The Chicago Syndicate: George DeCicco
Showing posts with label George DeCicco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George DeCicco. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mafia Parade from Prison to the Streets to Last Throughout 2009

Prison doors will swing open this year for some of the city's toughest mobsters.

By an odd coincidence, some of the heaviest hitters from New York's fabled Five Families all have release dates in 2009.

"You have proven earners, people who have served in upper- and middle-management roles and people with international criminal-enterprise connections," said a law-enforcement source. "That sounds like a triple threat."

The Gambino family, still reeling from the takedown of the Gottis, will see the biggest injection of experienced blood.

Perhaps most influential is Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu, the 61-year-old acting underboss, scheduled for release on Nov. 3. Cefalu, whose specialty is drug trafficking, is said to have been personally inducted into the family by the late "Teflon Don" John Gotti in 1991.

Another Gambino heavy out this year is George "Big Georgie" DeCicco, 79, with a Dec. 1 release date. The old John Gotti capo ran a loan-sharking operation.

DeCicco's nephew, Joseph "Joey Boy" Orlando, 59, gets sprung June 24. The Gambino soldier was reportedly caught on tape boasting of eight hits. "I've got eight under my belt, and I don't give a [expletive] who become the ninth," he allegedly said.

The Bonannos are also getting an injection of experience.

Capo Anthony Rabito, 74, who goes by the monikers "Fat Anthony" or "Mr. Fish" will be sprung June 28. He was previously convicted of drug smuggling after being swept up in the 1970s "Donnie Brasco" undercover probe.

Another Bonanno with old-school experience is Salvatore "Toto" Catalano. The 67-year-old soldier is getting out Nov. 14 after serving 29 years. He was a key player in the "Pizza Connection" case in the 1980s, when the mob was importing heroin from Sicily and using pizzerias as fronts. One source says Catalano is fearless and has leadership skills to quickly command a crew.

The Lucheses will have a top strategist back on the street.

Consigliere Joseph "Joe C." Caridi, 59, is out Nov. 28 after a 2003 conviction for extorting a Long Island seafood restaurant. Known as the "Tony Soprano of Long Island," Caridi could bounce right back into the extortion business.

Acting capo John "Johnny Sideburns" Cerrella, 68, will be sprung the same day.

The Genovese crew will see the return of some old-timers.

Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello - still a capo at a spry 88 - will be released April 3 for a 2007 racketeering and tax-evasion conviction. The decorated WWII vet is highly respected by younger Genovese crew members.

Just slightly younger is 85-year-old capo Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico, who is getting out May 12 from a four-year sentence of running a gambling ring.

The Colombos will welcome back acting consigliere Benedetto Aloi on March 18. One source called Aloi a "time-honored figure" in the Colombo family.

Another old-timer getting out late in the year is Salvatore Lombardino, 76, who was convicted in connection with the murder of suspected informer James Randazzo.

Lombardino honored the code of omerta and never spoke to authorities, even racking up an extra contempt-of-court sentence for refusing to testify.

Thanks to Murray Weiss

Friday, December 07, 2007

Last of Gotti's Capos To Marry

One way or another, his life as a free man is nearly over.

Reputed Gambino capo George DeCicco, 78, and his longtime girlfriend, Gail Lombardozzi, 52, yesterday got a marriage license - a year after feds indicted the high-powered capo, who had successfully ducked prosecution for decades.

A federal judge allowed the gray-haired mobster - who is under house arrest pending his racketeering and loan-sharking trial - to leave his home for a few hours yesterday so he and Lombardozzi could take a ride over to Staten Island Borough Hall to get the license.

DeCicco has a particular claim to fame as the last of the known capos for "Dapper Don" John Gotti not to be either put behind bars or planted under a tombstone.

A man of few words, DeCicco shrugged off a reporter who asked if he was happy about his pending nuptials.

"Come on, of course," he said. "I have a bad heart, and she's not doing too well. She takes care a me, I take care a her, we take care a each other," he said matter-of-factly.

DeCicco chose his words more carefully last year when he threatened a loan-shark victim who wasn't paying him, the feds say.

"I'll burn your eyes out, did you ever screw me? Do you want me to burn your eyes out?" he said, according to audiotapes made by the feds.

DeCicco's reputation on the street was so brutal that a simple repairman who botched some phone work for the elderly gangster was afraid to be seen on Bath Avenue in Brooklyn for fear of running into the mobster, said Assistant US Attorney Taryn Merkl at a bail hearing earlier this year.

"He's convinced that Mr. DeCicco is going to kill him when he does a shoddy job on the repair," Merkl said. But yesterday, the mobster played the good groom as his blushing bride-to-be smiled widely. "When you get through the bad times, you know you can get through anything," she bubbled. "We're thrilled."

Yesterday was a much-needed happy occasion for DeCicco, whose 56-year-old son was shot three times in the arm by a man in a ski mask during a botched rubout on Bath Avenue last June, and who watched his once-fearsome Bensonhurst crew crumble after an insider flipped and agreed to wear a wire - recording hundreds of conversations over a year.

DeCicco's nephew Frank was also a victim of mob violence when he was blown up in 1986 as retribution for helping Gotti assassinate Paul Castellano at Sparks Steakhouse a year earlier.

DeCicco is facing a slew of charges, including racketeering, loan-sharking, extortion and money-laundering. He's under house arrest after offering a $3 million bond.

Thanks to Lorena Mongelli and Stefanie Cohen

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mob War Breaking Out in New York?

Friends of ours: Colombo Crime Family, Gambino Crime Family, Genovese Crime Family, Paul Castellano, John Gotti, Rudolph "Cueball" Izzi, Robert DeCicco, Frank DeCicco, George DeCicco
Friends of mine: Sopranos Crime Family

A pair of mob shootings in three days, one of them reminiscent of a hit on last week's episode of "The Sopranos," prompted speculation of a nascent Mafia war in New York City.

Not likely, according to mob experts who say "The Life" - as mobsters refer to their criminal pursuits - rarely imitates art these days. In an era of dwindling Mafia initiates and multiplying federal informants, gangsters are more dangerous to each other by sitting on the witness stand than by "going to the mattresses" as in "The Godfather."

"Years ago, there were things worth killing for," said Howard Abadinsky, a St. John's University professor and author of several books on organized crime. "It wasn't like today. It sounds funny, but murder is a serious thing to get involved in these days from a wiseguy's point of view."

Recent history bears him out. The last real New York mob war, involving the Colombos, began in 1991 and claimed 13 victims, including a teen bagel shop worker killed in a case of mistaken identity.

The last hit on a mob boss occurred six years earlier, when "Big Paul" Castellano was murdered by John Gotti and a cadre of Gambino family underlings.

The Mafia's ruling Commission has been widely reported as having imposed a moratorium on murder within the ranks, with the heads of New York's five families acknowledging that internecine killings are bad for business.

"Murders were ruled off limits in the '90s, after the Colombo war," said veteran mob chronicler Jerry Capeci, author of "The Complete Idiots' Guide to the Mafia." "Murders were out to keep the heat off."

That wasn't enough to save Rudolph "Cueball" Izzi, a 74-year-old reputed Genovese family bookmaker and loan shark. Izzi was found dead Thursday on a bed in his Brooklyn apartment, a single gunshot wound in his head.

Two days earlier, a Gambino family associate with a lengthy mob lineage was wounded in a drive-by shooting just 1 1/2 miles from Izzi's home. Robert DeCicco, 56, was winged while sitting in his car outside a Brooklyn pharmacy in a neighborhood that serves as the mob's heartland.

That shooting echoed the penultimate episode of "The Sopranos," where killers blasted at consigliere Silvio Dante in a car outside the New Jersey strip club that fictional Tony Soprano's gang uses as a headquarters.

There was one major difference: the television shooters were more accurate. Silvio ended up in a coma; DeCicco walked out of a police station hours after the attempt on his life. "I'm all right," he said while walking down the precinct steps. "I feel very good."

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin acknowledged the twin shootings raised the question of whether a mob war was possible. "I'm not aware that it's one we've answered," he said.

Several theories were broached: Gambling debts were involved. Revenge was a motive. The killings were linked. Or perhaps someone with a grudge against Izzi used the DeCicco shooting as a smoke screen to take him out.

No arrests were made in either case.

The murder try on Robert DeCicco was familiar, if unfortunate, terrain for his family. His uncle, Frank DeCicco, had lured Castellano to his death outside Sparks Steak House in December 1985. Frank, who became the Gambino family underboss, was killed four months later by a retaliatory car bomb.

Robert's father, George, continued in the family business after Frank's death, becoming a constant presence on the Mafia scene.

Hours after his son was shot, George DeCicco told reporters outside his home that an explanation was beyond him.

"You got all these crazy people, these terrorists doing crazy things," he said. "I'm shocked just like anybody else."

Thanks to Larry McShane

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gambino Mobster Survives Hit Attempt

The son of one of "Dapper Don" John Gotti's trusted capos narrowly escaped an old-fashioned mob hit when a bullet grazed his head in a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn's Mafia heartland, cops said.

Robert DeCicco, whom feds identified as a 56-year-old mob associate, also was shot three times in the arm during the botched rubout in his car at Bath and 17th avenues in Bath Beach at about 10:15 a.m., cops and witnesses said.

"They didn't do it right," said a local in the neighborhood, which has been run by the DeCiccos for generations, according to law-enforcement sources. "Whoever did this, they're in a lot of trouble now."

DeCicco - who was indicted in January along with his father, George "Big Georgie" DeCicco, 78, in the last major takedown of alleged Gambino mobsters - had just gotten into his 1998 gray Cadillac Seville after shopping.

The bungled assassination came just a day after another Gambino mobster busted with DeCicco and his dad in January was moved into protective custody because of threats against his life, The Post has learned.

Joseph Orlando, who brought down the DeCicco crew down when he tried to bribe an official, was moved into solitary confinement at the Manhattan Detention Center Monday, sources said. Details of the threat were unavailable. Orlando's attorney declined to comment, as did an FBI spokesman.

Witnesses said a man wearing a ski mask pulled up in a black Lincoln next to DeCicco and shot at him four times, shattering both the front passenger and driver's windows.

DeCicco managed to drag himself out of the car and stagger into a pharmacy to call for help, witnesses said.

At Lutheran Hospital, DeCicco kept mum about the identities of his would-be killers. "I don't want to talk to anyone," he reportedly told cops from his hospital bed.

Later, as he left the 62nd Precinct, he said, "I'm all right, I feel very good."

DeCicco, who had a bandaged arm and a scratch across his face, jumped into a black Lexus. The car was registered to Mark Fappiano, who is related to Frank Fappiano, the Mafia turncoat who testified in John "Junior" Gotti's recent federal trials.

The shooting occurred just blocks from Tomasso's Restaurant, where DeCicco's cousin Frank DeCicco was blown up by a car bomb meant for the elder John Gotti in 1986. A year earlier, Frank DeCicco had lured Gambino crime boss Paul Castellano to Sparks Steakhouse on the East Side in one of the city's most famous Mafia hits. Castellano's rubout paved the way for Gotti to take the No. 1 spot in the Gambino family.

Robert DeCicco's father, George, also rose up the ranks. Until January, he was known as the last-remaining Gotti capo not behind bars or dead.

George DeCicco was finally busted on a slew of extortion, racketeering, loan-sharking and money-laundering raps after a two-year probe in which a member of his crew taped hundreds of hours of recordings.

The younger DeCicco also was charged with loan-sharking.

"Big Georgie" DeCicco, who because of heart problems is under house arrest on Staten Island, gave a thumbs-up sign to reporters after learning his son had survived. "He's all right!" he said. "I was on oxygen last night," he told The Post. "The last thing I need to do is hear [he was shot]."

Investigators theorized the attempted hit could be personal. "If it was, whoever did this is going to be in trouble because he's a captain's son," a source said.

"If it's a mob-sanctioned hit, whoever did this is in trouble because he botched it."

Thanks to Murray Weiss, Partick Gallahue and Leela de Kretser

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pizza Connection Mobsters Cooking New Dish?

Sicilian mobsters - with their infamous history of violence and drug trafficking across several continents - are re-emerging as major powers in the Big Apple, The Post has learned. And their ranks within New York's crime families are only expected to grow with the recent release of notorious "Pizza Connection" Mafiosi, including a convicted heroin trafficker once linked to "Mafia Cop" Louis Eppolito.

The hardened mobsters giving the feds the most agita include the heroin-trafficking Gambino brothers Rosario, John and Joseph, who were once the Sicilian mob's chieftains here. They had been cooling their heels in jail since the mid-1980s and 1990s, refusing to squeal in exchange for deals with the feds and reputedly waiting to reclaim their lucrative organized-crime slots.

Now they're free to get back in the game.

The Post has learned that the resurgence of the Sicilian-led mob has been so strong that the FBI and the Italian government have established a special "cooperative venture" that involves stationing U.S. agents in Rome and having cops from the Italian National Police working at FBI Headquarters in Washington.

The initiative - dubbed "The Pantheon Project" - guarantees that the FBI and its Italian counterparts share surveillance and intelligence on developing cases and track the connections between La Cosa Nostra in Sicily and the United States, officials said. "Despite convictions and crackdowns both here and in Sicily, the Sicilian mob is still part of the Mafia culture and have been reconstituting their power bases in the U.S. and abroad," a top Mafia expert said.

Given that the Sicilian Mafia's single greatest asset is its ability to move narcotics, federal agents believe that the jail-hardened Pizza Connection-era gangsters - who had been trafficking heroin through pizza parlors around the country - will likely return to the narcotics trade now that they're out. But they will be shifting their enterprises into moving huge amounts of marijuana.

Selling pot is just as lucrative as heroin, sources said, but the penalties are far less severe than the decades-long sentences meted out to the Gambino brothers and rising crime-family star Lorenzo Mannino, who once tried to get Frank Sinatra to help crooner Al Martino find work in Las Vegas - evoking images from the book and movie "The Godfather." Martino, incidentally, played Johnny Fontane, a character loosely based on Sinatra, in the movie.

"Mafia Cop" Eppolito, whose father and other relatives were mobsters, was related to Rosario Gambino, an old-world mob figure. In 1984, Eppolito was brought up on departmental charges for allegedly passing confidential NYPD files to Gambino, but beat the rap. He's now in jail for carrying out hits for other big mobsters.

The trio of Gambino brothers, all relatives of the crime syndicate's namesake, Carlo Gambino, have been freed. Joseph was deported back to his native Sicily.

"Do you think they have been rehabilitated by prison?" a federal official asked sarcastically. Federal officials suspect these Gambinos, as well others due for release soon, will return to doing what they know best. "Narcotics is something they understand, they have the network and, as importantly, they have the respect," the federal source said.

Numerous Sicilian gangsters and associates - many targeted recently by the FBI and federal prosecutors - not only trace their heritage to the lush mountains of towns like Borgetto and Castellammare Del Golfo, their fathers and close relatives are key "Godfather"-like figures running the Mafia in their native land.

For example, Sicilian brothers-in-law Vito Rappa and Francesco Nania are presently under federal indictment for paying $70,000 to bribe a U.S. immigration official to keep Nania from being deported. The case also snared Gambino crime-family members, including mob captain George DeCicco, 78.

According to federal court records, Rappa's father is the "official head of the Mafia based in the Borgetto region of Sicily."

Nania, a fugitive wanted for mob-related crimes in Italy, is the son of an "influential member of the Mafia based in Partinico, Sicily," a long-established mob stronghold in Italy, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf's prosecutors wrote in a detention memo.

And then there is Vito Rizzuto - dubbed the John Gotti of Canada and a leading figure in the Bonanno crime family. The 70-year-old Rizzuto is related by marriage to the godfather of the agrarian town of Cattolica Eraclea, where Rizzuto was born.

Rizzuto accepted a 10-year, plea-bargained sentence last week for his role in the spectacular 1981 rubouts of Bonanno captains Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato, Philip "Philly Lucky" Giaccone and Dominick "Big Trin" Trinchera. The slayings were a murderous trifecta immortalized in the movie "Donnie Brasco" and carried out to stem an internal coup.

Despite these indictments and convictions, law-enforcement sources say the Sicilians still hold sway over a string of key New York spots.

Dominic "Italian Dom" Cefalu is currently considered the reputed underboss of the Gambinos, the largest crime syndicate in the nation, sources say. Cefalu, 60, a convicted heroin trafficker, was "made" by John Gotti 17 years ago.

Thanks to Murray Weiss

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