New Bonanno Boss: Basciano Out; Tommy DiFiore In

Tommy DiFiore, new Bonanno boss.
Thomas (Tommy D) DiFiore, a 70-year-old gangster from Commack, Long Island, having consolidated his power within the Bonanno crime family, has been named boss of that borgata.

Sources told us DiFiore longs for the good old days, when the organization was secret, and made men and their associates did not roll for the government. And a mob boss would swallow a bullet before even thinking about what former Bonanno boss Joe Massino did. He is old-school to the marrow in his bones, we hear.

According to last week's column, written by Jerry Capeci, DiFiore "is viewed by some law enforcement officials as little more than a caretaker-leader for the imprisoned Michael (Mikey Nose) Mancuso. But Mancuso is not due to be released until 2019, and as one wag told Gang Land the other day, A lot of spit can go down in six years."

Mancuso, back against the wall at Edgefield, S.C.

We assume Basciano was unceremoniously tossed out much like former Luchese boss Vic Amuso was, to allow for the ascension of "Stevie Wonder" Crea (see story).

DiFiore began in the life as a soldier in Phil "Lucky" Giaccone's crew. DiFiore was promoted to capo after Phil -- and Sonny "Red" Indelicato and Dominic "Big Trin" Trinchera -- were murdered. DiFiore helmed Phil's crew.

Among the first major issues DiFiore will need to face is how to start filling the family's empty coffers.

Joe Massino turned and walked
away from history to avoid
doing life in prison (or facing
Massino had started up a special tax, kind of like a "boss's defense tax," extra money Massino could use to pay his lawyers. Every Bonanno member and associate had to kick in every week. Seems odd considering it was the fortune he had salted away--rather, what would happen to it -- that supposedly influenced Massino to turn informant. It shouldn't be as surprising as it is: a mob boss running a scam on his own borgata.... and to think, right before it all hit the fan, Massino had the balls to begin a whisper campaign that the Bonanno family was going to be rechristened as the Massino family. Good thing they didn't have new letterhead and business cards drawn up; as fucked up as Joe Bananas was, he certainly didn't flip for Uncle Sam.

DiFiore is known as the gangster who took on the Gambinos in a sit down involving a porn peddler whom the Gambinos were extorting. The porn guy's name was Danny Melendez, and he was trying to run a legit business, which was named Cherry Video. (This anecdote is covered in "Mob Killer," Anthony M. DeStefano's absorbing account of the life and crimes of Gambino hit man Charles Carneglia.) It is unclear exactly what happened --- but in mid to early 2000, the FBI, having been alerted by the porn meister himself, wired the place for sound. The Gambinos and the Bonannos were squaring off, with Carneglia the guy out in front for the Gambinos, and DiFiore standing tall for the Bonannos. The scam was worth $300 a week -- and before the two families could resolve the situation, the feds busted them up, hauling guys away in bracelets to see what kind of nifty charges could be packaged together and served up, hot off the presses.
Vinny Basciano is out.

According to GangLandNews, DiFiore had been working on consolidating his position as boss at least since last December, meeting with a group of Bonannos a few days after Christmas at the Blue Bay Diner on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Flushing (where I ate many a dinner when I had my apartment in Bayside; wonderful neighborhood).

"Joining Tommy D... were former consigliere Anthony (Fat Anthony) Rabito, capo Gerald (Jerry) Chilli, acting capo Johnny Joe Spirito Jr. – the son of a Bronx-based capo behind bars for murder – and soldier Peter Lovaglio. Numerous pictures of the 11:15 AM brunch were taken by a watchful team of NYPD detectives and FBI agents," Capeci wrote.

Then, "a day after the gathering in the Flushing diner – one source believes the setting was a sop for Rabito, who lives in Queens – DiFiore traveled to Staten Island and presided over a so-called "captain's meeting" to bring six additional family mobsters up to speed on the life and times of the Bonanno crime family under Tommy D, according to the court document."

NYPD detectives were filming and photographing the meeting, at which DiFiore officially introduced Chilli to the others as the "official captain in charge of the family's rackets in the Sunshine State."

Capeci added: "The feds won't be able to use the meetings to bring any charges against DiFiore, whose own supervised release ended in 2007. But his rise in power already has made him a target for mob busters."

As usual a boss barely has time to get used to the weight of the crown on his head before law enforcement is already acting like his proctologist.


  1. Acting or mere figurehead is totally inaccurate

  2. This old timer doesn't have the gravitas or the brains for the job, he is at best a skipper nothing more.

  3. Mancuso is in the clink -- who else could it be... remember, if Gambino's Cali is any example it's not just a matter of who is best, but who is willing to accept the job. I'd rather be a mostly legit background guy.... no status whatsoever.... only way to survive in that life....

  4. Either way he has a huge target on his back. The life died along time ago. Too many Rat's everywhere. It is easier being legit. No short cuts in life. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.


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