his case: It portrayed a kneeling man, hands bound behind his back, underneath the words in Italian: "Kill all the police with a shot in the head.

John Pappa, a Colombo associate imprisoned for life for multiple murders, including his own friends, also had a memorable tattoo.

Police photographed Pappa's back after he was arrested.

The Daily News caught Micali in another scam in 2003. when he was listed as a $58,000-a-year employee of a Port Authority contractor hired to remove asbestos from Ground Zero "while he was in jail," the paper reported.

UPDATED: Micali was released on May 6, 2016.