The Chicago Syndicate: Frank Locascio
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Showing posts with label Frank Locascio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frank Locascio. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2013

Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at Federal Prison Hospital That Was Past Home for Several Mobsters

When Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev entered the federal prison hospital at Devens, he became the latest high-crime prisoner name to take up temporary residence at the former Army base.

The Federal Medical Center Devens, which opened in 1996, serves as a federal Bureau of Prisons hospital for inmates needing specialized or long-term medical or mental health care. The facility is on the site of the former Cutler Army Hospital.

Inmates treated there have been mobsters, corrupt politicians and people convicted of financial crimes.

Among the mobsters to spend time in the hospital was Sicilian crime boss Gaetano Badalamenti, who died of heart failure in 2004. He was convicted as ringleader of the $1.65 billion drug smuggling operation known as The Pizza Connection.

Other mafiosi at the hospital have included John "Sonny" Franzese, an underboss of the Colombo crime family convicted of racketeering; and John Riggi, former boss of the DeCavalcante crime family, released in November after 22 years at various prisons. He was convicted of conspiracy in the murder of acting mob boss John D’Amato. Also serving time at Devens was Frank Locascio, a former underboss of the Gambino crime family.

The 1,000-bed medical center opened its doors in Devens at 42 Patton Road in 1999, three years after Fort Devens formally ceased to be an Army base.

The base served as the Army’s New England headquarters for 79 years. It was conveyed to the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency for redevelopment as Devens, a residential and business community made up of property formerly part of surrounding towns. The army still has its reserve forces training center on sections of the former base.

Among the better-known soldiers to serve there was Gen. Colin Powell, who met his wife while assigned to Fort Devens.

The U.S. Marshals Service said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had left Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center overnight and been transported to Devens.

Thanks to George Barnes.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Did "Sammy the Bull" Spare Junior Gotti to Save His Own Son?

John A. (Junior) Gotti's role in a 1990 rubout at the World Trade Center was a gangland secret for years because of a "son for a son" deal between his father and a Mafia turncoat, a government witness revealed Monday.

Before federal prosecutors charged Junior last year with the murder of Gambino soldier Louis DiBono, the mob scion's name had never surfaced in connection with the hit ordered by John Gotti Sr.

That's because infamous turncoat Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano - who implicated the Dapper Don, underboss Frank Locascio and others in the murder conspiracy - never fingered Junior, and apparently with good reason, according to former capo Michael (Mikey Scars) DiLeonardo.

"Guys were going away for a long time and others were being left out. It was a mystery," DiLeonardo said Monday at the racketeering trial of reputed soldier Charles Carneglia in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Gambino capo Edward Garafola - Gravano's brother-in-law - provided the answer about a year after the murder, DiLeonardo said.

Although Gravano sent scores of Gambinos to prison, he spared Junior in a "son for a son" deal with Gotti Sr. in the hope that his own son, Gerard, would not be punished for his father's decision to break the Mafia oath of silence.

"It was the first time I learned that John Jr. was involved in the [DiBono] hit," DiLeonardo said.

Gotti Sr. was convicted in 1992 of ordering the murder of DiBono because he had ignored an order to meet with the crime boss when called.

Junior - who faces his own upcoming murder trial - assembled the hit team, prosecutors contend in court papers.

Carneglia is charged with sneaking up behind DiBono in the World Trade Center garage and pumping seven bullets into his head and body.

The reason Gravano did not implicate Carneglia at the time he fingered Gotti Sr. was not disclosed.

Although DiLeonardo has testified in 10 previous trials, he had not previously revealed the alleged son for a son deal. "It is implausible that after testifying against John [Jr.] three times, DiLeonardo suddenly remembered information about a murder charge," said Junior's attorney, Seth Ginsberg.

At the time he took the stand against the Teflon Don, Gravano was the highest ranking member of a Mafia family ever to cooperate with the feds.

Prosecutors ripped up Gravano's deal after he was caught trafficking Ecstasy pills with his wife, son and daughter in the witness protection program in Arizona. He is serving a 19-year sentence in the federal Supermax prison in Colorado. Gerard Gravano has nearly completed a nine-year term.

Thanks to John Marzulli

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reputed Mobster Gets 30 Months

Friends of ours: Salvatore Locascio, Frank Locascio, John Gotti

Salvatore Locascio was indicted in February on multiple felonies alleging he received several million dollars from a massive, illegal phone cramming operation that scammed thousands of customers. With a sick wife and a felony charge to which he had already pleaded guilty, North Naples resident and reputed Mafia captain Salvatore Locascio entered a New York courtroom Monday hoping to avoid a prison term at his sentencing. Locascio, 45, didn't succeed, but he did persuade the judge to sentence him to well below the minimum under federal guidelines — 2½ years in prison. The sentencing took place in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Locascio, pleaded guilty in February to money laundering. He was indicted on multiple felonies alleging he received several million dollars from a massive, illegal phone cramming operation that scammed thousands of customers by placing charges on their bills for unauthorized, unordered services. He faced up to 10 years in prison, with federal sentencing guidelines calling for between about five and seven years behind bars. So the 2½-year sentence was several years below the minimum.

"Now he hopes to return to his family and focus on them so they can cope with his absence for the next year and a half," one of Locascio's attorneys, Eric Franz, said after the hearing. Judge Carol Amon granted Locascio's request to begin his prison sentence June 1, 2006. He wanted to remain free to attend his son's high school graduation and care for his wife, who has multiple sclerosis.

The subject of the Mafia actually played little part in the sentence, even if prosecutors alleged it played a significant part in Locascio's past. Locascio's father, Frank, was the consigliere, or counselor, to Mafia crime boss John Gotti. The U.S. Attorney's Office has alleged Salvatore Locascio inherited his father's Bronx street crew in the mid-1990s. And the federal prosecutors argued the phone cramming operation was a Mafia-related business, with the payments to Locascio as tribute due to his position as a captain in the crime family.

The defense had signed a stipulation indicating they wouldn't oppose the characterization of Locascio as a mobster for purposes of the sentencing. One of the grounds under which the defense asked the judge to sentence below the minimum was for "extraordinary rehabilitation." So despite initial denials by Locascio and his attorneys that he was part of the organized crime world, they relied on that allegation to argue he had left the mob to start a clean life in Naples. He has a prior conviction and prison term in a tax evasion case.

Franz didn't want to comment on any mob-related allegations. But he said the business that conducted the illegal phone cramming, Creative Program Communications, was formed by Locascio and several other investors 20 years ago and had nothing to do with the Mafia.

Franz said Locascio moved from New York in 2000 or 2001 "to start a new life in Florida, free of organized crime, and the money he received was not a form of tribute." When asked Monday by Judge Amon whether the U.S. Attorney's Office had any evidence Locascio is currently involved in organized crime activities, the prosecutors said they didn't. So with there being no dispute over that issue, the judge didn't press for any argument or discussion on it during the sentencing. Locascio addressed the court and asked for any form of punishment that didn't involve incarceration. He spoke mostly of his family in North Naples and the need to care for his wife. Until he turns himself in to begin his sentence, he'll remain free on $10 million bond.

After his prison sentence, he must also serve three years of supervised release, which is similar to probation. He'll pay a $50,000 fine. And he must satisfy a $4.7 million asset forfeiture. Franz said Locascio may consider selling his Pelican Marsh home, valued at $2.1 million. And Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said Locascio has said he'll forfeit property on Indigo Bush Way in Grey Oaks. He'll sell commercial property he owns in the Bronx. And he presented the court with a check for more than $500,000 on Monday.

The phone cramming scheme generated $50,000 to $600,000 a day between 1997 and 2001. In total, the scheme is alleged to have produced about $200 million in gross revenues and $100 million in profits, prosecutors said. (From 1997 to 2001, assuming the full years for each is 5 years total. My calculator procudes a gross revenue range of $91, 250,000 to over a Billion dollars. The average take was probably a little over $100,000 day. It's good work if you can get it.)

If convicted of charges under his original indictments, Locascio could have faced up to 20 years in prison on the racketeering charge; 20 years in prison on the racketeering conspiracy charge; 20 years in prison on each wire fraud charge, five years in prison on the wire fraud conspiracy charge, and 20 years in prison on the money laundering conspiracy charge, federal prosecutors said. Instead, almost all those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Thanks to Chris Colby

Tuesday, March 03, 1992

Sammy the Bull Testifes That John Gotti Ordered the Slaying of Gambino Crime Boss Paul Castellano

Reputed mob boss John Gotti ordered the slaying of Paul Castellano out of fear that he faced assassination himself, Gotti's onetime underboss said during his first day of testimony yesterday in a hushed and heavily guarded courtroom.

There were "quite a few reasons" why Gotti wanted the head of the Gambino crime family killed, Salvatore Gravano said in a low and gravelly voice. But, he testified, Gotti's chief motive was self-preservation.

Gravano described the 10 months during which, he, Gotti and others planned Castellano's execution. He said the final plan came shortly after the death of cancer-striken Aniello Dellacroce, the Gambino family's underboss and Gotti's mentor.

"Paul showed total disrespect and didn't go to the funeral," Gravano told the jury. "We were wondering if and when . . . Paul might make a move - if he might strike," Gravano testified. "We wondered if he might shoot John and Angelo" Ruggiero, a close Gotti associate. "Paul Castellano, after Neil [Dellacroce] died, said he was going to wreck John's crew," said Gravano. He said Castellano was angry that members of Gotti's crew had violated a family rule - enforceable by death - against drug dealing.

Gravano, the highest-level mob informant ever to testify against Gotti, was calm and composed as he took the stand under a deal to reduce his prison sentence to 20 years. Indicted along with Gotti and co-defendant Frank Locascio, he faced life in prison without parole if convicted at trial. Gravano occasionally glanced at Gotti, and once during the testimony pointed out Gotti and Locascio as being the boss and consigliere of the crime family.

Under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gleeson, Gravano said others beside Gotti were dissatisfied with Castellano.

"At the time, there were a lot of conversations about Paul. Nobody was too happy with him . . . He was selling out the family for his own basic businesses," said Gravano, explaining that Castellano formed several business partnerships with leaders of the Genovese crime family.

Gravano said Gotti and his followers also were upset that Castellano had allowed another crime family to kill a Gambino crime captain in Connecticut. "You just don't let another family kill a captain in your family," Gravano testified. "That's against the rules."

Gravano said Gotti discussed two other possible plans for killing Castellano that were rejected. In one plan, Castellano was to have been shot at his home on Staten Island. But that plan was dropped because "there was a lot of FBI surveillance at his house," Gravano said.

Another rejected plan called for an old-time mobster to walk into a diner where Castellano and his driver, Thomas Bilotti, frequently went before meeting with Castellano's lawyer, James LaRossa. "The old man was known by Paul and would be able to walk in and shoot him," Gravano said.

Gravano, 46, said the final planning session for Castellano's murder came the night before Castellano and Bilotti were shot to death outside Sparks Steak House on East 46th Street on Dec. 16, 1985.

Frank DeCicco, a Castellano loyalist, had informed Gotti and Gravano that he would be meeting Castellano and Bilotti for dinner at Sparks on Dec. 16, Gravano testified. Also among those attending the dinner, said Gravano, would be Thomas Gambino, son of the late Carlo Gambino, for whom the Gambino family is named.

The night before, at a meeting Gotti arranged, Gotti, Gravano and Ruggiero sat down with eight other mob figures at Gravano's drywall construction firm in Brooklyn and outlined a plan to kill two men whose names were not revealed. "We didn't tell them who was going to be hit," Gravano said. "We just said he had to be done."

Gravano said it was decided that the shooters would be John Carneglia, Edward Lino, Salvatore Scala and Vinny Artuso, all members of the Gambino crime family.. The others would serve as backups who would be stationed at various locations.

The next afternoon, the participants - armed with guns and walkie-talkies - met Gotti and Gravano in a small park on the Lower East Side and were told the names of their targets for the first time. "We told them exactly who was going, and that it had to be done," Gravano testified.

The designated shooters were stationed in front of Sparks, Gravano said, and four backup shooters were posted around the block. He said the backups included Anthony Rampino, a convicted Gambino soldier, and Ruggiero.

"Me and John got in the car and went to the Third Avenue side of East 46th," Gravano testified. "I was a backup shooter. If they [Castellano and Bilotti] got away, we would be ready."

At that point in his testimony, U.S. District Court Judge I. Leo Glasser closed the session for the day and ordered Gravano's examination to continue today.

Gravano, known on the street as Sammy the Bull, spent much of his two hours on the witness stand discussing his crime career, which he said began shortly after he dropped out of school at the age of 16. From 1961 to 1964, "I worked on and off. I committed armed robberies, burglaries."

He served in the Army between 1964 and 1966. After his discharge, he said he returned to Brooklyn. "I went back to my life of crime," he said.

Gleeson asked him how many murders he was admitting."Nineteen," Gravano said.

Gravano said he was something of an expert killer. Asked by Gleeson if there was a common expression used by the Gambino family for murder, Gravano said without emotion: "To do a piece of work - to whack someone out."

He described his 1976 initiation into the Gambino crime family in the presence of Castellano. He said during the ceremony, his trigger finger was pricked with a pin, a drop of blood was placed on the picture of a saint and the picture was set afire.

He then repeated his oath of silence: "If I divulge any secrets of this organization my soul should burn like this saint."

Gravano testified that officials of the Luchese, Colombo and Bonanno crime families were notified of the plan to kill Castellano. "They were behind the killing," he said. New York's fifth crime organization, the Genovese family, was not consulted. "We didn't trust them because Paul Castellano was in partners with them," Gravano said.

Thanks to Pete Bowles


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