Monday, October 03, 2005

Feds Fear Syndicate Rebirth

A tidal wave of imprisoned mobsters, including ferocious Mafia bosses champing at the bit to hit the streets, will soon be freed to reclaim the reins of the city's five crime families, The NY Post has learned.

In an extraordinary interagency memo, the FBI has been warned by the Bureau of Prisons to brace for the release of 80 goodfellas and their close associates, whose sentences behind bars will expire before January 2007, according law-enforcement sources. The list of hardened hoods in the prisons bureau survey reads like a Who's Who of Mafioso whose exploits were splashed across the front pages during the past two decades:


* Venero "Bennie Eggs" Mangano, 84, legendary underboss to Vincent "Chin" Gigante of the Genovese crime family, is scheduled for release on Nov. 2, 2006, after serving 15 years for his role in rigging window-installation contracts at city projects in the infamous "Windows Case."

* Sal Avellino, 69, the Luchese crime family underboss and one-time chauffeur for family godfather Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, is slated to be released Oct. 10, 2006, after serving 11 years in prison for his role in various mob activities, including the murders of two waste carters who were cooperating with the feds.

* Joe "Joe the German" Watts, 63, former chauffeur and gunslinger for John Gotti, the late Gambino boss, will be freed May 5, after serving 11 years for convictions for murder conspiracy and for an elaborate money-laundering scheme.

* Steve "Stevie Wonder" Crea, 58, a powerful Luchese underboss, is expected to be free Aug. 24 after serving three years for fixing prices on three Manhattan construction projects and extorting money from a Long Island construction company.

* Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo, 71, the capo cousin of Colombo crime family godfather Carmine "The Snake" Persico, who was convicted as the muscle over private carters and is coming out June 6 after serving nine years for racketeering.

* Salvatore "Sammy Meatballs" Aparo, 75, a powerful Genovese capo, will be free May 25 after serving time for a 1991 labor-racketeering conviction in a case in which another mobster was caught on tape bragging, "Hurting people. That's what this is about."

* Charles Carneglia, 59, a trusted Gambino power whose brother, John, was a reputed hit man in the famed slaying of boss Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, will be free May 1 after serving five years for extortion.

* Richard G. Gotti, 37, nephew of the late John Gotti, and son of the Dapper Don's brother, Richard V. Gotti, will be free March 3 after serving three years in the same racketeering case that convicted his father and his uncle, Peter.


Experts say the survey, conducted in July, serves as additional proof that speculation about the demise of the Mafia is vastly premature — despite high-profile defections of mob bosses such as Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano, a succession of celebrated convictions and the latest twist involving a mob lawyer entering the witness-protection program, as The Post reported last week. "You only hear about the all the guys who flipped, but if you ever took a look at the list of guys who went into prison and how many rolled over, it is not even close," one longtime mob hunter observed.

In fact, there are about 1,100 members of organized crime, with each wiseguy connected to 10 associates, making for a separate rogues' gallery of about 11,000 businessmen, labor officials and others linked to the mob, the sources said.

In recent years, law-enforcement has broken the mob's stranglehold on certain unions and construction industries, but "the nucleus is still there" in those businesses as well as in the Mafia's bread-and-butter pursuit: gambling. "There's too much money to be made and always people willing to take the shot," one source said, adding that the "same is true of the leadership."Cannes Film Festival Club at the Film Movement

For example, the Gambino power vacuum created by the death of John Gotti and the subsequent imprisonment of brother Peter has been quickly filled by the lower-profiled Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo and his brother, Joseph "JoJo."

"For each rat or guy we put in prison, there are 20 others willing to take their place," a mob watcher said. "And none of these guys are coming out to shine shoes."

A prisons bureau spokesperson declined to explain what prompted the mob-inmate survey, but sources say the analysis was handed over to FBI brass in Washington and was being used to update the inmates' connections to the mob and assess "their potential impact" on La Cosa Nostra when they get out.

James Margolin, the FBI spokesman in New York, said the advisory "is further indication of what we have always maintained, that there remains plenty of work to be done in fighting organized crime, and that is why it continues to be a priority for this office."

And as chilling as the recent survey is, it does not list hoods such as Oreste "Ernie Boy" Abbamonte, a major convicted heroin dealer and a member of both the Bonanno and Luchese families, who came out of prison in February.

It also does not mention a future wave of releases expected after 2007 including gangsters such as Liborio "Barney" Bellomo, 48, the former Genovese street boss who is due out in August 2008.

Thanks to Murray Weiss

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