It Never Ends: More 'Mob Wives' Stuff

Ramona Rizzo, the new addition to 'Mob Wives,' is the granddaughter
to Benjamin "Lefty Two-Guns" Ruggiero, ex-mentor of one Donnie Brasco.

"Mob Wives" will include a new member when it makes its season two debut, according to a New York Post article that came to our attention via Gangster BB (bulletin board).

Ramona Rizzo — the granddaughter of Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero, the Bonnano crime family soldier who mentored “Donnie Brasco” — is joining the cast this season.

The Post reports that Rizzo joins the show, set to begin a new season Jan. 1, because she is a childhood friend of “Mob Wives” spitfire Karen Gravano, daughter of mob turncoat Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, according to Gangster BB.

A divorced mother of four, Rizzo lives in New Jersey, but was raised on Staten Island, where most of the action in “Mob Wives” takes place.

The Post got one part wrong, reporting, "Inexplicably, the mob never ordered a hit on Ruggiero as punishment for his error in judgment."

They did order a hit on Lefty; he was actually hoofing it to the meeting (a well-known brokester, Lefty likely couldn't afford a cab ride), knowing it was probably his doom, when the feds swooped in and arrested him, to save his life as well as put him on trial.

When he got out of prison -- I think he did a 10 to 20 year stretch -- his first act was to see boss Joe Massino to ask for permission to kill agent Pistone; Massino grinned and denied the permission. Massino had, at some point, rescinded the hit on Lefty after he kept his mouth shut and did his time for the family.

Lefty died — after a long prison stint — of cancer in 1994, before the movie that made him famous was released. I remember hearing at the time that some Hollywood flacks went to visit him and offered him $1 million for some insight that Pacino could use. Lefty, already bed-ridden sick and being eaten away by cancer, leaped off his bed, cursed the flacks out, and kicked them out of his house. His family members must have loved that -- losing a cool million bucks out of a dying mobster's pride. 
Another story on Ramona Rizzo joining the cast can be found here: Mob Wives Adds Ramona Rizzo for Season 2 on TV OverMind.

In the same Mob Wives thread, Gangster BB reports that the NY Daily News is saying that the former son-in-law of reputed consigliere Anthony (T.G.) Graziano was arrested by federal agents Monday for allegedly setting up the armed robbery of an illegal gambling spot controlled by the Bonanno crime family.

Hector Pagan, Jr., was ordered held without bail in connection with the 2009 stickup in Staten Island that netted about $5,000. Pagan, 51, the ex-husband of Graziano’s daughter, Rene, who appears on the reality show “Mob Wives,” hatched the scheme to rob the weekly card game where large amounts of money were wagered, according to the complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Graziano is serving the last two months of a racketeering conviction in a halfway house and is already back in trouble with the feds. He was photographed by agents last month meeting at a Staten Island diner with another Bonanno wiseguy, which is a violation that is expected to earn him more prison time. Graziano is supposedly not happy with the attention the TV show brings upon his secret society and stopped talking to his daughter.

The Post says that Graziano was chauffeured to the sitdown by mob wanna-be Matthew Rinaldo, who is also charged with participating in the card game robbery with Pagan, according to Gangster BB.
'Mob Wives' producer Jennifer Graziano
has her own history.

And while snooping around, we stumbled upon an old news item on involving both Pagan and Mob Wives producer Jennifer Graziano, which we are burying at the end because we're nice guys.

In that January 2000 story, Jerry Capeci wrote:

"Jennifer Graziano, a daughter of Bonanno capo Anthony (T.G.) Graziano, was hit with federal drug charges for being a member of a marijuana distribution ring allegedly run by her sister Rene's husband.

"Graziano, 28, and her brother-in-law, Hector Pagan, 34, husband of Rene Graziano, were overheard discussing pickups, work schedules, and paydays of runners who delivered pot to customers around the city, according to an arrest complaint by DEA agent Michael Cline.

"Graziano isn't the first female member of the family to run afoul of the law. Her sister Lana was charged with mail fraud in 1989. Those charges, and similar ones prepared against their mother and Lana's mother-in-law, were dropped when the men of the family pleaded guilty to tax charges in a plea bargain that spared the women.

"Jennifer Graziano, a graduate student at New York University, is one of two college students among eight defendants in the case. A third was studying to be a court reporter. All were released on bail."