Sunday, February 7, 2016

Tommy McLaughlin and the Colombo Family

In the book The Mafia Hitman's Daughter there is one chapter that gets lost in all the fascinating details of the inner workings of Colombo Capo Greg Scarpa’s life. This was the chapter when Greg’s daughter Linda marries Thomas McLaughlin aka Tommy, who has been sent away for dealing drugs.  
Tommy was a kid that who was known as a tough street guy.  He was quick tempered and had a cousin who was on the rise in the Colombo family.  Tommy instead decided to go with Greg Scarpa’s crew.  He used to run messages and collect debts, but he was very much part of the crew.  He was always at the Scarpa home enjoying a meal or just watching TV.

When the Colombo war broke out and Vic and Wild Bill's men tried to murder Scarpa in front of his house, Tommy was the first one there with a 38 in his belt.  

Tommy was a man a living on borrowed time when the war started.  He had been dealing ounce quantities of cocaine all over Brooklyn.  The cops were after him and had a wiretap on his phone in which they had him talking about selling some ounces to and undercover buyer.

They were set to arrest him but he went underground during the war.  Tommy was shot while driving in his car in Bensonhurst.  He escaped with another guy but a 16 year old was wounded in the shooting.  Tommy was only grazed in the back by a bullet.

He was picked up one night in Dyker Heights and he ended up pleading out to one count of cocaine sales and tax evasion.  The cops tried everything to get him to flip but he was no rat.  
He ended up marrying Linda Scarpa while he was locked up.  He told her that he was worried about something he did a long time ago.  She told him to cooperate.  He told her no way would he become a rat.

14 years is a long time to be off the street and things change.  Tommy Gioeli who was Tommy’s cousin became the Colombo street boss and he carried out some high profile hits.

The murder of Colombo underboss Wild Bill Cutolo and a policeman Ralph Dol’s where some of them. One of Geoli’s guy’s capo Dino Calabro flipped and implicated Tommy in the murder of Frank (Chestnut) Marasa.  So when Tommy finished his 14 year sentence had gotten remarried to another women and had a child he was looking at going back again.  

He did his time and he was looking forward to enjoying the perks of being connected to the administration.  The FBI had other plans so they convinced him to wear a wire.  

People can say what they want about Tommy.  The guy did his time and now was getting hung out to dry by a high ranking member.  Tommy did what was right for him and his family.

He took down Big Anthony Russo who in turn flipped.  He also testified about how his cousin ordered the Marasa murder.  Tommy drove the car that night and later met with his cousin and Dino at a diner.

That life is over with so many guys flipped and still free.  The Hitman’s Daughter is a great look back at how that life used to be.  Read it for an inside look into a Mafia family.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bonanno Crime Family

The Feds and the NYPD are busy working terrorism cases and trying to slow down the flow of drugs from the cartels. This gives the battered Bonanno crime family time to rebuild.  
The Bonannos have come back a few times after they were written off as finished.  

Plagued by internal fights, they were kicked off the Mafia Commission in New York.  Then Joey Massino consolidated power and set the family on the right track.  They were proud of the fact that no made family member had flipped.  They closed their social clubs and made all kinds of rules to avoid detection.  The FBI was busy with others, and they grew in the shadows.   Joey became known as “the last godfather” because he was the only family boss free.  He even threatened death to anyone who said his name. It all came apart when his capos and his brother-in-law underboss turned.  He went through trial and was found guilty.  He then not only made a deal but also wore a wire on the acting boss Vinny Basciano while they were locked up.  Joey Massino became the first sitting boss to flip.  

The Bonannos have had a rough couple of years with boss after boss going away.  
It seems now they are in the process of rebuilding the family.  

The new street boss was once a teamster-working foreman who had a great job on sites checking driver’s union cards for local 282. He was pulling down a cool $100k a year when he was 25 years old.  The FBI spoke to the teamsters, and he was out.  

He was supposed to take care of a wayward Genovese associate who threatened a family member but failed to find him.   

Joseph Cammarano Jr. is the new underboss/street boss of the family while the boss Mikey “Nose” Mancuso is away.   He has moved to consolidate power.  He had a number of capo meetings that were closely watched by the Feds and the NYPD.

The largest meeting took place on a Sunday inside a Staten Island Barber shop.  All the movers and shakers in the family showed up.  They called it on a Sunday because they figured the FBI would not be working.  They even tried to run counter surveillance, but to no avail.  

Its really hard when the FBI has sources in your crew.  It's a lot harder today because if 4 guys get together there is a good chance 1 or 2 has flipped and is giving intel to law enforcement.

He then called a Christmas party at Bocelli's Restaurant on Staten Island that lasted for 6 hours.

It cost him 3 capos who were still on Federal parole.  They were all picked up for associating with people on the non-association list.  A judge denied them bail.

So for now the former Naval Submariner can rest in his home on Long Island.  One thing he can be sure of - law enforcement is watching his every move!