Mob Wives Star Renee Graziano, Daughter Of Bonanno Capo, Was Arrested Last Night For Driving While Impaired

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Mob Wives star Renee Graziano was arrested and charged with driving under the influence last night following a car crash around 10:19 pm at the intersection of Arden Avenue and Arthur Kill Road on Staten Island, according to an exclusive report today at the Daily Mail.com.
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She has been charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired, Shawn Cohen of the Daily Mail reported

Graziano, 52, had been driving a 2020 Nissan Murano with New Jersey plates when she struck an unoccupied 2020 Jeep Wrangler. She told police she’d taken Adderall earlier in the day.

She was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital for a medical review and was then transported to a local police precinct, where she was then charged with the misdemeanor.

As per Daily Mail sources: Graziano was getting out of the driver’s seat when the police arrived at the scene. "She was allegedly incoherent, had watery eyes and slurred speech."

DailyMail.com also reported that Graziano was seen leaving through the back entrance of criminal court today (January 5).

Graziano is the daughter of onetime Mafia powerhouse Anthony (TG) Graziano, a longtime member of the Bonanno crime family who served as acting consigliere and had been a capo. TG died in May 2019 at age 78 of natural causes. Renee announced her father's death via Instagram post. 

Under Bonanno boss Joe Massino, TG had been given near exclusive dominion over Staten Island. Also known as The Little Guy, Graziano was a major earner who ran a violent crew that operated on Staten Island and in Brooklyn that generated immense profits via dealing cocaine, loansharking, and an extensive network of Joker Poker machines. 

Renee became a high-profile celebrity via the VHI show Mob Wives, which was produced by Graziano's sister Jennifer, who created and produced the reality show, which led to their father, TG, getting shelved by the Bonanno crime family, as Gang Land News reported. TG and his daughters supposedly feuded over the show and split apart for years, but patched things up prior to TG's death.

Renee had other mob ties. She was once married to Hector Pagan Jr., an associate in her father's crew who generated headlines when he was revealed to be an informant who wore a wire on TG, recording him and helping send him to prison.

PLEASE DO NOT read our old Mob Wives coverage. It is: dreadful, superfluous, badly written, and an embarrassment, among other things. We will eventually delete most of it.


Part of Massino's inner circle, Graziano was among the trusted aids with whom the surveillance-conscious Massino traveled (they brought their wives too) on "vacations" to places like Italy and Mexico. The trips were really ruses to throw the FBI off their tail so they could discuss Bonanno business more freely (while taking in some leisurely sightseeing).

Massino held Graziano in such strong favor that years before Massino's rise, he supposedly tipped Graziano off in advance of the 1981 triple murders of "renegade" Bonanno capos Anthony (Sonny Red) Indelicato, Dominick (Big Trin) Trinchera, and Phil Giaccone in a Brooklyn nightclub. (The film Donnie Brasco included a fictional version of the triple hits as a major plot point.)

As a Bonanno family leader, Graziano served numerous stints in prison on various charges, most recently in 2012 when, after Pagan flipped and wore a wire on him, he was indicted for racketeering. For those charges, TG copped out and was sentenced to 19 months in prison. He was released in 2013 for health reasons.

He reportedly had a cocaine habit that was among the reasons why a powerful Sicilian Bonanno capo, Gerlando (George From Canada) Sciascia, who had strong ties to the Montreal Mafia under Vito Rizzuto, was killed in the Bronx. The hit on George from Canada was made to look like it had been street crime unrelated to Mafia doings. (Massino had concerns about the Montreal mob striking back if they learned the true reason George From Canada was killed.)

Graziano had a string of hard luck later in life. Pagan was only one of two notorious turncoats who gave him up. Chris Paciello, the big-time Florida nightclub impresario who dated Madonna, was the other.

As for Hector Pagan, he was slated to be released from prison last year. Prior to his release, he announced online that he had "money to invest once (he was) out." His online personal ad (on the Write a Prisoner website), which has since been deleted, offered excuses for his crimes, among other things.

The content of the ad: I’m 52 years old and I’m in prison for the charge of murder. I grew up in a mafia infested area in Brooklyn, New York. Things there that were normal to us were not so normal to the average Joe; people in the mob killed and were killed on a daily basis. From a young age I was a score guy. We held up big drug dealers. To be honest with you, I loved my job and the rich lifestyle that came with it. The downside of this is I’ve been in and out of prison since 1988, once the Feds got hold of me they never let me go. I now come to a time in my life where I want to be and stay free.

I have some money to invest once I’m out. I want to possibly live in North Carolina and have a family. If I don’t have any more kids I’m fine with that, I already have two grown boys. I don’t do drugs and I drink a little bit. I write this letter to gain some friends. I’ve been feeling lonely and far away from the real world you live in. I was on a reality show called Mob Wives. I had lots of people around me then, but now I feel alone.


Pagan got a reduced sentence in 2014 because—in addition to wearing a wire on his ex-father-in-law—he testified against two cohorts who were involved in a heist that led to the fatal shooting of Luchese associate James Donovan.
 
Pagan's former cohorts, Luigi Grasso and Richard Riccardi, were hit with prison sentences of 38 years and 36 years, respectively, for their convictions for robbery, possessing a firearm, and causing death through use of a firearm.

"For more than 20 years, these defendants have preyed on our community by engaging in narcotics and firearms trafficking, burglary, and, most recently, robbery and murder," as U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch announced in a statement at the time.

TG Graziano, left, Joe Massino in surveillance photo
TG Graziano, left, and Bonanno boss Joe Massino in surveillance photo
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The irony in that case was that Pagan himself, the cooperator, was the triggerman during the July 2, 2010, heist. Pagan shot Donovan, severing his femoral artery. Donovan—a self-employed check casher with ties to the Luchese family—had left the cash behind in a daring gambit to extricate himself from the situation.

On the witness stand in that case, Pagan revealed a complicated history that involved his previous turncoat operation, which included him tape recording his father-in-law.

As for the violent heist that led to Donovan's death, initially a quartet of guys were involved in the heist: Pagan, Grasso, Riccardi, and Nunzio (Nicky) DeCarlo, a made member of the Gambino family who suffered a critical heroin overdose three months after the robbery, thereby evading prison and life as we know it.

The crew targeted Donovan because they were privy to the Luchese associate's check-cashing route and knew roughly when he'd show up outside an auto body shop in Gravesend, Brooklyn with a bag filled with cash. The foursome met on Staten Island several times to plan the robbery before D-day.

Riccardi provided the guns, and was himself a distance from the action, as he was the designated driver of the crash car.

On the day of the job, DeCarlo, the Gambino soldier, drove Grasso and Pagan in his car to a supermarket parking lot that was in proximity to the auto body shop, where they waited for hours, smoking cigarettes and pulling on a bottle "to take the edge off," as Pagan later noted in testimony.

Grasso's wife even dropped by while the crew was surveilling the scene. She needed his keys, having locked herself out of the house after going on a massive shop that included the purchase of steaks, etc. (Grasso's brother-in-law, who followed Pagan onto the witness stand during the trial, testified about this, saying that on the day of the robbery, Grasso's wife locked herself out of their Staten Island home after returning from a Friday afternoon shopping trip in which she'd bought steaks and other perishables for a big July 4 holiday barbecue they had planned.)

When Donovan finally showed up, the team quickly moved to separate him from his check-cashing monies (the haul would be about $90,000). While Grasso searched Donovan's car for the bag with the cash, Donovan twisted away from Pagan and tried to run for it. Pagan shot him in the leg, prosecutors said. Donovan bled out, dying of blood loss.


Renee Graziano and ex Hector Pagan
Renee and Pagan exit Brooklyn court in 2011. (Staten Island Advance.)


The team divvied up their cash. Grasso took the guns, saying he would melt them down at a friend's auto body shop, according to prosecutors.

Before Pagan's sentencing, the Donovan family played a slideshow set to the tune of My Way that featured pictures of Donovan. Janine Donovan, the victim’s daughter, stood, faced Judge Gleeson and pleaded that he not give Pagan the freedom to “take and ruin the lives of others.”

“I can still hear his voice coaching me. I am no longer the same. I will never again know happiness without pain.”

Donovan said previous deals that Pagan had swung with the federal government in exchange for leniency “is not justice.”

“How many deals can one man get?” she asked. “It should stop here.”

“What you said today would rip out any judge’s heart,” Gleeson said. “I would say the exact same things.”

Gleeson added that if it were his daughter, he’d “melt the key to the jailhouse.”

Pagan “hasn’t changed his spots,” Gleeson conceded, and law enforcement is “a pretty callous system,” but he said the government needs cooperation of that nature.



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