Bank Burglary Crew Mobbed-up to the Hilt

The Brooklyn-based bank burglary crew busted this week and facing charges related to the alleged theft of about $5 million in cash, jewelry and diamonds is about as mobbed up as it gets.

The trio, who range in age from the mid-30s to mid-40s, were arrested last Tuesday and reputedly robbed at least two banks: Maspeth Federal in May and a Brooklyn-based HSBC branch in April.

In 2009, Mazzara was nearly murdered when he was shot in the face in Brooklyn's Venice Marina at Sheepshead Bay.
Mazzara was shot in the face in 2009.
Alleged mastermind Michael Mazzara is "a longtime Colombo associate who robbed banks with violent members of the Bath Avenue Crew... in the 1990s," as Gangland News's Jerry Capeci recently reported (the site requires paid subscription).

He also was shot in the face once.

Anthony Mascuzzio was identified as a Gambino associate with roots going back to the John Gotti era. His father, a Gambino mobster under Gotti, was murdered in 1988 in what has to rank as one of the more unique gangland scenarios: Anthony "Shorty" Mascuzzio was in the process of pistol-whipping the co-owner of Manhattan-based Bedrox Disco for not paying up. That's when David Fisher, said co-owner, shot Mascuzzio to death in the nightclub's basement on West 49th Street.

The three burglars.

Mascuzzio Junior also was one of five defendants indicted in 2011, along with his brother Jonathan Mascuzzio; also nabbed were John Cipolla, Frank Boehme, and Francis Lacorte. They were indicted alongside 26 Gambino crime family members and associates on racketeering, murder, narcotics, firearms, and other charges.

He'd been arrested in 1997, when he was 17. He and three others were charged with assault, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. "Mascuzzio, who the police said was carrying betting slips, was also charged with possession of gambling paraphernalia."

Mazzara and Mascuzzio are said to have links to Gerard Bellafiore, among other high-profile bank burglars who reportedly worked with or were members of the Night Drop Crew, a group of mob-linked bank burglars once said to be run by a smart, murderous Gambino associate named Eddie Boyle, an Irishman who supposedly was pumped to become the mob's next Jimmy Burke.

Bellafiore was shot earlier this month while attempting to rob a night deposit box from a bank in Florida.

Mascuzzio's stepbrother, Benny Geritano, also said to be a former member of the Night Drop Crew, received a 12 year prison sentence in September 2013 for stabbing someone and for allegedly trying to burglarize two banks; he also was allegedly scheming to pull off additional bank jobs.

Shot in the Face

Mazzara, a veteran bank robber with ties stretching back to the 1990s, put together a crew of mob associates that focused on bank jobs once he was released from prison in 2006.

In 2009, Mazzara was nearly murdered when he was shot in the face in Brooklyn's Venice Marina at Sheepshead Bay. A gunman opened fire on him and another man following what seemed to be a "minor quarrel" at the Brooklyn marina, the New York Daily News reported.

Mazzara, then 37, was wounded; the other man, Paul Moghab, 33, died from gunshot wounds.

Oddly, the killer was first seen chatting with Mazzara and Moghab, as if he was one of their friends. Then the man swiftly pulled a gun from a knapsack and fired a single round, hitting Mazzara in the face. Both Mazzara and Moghab then dove in the water, but the shoot waited for them to come up for air, and fired on both of them, this time killing one of them.

The suspect dashed across the Belt Parkway and escaped -- but was eventually captured.

As the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported in August 2009: "... Joseph Perretti, 28, of West Fourth Street, Brooklyn, (was) charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon."

Night Drop Crew

Gambino associate Edmund "Eddie" Boyle supposedly had visions of becoming the mob's next James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke. Even though he was an Irishman who knew he'd never get made, he still sought the prestige some mob associates have attained. It seemed like he was well on his way, too. According to reports, he was known for his cleverness, resourcefulness and ruthlessness. Boyle was a huge earner, and according to the Feds, a capable killer.

Eddie Boyle supposedly wanted to be the mob's
next Jimmy the Gent...
He also is said to have been one of the guys who ran the Night Drop Crew, though over the years the crew's name had a tendency to change, as Jerry Capeci noted. It went from the Night Drop Crew, to the Springfield Boys, then the Bank Crew, then the Eddie Boyle Crew, then, finally, Thomas "Huck" Carbonaro's Gambino crime family crew.

Boyle had a years-long good streak; from 1986 through 1999, he faced only a handful of minor convictions.

But in 2003, the it hit the fan. Boyle was indicted for running the Night Drop Crew, which reportedly had robbed nearly $2 million from banks in several of the Continental United States. A 33-count racketeering indictment, alleged that from 1993 to 2000, Boyle was a participant in a robbery, five burglaries and four "failed" bank jobs. Then, during a 1998 detention hearing, Boyle was named as the shooter who killed suspected informant, Frank Hydell, outside a Staten Island-located strip club. Compounding that problem was the Frank's brother, James, was himself missing.

This was one of the few hits that  happened during the Gambino crime family's "murder moratorium" from 1991 to 2002, as Michael "Mikie Scars" DiLeonardo told us. "There is no sanctioned murders for a 10-year period. We put a moratorium on killing, except in certain instances, such as if someone was an informant," DiLeonardo said.

Today, Boyle, 51, is in prison at New Jersey's Fort Dix, with a July 26, 2030, release date.

"Shorty" Shot Dead

Anthony Mascuzzio, 36, was one of the three robbers arrested for the two bank jobs. The son of a made member of the Gambino crime family under John Gotti, Anthony Junior was himself previously identified as a Gambino associate.

His father, Anthony ''Shorty'' Mascuzzio, 43, of 81 Warren Street in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill section, was shot dead in a Manhattan nightclub in 1988 by a co-owner of the club, Bedrox Disco, once located on West 49th Street.

"Fisher, 53 of Monsey, N.Y., in Rockland County, was taken to the Bellevue Hospital Center shortly after the 2:30 A.M. shooting, which took place in the basement of the club." the New York Times reported.

Fisher was seriously wounded, and had shot "Shorty" during a brawl in which the club owner had been pistol-whipped. He was in serious but stable condition with multiple head trauma, as the Times reported.

"Mr. Mascuzzio was found sprawled on the basement floor of the building near the club's business office... He had been shot twice, once in the lower right side of the neck and once in the back, the police said.

An unlicensed .38-caliber revolver was found near the body, Another .38, with five spent cartridges, was also found in the discotheque that night.

''A club employee attempted to go downstairs, but couldn't get the door open,'' a law enforcement source said. The officers saw Fisher standing near Mascuzzio's body after they forced the door open.

Fisher had operated businesses at the location for the previous 18 years. The nightclub's previous name had been the Better Days Disco.

At the time Mascuzzio was taking $700 a week from the club.

According to the federal indictment and New York police accounts, Steve Kaplan, the other co-owner of the nightclub, took a witness to meet with Gambino bosses after the shooting. The bosses told Kaplan to hide the witness. Kaplan took the witness to Florida.

Fisher later committed suicide and Kaplan took control of the New York club. (Fisher's real name may have been Al Roth.)

The shooting was raised during a later trial in Atlanta in which prosecutors sought to link the Gambinos to Kaplan. 

Kaplan's co-defendants included "Mikie Scars" and five others. All were charged with money laundering, credit card fraud, loan sharking and obstruction of justice.

Kaplan faced additional charges, including pimping out club dancers to celebrities and professional athletes.

The 2001 Atlanta trial was given major billing in the national press, with the L.A. Times describing it as "One of the juiciest mob trials in recent years."

Kaplan was described as an ''earner associate'' who paid crime family higher-ups handsomely.

That was according to Dino Basciano, who was arrested in 1994 and was accused of conspiracy to commit murder as well as providing around 60 guns to arm warring factions in the Colombo crime family. 

At trial, Basciano said Kaplan "makes the money, like for Shorty, and any protection he needs, they send somebody like me.''

Basciano testified that after Mascuzzio's death, Kaplan came under the protection of Bobby Borriello, a Gambino associate who chauffeured boss John Gotti.

''Steve was in his glories ... because he was going to meet the guy who's closest to John Gotti,'' Basciano said. ''He's got the power of New York in his hands.''

Kaplan's attorney argued that Kaplan was forced to pay mobsters but was not involved in a criminal conspiracy.

Basciano entered into an agreement with the FBI in 1994; he'd agreed to cooperate for possibly reduced charges in an attempted murder that involved a Luchese member. Basciano was facing around 50 years when he decided to flip. He was given a six-year sentence and was released in November 2000.

During the trial Kaplan pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, and in January 2002 was sentenced to 16 months in prison.