Ronnie "The Rottweiler" Kerner: Last of the Tough Jews

Cosa Nostra News Exclusive 
Ronnie Kerner is one gangland figure you probably never heard of.

And that's precisely the way he wanted it.

by 2013 Ron Kerner was arrested by the FBI for Hobbs Act Extortion a major OC charge and conspiracy
Ronnie Kerner 

A duel citizen of the United States and Israel, Ronnie was born in New York City. He grew up in Manhattan a troubled child, although he did not come from poverty. In fact, he seemed to have had plenty of opportunities. However, the divorce of his parents left his home life ugly.

Ultimately, Ronnie came from a broken home; he developed low self-esteem and sought the only acceptance important to him.

His mother always tried to do best by him as did his step-father, who he considers his real father who legally adopted him. But all the help and alternate schools could not tame his inner demons. As a teenager he joined a gang and learned the ways of the streets. Faced with the reality that he could not hold a legitimate job due to his disrespect for authority, the streets were the best remedy. 

He tried time and time again to hold a legitimate job. But to no avail. The only outlet that served some purpose for his pent up anger was boxing to let out his aggression. His Dad put a punching bag in his room. Ronnie soon befriended street toughs who were associated with OC made members and began to gravitate to them.

He was in his twenties when he began his affiliation with them. His major problem at this time was a completely out-of-control drug habit.

Ronnie's step-father and mother tried to help. They even pushed him to go to rehab (which he did, but was not cured).

(Pictured above, from left: John "Mighty" Carlo, Ronnie "The Rottweiler" Kerner and Anthony "Tony D" Palumbo in the prison yard at Danbury FCI.)

He much preferred the street, where he'd found what felt more like his true home. Though he'd started off hanging around with members of different mob crews, he felt closest to the Gambinos via his relationship with Lenny DiMaria, a captain, and his nephews, Joey and Tommy. 

Ronnie grew up close with Joey and Joe's father Sam (Lenny's brother-in-law) and became close to Lenny. 

It was at this time that he began spreading his wings across the mob spectrum. Among the Italians he learned the ins and outs of "the life". His mentor being Lenny was a welcomed bargaining chip when things went south. At one point he slapped around a known made guy who wanted retribution. But the Colombo family's Sonny Franzese’s along with Carmine Q (close friend of Sonny’s) checked the details of the incident and realized that Ronnie was in the right. This sealed his reputation on the street. Sonny and his family have a fondness for Ronnie as well.

In another similar incident, Ronnie went out of control due to being drunk and high on cocaine. A wiseguy called him out and Ronnie went at him. This caused a sit down with Ronnie "One Arm" Trucchio (Gambino Captain.) Again, Ronnie was proven justified. He was just too well liked by the uppers echelon.

There are many stories that could be told.

The bigger issue was his growing drug habit. His coke habit was spiraling out of control. Ronnie became a liability in his own self-destructive state due to his low self-esteem. He was also causing "bad" attention to himself and others. He talked too much and acted out plenty. He was not who he truly was as a person hence the “boys” and his family urged him to seek help. They all knew the real him and loved him, Family and friends alike. Ronnie was also unhappy with who he was and used the coke as the escape. In his mind nothing mattered whether he lived or died.

He finally went to rehab at the CARON Foundation Drug Rehabilitation on his own will. After completing his time there he came out more ruthless, calmer, cunning and sharper. Now without the drugs to blur his thoughts he was a fine tuned machine and a dangerous one as well as a diplomatic one. He learned from his mistakes. His connection to the wiseguys only enhanced his criminal habits. He began building his contacts in the boxing world as well with individuals like Vito Antefurmo, Paul Malignaggi and Gerry Cooney. Ronnie also entered into the underground boxing circuit and even joined as a partner with Cedric Kutchner of Gotham Boxing Promotion Company. He would eventually be on the cusp of the Pro Boxing world.

During his time on the streets he was pinched on non-Federal NYPD pinches including fraud charges and multiple assault charges. But by 2013 he was arrested by the FBI for Hobbs Act Extortion a major OC charge and conspiracy. The government gave him a deal to serve 3 to 5 years which he agreed to. But an odd situation occurred to change his sentencing where his daughter needed him due to a twisted homicide case in Ossining, New York (which he was a suspect in and cleared). The mother of his daughter ended up being convicted and incarcerated in connection to the homicide and Ronnie was given full custody. He raised his daughter on his own as a mother and father. Presently, he is re-married with two sons and his daughter.

As for the charge they offered him a downward departure with 3 years inside but based on the testimony of his daughters psychiatrist he would do one year in FCI "Federal Correctional Institution" in Danbury. Upon his release he went to a federal halfway house in Newark, New Jersey which lead to a house arrest for 6 months (ankle bracelet) with 3 years on paper. Before being sent to his new “home” he was at MCC "Metropolitan Correctional Center" in Manhattan. MCC has been the first stop for many a wiseguy from Vincent “The Chin” Gigante to John Gotti and everyone in-between.

During his short time at MCC he went into withdrawal due to not having his legal prescription medications and assaulted an inmate. The inmate did not fight back knowing Ronnie’s reputation and whom he was with. Ronnie was medically unresponsive while in the “hole” and ended up in a coma for 5 days at a local hospital. When he was better he was transferred to FCI Danbury.

While inside, he was greeted by many "street guys" and white collar Jewish criminals. He developed friendships with leaders of the Bloods, The One Percenters, Latin Kings and even the Mexican cartel. Ronnie was nick-named the "Senator" due to his ability to cross each crew with ease. But his main contact was Anthony (Tony D) Palumbo (Genovese capo) who he looked at as a father figure as he saw him as a son. Besides Anthony, Ronnie had close ties to Bonanno capos Bobby (Little Bobby) Lino and Pete (Peter Rabbit) Calabrese. He hung out with Dean DePreta (Gambino associate) and had many walk and talks with Phil "The King Of Wall street" Abramo - The New Jersey based DeCavalcante family.

He also befriended Bonnano boss Mikey "The Nose" Mancuso and his crew - Louie Attanasio, Jack Bonaventura and Bruno Indelicato. Ironically the one Ronnie had the most love hate relationship with was Gambino soldier Onofrio"Noel" Modica (a crew member of John Gotti's) His knack for diplomacy developed into what almost never happens in prison. Inner prison politics often dictate that you do not befriend those outside of your circle. His personality enabled him to broker some issues (mostly business issues) amongst rival groups. Ronnie had the negotiating tactics of Arnold Rothstein and the ruthlessness of Louis Lepke. All the while he had accompanied Jewish shot caller Eliyahu Weinstein (in for a Ponzi scheme) on business transactions and political situations. They were glued to the hip.

While he was inside many would “hook” him up with almost anything he needed i.e.: from magazines to a steak dinner. Whether it was a member of the Trinatarios or the Bloods or many others, they always made an attempt to link Ronnie up with what he desired. When Ronnie arrived at "Toler House" halfway house in Newark, New Jersey he had run into a close mutual friend, Mike "The Mad Dog" Taccetta (Lucchese upper.) When Mike left, Ronnie was the halfway houses go to guy for any and everything needed by his fellow inmates. Albert "Albee" Crisci" (Gambino associate) became like a brother to Ronnie. Ronnie was recently released and is on house arrest. His life is now on a different path with a new family to look after; "the streets" are not a draw any longer. Ronnie's life was and is like Sinatra’s i.e.; having friends in politics, Hollywood, singers and wiseguys. Ronnie is beginning to focus on being a venture capitalist and an investor in legit business. Besides that he has also caught the acting bug. Soon to come will be a book detailing Ronnie's exploits beginning from an affluent family, to a street thug / addict, boxing personality, wiseguy / gangster to finally a legitimate entertainer.


Popular Stories

Hoodwinked: Restaurateur on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares Was a Mobster

Gotti Confidant John Carneglia Officially a Free Man Tomorrow

Junior Gotti Cleans Family Business's Slate

Ready? Longtime Gotti Confidant John Carneglia Back in Brooklyn

Who Really Killed Tommy DeSimone?

How Former Colombo Acting Boss Tommy Shots Gioeli Has Been Spending Prison Time ....

Tommy Karate Pitera, Alleged Bonanno Mobster, Was More Serial Killer Than Goodfella