Federal Judge Rejects Gambino Soldier's Bid For Early Release (And Source Takes Us Back Inside Prison)

Manhattan Federal Judge Colleen McMahon made no bones about it earlier this month when she told Gambino wiseguy Thomas (Huck) Carbonaro, in so many words, where he could put his compassionate release motion.

Huck, Frank Fappiano, Joey D'Angelo, Edward Garafola
 From left, Huck Carbonaro, Frank Fappiano, Joey D'Angelo, Edward Garafola

Carbonaro’s projected release was and remains March 2063.

Carbonaro, 73, had been seeking to get out of stir for myriad reasons, including COVID-19 and the poor health and multiple ailments allegedly bedeviling him. Huck also claimed he is a changed man who deserves a break. Huck’s lawyers sought to get Carbonaro’s sentence reduced to 25 years—or to a period of time that the court found “just, fair (and) appropriate”—and that was less than the 70-something years he was sentenced to for participating in several gangland hits.

Judge McMahon, in her written reply, said that she saw no reason to intervene in the case. Despite his lawyers’ assertions about health problems, Huck was getting adequate medical care in prison, she noted. She also found that he richly deserved his fate behind bars considering all the havoc he wreaked while at liberty.

“Given the multiple lives taken at the hands of the defendant and his co-conspirators, his involvement in loansharking and extortion, and his extensive criminal history, the 70-year sentence imposed by Judge Casey was wholly appropriate — this court will not disturb that sentence.”

“The offenses of conviction could not have been more serious. As Judge Casey explained at sentencing, ‘(t)he defendant has repeatedly shown his willingness to murder other human beings as part of his membership in an ongoing and widespread criminal enterprise, and his criminal history unmistakably demonstrates that he is unlikely to lead a law-abiding life if released from custody.

“Only the maximum penalty that the law permits is sufficient in this case.”

In December 2004, Carbonaro was convicted in Manhattan federal court of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, extortion and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to three consecutive prison terms of 20 years each, plus a consecutive term of 10 years. Carbonaro was found guilty of being part of the April 1998 slaying of Gambino associate Frank Hydell, the August 1990 killing of construction official and reputed Gambino wiseguy Edward Garofalo, and the attempt to whack Gambino turncoat Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano in Arizona in late 1999 early 2000. (These days Sammy has turned to YouTube podcasts, rather than Ecstasy pills, to keep himself busy and possibly earn a few extra bucks.)

As noted, sources told us that if Huck were released from prison and decided to embrace his old life, he very likely would have at his disposal a large and violent crew consisting of Huck nephew Tommy Dono, 47, who was proposed for membership in the Gambino family in 2001 and was released from prison this past April following a 15-year hitch, and nephew-in-law Kevin Granato, 61, a former Colombo associate who spent about 30 years in prison for drug dealing and racketeering and is likely a made member of the Gambino family today.

Frank Hydell was gunned down outside this Staten Island strip joint in 1998.

As one source said, "Granato was from Scarpa Jr. crew and is a very dangerous guy, and Tommy Dono also very dangerous, a real criminal, very well respected by real criminals. When I say real criminals it’s beyond the bookmakers, drug dealers, and guys who extort using the reputation of the crime family. I mean guys that will actually use a gun to rob and don’t have to get someone in a car or a basement to kill them, they will kill in the middle of traffic."

Dono's physical disability doesn't make him any less dangerous. Readers probably don't know that Dono is missing one of his arms. As per sources, sometime around 1992, Dono lost the appendage during a fight that involved him getting hit and dragged by a car.

Dono, a legitimate tough guy, didn't stop fighting because of his accident, and in fact, he more than held his own against three others in a prison yard brawl sometime around 2010 when Dono was jumped in the yard at Ottisville by Luchese wiseguy Michael (Baldy Mike) Spinelli and two others. 

"(Dono) fought all three with one arm, and afterwards there was a whole big thing, with the majority of the Italians taking Dono’s side," one source told us on background.

Spinelli, 67, apparently had better lawyers than Huck (we're being flippant). Baldy Mike, who got his button in a much-derided prison bathroom ceremony and was involved in an attempted hit on a woman, was let out of prison last year because of concerns about him catching COVID-19. (He did catch it, anyway. As per reports, Spinelli tested positive as soon as he got into home confinement.)

So to recap, Baldy Mike was part of a Luchese hit team that in 1992 tried to murder an innocent Brooklyn mother of three, shooting her several times (in the neck, behind the ear, and in the back), and yet he was released from prison last year because of COVID-19. Huck, who was involved in all manner of mob mayhem and murder during his longtime involvement with the Gambinos, but who never participated in an attempted hit on a mother, will remain in prison until his heart ceases to beat. There ain't no justice out there, it sometimes seems.

Baldy Mike had nine years left on his sentence when he was approved for release despite the strenuous objections of the Feds. Like Huck, Baldy Mike had also argued that he was a different person, and said he wanted to be a yoga instructor.

Back in the early 1990s, Baldy Mike wanted to be a top gun for the Luchese crime family. He was in the thick of it when newly coronated Luchese bosses Vittorio Amuso and Anthony Casso sent a hit team after Patricia Capozzalo, a mother of three who had the misfortune to be the sister of 430-plus-pound Peter (Big Pete) Chiodo, a capo who decided to sing like a canary. 

On the morning of March 10, 1992, a masked shooter driven by Spinelli shot Capozzalo three times while she was behind the wheel (and attempting to duck under it) of her 1985 Oldsmobile. She had just dropped her children off at school and was parked outside her Gravesend home when bullets struck Capozzalo in the neck, behind the ear, and in the back. After the shooters sped away, Capozzalo dashed into the house to call for help. 

Michael (Baldy Mike) Spinelli
Baldy Mike was part of a trio that jumped Tommy Dono.

A former deputy marshal who, for years, escorted members and associates of organized crime to court from jail offered some insights into Tommy Dono, Letterio DeCarlo (another nephew of Huck's), and Gambino associate Edmund (Irish Eddie) Boyle. (We've written about the deputy marshal previously, see here.)

Huck and those three, plus others, were involved in the 1998 Frank Hydell murder, which Huck had the misfortune of telling the wrong guy about (the Gambino wiseguy Huck reported to, Michael (Mikie Scars) DiLeonardo , later flipped and gave the Feds the inside dope).

Huck admitted he was the getaway driver, Boyle was the shooter, John Matera had lured Hydell to the strip club, and his two nephews, DeCarlo and Dono, were at the scene of the murder. Also nailed for plotting the Hydell murder were then Gambino powers DiLeonardo and Frank Fappiano.

Hydell had been outed as an informant thanks to a clerical screwup by New Jersey police, who accidentally sent too much information to certain lawyers representing members and associates of the Gambino family. This meant the Gambinos had paperwork, meaning they had "proof" that Hydell had been ratting to the Feds and NYPD. 

Jimmy Hydell, who disappeared in 1986.

Hydell had gotten jammed up after certain members of law enforcement recognized his voice in a recorded 911 call regarding the 1997 Super Bowl Sunday slaying of construction foreman Frank Parasole in a Brooklyn social club. Hydell had called 911 as part of an attempt to save Pasarole's life after he had been shot in the buttocks. But the bullet had done its damage, and the single shot in the ass ended up killing Parasole.

In March 2010, United States District Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced DeCarlo and Dono to 180 months in prison for their participation in the conspiracy that resulted in the 1998 murder of Hydell.

Later that year, in November, Boyle was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He had been convicted of racketeering crimes in connection with his participation in murder, witness tampering, extortion, and various property crimes.

Dono was released this past April. 

DeCarlo, 60, is at Fort Dix FCI with a release date of May 11, 2026.

Boyle, 56, is currently at Fort Dix FCI with a release date of December 31, 2029.

Frank Hydell’s older brother Jimmy also took to street life and was a crime family associate. But Jimmy exhibited a much deeper commitment to mob life than his brother.

While Frankie was more of a wannabe who focused on bank burglary, Jimmy was a legitimate tough guy who earned with a pistol a hardcore mob reputation. 

Jimmy was a stone-cold killer whose body count included the  love of his life. He allegedly murdered his longtime girlfriend, an innocent young woman named Annette DiBiase, after she loudly started telling people around her how Jimmy beat her up. (She was shot five times in the head and buried in the woods on Staten Island. Writing about this literally makes me sick to my stomach.)

Jimmy met with the darkest of fates in 1986 when the mob cops kidnapped him and delivered him to Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso, who was then Luchese underboss. 

Casso wanted revenge against whoever had participated in a hit attempt on him. (During the attempt, Casso had been able to identify Hydell as one of the shooters.)

For years, all that was known about Jimmy’s disappearance was that one day he’d walked out of his house on Bangor Street on Staten Island to go to a meeting in Brooklyn and no one ever saw him again.

It took years but eventually law enforcement got to the bottom of the Hydell disappearance. In 2005, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, two retired NYPD detectives, were indicted for being on the payroll of the Luchese family. Then in March 2006 in the District Court in Brooklyn, there was the testimony of Burton Kaplan, a geriatric pot dealer who was involved in extensive mob-related criminal activity and served as conduit between Casso and Eppolito and Caracappa,  the Mafia Cops who worked for Gaspipe in the 1980s and early 1990s.

(Both former detectives received lifetime sentences, and have since died in prison while serving them.)

Kaplan told the jury what happened to Jimmy Hydell and why.

During testimony, Kaplan said that Hydell, who was 28, lived with his mother in her house on Staten Island. He said that the two detectives found him in a coin laundry in Brooklyn. They put him in their car and took him to the same garage where gangland hit victim Israel Greenwald, a Long Island diamond dealer, had been buried under seven feet of concrete -- and then to a Toys 'R' Us on Flatbush Avenue, where Casso was waiting in the parking lot.

The deeply treacherous underboss got behind the wheel of the car, with Hydell, having been beaten into submission, stuffed in the trunk. Casso drove Hydell to a nearby basement where he proceeded to interrogate and torture him until he revealed the names of the other would-be assassins-- one of whom was Gambino gunslinger Edward Lino, according to Kaplan. The mob cops killed Lino on Gaspipe's orders. 

Before he died, Hydell begged Casso to dump his body in the street so his mother could collect his insurance policy.
Casso, Kaplan added, refused the request. 

All these decades later, Jimmy Hydell's body has still never been found.

The former deputy marshal tells us about Tommy Dono, Lettieri DeCarlo, and Eddie Boyle:

I took Dono and Letterio DeCarlo to court multiple times for hearings in front of judge McMahon.

DeCarlo would be rear cuffed and we’d put a belly chain around Dono and cuff his one hand. Also, DeCarlo would call Dono his brother when we were walking to court. I asked if they were actual brothers and he said yes.

I asked Dono the cause of (the loss of his arm) and unfortunately I can’t remember his answer. Dono and DeCarlo were always taken together to court for some reason. I never saw Huck.

The AUSA had issued a separation order between Dono and DeCarlo. That meant they couldn’t be within ear shot of each other at any time other than inside the courtroom. we escorted them up separately. After the hearing, for some reason, the more senior marshals I was with decided to take them down to the cellblock in the same elevator together. Dono was told to face one wall, DeCarlo the other.

DeCarlo then said something like “I love you, hope you’re doing ok.” Dono responded with something similar. A marshal I was with told them not to speak.

DeCarlo went off, saying how Dono was his brother and it’s his right, he’s not an animal, etc.

DeCarlo continued yelling until we reached the cellblock.

The marshal who told them not to speak was black. DeCarlo then launched into a speech about how MLK was a good man, and MLK wouldn’t be happy about him (the black marshal) telling DeCarlo not to speak. It was extremely bizarre. Dono just stood watching and shook his head in embarrassment.

The last time I saw Dono he was being shipped out from wherever he was being held, MDC or MCC. He had lost a considerable amount of weight since I’d seen him last. I told him that and he said he’d been eating healthy.

There was a time when Eddie Boyle was also with Dono and DeCarlo for a court hearing. I had been reading some articles about Boyle during that time because he had just been found guilty on his trial. I had a bunch of convos with Boyle when I’d take him to court alone, nothing really interesting except he said there was a book or movie that was being made about him called Mob over Miami....

Anyway, this one time Boyle was with Dono and DeCarlo going to court. I always tried to spark conversations.

I had said something to the effect of “how is it they can charge so many people with the (Fred) Weiss murder?” The three of them looked at me confused, and then Boyle elbowed Dono, cracked a smirk and said “you mean Hydell, heh.”
All three went “heh, heh.” I thought that was interesting.