Acting Capo Ronald Giallanzo and Crew Engaged in "Bloody" Shootouts with Rivals

Don't let the hangdog look fool you.

Ronnie G may not be a "legitimate tough guy," but it's certainly not for lack of trying. (Gang Land News refers to him as a "tough-hardnosed wiseguy with a well-earned fearsome reputation," which is not the same thing. We'll return to this.)

Acting Bonanno capo Ronald Giallanzo
Ronnie Giallanzo

Acting Bonanno capo Ronald Giallanzo and nine others were arrested a year ago. They all have copped pleas, as recently as last week. The indictment and detention memo make clear the Fed's view that Ronnie G and his crew posed a threat and were a violent bunch of guys who, in addition to running a multimillion-dollar loanshark book and a gambling operation, went to war with a rival drug dealer.

That led to a shooting that wounded an associate of the rival drug dealer. Afterward, in a heated cellphone exchange, Giallanzo’s family was threatened. Giallanzo ended the call and ordered the man‘s murder.

As per the detention memo, in which the Feds argued not to let Giallanzo out on bail, they wrote:

In approximately 2005, defendant Nicholas Festa, then a Bonanno associate assigned to Giallanzo, was a large-scale drug dealer and loanshark who had been robbed multiple times. Festa reported to Giallanzo that he believed that John Doe #5 had been involved in the robberies. John Doe #5 told Giallanzo that he was not involved but Giallanzo did not believe him. Thus, Giallanzo ordered a Bonanno associate (“Associate-1”) to shoot (but not kill) John Doe #5 in retaliation for the robberies.

Associate-1 did as directed and, with other members of Giallanzo’s crew, searched for John Doe #5. For instance, on one occasion, Giallanzo and defendant Michael Padavona dropped Associate-1 and defendant Michael Palmaccio outside a residence in which they believed John Doe #5 was living and waited for him to come outside. Giallanzo gave both Palmaccio and Associate-1 guns, which they stored in the wheel wells of cars parked along the curb. After a few hours of waiting without John Doe #5 leaving the residence, Associate-1 and Palmaccio got back into the car with Giallanzo and Padavona and left the area.

Home of Bonanno associate following shooting
Associate-2’s House after shooting

On another occasion, Associate-1 was walking near his apartment in Howard Beach and saw John Doe #5 in a vehicle with John Doe #5’s girlfriend (“Girlfriend-1”). John Doe #5 saw Associate-1, exited the car and confronted Associate-1. Associate-1 then pulled a gun, walked toward John Doe #5 and shot at him, grazing his arm. Girlfriend-1 then struck Associate-1 with her vehicle and sped off. After the incident, Associate-1 reported to Giallanzo, who found out that John Doe #5 had been injured but not killed.

On another occasion, defendant Nicholas Festa, Associate-1 and another Bonanno associate assigned to Giallanzo (“Associate-2”), together with others, robbed a narcotics stash house operated by one of John Doe #5’s drug-dealing associates (“Drug Dealer-1”). As Associate-1 and Festa left the scene in a vehicle, Drug Dealer-1 followed them and, in response, Associate-1 shot at Drug Dealer-1’s car. Later that night, Drug Dealer 1 drove past Associate-2’s home (while Associate-2’s children were inside) and shot at the house. (See Ex. D (pictures of Associate-2’s house after the shooting)).

Home of Bonanno associate following shooting
Evidence from Associate-2 shooting

The violence reached its peak after events unfolded while Giallanzo, Palmaccio, Padavona and others were at Padavona’s boathouse. (Padavona’s boathouse is located at 163-45 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, New York, next to the Lil Cricket Too Marina, which Padavona routinely used to conduct Bonanno family business.)

At the boathouse, Giallanzo spoke to John Doe #5 on speakerphone and the two argued about the ongoing dispute. During the call, John Doe #5 cocked a firearm and threatened Giallanzo’s family. After the call, Giallanzo told the members of his crew that John Doe #5 had to be killed.

Shortly thereafter, on or about June 28, 2006, the crew set out to kill John Doe#5. Associate-2 had discovered that John Doe #5 was hiding out at a family member’s house in Lindenwood. Padavona provided Associate-1 and another member of the crew (“Associate-3”) with firearms and they, along with Associate-2, waited in a vehicle up the block from the house where John Doe #5 was staying. Giallanzo and Padavona were nearby in Padavona’s car.

Eventually, John Doe #5 and a relative left the house. As they entered a vehicle on the block, Associate-1, Associate-2 and Associate-3 pulled alongside the vehicle and Associate-1 opened fire at John Doe #5 in an attempt to murder him. After the shooting, Associate-1, Associate-2 and Associate-3 sped away. Shortly thereafter, Giallanzo and Padavona picked up Associate-1. Giallanzo retrieved the firearm from Associate-1 and threw it over a bridge.

During this entire dispute, which culminated in Giallanzo ordering the murder of John Doe #5, Giallanzo was on pre-trial supervised release for a case pending in this District. Nonetheless, during this time, Giallanzo and the other members of the crew carried firearms. Indeed, on one occasion, Giallanzo was pulled over by a police officer driving to meet with his pre-trial services officer in Brooklyn. Giallanzo had a firearm in the back center-seat console of his Mercedes. Giallanzo attempted to avoid receiving a ticket by presenting a Police Benevolent Association (“PBA”) card to the officer. Although this did not work and Giallanzo was ticketed, the officer did not discover the firearm in the back seat.

Giallanzo's former home
Ronnie G's "old house"

Eventually, John Doe #5 was incarcerated in September 2006 for unrelated conduct and Giallanzo was remanded for violating the terms of his pre-trial release for meeting with a co-defendant (and Bonanno family associate assigned to Giallanzo (“Associate-4”)) in November 2006.