Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mob Boss Killer Anthony Comello Shows Love of Trump with Pen Markings of #MAGA Forever and Additional Patriot Slogans

The man charged with killing the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family wrote pro-Donald Trump slogans on his hand and flashed them to journalists before a court hearing Monday.

Anthony Comello, 24, was arrested Saturday in New Jersey in the death of Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali last week in front of his Staten Island home.

While waiting for a court hearing to begin in Toms River, New Jersey, in which he agreed to be extradited to New York, Comello held up his left hand.

On it were scrawled pro-Trump slogans including "MAGA Forever," an abbreviation of Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." It also read "United We Stand MAGA" and "Patriots In Charge." In the center of his palm he had drawn a large circle. It was not immediately clear why he had done so.

Anthony Comello MAGA Forever.jpg


Comello's lawyer, Brian Neary, would not discuss the writing on his client's hand, nor would he say whether Comello maintains his innocence. Asked by reporters after the hearing what was on Comello's hand, Neary replied, "Handcuffs."

He referred all other questions to Comello's Manhattan lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, who said in an emailed statement his client has been placed in protective custody due to "serious threats" that had been made against him, but gave no details of them. Ocean County officials could not immediately be reached after hours on Monday.

"Mr. Comello's family and friends simply cannot believe what they have been told," Gottlieb said. "There is something very wrong here and we will get to the truth about what happened as quickly as possible."

The statement did not address the writing on Comello's hand, and a lawyer from Gottlieb's firm declined to comment further Monday evening.

Comello sat with a slight smile in the jury box of the courtroom Monday afternoon as dozens of reporters and photographers filed into the room. When they were in place, Comello held up his left hand to display the writings as the click and whirr of camera lenses filled the room with sound.

During the hearing, Comello did not speak other than to say, "Yes, sir" to the judge to respond to several procedural questions.

Cali, 53, was shot to death last Wednesday by a gunman who may have crashed his truck into Cali's car to lure him outside. Police said Cali was shot 10 times.

Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in 2014 as the underboss of the Mafia's Gambino family, once one of the country's most powerful crime organizations. News accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot, though he was never charged with leading the gang. His only mob-related conviction came a decade ago, when he was sentenced to 16 months in prison in an extortion scheme involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island. He was released in 2009 and hasn't been in legal trouble since then.

Police have not yet said whether they believe Cali's murder was a mob hit or whether he was killed for some other motive.

The last Mafia boss to be rubbed out in New York City was Gambino don "Big Paul" Castellano, who was assassinated in 1985.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Anthony Comello Arrested in Murder of Frank Cali, Mafia Hit May Have Been Domestic Violence Beef Instead

The mafia didn’t kill Gambino boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali — a twentysomething Staten Island hothead with a personal beef did, police and sources said Saturday.

Anthony ComelloAnthony Comello, 24, a non-mobster who works odd construction jobs, was named as the suspect who blasted at least ten slugs into Cali, 53, on the street outside the boss’s brick mansion.

It was the first assassination of a New York City mob boss since an upstart John Gotti had Gambino boss Paul Castellano whacked outside Sparks Steak House in 1985.

Investigators quickly feared a mob war in the making.But they now believe a personal dispute was to blame — over a woman in Cali’s family, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

The nature of the dispute was not immediately clear. But sources said Cali — who helmed a family notorious for gambling, loan sharking, and its deadly trade in heroin and oxycodone — thought Comello was trouble, sources said.

Cali didn’t think Comello was worthy of associating with a woman in his family, the sources added.

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea announced Comello’s arrest, but said such issues as motive and possible accomplices were still under investigation.

“Everything is on the table at this point,” he said. “The investigation continues.”

Thanks to Larry Celona and Amanda Woods.

Potential Hit Man in Police Custody in the Shooting of Frank Cali, Reputed Godfather of the Gambino Crime Family #Breaking

New York City detectives have a 24-year-old man in custody related to the shooting death this week of reputed crime boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali.

"The investigation is still in progress and an arrest has not yet been made," NYPD Assistant Chief Patrick Conry wrote in an email.

Conry said the 24-year-old was taken into custody early Saturday, but he did not say where. More information is expected to be released Saturday afternoon.

Citing "sources familiar with the investigation," NBC 4 New York reported the 24-year-old was arrested in Brick, New Jersey.

Cali, 53, died at a hospital after being shot multiple times in the torso in front of his home at 25 Hilltop Terrace in Staten Island. Police found Cali wounded after receiving a 911 call reporting an assault in progress about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors have referred to Cali in court filings as the underboss of the Gambino family, saying he was connected through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian Mafia.

Multiple press accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot in the gang, although he never faced a criminal charge saying so.

His death marks the first killing of a New York City boss in more than 30 years, according to reports. Former Gambino head Paul Castellano was famously killed in 1985 outside a midtown Manhattan steakhouse in a hit ordered by John Gotti, who seized control of the family.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Frank Cali, Reputed Gambino Crime Boss, Shook Hands with Mafia Hit Man before Getting Whacked

Details continue to emerge as the investigation advances in the murder of a reputed Gambino family mob boss outside his Staten Island home, the first such incident in New York in three decades.

Multiple police sources say that whoever shot Francesco "Frankie Boy" Cali drove up to the mobster's Hilltop Terrace home in the Todt Hill section, came to a stop, and then gunned the engine in reverse, crashing into Cali's parked Cadillac SUV.

The force of the impact knocked the license plate off the SUV and seemed to investigators to have been done intentionally in order to get Cali's attention.

Once Cali came outside the home, sources said, video showed the two men talking and then shaking hands. Apparently Cali sensed no danger, because he turned his back on his killer to put the license plate inside the rear of the SUV.

That's when the gunman took out a 9mm handgun, held it with two hands -- as if he was trained, the sources said -- and opened fire.

The video is said to be grainy and has not been released because the suspect's face cannot be seen. The NYPD is continuing to canvass the neighborhood in search of clearer video.

Cali's wife and child were in the home at the time, which sources say is a highly unusual circumstance in the lore of organized crime -- which, in its heyday, followed certain rules that kept targets from getting whacked in front of their families.

Eyewitness News obtained Cali's mugshot from 2008, when he pleaded guilty in an extortion scheme involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island. He was sentenced to 16 months behind bars and was released in 2009. It is believed he took the reins of the notorious Gambino crime family in 2015.

Mob experts have been wary about possible conflicts erupting in the crime family, particularly after the brother of former Gambino boss John Gotti recently was released from prison. Gene Gotti is a reputed captain.

They say the type of hit -- at his home, with no real attempt to hide what happened -- suggests that it was a message killing. The question for detectives is what type of message was being sent.

This is the first time a reputed mob boss has been killed in New York City in more than 30 years.

The last Mafia boss to be shot to death in New York City was Gambino don Paul Castellano, assassinated outside a Manhattan steakhouse in 1985 at the direction of Gotti, who then took over.

Cali kept a much lower profile than Gotti.

With his expensive double-breasted suits and overcoats and silvery swept-back hair, Gotti became known as the Dapper Don, his smiling face all over the tabloids. As prosecutors tried and failed to bring him down, he came to be called the Teflon Don.

In 1992, Gotti was convicted in Castellano's murder and a multitude of other crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison and died of cancer in 2002.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Francesco "Frank" Cali, Reputed Gambino Crime Family Boss, Shot to Death Outside His Home

A reputed New York crime boss was shot and killed outside his home Wednesday night.

Francesco "Frank" Cali, 53, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso in the borough of Staten Island, the NYPD said.

A law enforcement official confirmed that Cali was a high-ranking member of the Gambino organized crime family and is believed to be the acting boss.

Police are searching for a pickup truck that fled the scene, NY Police Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said. No one has been arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

Cali was home with family members when the truck hit a car outside the residence, Shea said. It's "quite possible" that the incident was staged to draw Cali outside and into a confrontation with the suspected shooter, he said.

About a minute into the confrontation, the suspect pulled out a gun and began shooting at Cali, Shea said. When Cali tried to take cover behind his car, the pickup truck drove into it and "rocked" it significantly, possibly damaging the truck, Shea said.

Medics arrived at the scene and transported Cali to Staten Island University Hospital North, where he was pronounced dead.

Cali had been considered a unifying figure in the years after then-Gambino boss John Gotti, "Dapper Don," was convicted of murder and racketeering in 1992 and sent to prison for life. Unlike the well-dressed Gotti, Cali kept a low profile.

Cali was the first New York crime family boss shot in 34 years, according to WPIX. In 1985, Paul Castellano was shot dead as he arrived at Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan -- a killing organized by Gotti, authorities said. Gotti, who then assumed control of the family, reportedly watched the action from nearby with his eventual underboss, Sammy "Bull" Gravano. But Gravano would eventually testify against Gotti, leading to Gotti's 1992 conviction in five murders -- one of several major convictions that thinned the Mafia ranks in the 1980s and '90s.

Cali was an associate in the Gambino family, according to court documents, when he was indicted in 2008 with more than two dozen other Gambino members for a range of alleged crimes.

Later that year, he pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy related to the planned construction of a NASCAR speedway on Staten Island -- a plan that eventually was scrapped.

Authorities alleged Cali and others arranged, through force and threat of force, to receive cash payments from someone who had worked on the project.

Cali was sentenced to 16 months in prison and was released in 2009.


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