Johnny & Gene Show Is History: Feds Ban Ex-Bonanno Associate Gene Borrello From Podcasting --- And Setting Foot In Howard Beach, Queens

For threatening an ex-girlfriend's husband and father as well as "glorifying" mob life via a series of podcasts, former Bonanno associate/would-be podcaster Gene Borrello was sentenced yesterday to four months in prison, followed by six months of house arrest and three additional years of probation. He also was banned from doing podcasts and setting foot in Howard Beach, Queens.

Gene Borrello, former Bonanno associate
Gene Borrello 

That is according to a court document John Alite, Gene's partner on the Johnny & Gene Show, read over the phone earlier today.

Borrello, 36, was an up-and-coming associate close to becoming a wiseguy with the Bonanno crime family before flipping and helping Brooklyn Federal prosecutors put away more than 21 mobsters. He pleaded guilty in 2016 and was sentenced to three years supervised release and time served. In total, he spent about five years in prison for committing crimes that could've earned him a life sentence. 

He and Alite launched the Johnny & Gene Show in early 2020, around the time the initial surge of COVID-19 struck New York City. Borrello was arrested earlier this year for threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend’s husband and hurt her father after she refused to grant him the rights to use a photo of her in a book.

When all is said and done, Borrello will depart prison on June 21, in time to enjoy most of the summer.

“The threats he made are very, very serious,” as US Attorney Lindsay Gerdes told a Brooklyn federal judge at a bail hearing in February.

The Feds also had a bone to pick with Borrello for doing a podcast with Alite, the former Gambino associate. The Feds say that Borrello was violating his terms of release because doing the podcast required him to associate with convicted felons. (The Feds also have argued that the podcast glorified the mob. We disagree, noting that in our humble opinion, it is highly arguable that anything is glorified on the Johnny & Gene Show..... Frankly, most of the participants look like they need prescriptions for serotonin reuptake inhibitors.... )

At the conclusion of Borrello's court hearing last month, US Magistrate Judge Robert Levy rejected a bail package and ordered Borrello detained.

The crazy thing, in at least this blogger's humble opinion, is that Borrello’s ex-girlfriend told Jerry Capeci at Gang Land News that she didn't feel threatened at all by Borrello and described these events as comprising “a petty situation."

“I think my husband wants to see him in jail,” she said. “Gene’s my ex-boyfriend and he obviously doesn’t like him. He may have threatened him, but I don’t feel threatened, and I don’t think my husband feels threatened. I think he just wants to see him go back to jail.”

Based on what we have been hearing from sources, we agree with the ex-girlfriend about the husband wanting Gene in jail. (Gene's ex is more than welcomed to contact us about this story at cosanostranews at gmail dotcom). 

Sources are telling us that the husband is friendly with certain individuals, also from Howard Beach, who would seem to have incentive to jam up Gene Borrello (to put it mildly).

"He is friendly with Ronnie G and Pudgie," one source told us of the ex's husband.

Ronnie G is Bonanno family acting capo Ronald Giallanzo,50, who is residing at Otisville FCI with a release date of March 2, 2029. (He may have been promoted from acting by now). The Bonanno family is the one Borrello flipped against, not to put too fine a point on it.

Pudgie is Nicholas Festa, 42, who is at least a Bonanno associate. Or he supposedly was back in 2005, as per court filings. Pudgie also was a large-scale drug dealer and loanshark who had been robbed multiple times, as per court filings. (Festa also went away. As per the BOP inmate locator, he is at a Federal halfway house in New York with a release date of May 8, 2022.)

In March 2018, Giallanzo pleaded guilty to running a loansharking ring based in Queens. He was ordered to sell his 86th Street Howard Beach mansion and put whatever price he got toward the $1.23 million he was ordered to forfeit. (He'll still probably come out of this a millionaire; he and his crew allegedly netted $26 million--which is the amount the Fed's initially sought to seize. But the number, like ice sparkling in the summer sun, melted.)

Giallanzo, whose uncle is longtime Bonanno capo Vinny Asaro (who the Sicilian faction of the Bonanno family, once upon a time, touted to run the entire New York Mafia, supposedly) and nine other Bonanno members and associates (one was Pudgie Festa) were arrested the year before for committing a broad swath of crimes, including racketeering, kidnapping, robbery, and attempted murder. All 10 ultimately copped pleas.

“Through their acts of violence, Giallanzo ....and Festa reaped substantial illicit profits at the expense of their loansharking victims,” said Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“Mobsters are known for lending large amounts of money at exorbitant rates to individuals who they know lack the financial means of paying off their loans,” added FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, as if demonstrating a keen grasp for the obvious.

“They intentionally extort their victims over extended periods of time using threats of violence as a means of collecting their weekly payments. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book for these crime families, and they’ve shown no inclination to stop harassing and intimidating communities in our area. (The recent) guilty pleas demonstrate that the FBI’s New York Joint Organized Crime Task Force continues to investigate these organized crime groups to hold them accountable and to protect the public.”

Ronnie G, (third from l.) and Pudgie (far r.) in 2006.

In August of 2018, Ronnie G was sentenced to 14 years behind bars for running a loansharking operation that (as the judge said) terrorized a Queens neighborhood for nearly 20 years.

Prosecutors said the acting capo ran gambling and extortion rackets in Howard Beach since 1998. As per the indictment, Giallanzo and an associate once dragged a victim into a car and beat him until he soiled himself. 

Giallanzo and his crew also fought a war against a rival drug dealer.

Attorney Elizabeth Macedonio, who represented Asaro in the Lufthansa trial (which the Bonanno capo won, only to be hammered later for other crimes) had sought leniency for Ronnie G by saying some of his extortion victims knew what they were getting into. 

The judge, seemingly recoiling from what was a thoughtless statement, blasted Macedonio with: “That’s like saying a prostitute who is out there selling her body might get raped, but what’s the difference. As they say, ‘you sleep with dogs, you get fleas.’ But that doesn’t excuse the offense.”

When the judge focused on Ronnie G, she said: “You threatened to have people beaten with bats, you had them beaten with pipes, it’s like in the movies. But this isn’t a movie."

The mobster told the court he would likely miss the marriages of his children and the deaths of his parents, saying, “I can blame no one but myself.”

Federal prosecutor Lindsay Gerdes called Ronnie G a “puppeteer,” who never learned from his mistakes. (Ronnie G had been arrested multiple times.) She also accused him of using hands-on work at Ground Zero, which left him with cancer, "as a ploy for sympathy whenever he got into trouble," as the New York Post reported at the time.

“He argued the same thing before,” Gerdes said. “When does time wash that out?”

“I have to wonder, what does it take,” the judge said. “I don’t know you can pull away from this, Mr. Giallanzo. I think it’s ingrained in who you are.”

She warned his four children just before passing down his sentence, saying, “It is better to live a humble life than one spent constantly looking over your shoulder.”

Federal sentencing guidelines recommended Giallanzo get about seven years in prison, but the judge decided to put some English on it and slapped him with 12 years--plus two more for violating supervised release.

We first interviewed Gene in 2019, when he told us that residents of Howard Beach were mistakenly blaming him for terrorizing the neighborhood when the two gangsters who were really behind it were reputed Bonanno capo Vinny Asaro and alleged acting capo Giallanzo.

"I took orders from Ronnie G and Vinny Asaro," Gene said, 

At the time he contacted us, Borrello took deep issue with how Gang Land News portrayed him, telling Cosa Nostra News that those home invasions he committed were done on the orders of the Bonanno family -- specifically, alleged acting capo Ronnie G and longtime capo Vinny Asaro (among other Bonanno wiseguys, including alleged soldier John [Bazoo] Ragano).
The Johnny & Gene Show kicked off around when the COVID-19 shutdown began. John and Gene were doing the show to influence youngsters to avoid life on the street in a gang or crew.

Gene Borrello, left, John Alite.
Gene Borrello, left, John Alite.

"We can tell them how fake and treacherous street life is," John Alite said last summer. 

"We want to help them see it for what it is. We keep it real and hope to help kids understand gangs, the streets, the mob, and that there is opportunity in life outside crime, whether they live in the inner cities or rich areas."

"Most people have never had to shoot or stab anyone and have no idea what it's like on the street."

"Me and Gene are from two different generations," but both have experienced violence in ways that are beyond most people's understanding.

We will update the story as we speak to additional sources and acquire more details... Anyone with information is strongly encouraged to contact us, confidentially if they prefer....

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And now, apropos of nothing written on this blog, we have an urge to add the following thought.

 What is the most vile and despicable crime we ever heard of? Read on.... 

Say what you will about wiseguys, but their brand of criminality doesn't come close, in terms of sheer diabolicalness, to certain actions committed by other members of the prison population. Here, specifically, we're thinking of Lori Vallow (pic of her marrying Chad Daybell, her [sixth?] husband, above) who believes she is the embodiment of a god (or whatever bullshit). If you don't know the story, check it out. Here and now, suffice it to say, we simply seek to note that that sick bitch and her smug, ass-wipe of a husband deserve to swallow all the fires of hell if they really did kill her two kids. (And if there really is a hell.) With all that has come to light, it is damned difficult to even conjure a scenario in which they are innocent of those horrible murders (as well as the likely murders of multiple other people). Lori's daughter was even chopped to pieces and the pieces burned, before her remains were buried near what was left of her brother. The bodies of both children were discovered in Chad Daybell's backyard pet cemetery.