Q&A #3 With Former Luchese Wiseguy John Pennisi

This is the third round of Q&As. Please email any additional questions or post them in the comment section of this story. Also, former Luchese wiseguy John Pennisi has started a blog, Sitdown News so be sure and visit. 

Sonny Black Napolitano
Former Bonanno wiseguy Dominick (Sonny Black) Napolitano, who was killed probably over the Donnie Brasco investigation, comes up in one of today's questions.

Question: I'm Paul from Italy. Do you know something about the active families outside New York (not only the Decavalcante family and Philly)???

John Pennisi: Paul, piacere, I had some dealing with and met a few Ndrangheta I believe they were from Canada. What impressed me with them was we were once in a restaurant and I was brought over to a table where about 12 of their people were sitting. I sat and talked for a while and then went back to my table. When they left in a line from young to old, with their boss being last, they came over to say goodbye. Very disciplined and full of respect.

Q: Why continue to follow Vic Amuso as boss? The Lucchese Family must recognize his poor leadership during the 90’s and his inability to control Casso so why continue to follow an imprisoned for life boss who’s under 24/7 surveillance? I understand the rule about a boss not having to step down but was there ever any discussion regarding continuously following a boss that can’t do his job? Thank you for taking the time. (One last thing, do you have any Little Al D’Arco stories? The man’s the most interesting wiseguy the world’s never heard of and it’d be awesome to hear more about him. Thanks again!)

JP: We followed Vic because Vic was the Boss, his leadership decisions were not always the correct ones but you do not question things like that. Being incarcerated his ability to know what was going on within the borgata (Family) was obviously limited. When Vic wanted to put together another appeal we all chipped in and when his house (Where his son and daughter lived) needed repair we chipped in. You respect all your boss did to get to that position and the fact that he received a life sentence for it. I do not have any little Al stories as that was before my time. You're welcome, DaveO

When Big John touched your girl and hit on her . Which you said violates the rules. Did you tell anyone up the chain about it and what did they say and do?

JP: The situation with Big John was tricky, in that life you need to think about and rethink all your decisions. Yes, he was violating our rules but the person I was supposed to bring that to (Put a beef in) was to our Consigliere Joe DiNapoli. They were close, John saved his life in prison so where do you think my complaints would get me? I did speak to a Captain, Joe (Cafe) Desana about my situation and he said he would ask for me to be moved to his crew, which he did but John did not want to let me go.  

Q: John mentioned all the long island capos in his first answers but not Joe Caridi. I was surprised he didnt? What was joe's role when he was with the lukes? And how did he end up with the Brooklyn crew when he grew up hung around queens when he was younger?

JP: Joe Caridi was broken down to a soldier. He was once the consigliere but that was when Louie Daidone was acting boss. He was a nice guy, he was put in Joe (Cafe) Desana’s crew on Long Island. I did grow up in Queens but one night in 2012 Anthony Guzzo and myself had a fight with two Columbo associates and we got the better of them. I figured they would run to their people so I went to my childhood friend, Joey DiBenedetto, who is Vic Amuso’s son in law and a friend ((made guy) with the Lucchese family. That is how I winded up with the Brooklyn crew.

Q: You said your supposed to Kill and Die for your family. Yes? So that means if you were really 100% for the life you would have done what Sonny Black did...Ride it out and Die with your Borgata if it comes to that.

JP: Sonny Black was directly involved in bringing an undercover FBI agent around the inner circle of the Bonnano family. Divulging family secrets, positions of its administration and members to Donny Brosco (Agent Pistone). He knew the recordings between Pistone and him would come to light so when they called for him he went and faced the music. You asked after my mentioning a guy should kill and die for his family why I didn't do what Sonny Black did? What you do not know is when all this started I met with Patty DelloRusso in a bar on Merrick Road in Massapequa and sat at a table and told him. "Patty, if anyone can produce a paper or a shred of evidence that I am a rat, or did anything wrong against anyone in this family or anyone else I will lay my head on this table and blow my brains out." Patty's reply was, "Don't be silly, you and I know there are no such papers." So to answer your question - I did put my head and my life for my borgata to take that day. I also did nothing wrong as I was falsely accused.