Feds Bust Long Island Crew Run by Gambino Capo/Ravenite Habitué

John (Johnny Boy) Ambrosio, 74, a Gambino soldier (and acting capo), won criminal justice immortality of sorts by paying regular homage to then-Gambino boss John Gotti outside the much-surveilled Ravenite social club in Manhattan’s Little Italy from around 1988 to 1990.

John Ambrosio was among the Ravenite habitués during the Gotti era.
Surveillance outside Ravenite social club.

Though never a Gotti crony himself, Ambrosio was once closely affiliated with a member of Gotti's original Bergen crew in Ozone Park, Queens.

Ambrosio, who gets arrested every 10 years or so, was arrested again just two weeks back. (He was about due for it.) He was nabbed along with a Bonanno soldier and five Gambino associates. They all face a 13-count superseding indictment unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York that charges them with racketeering conspiracy, including loansharking, illegal gambling, narcotics distribution conspiracy and obstruction of justice conspiracy. Their alleged crimes took place from January 2014 through this month.

And their arrests came one month after the Feds busted another Long Island-based crew of mobsters from the same two crime families.

Ambrosio and the recently indicted crew face seemingly daunting evidence, including multiple wiretap recordings and testimony from an undercover law enforcement officer who allegedly purchased narcotics 12 times off these guys.

Arrested with Ambrosio was Bonanno soldier Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno and five Gambino associates: Thomas Anzaone, Alessandro “Sandro” Damelio, Joseph Durso, Anthony Rodolico and Anthony Saladino. All were arraigned on December 12 before United States Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown in federal court in Central Islip on Long Island. Ambrosio and Salerno are being held in Brooklyn MDC.

John Ambrosio, Gambino soldier, faces hard time
Johnny Boy Ambrosio

“Today’s arrests represent a major disruption of La Costra Nostra’s activities on Long Island,” stated Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“The arrests in this case prove organized crime families haven’t gone away, and continue to plague our communities with their general disregard for anything other than their own greed,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. “The overt deadly attacks that used to make headlines aren’t as prevalent, but their violent tactics haven’t changed.”

“From operating an illegitimate casino and an illegal loan shark operation to distributing cocaine and marijuana, the charges against these individuals are extensive,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations New York (HSI).


Ambrosio ran a lucrative loansharking operation with assistance from Anzalone, Rodolico, Saladino, and others. In a recorded conversation between Saladino and Anzalone, the two discussed various “gambling debts” owed by other parties, Saladino stated that he would give a debtor “something to be scared about,” but that he did not want a “beef” – a physical altercation – at his “club”, because he was “responsible to John [Ambrosio] for what happen[ed] there.” In that same call, Saladino offered to “fix” another gambling debtor, saying “by the time we’re done…he’s not going to have an office to play anywhere.”

Illegal Gambling

Ambrosio also ran various gambling operations such as illegal poker games, electronic gaming machines and internet sports betting. Damelio, Durso, Salerno and Saladino ran the day-to-day. In one recorded call, Ambrosio stated that there was no need to travel to a casino – “you can play right here” and “save gas money.”


Anzalone, Damelio, Durso, Saladino and Salerno distributed a variety of narcotics, including cocaine, marijuana and alprazolam, aka Xanax. Significantly, Saladino and Salerno engaged in the distribution of wholesale quantities of cocaine, including 12 separate sales to an undercover member of law enforcement totaling over half a kilo.

If convicted, Ambrosio, Anzalone, Damelio, Durso and Rodolico face a maximum of 20 years in prison. Saladino and Salerno each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the cocaine conspiracy offenses.

In November, Bonanno crime family acting captain Damiano Zummo, 44, of Roslyn Heights; Bonanno associate Salvatore Russo, 45, of Bellmore; Gambino soldier Paul Semplice, 54, of Brooklyn; and Bonanno and Gambino associate Paul Ragusa, 46, of Brooklyn, were also arrested. This was part of a coordinated operation with Canadian law enforcement authorities, who arrested nine alleged organized crime members and associates in Canada, including members of the Todaro organized crime family.

The investigation, which lasted more than two years, revealed criminal activity that spanned from the United States to Canada, officials say. In 2015, officials say they were able to secretly record a Bonanno crime family induction ceremony in Canada after one of the defendants sponsored a confidential informant to become a member.

Gotti Ties
Ambrosio was close with former Gotti crony Mikey Gal, aka Michael Guerrieri, reportedly a member of John Gotti’s original crew, who hung out in the club Gotti inherited from Gambino capo Carmine Fatico.

 Located on 101st Ave. in Ozone Park, the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club was named for Bergen St. in Brooklyn, but was misspelled.

"The crew was remarkably loyal and disciplined," a law enforcement source noted of Gotti's crew.

John Gotti ordered the crime family members to visit the Ravenite social club
Appearing at the Ravenite became mandatory. Especially After Louis DiBono got hit for failing to show up.

In 1996, Guerrieri and Ambrosio were incarcerated for separate crimes.

During a jailhouse visit,  Mikey Gal instructed a man to divert his weekly $500 payoff to "Ambrosio's family because they needed the money more than Guerrieri did," prosecutors noted at the time.

Guerrieri spent a few nights in prison because he was stymied at the notion of avoiding his longtime gangster friends as a bail condition.

"I don't know no doctors or lawyers," he told Central Islip Judge Joanna Seybert, who was listening intently. "Who am I supposed to hang out with? Send me to jail."

Showing a degree of compassion, she took to heart his request, and actually granted it, sending him to jail.

Guerrieri, realizing a few days later that he'd made something of a mistake, changed his tune.

She freed him on bail.

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-522 (S-1)(SJF)
Download ambrosio_et_al_indictment_.pdf