The Chicago Syndicate: Gene Gotti
Showing posts with label Gene Gotti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gene Gotti. Show all posts

Thursday, April 04, 2019

After Murder of Frank Cali, Who is Boss of the Gambino Crime Family?

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Following the death of Gambino crime boss Frank (Franky Boy) Cali, experts say his successor will have 21st Century issues to deal with.

“Whoever takes over right now is a media magnet,” said Louis Ferrante, a former mobster with the Gambino family whose crew was investigated at one time for some of the most lucrative heists in U.S. history. “Look, you and I are talking about it ... in today’s world, a lot of (mobsters) don’t wanna be bothered with that."

He said it’s possible that whoever is in line for the promotion taps someone else to be the face, while they continue to pull in money from their rackets and influence the family’s operations from the proverbial shadows.

“If I were the underboss I would probably put someone there as a front for me. I would pick someone who’s in my crew that’s close to me,” said Ferrante.

In the days following Cali’s death, a convicted Genovese mobster and a former Gambino hitman -- both turned-informants -- expressed shock over Cali’s murder considering he was known as a non-violent mob boss who ran his crime family like a corporation, according to a USA TODAY report.

Experts say the “to-do” list for whoever takes over could include dealing with Cali’s suspected killer.

Police said Anthony Comello, 24, of Eltingville, smashed into Cali’s car outside the Hilltop Terrace home, then, shot him while the reputed mobster’s wife and children were inside the house. The motive remains unclear, but every theory at this point indicates Cali was targeted by his killer.

Mob experts and law enforcement sources say it’s unlikely the murder was related to organized crime, based on the fact there was no backup car to potentially finish the job in what would have been an ill-conceived plan. And if months or years from now it turns out it was a planned hit, “It was the most brilliant mob hit in the world," said Ferrante.

Sources have described Comello as a “mob-obsessed” conspiracy theorist, while former classmates have described him as aloof in class, but at times a hot-head who got into fights. A New York Times report quoted friends who claimed he wrestled with drug addiction.

Defense attorney Robert Gottlieb has pointed to right-wing hate speech as playing a factor in the incident, while stopping short of saying his client committed the murder.

One name tossed around by law enforcement experts and Mafia historians as a possible successor to Cali is Lorenzo Mannino, a Gambino capo and member of the family’s Sicilian faction. “Mannino is a Brooklyn crew boss who is Sicilian and was heavy in to drug (trade) with Franky Boy,” said Mafia historian Scott Burnstein.

Other names mentioned include Gene Gotti, the brother of John who recently was released from prison after doing 29 years on drug charges. “If I was a member of organized crime today, Gene Gotti would be the greatest boss I could have,” said Ferrante. “He’s a man of men, within the context of that life.”

Experts say the business of La Cosa Nostra has seen better days.

In terms of the drug-trade, New York City’s streets are now dominated by Dominican gangs paying lower prices to Mexican cartels who are able to ship the drugs by land rather than by sea, said James Hunt, formerly of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who worked as an undercover agent in the famous “Pizza Connection” drug case.

That being said, Cali had deep ties with the Sicilian Mafia, which along with Colombian cartels maintain a profitable heroin trade in Europe, said Hunt, which in turn could be a selling point for Cali’s successor.

Stateside, it can get messy when it comes to drugs, said Ferrante. “If you want to get in to that game, your playing with Asians, Russians, Albanians, Colombians,” he said. “There’s only so many pieces to that pie."

A drug trade still exists for mobsters, but more so on a local level -- unlike the 80s when they’d ship in the drugs from Turkey and Sicily, then sell in bulk to mid-level dealers in Harlem, experts said. And while the days of controlling unions and waste companies are all but over, loansharking and extortion continue to provide a steady stream of income.

“They’ll never stop trying to sneak their way back in,” said Hunt. “It’s harder for them to make a living than they used to, but they’re not going to get jobs.” And where there’s reward, there remains risk.

In the months leading up to Cali’s death, an associate of the Bonanno crime family was gunned down in a McDonald’s parking lot by shooters allegedly hired by an Albanian crime outfit.

Days prior to the murder, a reputed mob enforcer in Rhode Island was shot dead in a case with ties to the Gambino family, according to multiple reports.

Thanks to Kyle Lawson.

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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Last Rites for the Mafia? Fughedaboudit!

We were a little too quick on the trigger to give traditional organized crime its last rites. And why not?

Over the past 20 years, armies of Goodfellas have ratted out their fellow mobsters. And the men who stuck with omerta? They’re in jail or rotting in a graveyard.

In some U.S. cities, the mob is nothing more than a bunch of old boys playing pinochle, kibitzing about the good old days. But from the 1920s to the 1980s, the mob was “bigger than U.S. Steel” in the words of underworld sage, Meyer Lansky. As American as apple pie.

Two stories over the past week ended the fiction the Mafia is toe-tagged in the morgue.

First, New York’s Five Families were abuzz — and somewhat fearful — at the release of Gene Gotti.

You know the name. The 71-year-old younger brother of John “The Teflon Don” Gotti was sprung after a 29-year jolt in the big house.

What law enforcement insiders told the New York Post is that it’s taken the Gambinos and others 20 years to recover from the disastrous John Gotti years. That era kicked off with a spectacular rubout of Gambino mob chief Paul “Big Paulie” Castellano in front of Manhattan’s Sparks Steakhouse in 1985.

John Gotti brought a lot of unwanted attention to the crime empires and the downward spiral began.

That meant heat and the late 20th-century implosion of the Mafia as we once knew it. But like the Viet Cong, just when you think it’s over, they pop out of a bush and put a cap where the sun don’t shine.

Gene Gotti’s return would set back the clock of criminality. “The Gambinos are running smoothly – gambling, pills, construction unions, etc.,” one law enforcement official told the New York Post. “The last thing they want is someone to put them back in papers and on TV.”

And it’s not just the American Mafia’s Big Apple heartland showing new signs of life.

In Canada, it appears a bloody, old-fashioned gang war is unfolding from Montreal to southern Ontario.

The latest salvo was a classic gangland-style hit on Hamilton real estate broker Albert “Al” Iavarone, 50, shot to death in the driveway of his Ancaster home two weeks ago. Iavarone didn’t have a criminal record and wasn’t a member but as mom cautioned, “careful of the company you keep.”

That emerged on Thursday as Hamilton cops announced they had made an arrest in the 2017 murders of mob prince Angelo Musitano and veterinary assistant Mila Barberi. Musitano had reportedly found God and had long gone straight. Barberi picked the wrong boyfriend, Saverio Serrano, 41, the son of mob figure Diego Serrano. He was wounded in the Vaughan attack.

Cops say Iavarone was close to two of the accused killers. Very close to one.

Police have repeatedly alluded to a power struggle among the established Calabrese clans in the GTA and newer ‘NdrĂ ngheta upstarts. And there will be blood.

“Many ‘Ndrangheta cells in GTA and Italy are involved in a violent fight,” Dubro said.

“This is a big story of a major and very deadly Calabrian mob fight for coke territory and power in GTA/southern Ontario.”

Dubro adds that it’s all connected. He suggested an Iavarone relative may have pulled the trigger on Ang Musitano and it’s payback on drugs and a personal beef.

“There’s lots of moving parts in this mob war — a complex cast of characters from the GTA, Italy, USA, Mexico and Canada.”

Dead? Not by a long shot.

Thanks to Brad Hunter.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Gene Gotti, Brother of Mafia Godfather John Gotti, to Be Released from Prison

If the late John Gotti’s long-jailed brother finds the 21st-century Mafia unrecognizable later this month, he knows where the blame lies.

Gene GottiGene Gotti, behind bars since 1989 for running a multi-million dollar heroin distribution ring, is set for a Sept. 15 release from the Federal Correctional Institution in Pollock, La. The Long Island father of three, now 71, wore a white jogging suit and cracked wise about his upcoming prison time when surrendering in the last millennium at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse.

Back in the ’80s heyday of his immaculately-dressed older brother and the Gambino family, FBI bugs captured Gene discussing topics from drug dealing to hiding illegal cash to changes in mob hierarchy.

The recordings of the Gambino capo and his mob associates became the first damaging domino to fall for the family in 1983, setting in motion the demise of their criminal empire.

What remains is a faint whisper of the roar that followed the ascension to boss of John (Dapper Don) Gotti, who took over after ordering the Dec. 16, 1985, mob assassination of predecessor “Big Paul” Castellano — in part to save his smack-dealing sibling’s life.

“What is Genie coming home to?” mused one long-retired Gambino family hand and Gotti contemporary. “There’s nothing left.”

When Gene Gotti started his 50-year prison bid, George H.W. Bush was in year one at the White House, an earthquake rocked the Bay Area World Series and the lip-syncing duo Milli Vanilli topped the charts.

Gene Gotti was convicted at his third federal drug-dealing trial, with jury tampering cited for a mistrial in the first one and a hung jury in the second. He and brother John were also cleared in a 1987 federal racketeering case where a juror was bribed.

Angel Gotti, Gene’s niece and the daughter of John, expects her uncle to find his footing in freedom.

“My uncle has been away 29 years so I'm sure he will be spending all his time with his wife, kids and grandchildren,” Angel told the Daily News.

Gene became one of five Gotti brothers to embrace “The Life” of organized crime. Though John emerged as the top gun, Gene earned his own spurs and became a valued mobster.

“He was a bona-fide wiseguy,” said ex-FBI agent Bruce Mouw, former head of the agency’s Gambino squad. “He wasn’t there because of his brother. He made it on his own.” But bona fide wiseguys are hard to find in 2018. Big brother John is dead 16 years, and sibling Peter appears destined to die behind bars, too. John’s namesake son Junior Gotti quit the mob after doing time for a strip club shakedown; he then survived four prosecutions that ended in mistrials. The Gotti crew’s Bergin Hunt & Fish Club in Ozone Park, Queens, is gone, replaced by the Lords of Stitch and Print custom embroidery shop.

Even the Mafia “brand” is down: The recently-released movie with John Travolta playing the “Teflon Don” grossed a mere $4.3 million — hardly “Godfather” numbers.

“The American Mafia has a recruitment problem: Who the hell wants to be a member?” said mob expert Howard Abadinsky, professor of criminal justice at St. John’s.

The new generation is filled with wanna-bes “who have either seen too many Mafia movies or losers who do not have the smarts or ambition for legitimate opportunity,” he added.

The older generation was not always a Mensa meeting, either — and Gene Gotti was Example A.

By the early 1980s, Gene was partnered with pals John Carneglia and Angelo Ruggiero in a lucrative heroin operation that ignored a Mafia edict against dope dealing. Gambino boss Castellano imposed a death penalty for violators, worried that drug convictions with lengthy jail terms provided an incentive for mobsters to rat out the family’s top echelon.

Gotti and his cohorts not only ignored the decree, they were caught discussing their drug dealing on an FBI bug planted in Ruggiero’s home. “Dial any seven numbers and it's 50/50 Angelo will pick up the phone,” a disgusted Carneglia later observed of his chatty cohort.

For Mouw, the recordings that led to Gene Gotti’s August 1983 arrest altered the landscape for the feds and the felons under their watch. “Without those conversations, a lot of things could have changed,” he said.

Instead, Castellano was soon pressing the Gotti faction for the damning tapes turned over by prosecutors as part of pre-trial discovery. The boss’ demand was greeted with excuses and delays, until Castellano was whacked 10 days before Christmas outside a Midtown steakhouse.

Decades later, it’s too late to change anything — including Gene’s decision to reject a plea deal that might have freed him after just seven years in prison.

“His brother John said no,” recalled Mouw. “He and Carneglia, they would have been home 20 years ago.”

The past is the past. What does the future hold for Gene Gotti?

“That’s the big question,” said Mouw. “Are you going to retire and enjoy your grandchildren? Or are you going to get active, and return to jail?"

Thanks to Larry McShane.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feds Record Mob Hit Man Discussing a Whacking

The feds secretly recorded Gambino hit man Charles Carneglia acknowledging he fatally stabbed a mob associate outside a Queens diner, it was learned Monday.

Carneglia fessed up to the murder in a 1999 jailhouse visit with Gambino capo Gene Gotti, a transcript shows.

Documents filed in Brooklyn Federal Court say a listening bug was planted in the visiting room at the federal prison in Pennsylvania where Gotti was serving a 50-year sentence for heroin trafficking.

The victim, Michael Cotillo, was the nephew of a Gambino gangster whose crew was often at odds in the 1970s with John Gotti's faction, of which Carneglia was a member.

"Well, you stabbed somebody, Charles. You stabbed one of their guys," Gene Gotti said on the transcript.

Carneglia replied: "I know that. I know."

"And that's why they wanted to get you," Gene Gotti reminded him.

Gene Gotti was referring to revenge sought by Cotillo's friends and relatives after the Nov. 6, 1977, killing during a melee outside the Blue Fountain Diner on Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach.

There were multiple sitdowns within the crime family to settle the beef, turncoat witness Anthony Ruggiano testified Monday at Carneglia's racketeering trial.

"They [Cotillo's faction] were looking to kill Charlie," Ruggiano said. "I said whatever you do, do it right because Charlie's no joke."

Despite the passage of 22 years, Carneglia still expressed concern on the tape that permission to whack him for Cotillo's murder had been granted. Gotti pointed out the threat was "squashed."

Carneglia is charged with killing five people, including Cotillo. Prosecutors plan to play the tape for the jury today.

Thanks to John Marzulli

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reputed Gambino Hit Man, Charles Carneglia, Heads to Trial

It was the mob equivalent of a performance evaluation, and Charles Carneglia wasn't doing well. Gambino crime family captain Gene Gotti, prosecutors say, thought Carneglia's work was sloppy for an assassin.

"You stabbed somebody, Charles," the brother of the notorious Mafia boss said in a secretly recorded conversation in a prison visiting room.

"I know that, I know that. I know," Carneglia said.

Authorities say the conversation was about the fatal stabbing of a rival mobster during a beef outside a bar in Queens in 1977—one of five murders prosecutors will try to pin on Carneglia at a trial set to open Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn.

It's a case rife with gory details of Carneglia's alleged exploits, including claims the body of one victim of his hit team—a neighbor who accidentally ran over John Gotti's 12-year-old son—was dissolved in a vat of acid. The defendant wasn't charged in the neighbor's murder, though a judge has ruled that prosecutors can still tell jurors about the death—without mentioning the acid. There was no immediate response to a message seeking comment from Carneglia's attorney.

Carneglia was one of 62 people arrested last year in what authorities described as one of the largest roundups ever of suspected members and associates of a New York crime family. Since then 60 have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and one case was dropped.

The jury will hear testimony from several mob turncoats who recently agreed to help investigators tackle unsolved slayings, some decades old.

Prosecutors allege the trail of bodies left behind by Carneglia includes those of a court officer gunned down in 1976 before he was to testify against Carneglia in a gun possession case; a Gambino associate stabbed to death in 1983 during an argument with Carneglia over money; a Gambino soldier killed on orders by John Gotti in 1990 in the parking lot of the World Trade Center; and an armored car security guard shot in the back during a heist in 1990.

Since his arrest, Carneglia has displayed a defiant streak: Prosecutors say when told he was facing charges under RICO—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—he quipped, "Who's RICO, Edward G. Robinson?" And the Daily News reported that at one court hearing he stared down the daughter of one of the victims, telling her, "Wrong guy."

The 62-year-old defendant once sported a long gray beard and pony tail—a look one prospective juror told the judge made him appear "a bit on the shady side." He since has shaved off the beard and gotten a hair cut.

If convicted, Carneglia faces a possible life prison term.

Thanks to Tom Hays

Thursday, January 08, 2009

John Favara, Former Neighbor of John Gotti, Murdered and Dumped into Acid According to Federal Informant

The corpse of John Gotti's Howard Beach neighbor - murdered after he accidentally killed the gangster's 12-year-old son in a traffic accident - was dissolved in a barrel of acid, an informant says.

John Favara's grisly fate is disclosed in court papers filed Tuesday in the upcoming racketeering trial of reputed Gambino soldier Charles (Charlie Canig) Carneglia.

He has long been suspected of getting rid of Favara's body after the father of two was shot in March 1980 on orders of the late Gambino crime boss. Favara's body has never been found.

Carneglia told a Gambino family associate, who is a government witness, that he disposed of the body by putting it in a barrel of acid, Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame said.

The associate is not identified in the court papers, but sources told the Daily News it is Kevin McMahon, a mob wanna-be close to Carneglia.

Young Frankie Gotti was riding McMahon's minibike when the mob scion was fatally struck on 86th St. by Favara, who was briefly blinded by the setting sun as he drove home from work.

Prosecutors say Carneglia "protected" McMahon from retaliation by the Dapper Don for lending his son the minibike and - in a bizarre twist - McMahon is the one ratting him out.

No one could save Favara. He found the word Murderer scrawled on his auto and was attacked with a bat by Gotti's wife, Victoria, but failed to heed repeated warnings to move out of the area, sources said.

Several weeks after the tragic accident, Favara was abducted outside the Castro Convertible warehouse where he worked in New Hyde Park, L.I.. Cops identified his killers as Gambino members John Carneglia, Charles' brother, Gene Gotti, Wilfred (Willie Boy) Johnson, Anthony Rampino and Richard (Redbird) Gomes.

Favara was forced into a van, sources said, and shot in the legs. He was taken to another location in Brooklyn where he was killed and stuffed into a 55-gallon drum, sources said.

"In a later discussion concerning his expertise at disposing of bodies for the Gambino family, which included a discussion of a book (Charles Carneglia) was reading on dismemberment, (Carneglia) informed another Gambino family associate that acid was the best method to use to avoid detection," Burlingame wrote.

Carneglia, 62, who is charged with five murders, including the fatal shooting of a hero court officer scheduled to testify against him, asked McMahon to help him move barrels of acid stored in his basement.

Former Bonanno crime boss Joseph Massino told the feds he thought Favara's remains were buried in a mob graveyard on the Brooklyn-Queens border. The feds believe the barrel was tossed into the ocean, sources said.

Thanks to John Marzulli

Monday, April 02, 2007

Strip Club Used to Train Mobsters

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Two of New York's most high profiled mobsters Salvatore Scala and Thomas Sassano are accused of using a strip club to train new recruits into the mafia. According to U.S.Attorney Elie Honig "Scala and Sassano used that club as a junior varsity to groom future mobsters".

Scala and Sassano both face extortion charges in Manhattan federal court. If convicted on all counts, Scala will sit behind bars for 60 years, while Sassano does 40 years.

Frank Marcello who owned the club at one time got in touch with the Gambino's to help him protect himself and his club from other organized crime members. Sums of money in the amounts of thousands of dollars were paid on a bi-weekly basis. The bathroom being the place where business has been conducted. Marcello died of unknown causes in 2002.Defense attorneys for Scala and Sassano are arguing that the clubs financial status had nothing to do with the mafia instead large amounts of gambling debt that had been run up into the thousands.

Scala has been arrested prior to the extortion case, in 1983 he was arrested for heroin trafficking, the same time that Gene Gotti of the Gotti family was sentenced to 50 years in prison. As with most mafia trials, Scala's case was weak and all charges against him were thrown out and dropped.

Thanks to Jeanne-Marie Kerns

Sunday, August 20, 2006

'Mafia Cops' Had No Right To Allegedly Decide Father's Fate Says Daughter

Friends of ours: Edward Lino, John "Dapper Don" Gotti, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso
Friends of mine: Louis Eppolito, Stephen Caracappa, Gene Gotti

The case of former NYPD detectives Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa has seen many twists and turns, and now the daughter of a reputed mobster said the two so-called "Mafia Cops" had no right to allegedly play God with her father's life.

Danielle Lino's father, reputed mobster Edward Lino, was allegedly killed by rogue detectives, NewsChannel 4 reported. "Those two men had no right to just judge my father and to change my life. It was not for them to decide if he lived or died," Danielle Lino said.

Her quest has sparked a lawsuit seeking $100 million from city taxpayers for the 1990 shooting of her father. This is the latest twist in the ongoing saga of Eppolito and Caracappa, who are suspected of arranging eight hits for the mob.

The lawsuit claimed that authorities knew that the two detectives were "serving the interests of organized crime." "There was substantial evidence that the city as a result of which knew or should have known these guys were dirty, and they did nothing about it," said attorney Scott Charnas.

Investigators said they believe Edward Lino was close to John Gotti, boss of the Gambino crime family. Gotti's brother, Gene, and Edward Lino were charged in the 1980s with drug trafficking. Edward Lino was acquitted and he had no other convictions.

Danielle Lino, 27, a marketing executive, said she knows nothing about her father's alleged crimes. "That's not the man I know," Danielle Lino said.

Danielle Lino was 12 years old when her father was gunned down in his black Mercedes on the Belt Parkway. The father and daughter had spent the day with family in Brooklyn. She rode home to Long Island separately from her father, a choice that haunts her. She said she wonders if a little girl in his car might have stopped his killers. "I would love to think that I could have saved him, but I'm afraid to think what if I did go with him?" Danielle Lino said.

Danielle Lino said the focus should be on Eppolitto and Caracappa, who were allegedly paid to kill her father on the orders of mobster Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, NewsChannel 4 reported. "I don't have a father today because two New York City police detectives thought $65,000 was enough money to change my life. Is that fair?" Danielle Lino said.

The city declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The criminal case against the detectives, who maintain their innocence, remains up in the air. A federal jury had convicted the pair of arranging eight murders, including Edward Lino's, but the judge threw out that verdict on a technicality. Prosecutors are appealing.

Thanks to WNBC

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