Genovese Family Remains King of the Volcano

With little fanfare -- and no media coverage that we could find -- Genovese acting boss Daniel Leo is back on the streets, having been released from prison on Jan. 25, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Genovese crime family is deemed to be the most powerful criminal group in America -- and now, according to sources, free on the streets are its acting boss, street boss, underboss, consigliere -- and supposedly the capos who run a trio of the family's most powerful crews.

Daniel Leo, Genovese acting boss 

"The Genovese crime family is still the best organized, and has the deepest bench," the chief of investigations for the Manhattan district attorney has said.

"They continue to take part in traditional organized crime activities of gambling, loansharking and labor racketeering in New York and New Jersey."

"The Genovese family is the most secretive, criminally diverse, and powerful family in the country," an FBI agent added, noting that "their power stems from the control of unions and major industries."

As for the recent bust of gangsters involved in scamming the waste hauling business, the Genovese borgata is only one of three families involved, the Gambinos and Luccheses being the other two. On top of that, the original investigation was focused on Genovese capo Tino Fiumara, now deceased, which is why "Papa Smurf," a little-known wiseguy, became the lead mobster in the case. So for the Genovese family, the pending trial on that front does not have a major impact on its power to earn or protect itself.

As one Genovese gangster was quoted telling another, who unfortunately for the first gangster was an informant: "We got 30, 40 guys. Don't let anyone tell you that we're dead, 'cause we're here."

Here is a list of Genovese higher-ups who "are here"; but remember, this is the family known for hiding who its true boss is, as well as using figure heads and front men, and even confusing members of the other four families about its true hierarchy:

Acting Boss Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo - belonged to the Purple Gang of East Harlem in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, Leo joined Vincent Gigante's circle of trusted capos. With Gigante's death in 2005, Leo became acting boss. In 2008, Leo was sentenced to five years in prison on loansharking and extortion charges. In March 2010, Leo received an additional 18 months in prison on racketeering charges and was fined $1.3 million. Leo is currently in a community corrections facility. His scheduled release date is January 25, 2013.

Street Boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo – became Street Boss in 1992. Bellomo served as acting boss for Vincent Gigante during the early 1990s. He controls one of the most influential crews in the crime family, the Manhattan East Harlem and Bronx-based 116th Street Crew. Bellomo was imprisoned in 1996, he was released in July 2008.

Underboss Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano - became underboss in 1986 under boss Vincent Gigante. A Gigante loyalist, Mangano belonged to the West Side Crew. Mangano was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in the 1991 "Windows Case". He was convicted of extortion and attempting to manipulate the bidding process of window replacements within municipal housing projects. Released from prison in November 2006, Mangano is reportedly still a Manhattan faction leader.

Consigliere Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo - former capo and trusted aide to boss Vincent Gigante.

Cirillo belonged to the West Side Crew and was known as one of the Four Doms; capos Dominick "Baldy Dom" Canterino, Dominick "The Sailor" DiQuarto and Dominick "Fat Dom" Alongi. Cirillo served as Acting Boss from 1997 to 1998, but resigned due to heart problems. In 2003, Cirillo became acting boss, resigned in 2006 due to his imprisonment on loansharking charges. In August 2008, Cirillo was released from prison. Law enforcement believes that Cirillo is still active in the family.


  1. Just curious but if anybody knows how do the other crime families rank after the Genoveses and are any of the non-Sicilian/Italian crime organizations as powerful? Also, does their power come from the organization's size or from other factors?

  2. I think power, these days, is based on who is not in the joint. The Genovese family, "The Rolls Royce of the Mafia," has all of its administration out on the street, as well as the capos of the family's three most powerful crews, whom I am not naming.

  3. Santa Flaws. Just take a look at what the Sinaloa Cartel is doing in Chicago, and what is currently doing in Canada and Australia. No Italian-American organization has the power to operate and dominate outside NY, not to say outside the US. For decades the Sinaloa Cartel has characterized itself by inter-marriage among certain families (mainly white Mexicans who compose the Northern states of Mexico) creating strongly solid structures linked by blood. It has being revealed that they do operate like a ´Federation´ and they do have a figure close to the ´conseglieri´. Most of the literature is of course, in Spanish.
    They have recruited corrupt Mexican military personel for years and build up their ´private armys´ . In the past , the Mexican Army has received US counter-terror and warfare training, so you can imagine how deadly they are.

    They rule with power from Mexico down to Panamá, in Argentina they have killed people, and in Paraguay, as well as in Canadá. The power is global, so strong that the Calabrian Ndrangheta has join efforts to introduce drugs in to Europe working along with the Sinaloa Cartel. The key fact is to notice that a ´conservative, secretive and orthodox ´ institution like the Ndrangheta decides to work with the Cartel. Iguess, it says a lot.

  4. "Outside New York"... It is true that the American Cosa Nostra is not a global entity, for the most part, but with five families in New York, the Mafia's traditional stronghold, I doubt any other crime group would try to move in on their turf.

    Also, you can check out the following:

  5. @Ed Scarpo.

    But in a globalize world, they only have a ´little piece´ of the cake. The Camorra operates strongly in Spain, in Germany and of course, in Italy. That´s real power. Mexican Cartels are hegemonic organizations in California, Chicago, Arizona, Denver, ..... ¿And US Cosa Nostra? Yes, on a historical feud city. Power is the capacity to raise your hand and knowing that people would drop dead in the US, in Mexico, in Costa Rica, in Australia, in Spain. ....... American Cosa Nostra is strong in NY (loansharking, construction, ilegal gambling, control over unions) but when it commes to drug dealing issues, they have to rely strongly on other ethnic groups. And guess who are the people that rules the drug market in the US? I understand US Cosa Nostra ´kept´ a policy on no touching drugs but, that makes you rely on more traditional rackets. Less money, less power. Although locally it might seem as ´much´ ´because NY is mine´. Probably is a cultural thing, since most americans do not care about the worlds, italian-americans are not interested in going global.

    I can only imagine what would happen if commando paramilitary style organizations (not gangs like the ´ Mexican Mafia´ or ´La M´); but rather those that operate for the Cartels all over the Region would (hypothetically speaking of course) attack New York urban areas. This people would erase every single Social Club in a matter of hours, they will kill relatives directly in their homes and pretty much the State would have to use a stronger force. They are animals. I don´t know if American Cosa Nostra has the man-power to reply. In my opinion, (as a native from Casale Di Principe, in Napoli), American Cosa Nostra does not have that type of man power. We do in Naples. So far, America should be thankful that Cartels are using ´traditional gangs´ and not bringing their dogs of war.

    I apologize for my orthographical mistakes, I´m European, (Italian), and English is not my strong

    Statte buone

  6. Carlo - interesting comment. Thank you for adding to the dialogue.

    1. Ed- ´au contraire´. Thanks to you, and the owner of the blog of course for allowing the opinions. Nobody would believe how useful this is.

      I was philosophy student before droping out school at the Francisco II University in Naples, and then got involved in what you Americans call ´The Life´. It is what it is, a way to survive. But is interesting to find blogs like this; there is some share-reality sense that I like.

  7. All very interesting comments. What would be the "pecking order" of the Five Families these days?

    @Carlo - your English is very good. Wish I could do as well in Italian!

  8. I'd put Colombos & Bonannos at the bottom...

    1. And to think that at some point, Salvatore ´toto Rina´ (a.k.a. The Beast) was so close to Carmine Galante. They had a lot of power in the Old and New World.

      Now that I mention Galante, my question goes to topic of ´Zips´. Are there still Sicilian-born with dual membership (in the US and Italy) working in America? What´s the take of Italian-American mafiosi on guys from Naples? They still think of us as ´violent, animals, crazy, unreliable, ´shoot first ask later´ type.....´ ?

    2. Carlo! I do my best commenting in my stories! Cut and past these links into your browser - I have written extensively about the relationship between the U.S. and Sicilian/Italian Mafias...

      I'd be curious what you think of my "theories!"

    3. I like the third link.

      That concept of ´our´ American Mafia. Because, let´s assume that more Sicilian born-raise would take leadership positions in America. Would they behave like they do in Sicily? Would American society tolerate that?

      Here´s an example. ¿You think that a tv-show like ´mob wifes´ would be possible to do in Palermo, in Casale de Principe or in Avellino? How many days you think people ´opening their mouth´ would stay alive?

      ¿You think a journalist like Jerry Capeci would remain alive in Caserta, Messina, Scampia?....

      We don´t give a cazzo about how famous they are.

      Would american - mosbters be capable of killing relatives of those who become pentiti? Not immediate family (since they are protected) but extended family. Would they go to cemetery's, to exhume the bodies and ´re-kill´ (we call it ´seconda morte´, a way of killing in death) of the dead relatives of those who turn pentiti?

      Would American mafiosi have the balls to fight the war (literally) against army-police (gendarmeria, a way of military-police) as we do in Naples?

      I think the reaction of the State would be so powerhpul and society would not tolerate that amount of violence.

      It will always be a very ´benign´ form of Cosa Nostra they one you have in America. Kind of ´civil´, predictable, but, in general terms, very light....

    4. "Seconda morte" -- does that really happen? Very interesting comment -- glad to have you as a reader and enjoy hearing your perspective...

    5. Yes, it does. But is not Sicilian, is napolitano, and is more common in ´rural areas´ of the Campania.

      In fact, members of an specific Mexican Drug Cartel did copy that ´fashion´ from some Camorra clans. During the wars of the Camorra (80-90´s) this was very, very common.

      By the way, we don´t call it Camorra, or Cosa Nostra. We call the mafia in Naples ´Il Sistema´. It touches everything, it moves everything. Is everywhere.

      We don´t ´a Family´. We have ´clans´.

      Enough said.

      I really enjoyed the piece about ´Paulie ´Waltnuts´.

    6. I have replied to your ridiculous and erroneous analysis.
      Please look for it. If it is approved, and don't take out
      your hate for Americans on the American mafia. Do your research.

  9. Hi 2 all
    Just found that interesting blog and i need to Know something...would the rizzuto clan and the 5 families in corporation with the sicilian mafia habe a chance to fight these mexican animals or la ndrangheta? Honestly...i don't think so maybe Vs the ndrangheta because i don't think that the usa mafia ain't less clever than terms of violence and money they could never ever compete....but it is interesting what rizzuto Plans after the ndranghetta killed family members.
    R.I.P skipper James gandolfini!

  10. I think Amatto got it backwards. The Ndrangheta have a hold on Europe, Australia, and Canada. There is a minimal Mexican presence
    in those countries. The Italians dominate. I do agree the Cartels
    are more ferocious, but that would never fly in America. As soon as the Cartel leaders hit Spain, they were arrested. Neapolitans
    refer to Spain as Costa Nostra, because they have ruled and will rule there always. The Spanish don't want the Mexicans there. The Ndrangheta have been global way before Mexicans. The biggest drugs broker in the world was a Calabrian arrested in Colombia, and don't think the Colombians are finished. The Mexicans are still being used and are in the front lines. Once Obama is out of office and his minority loving attorney general, I guarantee you the Mexican Cartels will die a slow death. They are johnny come latelys. Canada is practically run by Sicilians and Calabrian Ndrangheta. The Mexican drop their product there. It's all about money. The Ndrangheta is not that conservative. They beheaded a butcher in the town of San Luca and used his head for target practice long before beheading was made popular by the Mexicans. In fact, there are two Sicilian brothers, Gerardi, wanted in Mexico for running their own operation in Mexico and having drugs
    shipped directly to the ports of Sicily, because the Sicilian don't want Mexicans setting foot on their turf. What are you talking about. I, too, am Neapolitan, Torrese.
    Anonymous-Old School

  11. I find interesting that several posters think that the NY families don't have business interests outside of the U.S.. They do for sure, by offering help in securing govt contracts through payments and a demonstrated ability to persuade with the use of violence in a fast growing Central America country as well as one very corrupt t
    SouthAmerican country.

  12. Attack the social clubs lol we are not out in the open like that anymore

  13. Although the Calabrians and Sicilians both firmly established themselves in Canada, Rizzuto is Sicilian and thus Cosa Nostra. He was warring with Calabrian Ndrangheta factions in Canada when he died, so there is no way Vito was part of the Ndrangheta. Factually incorrect, period.

  14. These guys do their full time to keep off paper or they going to get snared again like Merlino?

  15. They all got out of prison, the Lion most recently. Haven't heard a peep from law enforcement regarding any of these guys.


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