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

Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli was once an acting boss in the Colombo crime family. For many years he supervised a violent crew of killers. These days, well, you probably couldn't imagine....
Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli
Tommy Shots during his arrest for a whole lotta heavy gangland crimes.....

During the 1991-93 Colombo war, Gioeli, a staunch ally of of Carmine Persico, alleged imprisoned boss, though Junior denies this, and his shooters played a key role in the street battles against the larger Vittorio "Little Vic" Orena faction.

After the war, Gioeli rose steadily in the ranks, in large measure due to his ability to serve as a steady link between the Colombo family's two once-warring factions. He was trusted by mobsters who belonged to both the Perisco loyalists and the Orena rebels.

His acting capo was Paul “Paulie Guns” Bevacqua, onetime Orena loyalist. Another former member of the rebel faction was Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace, who paid Gioeli an historical compliment in 2000 when, in conversation with a top member of the Bonanno crime family, said of Gioeli:“If you need to see me, tell Tommy. Talking to Tommy is just like talking to me.”

Tommy Shots also had a streak of good luck; law enforcement was largely unaware of him during the down and dirty days. As one source once told a reporter: “He’s got a crew of shooters who haven’t really gotten touched."

Gioeli and his wife Maureen raised a family in a modest house in Farmingdale on Long Island. Tommy Shots' one-time right-hand man, Dino Calabro, moved next door with his family as well.

Tommy Shots used a bowling alley, the County Line Bowling Center, near his Farmingdale residence as his headquarters. there a host of criminal activities, including murders, were planned. Gioeli met with his crew in the establishment's parking lot prior to going on night missions to hunt people as far away as Brooklyn. They also met there in the alley before burying bodies. Usually they were dead gangsters. Gioeli seemed to have a preference for burying bodies in a wooded area in Farmingdale, near the bowling alley and his home.

Gioeli also was known to routinely frequent and pray in the garden of a Massapequa-based Catholic Church on Long Island, where he also discussed mob business. He allegedly plotted murders there, too, and sometimes discussed his sins, there in the garden of the church, never identified in reports. It was located not far from Gioeli's Farmingdale home.

It was there Gioeli first mentioned the planned hit of the man serving as Colombo underboss, William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, who'd originally fought on the side of Vittorio "Little Vic" Orena.

Key Persico loyalists seemed to be bound for prison, and there was concern that Cutolo, as the highest-ranking Colombo on the street, would take over. (His daughters told me in an interview that their father had specifically said he had no intentions of making such a move.)

Change in Fortune
As the saying goes: luck, like all good things, eventually comes to an end. By 2014, Gioeli was sentenced to 18 years in prison, having been convicted of plotting several gangland murders as well as orchestrating violence against rivals to gain power.

Although  he's  on track to die in prison, Gioeli actually could've fared worse: He was acquitted of  murders that could have sent him away for many more years, including the 1997 hit on NYPD cop Ralph Dols, a hit allegedly ordered because Dols married the former wife of Cacace, a former Colombo consigliere. Gioeli was also cleared of the 1999 slaying of Colombo underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo, and the 1995 execution of Colombo associate Richard Greaves.

We thought the Gioeli story had reached its conclusion. We were wrong.

Gioeli's current predicament may in fact serve as a good highlight of how far the once-mighty American Cosa Nostra has fallen over the years.

Apparently, Tommy Shots -- who in March 2012 told AM 970 host Frank Morano: "The jury’s tainted, the jury’s tainted, the jury is soooooooo tainted with this story and that and my toenails and my teeth and I’m probably one of the most hated men in New York for no reason at all" -- traded in his pistol for a ping-pong paddle.

In 2013, Gioeli filed a lawsuit against the Feds after he slipped on a puddle while retrieving an errant ping-pong ball during a game at the Brooklyn MDC, breaking his kneecap.

In court this week, Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto nudged prosecutors and the defendant into striking a deal by asking them both to find common ground. “Mr. Gioeli needs to lower his expectations,” Matsumoto said, referring to the $10 million price-tag in his lawsuit. “The government ought to think about increasing its offer.”

Matsumoto indicated both sides may be at fault, MDC for not addressing the cause of the puddle, and Gioeli for running after the ball when he knew the area was hazardous.

Both sides have until July 18 to make submissions laying out the facts of the case, the New York Post reported. Then, they will have two additional weeks to respond to one another before Matsumoto issues a ruling.

Since filing his lawsuit for slipping and falling, Gioeli was moved to a federal prison in North Carolina.