Dreading Violation, Reputed Mobsters Seek Parole Specifics

This has been quite a news-filled period for the New York Mafia.

We were counting on writing an entirely different slate of stories, but then the barrage of busts, sentencing hearings and what not interrupted.

Alleged Bonanno mobster Vito  Badamo is a regular at Williamsburg's Fortunato Brothers Cafe.
This cafe actually is linked to a mobster and a notorious gangland hit. (See story here)

That trio of mob-linked bank burglars was busted. Law enforcement hinted strongly that the arrests were only the beginning, and that there would be more to come. (And they were correct, just not the way we thought.)

A few days later and Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino and more than 40 made members and associates of four of New York's Five Families were arrested in a massive Cosa Nostra takedown. The federal indictment alleges the existence of a unique criminal operation dubbed the "East Coast Syndicate" in the indictment. (On the same day, we were all shocked to learn about the other, unrelated bust of a small drug ring in Queens.)

Then, just over a week into August, we ran a small piece based on something a retired prison guard said in an interview about former Philadelphia mob boss, Nicky Scarfo: "If I had to bet, I'd say he'll last until his sentence is over and walk out of there." The interest in that story was red hot, so we had to do a story about the Philadelphia Mafia.

Then a Luchese plea deal closed a years-along extortion case involving the assault of an elderly man by a cruel, vicious capo....

Then the Cadillac Frank thing happened, and Sicily ended Corleone's municipality (along with two others) due to Mafia infiltration....

Anyway, caught up in the breaking news wave, we missed a bit of news regarding the recent Bonanno mistrial.

As reported in mid-May, the nearly three-months-long enterprise corruption trial of Nicholas "Nicky Mouth" Santora and three other Bonanno mobsters in Manhattan's State Supreme Court ended in a mistrial. So ordered Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer after one juror was replaced and a second declared he couldn't continue. It seemed that the jury had split into factions and was about to go to war when the judge stepped in. (Just kidding about the "go to war" crack.)

Nicky Mouth was in prison when charged with enterprise corruption.

On May 11 the four mobsters (alleged mobsters) -- Vito Badamo, Anthony "Skinny" Santoro, Ernest Aiello and Nicholas "Nicky Cigars" Santora -- were granted bail, despite their "potty-mouthed courtroom antics," as the New York Daily News reported.

The Bonanno crew was busted in 2013 on an enterprise corruption beef, which is the state's version of the federal crime of racketeering. In total, nine mobsters and associates were indicted.

Nicky Mouth was already in prison at the time of the bust. Santora, 73, had pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in Brooklyn a year prior and had been sentenced to 20 months. He was doing that bid, at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa., when he was indicted with the others.

At the arraignment that day, some of the mobsters made a spectacle (in reaction to the plethora of cameras aimed at them, it seems). Newspaper reporters didn't forget to jot this down on their pads.

The New York Times noted: 
"As police officers led them into a courtroom in handcuffs, several made profane remarks about the wives and mothers of news photographers. Sitting in the front row with large, tattooed arms protruding from T-shirts, they laughed out loud, elbowed each other and smiled at family members in court."

In May, bail was set for the four -- who'd been held for three years, Santora a year longer.

Aiello, out on bail, doesn't appear to be cursing out the photographer....

The judge set bail at $500,000 bond and $250,000 cash for all the men with the exception of Nicholas Santora. His bail was set by the judge at $1 million bond and $500,000 cash.

Badamo and Aiello have since been released on bail. A wheelchair-bound Santora and Skinny Santoro remain imprisoned.

A Manhattan prosecutor sought to preempt their release by detailing the "colorful insults and threats" that the mobsters had tossed at him, the prosecutor.

As the News reported: Skinny Santoro "was recorded on a jail phone calling Assistant District Attorney Gary Galperin a "j--k off" and letting loose on what he'd like to do to his courtroom foe, the prosecutor said."

Santoro said he "would like to see this prosecutor on fire" and "see this prosecutor burn to death," Galperin continued, as laughter erupted around the courtroom during the three hour conference...
The oversized joker also griped that "this whole court process is an 'effing' fiasco” and referred to Justice Melissa Jackson as an "effing b--ch."

Jackson was the judge who had originally denied bail.

Galperin referenced the threats and profanity in his allegation that Skinny and the others posed a threat to society.

Badamo... don't say it, don't say it....

"This all shows his contempt for court," Galperin argued in an effort to keep the foursome behind bars without bail pending a verdict.

Badamo also had some choice remarks for Galperin, calling him a "jerk off" and calling the case against him and his cohorts "a scam."

Santoro's lawyer Adam Konta told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer that the defendants only wanted to go home.

“The only islands they're running to are Staten and Long," Konta argued.

Earlier this month, Badamo, 53, and Aiello, 36, were back in court with their lawyers. They didn't understand the conditions of their release. Or, as the Daily News reported, "Bonanno gangsters’ lawyers whine that judge’s orders to bar them from mob friends and places are too vague to enforce."

Prosecutors (presumably, the jerk-off?) failed to provide names and places that had to be avoided; instead, the wording used in the document refers to "mobsters" and "mobbed-up" places, for example.

Conditions were so vaguely worded, the lawyers argued, that the two Goodfellas didn't know who they could see and who they should avoid. (Quite a few Bonanno mobsters have been violated recently, many due to the new acting boss's decision to hold a holiday shindig on Staten Island.)

Badamo, his lawyer said, is a regular at Williamsburg's Fortunato Brothers Cafe. Apparently he doesn't know if he can frequent the pastry shop or not without getting violated.

"If he walks in and buys a zeppole and walks out that's okay," the judge said. Problems might arise if he visits the place and "has a conversation for an hour."

"If he's walking down the street and sees an old friend, he can say ‘hi’ and end the conversation," the judge said.

One lawyer requested a list of prohibited names. The News article doesn't say whether a list was provided or not.

In the trial, even the fast food restaurant McDonald's was identified as being mobbed-up, with prosecutors referring to one specific location as such.