Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Head of Major Mafia Family

Friends of ours: John Gotti, John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, Petter Gotti, Junior Gotti, Nicholaz "Little Nick" Corozzo, Gambino Crime Family, Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri

Meet the new John Gotti.

John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico, the Dapper Don's longtime sidekick and confidant, has emerged as the new acting boss of the Gambino crime family, law enforcement officials told the Daily News. D'Amico, known as a dapper dresser himself with a gift for gab and a way with the ladies, even confirmed to The News that he was a "boss."

Well, sort of. "I'm the boss of my house and my bathroom," said D'Amico, 69. "When I go in my house and my bathroom and close the door, I'm the boss." The comment sounds like a tribute to something his dear friend John Gotti often said to reporters: "I'm the boss of my family, my wife and kids."

It was a line D'Amico probably heard a thousand times as the Dapper Don's constant companion on the town and in court. But despite his common-man self-portrayal, law enforcement authorities say D'Amico is the new Don. "It's apparent from a number of directions that Jackie is the street boss right now," one source said. "He is speaking with authority. He's not the same person from eight months ago."

D'Amico, known more as a lover than a fighter, may not have had the respect in the past of tough guys in the crime family, but his skills of diplomacy are needed now more than muscle is. "He's a very personable individual," said Bruce Mouw, the retired head of the FBI's Gambino squad. "He can be a diplomat, a mediator. He's not a hard-liner. They need someone to rally people together."

Law enforcement sources say that after Gotti was convicted in 1992 and sent away for life, a ruling panel consisting of D'Amico and fellow Gambino capos Peter Gotti and Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo was designated to assist the Dapper Don's son John A. (Junior) Gotti in running the crime family.

When Junior Gotti and D'Amico were pinched on racketeering charges in 1998, Peter Gotti, the Dapper Don's brother, became boss. Fast-forward to the present, with the beleaguered crime family beset by leadership woes.

Junior Gotti claims he has quit the Mafia. Peter Gotti was convicted of racketeering, and the former acting boss, Arnold (Zeke) Squitieri, is under indictment. But D'Amico, son of a television repairman from the East Village, insisted the feds and cops have it all wrong.

He said his life has none of the trappings of a Mafia boss. "I'm insignificant, I'm not important," said D'Amico. "I take the 4 train, the 5 train, the 6 train. That's the only way I travel. I don't have a chauffeur-driven car."

D'Amico, who earned his nickname because of his "Romanesque nose," according to the recent testimony of a mob turncoat, dismissed talk about his mob ascension as lies told by snitches. These confidential informants want to ingratiate themselves (with law enforcement), so they can keep on selling drugs," he said.

Still, D'Amico's supposed promotion makes sense for several reasons. Corozzo, the other logical heir to the Gambino throne, is said to be preoccupied these days with health issues and remains on supervised release, which bars him from meeting with goodfellas.

Mob watchers say D'Amico was never much of an earner for the Gambinos, which is the main function of a Mafia family. In fact, Mouw said, "D'Amico was always broke, constantly in debt, a degenerate gambler. John Gotti loved him because ... Jackie was his fellow gambler who placed all his bets for him."

For a while, D'Amico dabbled in a phone-card business and cruised around in a Jaguar, courtesy of a supposed job as a salesman at a Crystal Geyser water distributor in Brooklyn.

These days, D'Amico lives in an Upper East Side high-rise in Manhattan and is known to frequent Fresco, a popular Italian restaurant in Manhattan.

In his conversation with The News, he expressed concern about what his neighbors will think after reading this story. "Go bother the people that are ruining the country, Cheney and Bush," he said. "There are plenty of things more important than who I am or not."

He still owns a modest, split-level home in Hillsdale, N.J., where his wife, Rosalie, resides. "You're not going to get any information from me," she said when a reporter knocked at her door last week. "He comes and goes. That's the way it's been for the past 40 years."

No comments:

Post a Comment