Bronx Bonanno Crew Anticipates Return Of Boss And Key Member Still In Prison

While reputed Bonanno street boss/official underboss Joseph (Joe C) Cammarano and alleged consiglieri John (Porky) Zancocchio face the full weight of the federal government’s case against them on racketeering charges in Manhattan’s Southern District, the Bronx-based crew of the Bonanno crime family anxiously await the full-time return of the boss.

Michael (Nose) Mancuso
Michael (Nose) Mancuso returns full-time this month.

Michael (Mikey Nose) Mancuso, who is due out one week from next Tuesday, allegedly has been visiting various parts of the Bronx since he was moved to a halfway house last summer.

In December 2008, when Mancuso was acting boss, he was sentenced to 15 years for ordering the 2004 murder of Randolph Pizzolo. He and Anthony (Ace) Aiello, who was sentenced to 30 years, also were called “two worthless lives” by Connie Pizzolo, the victim’s daughter, inside a Brooklyn federal courtroom just prior to sentencing. Mancuso had faced life in prison under the original indictment, but following a plea deal, Judge Nicholas Garaufis was only able to sentence him to  a 15-year max.

As per sources, the Bronx brigade, as Jerry Capeci calls them, also can’t wait for the return of John (Johnny Joe) Spirito Sr., who isn’t due out until January 18, 2021.

“They both have respect on the street, probably Johnny Joe Spirito Sr. more. John is no-nonsense and guys fear him more than Michael,” one source who is knowledgeable about certain Bronx doings recently told Cosa Nostra News.

Johnny Joe was a soldier in 2002 when he was among 20 Bonanno wiseguys nailed in a takedown by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Capo Patrick (Patty from the Bronx) DeFilippo also was busted and faced state racketeering and other charges. Then, in the summer of 2003, Spirito and DeFilippo were hit by the feds with charges for the 1998 murder of capo George Sciascia, which had been ordered by Joe Massino.


First, onetime mob associate Stevie Newell, about whom we’ve written, heads to Riker’s Island in two weeks for a gun charge. (Around when Nose gets out.) He is slated to serve about six months and we wish him well. Newell met Peter (Pug) Lovaglio before the former Bonanno capo flipped. (As per sources, Lovaglio has throat cancer and it may have played some role in his relationship with the Feds. Have no way of confirming this.) Newell says Pug rode the MTA subway system to get around. We’ve heard about Bonanno guys riding the bus; now we can add to that the subway system.

Someone who worked for Newell introduced him to the former capo after he showed up in Manhattan at a demolition site where Newell was working on Charleton Street near the West Side Highway.

“I was like, this guy is a Bonanno capo?” Steve told us. “And he rides the MTA?” Lovaglio didn’t exactly overdress for the occasion, either. He wore a sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers. It wasn’t an impressive meeting, we gather.

“I was shocked. He looked like a broken down valise.”

Stevie Newell

Stevie has been living in Queens long enough to know things like where at the Crossbay Diner in Howard Beach, Queens John (Junior) Gotti’s big round table used to be. Newell motioned toward where it once resided (to the right of the bar when facing the bar); now there’s just booths there. (Stevie also sits with his back to the wall and immediately notices lots of things that we never would, like the fact that guys seated at another table had guns on them.)

It’s been decades since Newell has been in trouble with the law. But when he got in trouble, he got in trouble. He spent more than three years in jail and was charged with murders: one case involved one murder; the other was a double-homicide. Stevie was acquitted in the one charge case. In the double, charges were reduced to conspiracy to commit robbery and hindering the prosecution. Newell spent 14 months inside while that went on. (We also know he was involved in the plotting of another murder, which was not carried out.)

As for why he had the guns, that’s something we’ll hold for another story when Stevie gets out. But quickly for now, we’ll say someone inaccurately called him a cooperator, he told us. Stevie lives in the Ozone Park area of Queens. Being called a cooperator there still has consequences.If someone calls you a rat, you either leave town, you buy a gun, or you just take your chances and hope for the best. Stevie bought two pistols, a .40 caliber automatic and a .38 special. About a year ago, the NYPD showed up at Newell’s home one night with a warrant. (Stevie believes someone dropped a dime on him). The case ends with him going away in two weeks.

He doesn’t deserve it. We wish Stevie well.....


Mancuso and Johnny Joe have been close throughout their long, colorful, and deadly careers in organized crime. (As per sources, Spirito was made first and both got their buttons partly because of the now-deceased DeFilippo, who himself was the first Bonanno soldier in the Bronx to be elevated to capo in 50 years. Bonanno bosses historically resided in other boroughs.)

Joe Massino (who, like former Gambino Boss John Gotti, was a Queens guy) promoted Patty to capo. DeFilippo was the Bonanno powerhouse in the Bronx; most present-day Bronx-based Bonanno mobsters came in through Patty, including Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano who would in time bring the family’s seat of power to the Bronx, where it remains today. Ironically, around that time Basciano also wanted his former mentor dead.)

As per sources, Mancuso and Johnny Joe weren’t earners so much as muscle for Patty, though “they did get experience running gambling, shylocking, and basic shakedowns."

Spirito getting made first aligns with what FBI sources have said about Mancuso’s induction into the mob being held up because Mancuso was sent to prison. But there’s more to that, as per sources. Bonanno boss Joe Massino had strong reservations about making Mancuso because of what happened to Mikey Nose’s wife but also because Mancuso was known to use drugs. (Was that as taboo as selling them? Perhaps not death warrant level. We wonder...)

Massino was “not elated” to make Mancuso because of what happened to his wife, our source said. “Patty From The Bronx took Michael Nose under his wing and groomed him and put him in his crew.”

“Michael and John were Patty’s pitbulls and no one messed with that crew back in the day.”