Sunday, June 28, 2015

Demolition Mafia

In New York City when a building goes up, they usually have to use a demolition company to take down the old buildings.  One of the keys to controlling the construction business is to control the trucking of materials.  The disposal of demolition and construction waste is a huge business in New York.   If a company wanted to dispose of the material legitimately, they would have to have it hauled very far from from New York City.  

The Mafia families have no problem with this.  They find a large piece of land that they can use as a dump and they start bringing in the trucks.  The more loads, the more they make.  If they had to haul the waste far away, it would cut into their profit.

The Gambinos had one dump site in an old rail yard in the Bronx where they brought in load after load of waste.

The Lucchese family found a landowner who owned land in Pennsylvania just 80 miles from the city who let them dump there.  They told them they were dumping clean waste. What they were doing was filling up a large impression with junk and covering it with dirt.  This dump brought in over $30k a week to the Lucchese family while it was open.

When I was in New York I went with Eddie Garafola to a dump site in New Jersey where he had trucks coming in, dumping, and a bulldozer covering the waste with dirt.  It was in some nice New Jersey swamplands.  I also know that they were paid on other occasions to take concrete to be recycled, and instead they just dumped it.  

They did it at every project including Shea Stadium and the World Trade Center site.

Eddie Garofalo Sr and his brother Manny were experts in this field.  The New York authorities called them the James brothers of the carting industry.  

Eddie G Sr. had demolished four buildings in Times Square before he was gunned down in front of his home by some Gambinos.  The State was looking into his activities just before he was murdered.

The Lucchese Family also had another dump with the Genovese family in Westchester County that was a huge money maker.  They turned it into a toxic waste swamp, the neighborhood started to complain and the State came in and seized trucks.  

They would end up murdering their guy Mike Salerno, but his illegal dumps were Lucchese owned property. That family did not care about anyone’s family. They felt that anything a wiseguy in their family owned or was working was Lucchese family property.

When Paulie Vario of Goodfellas fame died the new bosses Vic Amuso and Gaspipe Casso wanted to take his property for their own.  Never mind that Paulie had been earning his whole life, even before these men were inducted into the family.  

It is a good thing that Gaspipe’s front man took his home in Mill Basin after he went away.

Dumping waste is a huge business with a lot of cash at stake. The Mafia will always be in it, as long as there are corners to cut and cash to be made.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Local 580 & Murder

John  Morrissey was the business agent for Local 580 of the Architectural and Ornamental Ironworkers Union. He helped the Lucchese Family and three other New York families steal millions of dollars in kickbacks from replacing windows for the Housing Authority.  They would rig the bids so they controlled the millions of windows that required replacing every year.  The Mafia would get 1-2 dollars per window replaced by the companies they controlled.  If an outside company replaced windows they would break them or send unproductive Union workers to do the work.   The Mafia families all profited off this scam for over a decade until a Genovese associate named Peter Savino who handled the scam started working for the FBI.

John, also known as Sonny or Sonny Blue, was a tough Irish Union man.  He was a longtime Lucchese associate and helped his friend Vic Amuso, the new boss of Lucchese family, get up to speed with the scam.  The problem was that Sonny Blue worked closely with Peter Savino for years.

Savino had done more than a dozen hand-to-hand payoffs, all observed by the FBI, with Sonny Blue.  When I was working with the FBI and we had to exchange cash or payoff someone we would pick the place if possible.  If the target picked it, I would relay that to the FBI and they would thumbs up or thumbs down.  I would say can we meet someplace closer blah blah.  The FBI would ring the area with surveillance vehicles and agents.  Then they would get it all on tape.  If the area was too crowded they would use vehicles with remote cameras.  I would try to do the hand off in the open or in a place where they could get confirmation.  This would seal guys (like Uncle Manny Garafolo) fate.   Then again, he was only given a very light sentence.

Back to the Lucchese Family.  Under Vic Amuso and the crack head Gaspipe Casso, they operated the family through fear.  That is no way to run any business.  Nobody felt they were on solid ground. So when Vic and Gas got confirmation from the other families that Savino was an informant, they had to take action.  They could not get Savino because he was in WITSEC, so they started murdering people who they felt were weak and would lead to them.

This put the tough Irishman Sonny Blue in their sights, even though he was never close to flipping.   They gave the contract to Capo Fat Peter Chiodo, a man who could weigh between 450-550 lbs and was 6’5”.  They told him: Sonny is talking, make him disappear.

Fat Pete grabbed his associate Tommy Irish to drive Sonny Blue and himself way out to Morris County, NJ, where they were building a housing development to meet with Vic Amuso.  Sonny Blue was happy to see his friend, so he was very relaxed.  Once they arrived at the site they all walked into a model home they were using as an office. Once inside, Fat Pete left to find Vic and then another associate walked up behind Sonny Blue with a silenced pistol.  Sonny Blue turned and saw what was happening and he yelled, “I Am not a rat!”  The man fired and then the pistol jammed. Sonny Blue lay on the ground in pain saying it hurts, hit me again.  The backup shooter removed a snub nose pistol and fired 4 times but it did not kill Sonny Blue.  He was still in pain until the man cleared the silenced pistol and finally killed him.  They used a backhoe to dig a hole out behind the home and they dropped Sonny Blue in it.  He would not be found until Fat Pete flipped.  He missed the windows case.  

This is another example of the poor leadership of Vic and Gas.  The decline of the Mafia starts in the leadership and then trickles down.