Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 2017 Mafia Court Tales

In the real world, as opposed to the make believe world of Hollywood, most defendants facing charges never go to trial.  97% of federal defendants take plea deals. In state court, 94% take deals.

Considering these facts, it comes as no surprise that some of the Bonanno family defendants that have been held for four years with a deadlocked jury, facing retrial, chose to take a deal.

Anthony Santoro, Vito Badano and Ernest Aiello all plead guilty on April 7, 2017. They had been charged with enterprise corruption, loansharking, bookmaking and drug sales.  They sold Viagra and Cialis to customers.

They are all in a crew that is overseen by Bonanno capo Nicky Santora, who did not plead guilty.
The NYPD had their phones tapped and had placed a bug in Nicky Santora’s car.  Anthony Santoro was caught on tape threatening people and running the bookmaking operation.  He would freeze customers accounts, set credit limits and handle the day to day business.  

Anthony Santoro, also known as “Skinny,” took a gamble and went to trial.  He is a funny, personable guy, and there ended up being a mistrial.

This time he decided to take a plea deal.  He pleaded out to attempted enterprise corruption and will forfeit $45,900.00.  He is facing a sentence of 4 to 8 years, according to the deal.  He also still has an 8 month federal sentence to serve for another gambling case in Connecticut.

Vito Badano and Ernest Aiello also plead guilty to attempted enterprise corruption and face 3-7 and 2-4 years in prison.

In other mafia news, Gregorio Gigliotti, the owner of the Queens restaurant Cucino a Modo Mio, was sentenced to 18 years for his part in a smuggling group that brought 120 kilos of cocaine into the United States hidden in a food shipment.  Gregorio had ties to the Ndrangheta in Italy and his son Angelo had ties to the Genovese family in New York.  

Gregorio’s wife Eleonora has plead guilty to conspiracy for her role in the group, which included transporting cash to Central America for the cocaine.  She is still awaiting sentencing.  

Angelo will face a judge for his sentencing.

In yet more mafia news, Joey Merlino, also known as “Skinny Joey,” who was and may still be the boss of the Philadelphia crime family, has been offered a plea deal along with the other 45 men arrested in his case.

It has been said that they took the racketeering charges away from many of those charged and offered them a very good deal instead.

They had to do this because the FBI agents who handled informant John Rubio, a Genovese associate, did not debrief him correctly, or record him.  Two of the agents and a supervisor are also being probed for leaking confidential information to Gangland News.

Who knows if Joey Merlino or Genovese capo Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello will take the deal or push for trial.  Only time will tell.  

Merlino had just been released from supervision for 2001 conviction in Philadelphia.  He was released from prison in 2011 after which he moved to Florida, where he was going straight running a restaurant.  Most of these new charges take place while he was serving his 3 years of supervised release.

These guys never seem to learn that crime does not pay.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dirtnap for a Corrupt Mafia Cop

This week saw the demise of a man who, in my opinion, is worse than any other mobster I have written about on this blog.  John Gotti, Nicky Scarfo and Gaspipe Casso were all bad guys, no question.  Those men were mafioso and lived their lives accordingly: criminals who would lie, steal, cheat and murder according to the code they lived their lives by.  


Stephen Caracappa, on the other hand, was an NYPD detective who sold his badge to the Lucchese crime family. Why Stephan and his partner in crime fellow detective Louis Eppolito did not receive the death penalty is beyond me.  These two rogue detectives were sworn to uphold the law and they were responsible for good of the public.  Instead, they betrayed everyone in uniform as well as every citizen of this country.  They cost the taxpayers 18.4 million dollars in lawsuit settlements alone, and that is not where the damage they dealt ended. They murdered, or had a hand in the murders of, at least seven people, including one completely innocent man.


On April 8, 2017 Stephen Caracappa died of cancer.  He died in Butner, FCI where they house sick criminals like Carmine Persico and others.  


Caracappa not only sold information to Gaspipe Casso and the Luchese family, he committed murder for him. In 1990 he and his partner pulled over Gambino Edward Lino on the Belt Parkway and they shot him.  They dropped off another man they kidnapped so that he could be tortured.


They also sold bad information to Gaspipe that resulted in the Christmas day murder of Nicholas Guido, an innocent man who was just showing off his new car.


Guido happened to have the same name as one of the men who shot at Gaspipe Casso when they tried to murder him.  The Guido they were seeking had fled the state in fear of being found.  


Diamond dealer Israel Greenwald got into trouble with the mafia in 1985 when he traveled to Great Britain to help a friend purchase some treasury bills.  He thought the deal was an honest one.  When he returned, the FBI questioned him about his business.  Burton Kaplan, a drug dealer connected with Gaspipe Casso, hired Caracappa and Eppolito to find him and murder him so he could not talk to the FBI.


The two law enforcement officers used police databases to find out Greenwald's address and the kind of car he drove.  They pulled over his car, flashed their badges and told them they were taking him in for a hit and run.  They took him to a Brooklyn warehouse where they murdered and buried him.  Greenwald was not found for twenty years and his family had been left to wonder what became of him.


Greenwald's family lost everything because they could not prove he died.  The last they saw him when he left for work.  Caracappa had appealed his case and just recently asked a judge to grant him release because he was dying of cancer.   The judge rightly told him there was nothing he could do for him.