Longtime Luchese Capo Accepts Plea Deal

Because he made the Fed's wait by not copping sooner, Carmine Avellino faces around four more months in prison as per sentencing guidelines.

Turns out, an alleged longtime Luchese capo decided he didn't really want to go to trial this month on an extortion beef, so he copped to a plea agreement this past Friday.

Alleged skipper Carmine Avellino (pic above) loses credit, one point, for indecisiveness. Because he made the Fed's wait by not copping sooner, he faces around four more months in prison as per sentencing guidelines.

Avellino, 72, admitted to conspiring with alleged Luchese associates Daniel and Michael Capra to threatening an individual who owed him $100,000. The victim, in his 70s, was beaten as per the Luchese Man of Honor's bidding.

"These allegations go back over four years so the question is, why did it take them so long to bring these charges?” Avellino's attorney said when his client was first charged back in May 2014.

Avellino was implicated in one of the New York Mafia's most ruthless crimes:  the brutal 1989 murders of Long Island-based independent carters Robert Kubecka and Donald Barstow, who refused to participate in a Luchese and Genovese-run carting racket.

The longtime mobster was initially charged with sending Luchese associates and brothers, Michael and Daniel Capra, to assault two victims in 2010, according to court papers.

The Capras were arrested the previous year, 2013, having been indicted first.

Michael Capra created some drama when the law came a-knocking. He didn't jump out an upper-story window, but he refused to open the door of his Smithtown, Long Island home when a team of FBI agents and Suffolk County cops (and one police dog) arrived.

Some described what took place as a standoff, though it seems to have been more of a hissy fit. Whatever it was, it lasted maybe an hour before Capra surrendered.

Later in Brooklyn Federal Court, Capra’s lawyer, Joseph Ferrante, blamed Capra's own wife for the entire fiasco.

Who's a tough guy! Michael Capra leaves court, his wife following him.
Michael's attorney unhesitatingly threw her under the bus.

"Mrs. Capra had a terrible lapse of judgment,” he said. “Mr. Capra was sleeping upstairs and did not instruct her to say anything.” Initially she'd said her husband didn't want to be disturbed.

Daniel Capra, 58, along with his brother, Michael Capra, 52, pleaded out earlier this month in Brooklyn federal court to roughing up two men to collect a $100,000 debt.

Daniel Capra read a statement in court admitting to pressuring the two:

“In early 2010, in Brooklyn and Long Island, I agreed with my brother, Michael Capra , and Frank Bruno to pressure Angelo Paccione — who had vouched for Charlie Giustra — to get Paccione or Giustra to repay the money that Frankie Bruno or others had given to Giustra.
“In furtherance of that agreement, I told Michael Capra to shake up Paccione to get repayment.”

The trio used "an implied threat of violence based on reputation" to scare the victim, Avellino told Brooklyn Magistrate Judge Marilyn Go, the New York Post reported.

There was more drama during the court proceeding, though nothing like Capra's lame standoff, when the judge seemingly tried to coax a more meaningful admission from the elderly gangster, by asking if Avellino was referring to his reputation in the Luchese crime family.
Defense lawyer Scott Leemon "nearly jumped out of his seat and clarified that his client meant his reputation in the "community," the Post reported.

Avellino faces nearly three years (or 33 months) in prison, but will seek a reduced sentence on grounds that he has Parkinson's disease, which "seems to be getting worse," as Avellino told the judge.

Paccione, an alleged soldier of the Gambino crime family who's mentioned only in passing in this case, once had a major impact on the New York Mafia, resulting in a multitude of arrests of key mobsters, some of whom later flipped, with huge repercussions. 

It was to save Paccione that John Gotti ordered the death of Fred Weiss, a Staten Island man accused of illegally dumping solid waste. Gotti believed Weiss was an informant.

Weiss, 50, was shot to death on September 11, 1989, outside his girlfriend's New Springville, Staten Island, condominium.

Fred Weiss's body, found beside Jeep on Staten Island.

Weiss was shot numerous times in his head and right arm at 8:30 A.M., while he walked to his late-model Jeep, beside which his body was found. 
The windshield had two bullet holes in it. "The killer or killers fled unseen," as contemporary reports noted.
It definitely was killers, plural.
At the time, Weiss was free on $250,000 bail while awaiting trial on six counts of mail fraud and conspiracy to violate the RICO act.
Gotti ordered Weiss' death because he believed Weiss was planning to testify for prosecutors against Gambino soldier Angelo Paccione, an influential figure in New York's carting industry. 
Gunmen from the DeCavalcante crime family in New Jersey shot and killed Weiss. Specifically, Anthony Capo drove then-newly appointed capo Vincent "Vinny Ocean" Palermo and James Gallo to Weiss.

Palermo and Gallo shot Weiss.
Gambino crime family mobsters including Jackie D'Amico, Joe Watts and Michael DiLeonardo also faced charges related to Fred Weiss.

Ultimately, it seems Gotti did a lot more damage to the mob by killing Fred Weiss than Fred Weiss ever could have, assuming he had flipped and testified against Paccione.....

Spelling of Luchese/Lucchese Crime Family

Thomas Luchese juggled the spelling of the family name to avoid notoriety. Police and newspapers spelled it "Luchese.” Genovese button-man Joe Valachi added an additional "C" to the name when he started talking.

Lucky Luciano supposedly considered Luchese, pictured, his favorite hit man.

The mob boss himself preferred “Luckese.” This is because some jokers teased him over how his name rhymed with “cheese,” as he explained. (Had to be schoolyard jokers, wouldn't you think?)

Luchese worked in a machine shop until 1915, when he lost his right thumb and forefinger in a shop accident. Having chosen another line of work, in 1920, Luchese was arrested in Riverhead, Long Island on auto theft charges.

During his booking, a police officer compared Luchese's mangled hand with that of Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, a then-popular MLB pitcher who played for both the Cardinals and then the Cubs.

So it was a cop who christened the young skell as "Three Finger Brown." Luchese hated that name, as well.

The name carved on Thomas Luchese's tombstone when he died in 1967, is "Luckese."