NYPD Detective Framed by Jailhouse Snitch

"Big Sal" Miciotta is a Colombo turncoat/jailhouse snitch who nailed Gaspipe Casso for life and got out of prison 10 years early. John Staluppi is a wealthy American yachtsman who sells the priciest yachts in the world. He seems to like to name the vessels after James Bond actions flicks. He was identified by the FBI as a member of the Colombo family.

Vic Orena challenged "the Snake" for the big seat in the Colombo family,
igniting a civil war in the early 1990s.

Former NYPD Detective Joseph Simone is living on Staten Island robbed of his pension. He faced charges that he had passed information to Mafia figures and was found NOT GUILTY in a court of law.

All three had one thing in common back in the 1990s: the third Colombo crime family war. Staluppi and Miciotta were in the thick of it.

By the war's end, Staluppi had flipped back to the Carmine Persico faction, Miciotta flipped for the Feds, and Simone, a decorated NYPD careerist, who was among the first to understand the war's dynamics, was arrested by FBI agents.

Today, both mobsters are free. We don't know much about Big Sal's financial situation (I have heard he lives in Canada), but it isn't difficult to figure out that of Staluppi's, considering his yacht and car-dealership businesses. Simone, while he cleared his named to the public, was cut loose from the department, only without his pension.

The Colombo war -- which began in part due to the lack of a strong, effective Commission, the institution set up to settle issues before they escalated into civil war -- left plenty of bodies on the street, around a dozen, including two innocent bystanders.

It can be said that another casualty was NYPD Detective Joe Simone, who after serving more than 20 years in the NYPD, suffered the indignity of a trial that ended up clearing his name, then a departmental hearing, which muddied it back up and, perhaps even worse, denied him his pension.

Simone, charged with feeding information to a Colombo faction during the war, was arrested on what was to have been his last day of work before a blissful pensioned retirement following a storied career that brought him 22 commendations. For the past five years of his time with the NYPD, he'd belonged to the Organized Crime Task Force, an elite group of NYPD Detectives, FBI agents, and Federal Prosecutors charged with bringing to an end New York’s Five Mafia Families.

The Task Force, however, head-butted an internal war that erupted in 1991, when acting boss Orena and loyalists tried to take over the family, launching a war with those loyal to imprisoned Colombo boss Carmine Persico.

Simone was put on Federal trial after turning down a plea bargain he deemed absurd and won at trial.

As The New York Times reported in October of 1994: "A jury in Federal District Court in Brooklyn deliberated only about two hours before finding Detective Joseph L. Simone not guilty of charges that he had passed information to Mafia figures about investigative targets and about the identity of at least one Mafia turncoat cooperating with the authorities. He was accused of having received about $1,500 for the information.

"Standing in the courtroom after the eight-day trial with his wife, Eileen, fighting back tears at his side, the detective told reporters, "I'm very relieved, very happy, just glad the truth is out."

He added that he and his family had been "through hell" since his arrest [in December of 1993]. "I was always a good cop and did my job well."

The jury actually thought their declaration of "not guilty" meant something. It did but he had another trial of sorts to face.

Following the federal trial, Simone faced a departmental hearing -- a kangaroo court, of sorts, where the outcome is determined before the hearing begins. This decorated veteran, who was the first detective to deduce a Mafia war was going on, ended up off the force and denied his pension.

It is widely believed, and was widely reported at the time, that Simone, an NYPD blue-blood, was a fall guy. He had been part of an early joint federal-city organized crime task force and was a cohort of FBI agents who ended up using him as an excuse to shift the spotlight away from them -- and they were FBI agents Lindley DeVecchio and Christopher Favo.

Belief in Simone's innocence is widespread and strong.

Angela Clemente, a forensic analyst/congressional consultant, maintained a website dedicated to various aspects of the case against DeVecchio (whose trial was ultimately aborted), as well as her efforts to clear Simone's name and help him win his pension back.

She wrote on her website, "I spent the last eleven years on the case of Detective Joe Simone, who was reportedly a corrupt OCID officer working a joint task force under Agent Lindley DeVecchio and his subordinate Agent Christopher Favo.

"I was originally targeting Detective Simone but after intense investigation and interviews I found that Detective Simone was a fall guy for the wrongdoing of the U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York and the NY FBI office."

Yes, folks, this type of thing still happens....


  1. Nice. If you Google Angela's name one of the first results you get is a link to a serious right wing journalist who claims that she is somehow a champion of exposing corruption in the Clinton era DOJ.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. you always have the most interesting and intriguing stories....hard to believe you have only been blogging for two years...keep up the good work

  4. All I wanna say is, Sonny, if you are reading this...Lenny from Milan says how ya doin? I hope that you are doin well and thank you for teaching me the ropes! I feel honored to have had the opportunity, too bad it was as fellow inmates. I want you to know I appreciate the wisdom you shared with me. I just recently learned who you are, wow, you really were for real. I always held you in high regards, respect was something you constantly earned with the respect you always showed. May you discover the endocannabinoid system and use it to recover your health and regain the youthfulness you had when I first met you at the age of 82. I'd love to see you again and enjoy some more of those ten mile talks. I'm serious Sonny, cannabis oil has the potential to cure nearly everything including that single most important, death itself! Look me up, I would be honored to hook you up with a personal supply, wont cost you a damn thing, on me.
    Leonard Louis Hanson

  5. Clinton CeeRay FussellJun 23, 2014, 4:35:00 AM

    As we all know the FEDS will do ANYTHING to win their convictions. It's all about winning and enhancing their careers, not justice.

  6. Simone was the forgotten fall guy -- the mob and the Feds are both guilty on this one, and the media dropped the ball, too. Exonerated by a jury but his pension robbed from him following a phony trumped up hearing. The newspapers all covered his trial but not much about the hearing.

  7. Simone was the forgotten fall guy -- the mob and the Feds are both guilty on this one, and the media dropped the ball, too. Exonerated by a jury but his pension robbed from him following a phony trumped up hearing. The newspapers all covered his trial but not much about the hearing

  8. Thanks. Been a reporter a lot longer, though... appreciate it!

  9. I'm just past the chapter that discusses this in Peter Lance's "Deal With the Devil". Left me pissed off.

  10. Thanks for reminding me about Lance's book, I want to check out what he wrote about this... I have the Scarpa files, too. Joe was, understandably not happy about this. It's a disgrace the media doesn't cover this more.

  11. Thanks Joy See, trying to locate my Lance book at this moment.


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