Gene Gotti Is "Pure Cosa Nostra,” Says Mikie Scars

We've been writing about the pending release of Gene Gotti, brother of the late Gambino boss, from FCI Pollock in Louisiana on September 15, and last night we spoke with former Gambino capo Michael (Mikie Scars) DiLeonardo about him.

Bergin crew capo and his loyal confidant
John Carneglia and Gene -- you can't speak about one without  the other.

Gene, 71, went away for heroin trafficking in 1989 with John Carneglia, 73. Carneglia was released earlier this year, on June 11.

The big questions is, what will the two loyal Gambino mobsters do when they are finally home after spending their peak years, and then some, behind bars? Some say Gene is done with the mob and that  we won't hear from him again. He will disappear into mainstream life.

While Gene undoubtedly will keep a low profile -- he will be on parole, probably for the rest of his life; so will John Carneglia -- some believe Gene also will want to reclaim everything that is his. However, he would need to use an emissary to speak for him.

"(Gene)'s a criminal all the way -- he's pure Cosa Nostra," Michael said. "He sacrificed 30 years of his life" to Cosa Nostra.

Gene has bragging rights based on the fact that he spent 29 years  in prison. And considering recent events happening inside the Gambino family, Gene (and Carneglia) have  knowledge and ability that could definitely benefit  the crime family today, even if both  served in mostly  advisory capacities.

The Gambino crime family has undergone a reorganization in the past year that will give some of the family's old timers a break and also create space for new blood to move up, according to Mikie Scars.

John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico, 82---a longtime Gotti loyalist who had been on a ruling panel for a time and also served as a mentor to Frank Cali, who was known to be running the family---has been moved down to soldier.

So has longtime Gambino capo Daniel Marino, who John (Junior) Gotti wanted to kill in 1993. Also in the 302s, Junior Gotti spent part of that proffer session giving up Joe Watts and Danny Marino, implicating them in murder. But here's the rub. It was all bullshit, as Junior later said. But nevertheless, he put two men in murders they weren't involved in.

Marino expressed anger about the son of the Dapper Don — and it was all caught on tape by an FBI informant. In two separate discussions in Florida in April 2006, Marino blew off steam with Gotti family nemesis Lewis Kasman. The Gambino capo gave it to Junior good -- and Junior reportedly loved it because Marino's words only bolstered his "I quit the mob" defense, which Junior successfully used in three New York trials in 2005 and 2006. When Marino spoke to Kasman, Gotti was gearing up for his final trial in which John Alite testified.

Marino blasted Junior "for copping out and quitting" the life, according to the tape recording of the discussion obtained by Gang Land. (Kasman was outed that same year as a longtime FBI confidential informer.)

Marino, whom the Junior Don allegedly plotted to whack when Junior was lead decision maker on a ruling panel, voiced displeasure and disgust regarding Gotti, criticizing both his trial strategy and his dealings with his former criminal cohorts.

"The kid sent word that the kid is annoyed, that nobody helped him," said Marino. "I don't understand. I'm shocked that he would even say that. Who the fuck is he? We don't agree with what he did. He knows it. He knows it better than anybody. If he had acted the way his father would have liked him to act.…Fuck him."

We asked Michael, will Gene and Junior have a discussion about anything when Gene comes home?

"Gene is going to get a sack of money from Junior, Junior is going to make him happy."

Michael and Jackie, Gambino powers in Brooklyn
Michael, right, Jackie Nose, at construction site
when Michael was Teamster foreman. 

Junior, Michael said, slighted Gene years back by refusing to visit him. Gene had told visitors, including Thomas (Tommy Sneakers) Cacciopoli and Jackie Cavallo ,"send my nephew," Michael recalled. Michael agreed with Gotti's reasoning. "He said, 'Gene has a big mouth -- if I meet him, we're going to argue and then he's gonna talk about me.'"

And while Gambino mobsters will act respectfully toward Gene, there will be a shared sentiment of "we got another fcking Gotti back.” The Gambino family is still suffering a hangover of sorts from the Dapper Don's reign, when most Gambino members and associates were immortalized on grainy black-and-white FBI surveillance footage, for the simple reason that John Gotti had demanded they all pay him homage at the Ravenite social club several times a week.

Still, Gene and John Carneglia will get the respect and glory for doing those long bids.

"I think they should definitely leave Gene as a captain. And John Carneglia, he was a legend. He and Gene didn't stand on ceremony (like John Gotti did). John Carneglia is a very witty guy," Michael said. "Very personable and extremely capable."

Gene and John Carneglia were sentenced to 50 years apiece, and they both have served 29 years and therefore will be on parole for the next 21 years. This is because they were sentenced prior to The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which eliminated parole for federal inmates with the exception of inmates sentenced for offenses committed prior to 1987, who are eligible for parole consideration.

Michael has no doubt that because Gene and John Carneglia rejected a plea deal that called for them to serve less than half the time they ultimately served, the Gambino crime family suffered.

"We would've been in much better shape if Gene and John came home earlier," Michael said.

The reason is simple: "Gene Gotti has the experience," Michael said. Gene and John Carneglia ("you can't talk about one without mentioning the other, " Michael said) were involved in a lot of hits.

But because they are on parole, that definitely is an impediment.

"He can't show up at social clubs. He's going to have to stay home and send messages through an emissary. After things relax, you can start moving around in circles."

At one point, "when things relax," there will have to be a conversation in which Gene is told 'you're a captain again or a soldier.' That would be an interesting conversation," DiLeonardo said.

Nevertheless, "sitting around in cafes and giving orders, that won't happen with Genie. He has to keep a low profile."

Gene Gotti was among the participants at the Christmas Eve 1988 ceremony in which Michael DiLeonardo, John junior and Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia were made. It took place on Mulberry Street not far from the Ravenite Social Club.

In testimony, Michael detailed the events.

“There was a knock on the door, John Junior went in first, then another knock, then Dom went in, and then another knock and I went in,” DiLeonardo testified.

"Gravano headed the meeting when we got made and Gene pinched Junior and Dom's fingers. Gravano told them, “This is not a club, this is a secret society. There’s one way in and the only way out is on a slab. We’re your new family.”

According to John Junior, Gene was the family member who first approached him to ask if he wanted to become a made member.

 From Shadow of  My Father:

"I was first approached by my Uncle Gene, and asked if I wanted to be a part of the Life. That was in 1987, when I was a twenty-three-year-old. To be honest, I was taken a little bit aback by the approach, for in my mind these people (my father and men like him) were giants. I was intimidated in a sense. My response, which today seems incredible to me, was “I’ll let you know.” (The chutzpah of the young knows no bounds, apparently.) 

"Obviously, after that response, my uncle looked at me incredulously. I was later approached again, maybe a half a year later, by my Uncle Gene and my Uncle Pete, and I was told, “If this is what you want, now is the time.”

"One thing I want to make clear, during this time period when I was being considered to be “straightened out,” to become a “made man,” my father never mentioned this to me, he never spoke about it to me. It was my uncles, including Angelo Ruggiero. Not that I think he had any reluctance for me to become initiated, but it wasn’t like him to put any pressure on me for this important step into what was to be my future for ten years. Additionally, he wanted plausible deniability with respect to his shepherding my entry into the Life, as he had promised my mother that he would keep me out of it. What I did know about my father, was his special appreciation for Christmas time, and how he would like to schedule momentous occasions involving the Life around the holidays. So I had an idea, that if I were to be initiated, it would most likely be Christmas time."

Paul Castellano was assassinated on East 46th Street in December 1985, right around Christmas time.

An ignoble end for a boss.

Gang Land News recently wrote about that ceremony based on an interview with Sammy the Bull Gravano, who "told the story of the induction for the first time," Jerry Capeci reported this past April.

Gravano conducted "a very special induction ceremony on behalf of his boss, the Dapper Don," as Gang Land News noted. "The assignment was for Sammy Bull to officially induct John A (Junior) Gotti into his dad's Gambino crime family. Even before he got his button, the 24-year-old wiseguy was already the heir apparent, the son that Gotti hoped would ultimately take over the crime family from him.

"Gravano ... later famously became the devastating witness for the prosecution who sent the Dapper Don to prison for life. He told Capeci, "John didn't think that he should conduct the ceremony when his own son was going to get made, so he asked me to handle it," said Gravano. In a careful show of mob protocol, Gotti didn't even attend the ceremony. Afterwards, Sammy Bull performed the next stage of the ceremony, officially introducing Junior as a "made man" to his father and the elder Gotti as the Representante or boss to Junior."

Sammy  Bull, Gaspipe

"Gravano had his doubts, however, about the whole thing.

"I didn't think he should have gotten made," Gravano opined, "but John was the boss, and he wanted it to happen, so it did."

Sammy Bull, along with the family's consigliere, Frank (Frankie Loc) Locascio, later arranged meetings with other members so they could formally introduce Junior around as a captain when his father decided to elevate him the following year, Gravano said.

"And then I officially introduced Junior to John as a captain," said Gravano, who couldn't resist taking a few verbal shots at the erstwhile Junior Don," regarding the biopic starring John Travolta.

"John must be rolling over in his grave," said Gravano. "I just read in some men's magazine, Men's Journal, that Junior says he's a crime fighter. Plus, years ago, he did a proffer meeting with that first lawyer he had. He cooperated. Then he denied he cooperated. Now he's a crime fighter. John must be doing flips in his crypt."

John Junior, crime fighter....

"And it seems like he can't get involved in these things unless he mentions people's names," said Gravano, noting that in the February Men's Journal article, in which Junior says he's "not bitter," he rips Sammy Bull and mob turncoat John Alite, as lying sacks of garbage who got away with murder.

Alite testified in 2009 against Junior in the government's fourth and final attempt to convict him of racketeering charges. And Junior and Alite also fought it out on the book shelves when they released rival books.

"With him and Alite, it's like a love-hate thing, he can't stop," said Gravano. "It's ridiculous. And Junior mentions me a lot too. I don't know why he does that, because I know he's a pussy. That's my opinion of the kid," he said, adding dismissively: "He's like a rag, didn't belong in the life."

Gravano is a mass murderer, a cooperator who has his sins -- and he has strong opinions, like others have about him. As for Gene Gotti and John Carneglia, they have the mettle  to live the code of that life, and stayed silent for 30 years.