The Chicago Syndicate: John D'Amico
Showing posts with label John D'Amico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John D'Amico. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Jackie the Nose" Indictment Announcement

LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced the unsealing of an indictment charging JOHN D’AMICO, a/k/a "Jackie the Nose," the Acting Boss of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (the "Gambino Crime Family"), and powerful, longtime Gambino Crime Family associate JOSEPH WATTS with the 1989 murder of FREDERICK WEISS, who the defendants believed was serving as a federal government witness. The Indictment unsealed today also charges D'AMICO with racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and gambling. WATTS was arrested earlier this morning in Manhattan and is expected to be presented later today in Manhattan federal court. D'AMICO is in federal custody in connection with a separate matter and is expected to be transferred to Manhattan to face these charges at a later date. According to the Indictment unsealed earlier today and other documents filed in Manhattan federal Court:

D'AMICO is a Capo in the Gambino Crime Family -- one of the families of "La Cosa Nostra" that operate in the New York City and New Jersey areas -- and is presently serving as its Acting Boss.

One of the purposes of the Gambino Crime Family is to identify and kill individuals suspected of providing information about the Family to law enforcement. On September 11, 1989, FREDERICK WEISS was murdered at the direction of JOHN GOTTI, the boss of the Gambino Family, because he was believed to be cooperating with law enforcement. D'AMICO and WATTS were among those involved in carrying out GOTTI's order to murder WEISS. From at least 1986, D'AMICO was also involved in conspiring with other members and associates of the Gambino Crime Family to commit a wide range of criminal offenses, including murder, operating illegal gambling businesses, extortion and obstruction of justice. D'AMICO's illegal conduct continued until at least May 2008 when, in an attempt to obtain release on bail in connection with separate federal charges against him, he misrepresented the nature of a salaried position with a major beverage distributor, which he obtained through Gambino Crime Family influence.

D'AMICO is charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and gambling; and one count of murder of a witness in a federal criminal case. WATTS is charged with one count of murder of a witness in a federal criminal case. If convicted, D'AMICO, 72, and WATTS, 67, face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $4 million from D'AMICO. The forfeitures represent the alleged proceeds obtained from the charged offenses.

Mr. DASSIN praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys MIRIAM ROCAH and ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Friday, August 15, 2008

60 of 62 Mobsters Have Pled Guilty Since Fed Takedown in February

Even for an infamous gang of mobsters already weakened by federal prosecutions spanning decades, Feb. 7, 2008 was an unusually bad day for the Gambino organized crime family.

Hundreds of federal agents fanned out across the city and elsewhere in a roundup of 62 suspects from all walks of Mafia life, from reputed acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico _ a crony of former boss John Gotti _ to common street thugs.

At the time, authorities made headlines by hailing the takedown as one of the largest in recent memory and predicting it would further cripple a storied crime family formerly led by the legendary "Dapper Don."

Six months later and with far less fanfare, 60 of the defendants have pleaded guilty, with many taking deals that will put them behind bars for three years or less. Two of the pleas were entered Thursday and one case was dismissed last week, leaving a lone defendant charged with murder facing trial.

The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which has a long history of prosecuting high-profile Mafia cases with lengthy trials and sentences, has called the case a success. But some defense attorneys suggest the many plea deals show the office overreached and became overwhelmed as the judge pushed for a speedy outcome. "There's no such thing as a 62-defendant trial," said one of the lawyers, Avraham Moskowitz. "So what's the point? The point is to make a splash."

Extortion charges against his client, a New Jersey construction official, were quietly dropped earlier this month after prosecutors conceded they didn't have enough evidence against him. But by then, the lawyer said, an innocent man had seen his reputation ruined by stories linking him to co-defendants with nicknames like "Tommy Sneakers" and "Joe Rackets."

"My client's experience suggests they brought an indictment without careful evaluation of the evidence," he said. "He had his name dragged through the mud for no reason."

Former mob prosecutors say there was nothing haphazard about the Gambino case. Instead, they say, it reflected a calculated shift in strategy favoring carpet bombing of the entire enterprise over strategic strikes against leadership.

"In my view, this is groundbreaking," said James Walden, a former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn who won major convictions against the Bonanno crime family. "They essentially took out the entire organization in one fell swoop" _ an approach designed to reap a new crop of cooperators and rattle those mobsters still on the street but under surveillance.

"It disrupts the family and creates an environment of insecurity," he said. "It causes people to get nervous and talk about things they normally wouldn't talk about."

Prosecutors in Tampa, Fla., took a separate shot at the Gambinos last week, naming John A. "Junior" Gotti in a murder and drug trafficking indictment linking him to three New York City murders from the 1980s and '90s. Three previous cases brought against the Gotti scion since 2005 ended in mistrials.

Randy Mastro, another ex-prosecutor who targeted mob ties to construction as a deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani, said the two cases have demonstrated the government's resolve to combat a resilient foe. The Brooklyn prosecution, in particular, was "an innovative approach to an endemic historical problem," he said. "Whether it will work, time will tell."

The 80-count Gambino indictment charged the defendants with seven murders, three dating back more than a quarter century, "mob-tax" extortion of the construction industry and racketeering. Among the crime were the slaying of a court officer and extortion at a failed NASCAR track.

Authorities said the case was built with the help of an informant in the construction industry who made three years worth of secret recordings implicating many of the defendants. The arrests, they added, coincided with a smaller sweep of accused gangsters in Italy in a bid to sever the relationship between the Sicilian Mafia and the Gambino family.

On Thursday, reputed capo "Little Nick" Corozzo and co-defendant Vincent DeCongilio avoided a trial scheduled for next week by pleading guilty. The indictment alleged Corozzo ordered the Jan. 26, 1996, murder of a rival mobster. Corozzo now faces 12 to 15 years in prison for murder conspiracy _ by far the harshest term for any of the defendants _ and DeCongilio 12 to 18 months for lesser crimes.

According to prosecutors, Corozzo, 68, was part of a three-man committee of capos formed in 1994 to help "Junior" run New York's Gambino family while his father was in prison, serving a life sentence for murder and racketeering; the elder Gotti died behind bars in 2002.

In May, D'Amico, the acting boss originally charged with racketeering, pleaded guilty to extorting a cement company out of $100,000 and could serve less than two years in prison. The plea, his lawyer said afterward, shows "a lack of evidence and quality of evidence."

Thanks to Tom Hays

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gambinos Withstanding Feds Efforts to Eliminate The Family

The feds' knockout of the Gambino crime family looks more like a phantom punch.

Reputed boss John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico and reputed underboss Domenico (The Greaseball) Cefalu took a plea deal Wednesday, admitting to a single extortion count, and could end up spending less than two years in prison.

In the last two weeks - and with a June 7 trial date looming - prosecutors dropped their demand that D'Amico plead guilty to racketeering, which carried a more serious penalty, defense lawyer Elizabeth Macedonio said.

D'Amico and Cefalu admitted extorting a $100,000 payment from businessman-turned rat Joseph Vollaro in exchange for permission to sell his Staten Island cement company. Prosecutors did not object when D'Amico said Vollaro would suffer "economic harm" if he didn't pay up, rather than violence.

Despite great fanfare accompanying last February's indictment of 62 Gambinos, there was no new defection of a high-ranking turncoat, and Vollaro was unable to record conversations with D'Amico, Cefalu or reputed consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo, a government source acknowledged.

Corozzo is scheduled to plead guilty to a new complaint that drops a drug trafficking charge against him. "Plea [deals] are based on lack of evidence and quality of evidence," Macedonio said.

For aging mobsters like D'Amico, 71; Cefalu, 61, and Corozzo, 66, convictions after trial would have resulted in virtual life sentences. None of the 52 defendants cutting deals faces more than three years in prison.

Thanks to John Marzulli

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mobster Turns Lemons into Lemonade

It's too bad for Joey Vallaro that so many people want him killed. Otherwise he could make a killing himself on the speakers' circuit with his story of how even in adversity there is opportunity.

In Vallaro's case it would be about how he turned a jail stretch for extortion into a career as a Staten Island trucking magnate.

Always a step ahead, so far at least, Vallaro is the Mafia "rat" at the centre of a 170-page indictment against 62 mobsters and crooks, including the bosses of New York's Gambino family, which resulted in 57 arrests last week. It was a crippling blow to one of the city's notorious Five Families.

Twelve years and a lifetime ago, Vallaro became pals with the Gambino captain Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo while they were in the can. Not long before he was jailed Vallaro and a partner had started a trucking company.

Court documents, referring to Vallaro as "John Doe #4", show that on the outside another Gambino captain, Thomas "Tommy Sneakers" Cacciopoli, recovered a debt owed to Vallaro's company "and, in return, demanded monthly extortion payments from that point forward". After his release from prison in 1999 Vallaro made the payments directly to Cacciopoli, 58, and to stay in business he has since handed over more than $US160,000.

In return, the Gambinos sponsored his business: ushering him into exclusive rights at development sites and granting him permission to start a cement company. When Vallaro wanted to sell after a buyer approached him, he first had to obtain permission from the family.

"In keeping with instructions from Gambino family captains Nicholas Corozzo and Leonard DiMaria to consult them before making any decisions concerning his business, John Doe #4 informed DiMaria of the [buyer's] offer. DiMaria later informed John Doe #4 that the family had agreed to allow him to make the sale, provided he pay $100,000 to the Gambino family," court documents show.

Vallaro's partner did not fare so well: "In early January 2008, Gambino family soldier Joseph Scopo approached John Doe #4 on behalf of Gambino family captain Thomas Cacciopoli and instructed him that when the sale of his cement company took place, John Doe #4 should not provide his partner with the more than $300,000 in sale proceeds due to him, and that Cacciopoli would collect the money himself when he was released from prison."

Long before he OKed selling Vallaro's business, Lenny "Fatso" DiMaria, a family member since the 1970s, had unwittingly given investigators an insight into corporate techniques Gambino-style when he was captured on a surveillance audio tape.

"You have to go bother these people for your money," he was heard telling a subordinate. "Rough them up a little. Tell them 'You're a f---ing stiff' … Crack a face. F--- them up. Don't you do it, send a f---ing kid to rough them up, a f---ing joke."

The most senior of those charged is John "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico, who rose from the rank of soldier to acting boss of the Gambinos. Seventy-three years old and facing racketeering and extortion charges, he may well die in prison like an earlier Gambino boss, John Gotti.

Also indicted are D'Amico's underboss, Dominic "the Greaseball" Cefalu, 61, and Joseph "Miserable" Corozzo, 66, the family's counsellor or consigliere. This trio was the Gambino "administration".

"The Gambino family operated through groups of individuals headed by captains, who were also referred to as skippers, caporegimes and capodecinas. These groups, which were referred to as crews, regimes and decinas, consisted of 'made' members of the Gambino family, also referred to as 'soldiers', 'friends of ours', 'good fellows' and 'buttons' as well as associates of the Gambino family," the indictment reads.

"With the assistance of the underboss and consigliere, the boss was responsible for setting policy, resolving disputes between members and associates of the Gambino family and members and associates of other criminal organisations."

Corozzo's brother, Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo, is charged with the 1996 murder of the Lucchese crime family associate Robert Arena who refused to return marijuana he stole from a drug dealer. Arena was already suspected of killing one of Corozzo's crew - Anthony "Tough Tony" Placido - when Corozzo ordered his killing. A friend of Arena's who happened to be with him when he was shot was also murdered. Of the shooter, Little Nicky is alleged to have said he "did good work".

One longtime soldier who was spared the indignity of a physically demeaning nickname - and possibly with good reason - was Charles "Charlie Canig" Carneglia.

Grey-bearded and with an improbable grey ponytail, Carneglia has allegedly been killing for the Gambinos since the 1970s, and not necessarily always while under instruction.

In 1975 Albert Gelb, 25, intervened when he saw a young woman being harassed in a diner by a man who produced a gun before Gelb disarmed him. The man was Carneglia. Gelb was shot dead seated at the wheel of his car shortly before Carneglia's trial.

Carneglia, 61, has been charged with five murders in all and also is suspected of a notorious hit on one John Favara, who disappeared in July 1980. Favara was the unfortunate motorist who struck and killed Gotti's 12-year-old son. The boy rode his bike into the path of Favara's car. Carneglia is suspected of shooting Favara and of disposing of his body in a cement-filled barrel. Favara's body has not been found.

The FBI this week was making a body count of another sort. In the Gambino takedown they counted three family captains, three acting captains and 16 soldiers. "Once ruled by the powerful Carlo Gambino and 'Dapper Don' John Gotti, the Gambino family has been reduced to a shadow of its former criminal self over the years … but it is far from dead, continuing its efforts to infiltrate such industries as trucking and construction," the FBI said. "Still, the investigations and ensuing indictment represent another crippling blow. A total of 25 alleged Gambino mobsters - including each active leader of the family not already in jail - were indicted."

Among those charged are members and associates of the Bonnano and Genovese crime families and figures from the construction industry and unions. The charges span three decades and involve murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion and various scams.

The Labour Department inspector-general, Gordon Heddell, said the scams involved some of New York's biggest building companies. "Many of these construction companies allegedly paid a 'mob tax' in return for 'protection' and permission to operate," he said. "The Gambino organised crime family caused the theft of Teamsters union dues, and of health and pension funds, directly impacting the welfare and future of many workers."

In addition, Carneglia ran marijuana. Other family members dealt cocaine. Corozzo and DiMaria oversaw illegal bookmakers, and acting captain Frank Cali ran illegal poker machines "including approximately four or five machines in Caf Italia in Brooklyn. Cali split a percentage of the gambling profits with the owner of the restaurant, with 10 per cent off the top going to the administration of the Gambino family," court documents reveal.

"In the 1990s, Cali was involved in overseeing the Gambino family interest in the annual Italian Feast on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn. The Gambino family received a percentage of the fees charged for the booths and rides, which generated tens of thousands of dollars each year. Cali split the money with other Gambino family associates, with 10 per cent off the top going to the administration of the Gambino family."

Joey Vallaro was a good earner for the Gambinos. In January 2006 they allowed him to start a new operation, an excavation business. That alone brought in $30,000 in extortion payments.

The New York Post said the crunch came when he was busted with two kilograms of cocaine in 2004. He turned informant rather than face a possible life sentence.

Contrary to expectations, Vallaro apparently did not enter the witness protection program after authorities swooped on the family: some reports claim that Joey stayed around to make a brazen appearance at a sushi bar last Saturday. It was just two days after the arrests, and two doors from the restaurant run by his now-abandoned wife, Trisha.

He is not expected to reappear until his time comes to testify in the looming Gambino trials. That is especially so since Little Nicky Corozzo, the man who ushered him into the fold, was not home when the police came calling. And he is still out there, somewhere.

Thanks to Ian Munro

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gambino Mobster Nicknames

According to mob expert John Carillo, most gangsters don't know one another's last name. "It's a group of people that know each other basically by nicknames or first names." Among the funniest are:

Thomas Cacciopoli: "Tommy Sneakers." He "likes sneakers," Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo testified at the trial of Gambino boss Peter Gotti.

Joseph Corozzo: "Jo-Jo," "Miserable." It's about that attitude, Jo-Jo.

Robert Epifania: "Bobby the Jew." He's not Jewish. But he "looks like a Jew," his cohorts told investigators.

Domenico Cefalu: "Italian Dom," "Dom from 18th Avenue," "The Greaseball." "Greaseball" is the pejorative the elder John Gotti used for Sicilians; 18th Avenue is in his neck of the woods, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Nicholas Corozzo: "The Doctor," "The Little Guy," "Seymour," "Grandpa," "Grandfather," "Little Nick." This 5-foot-6 mobster goes by "Grandpa" when with close friends.

Vincent Decongilio: "Vinny Hot." His father was "Freddy Hot" - plus he's into gambling.

Leonard DiMaria: "Uncle," "Lenny," "L," "Fatso," "The Conductor." Self-named, he once signed a get-well note to a Newsday reporter "Uncle Lenny." He's short, squat, with a broad nose.

Anthony Licata: "Anthony Firehawk," "Anthony Nighthawk," "Cheeks." Firehawk and Nighthawk are names of trucking companies. Personal Creations

John D'Amico: "Jackie Nose." "He had his nose fixed. He had a big, distorted nose at one time," DiLeonardo said at the Gotti trial. D'Amico was said to have been upset with prosecutors for using the nickname.

Thanks to the NYPost

Do the Gambinos Have a Boss?

One of the biggest mob busts in Mafia history has rocked the Gambino crime family to the core, leaving no clear successor to run street operations.

Law-enforcement officials are watching closely to see how the Gambinos will cope after a new federal indictment stripped the crime family of alleged acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, consigliere Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo and his brother, Nicholas Corozzo.

The Mafia family's remaining members are expected to go underground in the coming tumultuous weeks - making no official changes in the leadership - as bail hearings unfold in Brooklyn federal court.

Peter Gotti continues to be the official boss of the family as he serves the equivalent of a life sentence behind bars, but he will likely seek an older, loyal capo to temporarily steer the organization on the street, according to knowledgeable sources.

"They've got a problem," said one source, noting that Gotti's got slim pickings since the majority of the crime family's leaders are facing charges contained in the new indictment.

Thanks to Kati Cornell and Murray Weiss

Friday, February 08, 2008

Gambino Crime Family Infrastructure Dismantled

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn today unleashed a sweeping 80-count indictment against more than 50 Gambino mobsters — including the entire leadership of the crime family — charging them with seven murders and widespread extortion conspiracies within New York City's construction industry

The indictment names Gambino acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, underboss Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu, consigliere Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo, capo Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo, the late "Dapper Don" John Gotti's brother, Vincent, and his nephew, Richard Gotti Jr.

It also includes three Gambino captains, three acting captains, 16 soldiers, numerous associates and a handful of Bonanno and Genovese crime family members. In all, 62 mobsters have been charged.

D'Amico surrendered this afternoon, hours after dozens of his cohorts were rounded up in early-morning raids. But Nicholas Corozzo was not at his Long Island home when agents showed up yesterday to bust him, sources said.

"I can't think of a larger single-day roundup of substantial [Mafia] figures. I just can't think of a day that had this many arrests. Probably none in the last 10 years," said a law enforcement source.

"It dismantles the infrastructure of the family. You can't say it's the death knell because you don't know. It will still exist, to the point where it becomes increasingly difficult for the family to operate as it has in the past."

The arrests coincided with a massive takedown in Palermo, Sicily, where two dozen high-ranking Italian members of the Gambino family were arrested.

Italian authorities, who were at a New York press conference announcing the charges, said the raid in Sicily was sparked by a recent rekindling of the relationship between Sicilian and American members of the family.

Longtime Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia was charged with five murders, including the 1976 slaying of Brooklyn court officer Albert Gelb, who was set to testify about having wrested a firearm away from the mobster in a Queens diner. Carneglia also is charged with the 1990 fatal shooting of armored car guard Jose Delgado Rivera.
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He's also charged in the death of three gangsters: Gambino mobster Michael Cotillo in 1977 and Salvatore Puma in 1983, as well as family soldier Louis DiBono in 1990. DiBono's killing, later revealed on secret wiretap tapes of Gotti Sr., was committed because he failed to show up at a meeting with the Dapper Don when so order.

Nicholas Corozzo, who was once the family's heir apparent, is charged with the January 1996 double murder of Brooklyn drug dealer Robert Arena and his friend Thomas Maranga.

Corrozzo and 25 other mobsters are also charged in a separate indictment out of the Queens District Attorney's office that accused them of running a huge illegal sports betting operation.

Gambino family soldiers Vincent and Richard Gotti are charged with the attempted murder of an unnamed person.

The indictment also charges the family with having tight control over several construction projects in the New York area, including the proposed Nascar racing track on Staten Island — a project opposed by residents that never saw the light of day — and the Liberty View Harbor construction site in Jersey City, NJ.

"Today we serve notice that anyone who aspired to a position in organized crime will meet the same fate. We will not rest until we rid our communities and businesses of the scourge of organized crime," said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell.

Campbell, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Queens DA Richard Brown, and Deputy FBI Director Mark Mershon led a press conference in the U.S. Attorney's office this morning to announce the arrests.

Thanks to Stephanie Cohen

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Biggest New York Mafia Take Down in 20 Years Hits the Gambino Family

The FBI struck a decapitating blow today to the Gambino crime family, taking out its leaders and the last vestiges of late boss John Gotti, the Daily News has learned.

Up to 60 mobsters are expected to be charged on racketeering, murder and extortion charges, including acting boss John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico who was Dapper Don's longtime sidekick, underboss Dominic Cefalu and consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo, sources said.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News in 2005, D'Amico denied running the Gambino family. "I'm the boss of my house and my bathroom," he said.

Gotti's brother Vincent and his nephew Richard, will be charged today with the 2003 attempted murder of Howard Beach bagel shop owner Angelo Mugnolo.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell, FBI officials and representatives from the Italian National Police are scheduled to discuss the largest Mafia takedown in more than two decades, at a press conference later this morning.

Another Gotti crony, Charles Carneglia is facing charges for the murders of an armored car driver during a robbery, the 1976 murder of a court officer and the 1990 rubout of gangster Louis DiBono.

Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo, a reputed capo believed to be the heir apparent to run the family, will be charged with a 1996 double murder in Brooklyn in which one of the victims was a bystander.

Officials are also expected to discuss the arrests of dozens of Mafioso members in Sicily in coordination with today's raids. The Sicilian wiseguys have ties to the Gambino crime family through reputed New York soldier Franki Cali, sources said.

During the lengthy investigation, the FBI learned that disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy was betting on basketball games with bookies. Donaghy pleaded guilty last summer and is cooperating with authorities.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Today's Mafia Upholds Nickname Traditions

In size, wealth and influence, today's Cosa Nostra doesn't match the Mafia of days gone by, Mob historians Jerry Capeci and Selwyn Raab say. However, there's one area in which modern Mafiosi are upholding a proud tradition of organized crime tradition nicknames.

Here are a few recent examples of Mafia nicknames and the inspiration for them, according to Mob historians and federal court records:

"Mikey Y." — for Michael Yannotti, a convicted associate of the Gambino family. Easier than saying his last name.

"Mikey Scars" — for Michael DiLeonardo, an acknowledged Gambino family member and government witness. From scars he received in a childhood accident.

"Vinny Gorgeous" — for Vincent Basciano, an acknowledged Bonanno family member. He owned a hair salon in the Bronx, N.Y.

"Richie from the Bronx" — for Richard Martino, a convicted Gambino family member. Apparently used to distinguish him from the many other Richies involved with the Mob.

"Good Lookin' Sal" — for Salvatore Vitale, an acknowledged Bonanno family member and government witness. Court records indicate he came up with the name himself and urged underlings to use it.

"Louie Bagels" — for Louis Daidone, a convicted member of the Lucchese family. He owned a bagel shop in Queens, N.Y.

"Gaspipe" — for Anthony Casso, an acknowledged Lucchese member and government witness. Referred to his tool of choice for his work as a Mob enforcer.

"Tony Ducks" — for Anthony Corallo, convicted member of the Lucchese family. He was known for his ability to duck subpoena servers.

"Phil Lucky" — for Philip Giaccone, a convicted Gambino family member. The name was unintentionally ironic; he was assassinated by a rival.

"Kid Blast" — for Albert Gallo, a convicted member of the Gambino family. He was known for enjoying parties.

"Nicky Eye Glasses" — for Nicholas Marangello, a convicted member of the Bonanno family. His glasses were very thick.

"Jackie Nose" — for John D'Amico, a convicted Gambino family member. Self-explanatory.

"The Chin" — for Vincent Gigante, a convicted member of the Genovese family. From "Cinzini," the nickname his mother gave him.

"Patty the Pig" — for Patrick DeFilippo, accused in a federal indictment of being a member of the Bonanno family. This was the pre-diet nickname for a Bronx man who used to weigh roughly 300 pounds.

"Patty from the Bronx" — DeFilippo's post-diet nickname.

Sources: Mob historians Jerry Capeci of Ganglandnews, Selwyn Raab, author of Five Families; defense lawyer Richard Levitt; federal court papers

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."

Monday, April 27, 1998

A Who's Who, and Who's Where, of Mafia Families

Although six leaders of the Genovese crime family were convicted of racketeering last year, investigators still rank the Genoveses as the nation's most potent and insulated Mafia faction. The family is said to be the largest gang, with 200 to 250 ''made,'' or inducted, members and almost 1,000 associates -- people who assist the family's underworld operations.

Joseph J. Coffey, the former commanding officer of New York State's Organized Crime Task Force and a consultant to the New Jersey and Nevada gambling commissions, described the Genovese family, with its extensive network of gambling and loan-sharking operations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as ''the Ivy League of the underworld,'' referring to its reputation among law enforcement officials as the most successful organized-crime family.

Federal and state officials have identified Dominick V. Cirillo, a longtime capo, or captain, as the acting Genovese boss. They say Mr. Cirillo, 68, of the Bronx, took over last year in the wake of the racketeering conviction and imprisonment of Vincent Gigante, 70, his predecessor.

Law enforcement analysts see the Gambino crime family as the area's second-most-powerful group. But they say its influence has been undermined by a spate of convictions of its leaders and the defection of a former underboss, Salvatore Gravano.

John J. Gotti, 57, the family boss, is serving a life sentence without parole for murder and racketeering, and his son, John A. Gotti, 34, who Federal and state officials say was appointed as the acting boss by his father six years ago, is being held without bail, awaiting trial on racketeering, fraud and extortion charges.

Investigators identify John J. D'Amico, 63, a Gambino capo with homes in Hillsdale, N.J., and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as the family's primary leader. Mr. D'Amico's prestige, the authorities say, increased after the indictment in January of the younger Mr. Gotti, and the conviction and imprisonment last year of Nicholas Corozzo, 58, another high-ranking capo.

J. Bruce Mouw, the former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Gambino squad, said that although the younger Gotti has the title of acting boss, the family actually has been run by a committee consisting of Mr. D'Amico, Mr. Corozzo and Peter Gotti, a capo who is John J. Gotti's brother. John J. Gotti's attempt to oversee the family from a Federal prison in Marion, Ill., floundered, Mr. Mouw asserted. ''They are in a sad state,'' he said. ''They have no real boss, no underboss and no consigliere.''

As a sign of the Gambinos' problems, law enforcement agents note that its crews -- units led by capos -- are down to 12 from a high of 21, and that active soldiers now number about 150, compared with 250 in 1986 when John J. Gotti seized power.

Although overall mobster influence appears to be declining, the authorities believe that the Bonanno family has gained strength and is approaching the Gambinos as the country's second-most-dangerous Mafia faction.

The Bonanno organization, the authorities say, has 100 active members and is the only New York family with an active boss, Joseph C. Massino, 55, of Howard Beach, Queens. And, unlike other mob families, it has no top leaders in prison or under indictment.

Murderous family disputes, turncoats and numerous convictions have severely weakened the Lucchese and Colombo crime families in the last decade, investigators say. Each group is estimated to have about 120 members and is led by acting bosses and committees. Joseph A. DeFede, 64, a capo from Howard Beach, is the temporary Lucchese chief, and Andrew Russo, 63, of Old Brookville, N.Y., who is in jail for parole violations, is the Colombo family's acting boss.

In describing the Mafia's gradual decline in the area, Robert T. Buccino of the New Jersey Attorney General's office said that in 1969, the apparent peak of the mob's influence, more than 200 Mafia capos and soldiers flourished in the state. Today, he said, the number of active New Jersey mobsters is about 20.

Thanks to Selwyn Raab

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