The Chicago Syndicate: Joseph Watts
Showing posts with label Joseph Watts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joseph Watts. Show all posts

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Longtime Gambino Associate, Joseph Watts, Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 13 Years in Prison on Murder and Assault Charges

PRETT BHARA the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOSEPH WATTS, 69, a longtime associate of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino Family”), was sentenced to 13 years in prison on murder and assault charges. WATTS pled guilty on January 20, 2011, to a two-count superseding information that charged him with participating in murder and assault conspiracies in order to maintain and increase his influence in the Gambino Family. The sentence was imposed in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.

U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “Today’s sentence should serve as a sober reminder that if you kill or harm an actual or potential government witness, no matter how powerful you may think you are, we will find you and send you to prison for a very long time. The sentence Judge McMahon imposed today ensures that Watts will spend the next decade of his life paying for his crimes.”

According to documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court and statements WATTS made at his guilty plea proceeding:

WATTS was a close associate of one-time Gambino Family Boss JOHN J. GOTTI and others. Although WATTS was never formally inducted into the Gambino Family as a “made” member because of his non-Italian lineage, he was afforded the status of a Gambino Family capo.

In 1989, FREDERICK WEISS was a defendant in a case that was pending in the Southern District of New York. JOHN J. GOTTI, then-boss of the Gambino Family, suspected that WEISS was cooperating with the government because he terminated a lawyer who regularly represented Gambino Family members and associates. GOTTI ordered WEISS to be murdered—an order that GOTTI communicated to WATTS and others. WATTS then put together a murder team to carry out the hit.

In September 1989, WATTS and others went to a house on Staten Island where they expected WEISS would be. WATTS assigned different Gambino members and associates to different tasks, including digging the grave where WEISS would be buried. WATTS himself stood in the garage, holding a gun and waiting to shoot WEISS upon his arrival. Because WEISS did not show up to the house as WATTS had expected, he was not killed that day. However, a different team of shooters to whom GOTTI had also assigned the task of killing WEISS successfully located him the next day. He was shot to death in front of his apartment building.

While WATTS was serving a prison sentence in connection with his 2001 conviction for money laundering, he met Victim-1, whom he came to admire because of Victim-1’s purported stockpicking abilities. When Victim-1 was released from prison, WATTS sent an emissary to deliver approximately $350,000 to $400,000—all cash—to Victim-1 to invest on WATTS’ behalf. The investment failed. In 2002, WATTS demanded his money back from Victim-1, who returned some, but not all, of WATTS’s money.

To force Victim-1 to give him back all the money, WATTS began threatening Victim-1. On one occasion, WATTS and another individual confronted Victim-1 in Manhattan and physically assaulted him. On a subsequent occasion, WATTS threatened Victim-1 and physically shoved Victim-1 against a wall.

In addition to his prison term, Judge MCMAHON sentenced WATTS, of Staten Island, New York, to three years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $250,000.

During the sentencing proceeding, Judge MCMAHON stated that the murder of Frederick Weiss was “heinous,” “hideous,” and the work of a “cold-blooded killer.” Judge McMahon further stated that the maximum sentence, which she ultimately imposed on WATTS, was “the consequence of the choice he made.”

Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN and CHI T. STEVE KWOK are in charge of the prosecution.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Did Victoria Gotti Have an Affair with Key Witness Against Her Brother?

Before he became a mob rat, Gambino associate John Alite says he was a horndog who had a secret affair with Mafia princess Victoria Gotti.

Alite took center stage Monday in Brooklyn Federal Court in the murder trial of reputed hit man Charles Carneglia, but much of his testimony was about how close he was to John A. (Junior) Gotti - and the mob scion's older sister.

Did Victoria Gotti Have an Affair with Key Witness Against Her Brother?"I was fooling around with his sister Vicky Gotti on the sneak," Alite said, roughly fixing the time frame in the late 1980s, when she was married to her then-husband, Carmine Agnello.

Alite said the husband came after him and he ended up shooting one of Agnello's goons. Alite said Junior refused to give him permission to retaliate against Agnello.

Reached for comment, Victoria Gotti ridiculed the heavily-tattooed thug's claim of a tryst with her. "He's an out-and-out liar - he's vermin," she said. "This animal [Alite] had a crush on me from the first time I met him. He was in our bridal party and he tried to kiss me at my wedding. He missed the cheek by a lot.

"Carmine knew he had a crush on me. That's why he despised him.

"In Mr. Alite's dreams would someone like me even give him a second glance let alone 'fool around' with him. I was raised a good Catholic girl and always played by the rules.

"I met and married my first and only boyfriend. I never slept with Alite or anyone else.

"Dare him to take a lie detector test. I will take a lie detector test anytime, anywhere."

Alite said Junior Gotti's refusal to approve a retaliatory strike against Agnello was one of the reasons their close friendship broke up.

Under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame, the witness said he grew up around gangsters in Woodhaven, Queens, and had a promising future at one time as a baseball pitcher.

He said he threw out his arm after one semester at the University of Tampa and returned to his old stomping grounds selling cocaine in bars on Jamaica Ave. in Queens.

Alite met Junior Gotti in the early 1980s and began paying him a cut of his $1 million-a-month drug profits. He said he and Junior were best friends for a decade. After rival drug dealers robbed an associate, Junior Gotti accompanied them on a drive-by in which two of the rivals were shot, he testified. "After that [Junior] didn't look at me like some college kid no more," Alite said.

Getting close to the younger Gotti was Alite's opening to the Mafia big leagues. They became inseparable, and Junior and his late father, Gambino crime boss John Gotti, reaped the profits of Alite's litany of crimes.

"You name it, we did it," Alite said.

Alite was Albanian, so he could never be inducted into the Gambino family, but he had his own crew, as did two other non-Italian, uniquely powerful mob associates - James (Jimmy the Gent) Burke and Joseph (Joe) Watts.

On Feb. 14, 1988, Junior Gotti was best man at Alite's wedding in Queens. The date was selected not because it was Valentine's Day, but as a sign of respect for Junior because it was his birthday.

Wearing a gray sweat suit, the heavily tattooed thug said Junior's bad-mouthing of his other close friends left him feeling it was only a matter of time before he would be left out in the cold, too.

"I didn't believe in the life," Alite said. "It's kind of like reading a brochure when you're a kid. You're going to Paradise Island and everything looks nice, but you forgot to read the fine print."

Thanks to John Marzulli

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 25, 2006

Gotti Said To Break Mafia Vow During Meeting With Prosecutors

Friends of ours: John "Junior" Gotti, John "Dapper Don" Gotti, Daniel Marino, John "Johnny G" Gammarano, Gambino Crime Family, Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, Genovese Crime Family, Luchese Crime Family, Paul Castellano, Peter Gotti, Frank DeCicco, Bartholemew "Bobby" Borriello, Edward Lino
Friends of mine: Joseph Watts


Mob prince John "Junior" Gotti broke his Mafia vow of omerta last year and used a pre-trial sitdown with federal prosecutors as an opportunity to settle some old scores with two of his father's former top lieutenants, Gang Land has learned.

Gotti has acknowledged the January 2005 secret session with the feds, but has maintained it was merely an effort to convince the feds of his innocence concerning the charges in the racketeering indictment.

He said he indignantly stomped out once he realized that prosecutors were seeking his cooperation. In a June 27 interview with the Daily News, he insisted he would never tell on his former crime cohorts, underscoring his own attitude about informing by quoting his late father's extreme views on the subject. "I could have robbed a church but I wouldn't admit to it if I had a steeple sticking out of my" rear end, Gotti said the Dapper Don had told him.

However, several sources confirmed to Gang Land that, in a failed bid to persuade prosecutors to drop their case against him, Gotti spilled old secrets about two "made men" and a Gambino crime family associate — all underlings of the elder John Gotti.

Junior fingered capo Daniel Marino, soldier John "Johnny G" Gammarano, and longtime associate Joseph Watts for numerous crimes that took place before 1999, when Junior Gotti has insisted he walked away from the Mafia life, sources said.

Gotti also allegedly gave the feds information about a crooked Queens cop who enabled him to beat one case during the 1980s, and a corrupt politician who was part of a land-grab scheme during the same time frame, sources said. Both men are deceased.

Despite Gotti's claims of retirement and his ultimate decision not to cooperate, any informant activity by the mob scion would be viewed as an abomination within his former realm, and equate him with the defectors who have testified against him and his late father. "If it's true, he's a rat, just like Sammy and Scars," an underworld source said, referring to the two major Gambino family defectors, former underboss Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano and onetime capo Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo.

The disclosure about Gotti's discussions comes as his third trial stemming from the kidnap-shooting of Curtis Sliwa is under way in Manhattan Federal Court.The trial judge, Shira Scheindlin, has issued a gag order in the case and prosecutors and defense lawyers are prohibited from discussing it.

Gang Land's sources declined to discuss specifics that Junior gave the feds, but said he focused primarily on Marino, 65, a powerful family capo and longtime thorn in the side of the Dapper Don, and Watts, 64, once viewed as a possible FBI informer by the Junior Don and his cohorts. While informing about Marino, Gotti, almost as an afterthought, also related alleged criminal activity by Gammarano, 65, a soldier in Marino's crew, sources said.

Marino, who served six years behind bars for a murder conspiracy ordered by the elder Gotti, was released in 2000. Watts, who spent 10 years in prison for his involvement in the same plot and a separate tax case, was released from prison in May. Johnny G, who served three years for a labor racketeering scam in Brooklyn and a Joker Poker gambling machine scheme in New Orleans, has been back in action since 2002.

Gotti has had it out for Marino and Watts for years, a source said. "He's talked about killing them both," the source said. The Gotti faction has long believed that Marino was poised to take over the crime family in the early 1990s as part of a retaliation plot by the Genovese and Luchese families for the unsanctioned 1985 killing of Gambino boss Paul Castellano.

Even after Marino was incarcerated during the late 1990s, Junior, Mikey Scars, Peter Gotti, and other supporters of the then-jailed Dapper Don debated whether to kill Marino, according to FBI documents. The discussions revolved around suspicions that Marino may have had a role in the murders of Frank DeCicco, Bartholemew "Bobby" Borriello, and Edward Lino — all key allies of the elder Gotti — between 1986 and 1991.

In the early 1990s, according to testimony at Junior's second trial, Gotti had two gunmen waiting in the closet of a Brooklyn apartment ready to kill Marino and Johnny G and dispose of their remains in body bags after Junior suspected they had kept $400,000 in annual construction industry extortion payments that should have been forwarded to him. The plot was thwarted, probably intentionally, by Watts.

Watts, who would become the focus of rubout talk a few years later, had been instructed to bring Marino and Johnny G to a meeting that would end with their execution. But when Watts and the targeted mobsters arrived in a stretch limo along with another mobster and a driver, Junior aborted the plan, according to the testimony.

In 1994 and 1995, according to court documents, Junior discussed killing Watts when "rumors began to spread within the Gambino family that Watts might be cooperating" and Gotti feared that Watts and then-superstar witness Sammy Bull would be a "deadly combination" that would threaten the "survival of the Gottis and the Gambino family."

The nasty talk about Watts fizzled out after he pleaded guilty and went to prison. But Junior has long suspected that Watts, who referred to Junior as "Boss" whenever they met, had worn a wire against him, according to FBI documents. And, during his session with the feds, "Junior was quick to point a finger at him," a source said. Sources said Gotti did implicate himself, and a few longtime friends, in several crimes, but they took place too long ago to be used in an indictment.

Gotti denied any role in a 23-year-old murder, a crime for which there is no statute of limitations, sources said. He insisted that he did not kill Danny Silva, a 24-year-old Queens man who died from a knife wound during a wild melee in an Ozone Park bar when Junior was a rowdy and arrogant 19-year-old wannabe wiseguy. "He said he was there, but he said he had nothing to do with the stabbing," a source said.

As Gang Land reported in our first New York Sun column four years ago, a formerly reluctant witness has told authorities that he "personally saw Junior stab Danny Silva" and the police and FBI reopened the case with an eye toward charging Gotti with Silva's murder.

Thanks to Jerry Capeci of Gangland News

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