With Friends Like Bobby Sasso, Who Needs Hit Men?

Sasso, gang banger...
It was not a mob hit; it was personal.

Robert Sasso, 33, the grandson of a Teamsters boss who worked for John Gotti, allegedly shot another man four times early on Friday. The victim, who was described as a "pal,"  called 911 as he lay dying.

Earlier, Sasso had picked up Dean Oku, 29, in a white Ford Fusion and drove him to the Whitestone jetty so the pair could smoke weed at close to 2:30 am. While parked, overlooking the water, Sasso pulled a gun and shot him in the chest and thigh. Sasso then drove off, leaving the man on the jetty.

Oku called 911 and when the police finally arrived, he was asked, “Why’d he shoot you?”

“An old beef,” Oku said.

He was taken to New York Hospital in Queens and nearly died, but reached surgery in time to have his condition upgraded to critical.

After a search, Sasso was found. The heavily tattooed man is an alleged Gambino family associate and is related to numerous mob convicts. His father did three years on gun trafficking charges, and his 79-year-old grandfather was convicted in 1992 of helping Gotti extract payoffs from contractors.

About a year ago, following the shooting of a construction working in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, Sasso was questioned but not charged.

He was also a suspect in another non-fatal shooting in Queens seven years ago, police sources said.

In total, Sasso has 30 prior arrests, for weapons, assault, and drugs. Judging by that tattoo under his eye, he's spurned the family business to join the street gang Sex Money Murder (also known as Sex Money Murda, S.M.M. and $.M.M.), which operates on the East Coast of the United States. A Bronx-based street organization that originated in the Soundview section of the Bronx, New York, it is affiliated with the United Blood Nation, one of the largest street gangs in New York city.

Oku has 31 arrests for robbery, burglary, and drugs.

“Why’d he shoot you?”
“An old beef.”

Sasso is the grandson of Robert Sasso, a former union leader who pleaded guilty to racketeering in 1994 and was sent to prison for 41 months. He also resigned as president of a powerful Teamsters local in 1992 amid allegations he gave Gotti contractors' payoffs.

Sammy “Bull” Gravano — who flipped on John Gotti — testified in 1993 that Sasso could help the Gambinos reach developer Donald Trump. “Donald Trump obviously does a lot of construction, and if Bobby Sasso, the president of 282, the Teamsters, who was with our family, would reach Donald Trump and tell him that we were interested in a meeting with him — when I say ‘we,’ I don’t mean me or John Gotti — I don’t know if Trump would meet us, but it would open the door for a meeting,” Gravano testified.

An April 16, 1992, New York Times article by By Selwyn Raab (author of Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires) noted:

The head of the most powerful union in the New York region's construction industry resigned yesterday only hours before he was to face charges that he had been a pawn of the Gambino crime family and had helped John Gotti extract payoffs from contractors. 
The labor leader, Robert Sasso, agreed to resign as president of Local 282 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters without specifically admitting any of the allegations, according to the court-appointed investigations officer who had brought the charges. 
The evidence would have included assertions by Salvatore Gravano, the former Gambino family underboss, that Mr. Sasso gave sweetheart contracts to mob-controlled companies and that he shared in payoffs to mobsters made by contractors for labor peace, officials said.
Mr. Sasso's resignation represents the latest chapter in the Federal Government's long effort to break the Mafia's hold on the union. It was unclear yesterday how his departure might affect the union.
Here is the rest of Raab's article, for those interested:

Local 282 is a pivotal force in the construction industry in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County because its 5,000 members deliver concrete and other essential supplies. Slowdowns or disruptions by the local can inflate building costs and reduce profits for developers and contractors.

Law-enforcement officials say there is no precise figure on the invisible tax that has been imposed on the construction of commercial and residential projects through corruption in Local 282. Construction industry experts estimate that overall building costs are 10 percent higher in the New York region than in other metropolitan areas, but they caution that all of the higher expense cannot be attributed to Local 282.

An attempt in the late 1980's by the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch to get lower concrete prices failed. The Koch administration subsidized the construction of a private concrete supply plant, but that plant has not become a major supplier in the city.

By surrendering his job, Mr. Sasso became the second president of Local 282 in a decade to be removed because of reputed organized-crime ties. In 1982, Mr. Sasso's predecessor, John A. Cody, was convicted on Federal racketeering charges and served five years in prison.

The 58-year-old Mr. Sasso was to appear yesterday for the start of a quasi-judicial proceeding in Newark before a former Federal Judge, Frederick B. Lacey. The court-appointed investigations officer, Charles M. Carberry said in an interview that Mr. Sasso's lawyers told him Tuesday night that Mr. Sasso had decided to "resign permanently" and that he would neither admit nor deny the allegations.

Mr. Sasso did not return telephone calls to his office at Local 282 in Lake Success, L.I., and Mr. Sasso's chief lawyer, Gary P. Naftalis, did not respond to telephone messages left at his office in Manhattan. Gravano's Affidavit

In December, Mr. Carberry filed charges against Mr. Sasso, accusing him of consorting with seven Gambino leaders dating to the early 1980's and improperly authorizing $30,000 in union payments to Mr. Cody after his conviction. Mr. Sasso faced expulsion from the union if the charges had been sustained.

After the complaint was filed, more potentially damaging evidence against Mr. Sasso was obtained from Mr. Gravano, according to officials and investigators who are familiar with the case.

Mr. Gravano, who defected from the Gambino family in November, was the prosecution's main witness against Mr. Gotti in a trial that ended last month in Federal District Court in Brooklyn with Mr. Gotti's conviction on murder and racketeering charges, including an accusation that he was the boss of the Gambino family.

At the trial, Mr. Gravano testified that Mr. Sasso "was with us." Asked what that phrase meant, he testifed that Mr. Sasso had followed orders given to him by Gambino family leaders. Other evidence that would have been presented against Mr. Sasso at the hearing included tape recordings by the F.B.I. in which Gambino members discussed Mr. Sasso's ties to them.

Mr. Gravano, who is in the Federal Witness Protection Progam, was not scheduled to testify, but through an affidavit, he asserted that Mr. Sasso shared in unspecified payoffs to mobsters from contractors,that he met with Mr. Sasso early in the mornings in hotel rooms to avoid surveillance by law-enforcement authorities, that mobsters directed Mr. Sasso to find no-show jobs for Gambino gangsters and that the Gambino family tried unsuccessfully last year to have Mr. Sasso elected as a vice president in the international union. A Judge and a Prosecutor

Under a 1989 settlement of a civil racketeering suit brought by the Justice Department against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Judge Lacey was appointed as the union administrator and Mr. Carberry as the investigations officer. Mr. Carberry, who has broad powers to root out corruption and organized-crime influence in the union, in effect serves as prosecutor against teamster officials and members.

Judge Lacey holds hearings in which evidence is presented and witnesses are examined and cross-examined. Conviction may result in fines, suspension or removal for life from the union.

Mr. Carberry declined to say yesterday if he would ask Judge Lacey to appoint a trustee to run Local 282 temporarily. Under the teamsters' constitution, Local 282's executive board may name a temporary president until an election by the local's membership is held.

Matt Witt, a spokesman for the Teamsters' International president, Ronald R. Carey, said in Washington that Mr. Carey had removed Mr. Sasso on March 31 from the $54,334-a-year post as an international representative. Last year, Mr. Sasso got $135,813 in salary and expenses from Local 282.

Mr. Carey was inaugurated as president in February after a campaign as an insurgent to reform the international union that for 40 years has been a symbol of corruption and Mafia domination. Mr. Witt said Mr. Carey could appoint a trustee to supervise Local 282 but "it is premature to say what action might be taken."

Last May, Mr. Cody was arrested by the F.B.I. on charges that he plotted to murder Mr. Sasso in an effort to regain control of Local 282. Mr. Cody pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan.


  1. Click on pic, look under left eye...

  2. Actually this guy is a "in the bloods" look at the 5 star G tattoo

  3. I did notice! Good catch -- thanks!

  4. Also the $MM below his eye stands for "Sex Money Murda" a gang that operates in the east coast.


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