Bonanno's New Acting Boss Played Santa Too....

All happy Mafia crime families are alike; each unhappy crime family is unhappy in its own way.*

While I don't know whether that saying holds true, I can say that it certainly seems that, whatever else they have in common, crime families develop their own personalities over time.

The Bonannos have a new acting boss. John Cammarano Junior was named acting underboss, as well as street boss.
Bonanno members at recent holiday gathering at Staten Island restaurant
Here's an overly simplistic analysis: The Gambinos were the high-profile guys, the mobsters with flash and dash and lots of drug cash. The Genoveses (aka The West Side) are viewed as the silent but deadly ones who live far off the radar screen while accruing vast fortunes. The Luchese family is somewhat difficult to characterize. I think of junkyards and auto repair shops (aka "chop shops"), though under Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso they were basically killers of rats (and anyone unlucky enough to be viewed by Casso with disfavor). The Colombos, thrice in "declared" wars, killed their own; and over their lifespan, anyone else, including cops. They're also considered the family most closely aligned based on true familial ties.

The Bonannos make me think of one thing in particular: their great renown for Christmas parties.

An interesting story could be written about Bonanno family Christmas parties and all the events the Feds believe happen during them -- but never seem to happen during them. For example, in 2011, the Bonanno holiday party was held in Brooklyn. The festivities were still beginning when a group of DEA agents burst inside the Bensonhurst storefront, toting shotguns and warrants. The party-goers were hustled out into the cold evening and had to wait a full two hours while a group of elderly men with no prior arrests were searched.

No drugs were found, so apparently the whole raid was based on dubious information or the agents just wanted to break chops.

New Boss Threw Holiday Shindig 
The Bonannos have a new acting boss. Apparently, based on his Daily News exclusive "coming out" story, John Cammarano Junior was named acting underboss, as well as street boss, which the DN views as "a sign that the beleaguered family is trying to rebuild after the prosecutions and defections of its members in recent years."

Cammarano Junior's father was responsible for pulling off a hit that brought directly into the Bonanno family's fold a highly lucrative video gambling operation. Cammarano Senior also made a pointed remark (and apparently held a strong opinion) regarding what some Bonanno bosses were saying years back about murdering the families of informants. Cammarano Senior didn't agree.

This new acting boss threw the crime family's annual Christmas party at a Staten Island Zagat-approved Italian eatery. "The six-hour food fest was held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Bocelli Restaurant on Hylan Blvd. under the watchful eyes and cameras of the FBI and the NYPD, according to papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court."

Attendance, of course, was mandatory, and more than a dozen capos and soldiers reportedly showed up. That's the size of the family members on the street? We wonder if this means that four are are now considered fully operational, versus three.... 

At the Christmas party, coincidentally enough (not) underlings handed over fat envelopes to the family's boss, Joseph Cammarano Jr.When Joseph Massino was boss, he threw the holiday party at his Casablanca restaurant in Queens. Cammarano, 56, controls the family's "day-to-day criminal activities," according to court papers.

Since that news arose, a federal judge summed up his feelings about the new Bonanno crime family boss hosting this Christmas party by quoting Yogi Berra and Forrest Gump.

"In the words of the great Yogi Berra, it's déjà vu all over again," Judge Nicholas Garaufis said, "somewhat sadly, in Brooklyn Federal Court," one report editorialized.

"And that's all I'm going to say about that, in the words of Forrest Gump," he added.

Garaufis presided over multiple prosecutions of Bonanno mobsters since 2002.

"This was a modern day version of what happened in Apalachin, New York," Garaufis said.

The judge, meanwhile, refused to release three gangsters on bail who violated their federal supervised release by associating with their fellow mob members. Cammarano was not among the charged. Joseph Desimone, Anthony Pipitone and Ronald Giallanzo were charged with violated the terms of their federal release by attending the Bonanno holiday fest. They also were denied bail.

Joseph Cammarano Sr. died on Sepember 3, 2013. A Bonanno capo who was part of a ruling panel that led the family when Massino was arrested, Cammarano died of respiratory arrest at the federal medical center at Butner, North Carolina at the age of 77.

Joe Cammarano Senior

Cammarano, known as "Joe Saunders" and "Joe C,"was serving a 10 year sentence for murder conspiracy involving the killing in 1990 of the son of Anthony "Boots" Tomasulo as this blog has reported on in great detail.. .

"Boots" Tomasulo, Joker Poker King....Antonio Tomasulo, also known as "Boots," built up and operated a highly lucrative Joker Poker slot machine gambling operation (one establishment outfitted by Boots reportedly served up $15,000 per week)....
Boots's son Anthony, who eventually assumed daily control and was a partner in the business, presumed he'd inherit the operation. But the Bonanno family claimed the racket for itself. Anthony objected -- and also made his own execution mandatory when he threatened the life of his mob superior.

Sal Vitale ordered the young man's 1990 murder so he could personally reap the profits of the illegal Joker Poker racket for which the Bonanno family became so well known. Other members operated video gambling machines, but Tomasulo had excelled in the business to the extent that the lucrative operation was worth killing over. Anthony Spero was among those involved in the murder in that he allegedly advised Vitale, who already seemed pretty convinced.

After Boots was buried -- with "full Mafia honors" -- Vitale decided to assert his authority. By rights, Boots's poker slot-machine operation was to go into the Bonanno family's pocket (meaning Vitale's pocket). The crime family was entitled to "inherit" all of a wiseguy's rackets once he died, Vitale maintained.

Soldier Michael "Mickey Bats" Cardello was ordered to inform Boots's son. Anthony was so angered upon hearing the news, he did something that made his position untenable. "If I have to, I'll kill you and I'll kill Sal!" he shouted at Cardello.

Anthony later informed another Bonanno capo of a revised plan. He was going to Vincent "The Chin" Gigante to arbitrate. (Regular readers know full well what Gigante thought of Bonanno boss Joe Massino.)

Vitale met with Spero to discuss the situation. Kill this kid, Spero advised. "You better do it. Get it behind you. God forbid he kills you. We all lose."

In May 1990 Anthony Tomasulo's body was found in the rear seat of his own car (some reports incorrectly say he disappeared). Vitale, who inherited the gambling empire, admitted to ordering Tomasulo's murder in court testimony. (See online scorecard of Vitale's testimony, which helped convict 51 organized-crime figures -- 38 for murders.)

As for Cammarano Senior, he was caught on surveillance tapes chasing James Tartaglione out of New York in late 2003. Tartaglione, who was on federal probation, had been traveling from Florida up to New York.

Sal Vitale wanted the joker poker business from Boots. 

Cammarano told Tartaglione to stay in Florida until his probation was over. [Tartaglione at that point was secretly taping the conversation with Cammarano]

On one tape, Cammarano offered his response to what another mobster had said about killing the family of rats and informants:

It could not be done, was his view.

Cammarano was waked in Brooklyn and reportedly cremated.

Mickey Bats, 73, has been out of prison since Oct 5, 2012.

Anthony Spero died at age 79 on Sept. 29, 2008.

*With apologies to Count Lev Nikolayevich.

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