Sunday, May 22, 2016

Genovese Family Takes Another Hit

The Genovese Family has taken a few hits as of late. Considering it is the largest and the most intact family of the five New York families, I am sure they will not miss a step.  Last week the FBI along with the NYPD took down a crew that was associated with two inducted members of Genovese family.  A total of 18 people were taken down in a coordinated raid on May 12th.  

The two main leaders were Robert De Bello aka Old Man and Steven Pastore.  Both are Genovese family soldiers.  The indictment claims they both answered to capo Petey “Red” DiChiara at a social club in downtown Manhattan.

They ran a sports book which took in more than $2k a day from at least 2008 until now.

Gambling brings in the cash without much punishment.  The problem is that most of these guys have to get involved in all sorts of other deals.

Robert DeBello somehow got pulled into a plot to murder an associate. Ryan Ellis decided to murder a person who is referred to as Victim-1 in the indictment, but has since been identified as Joseph Bonelli.  It all started over a beef in which Ellis got the short end. Salvatore Delligatti aka Fat Sal, a member of the DeBello crew, was working with some Crip gang members that were hired to do the hit.  They stalked Joseph Bonelli for two nights but were pulled over by the police and caught with pistols. I will bet that Robert DeBello had very little to do with this murder plot.  You do not get paid to do a hit in the mob and why hire outsiders to do work?  Robert DeBello is a low key soldier who declined a promotion in the family. He was last arrested in 2001 in a racketeering case and he ended up pleading guilty to one count of assault in aid of racketeering.

Steven Pastore was last arrested in 2005 with some New Jersey Genovese.  He was an associate then and he was just running a numbers game.

Those two brought in some more people – Luigi Romano, Bertrem Duke, Tyrone Mccullum, Marcus Grant, and Sharif Brown.

Law enforcement was watching.  This is a nice 24 page indictment that is heavy on history and explanation.  It seems a bit light on crimes.  

Four of the men face 20 years for racketeering conspiracy, which today is a catchall that is hard to beat. DeBello, Pastore, Ellis and Delligatti will have to beat that charge or plead it down.

Three of the men: Pastore, Ellis and Delligatti face life because of the enhanced weapons charges.

The Feds like to jack up the charges when guns are involved.  This is kind of funny because on the streets gangbangers are blasting people everyday but they rarely if ever bring these kinds of charges.  

It just seems as if everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing.  Running a bookmaking operation and bringing in cash and not worrying about some beef.  Then this would be a bookmaking arrest.  Instead, it's a racketeering murder for hire case.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Semi-Victory for the Bonanno Family

People probably wonder why state and federal law enforcement agencies spend so much time and resources to put away a few men.  There are, after all, cartels, sex traffickers, Russians, Albanians, Chinese and the big one: Islamic terrorists on the streets of New York.

The Cosa Nostra is like no other group.  The Bonanno family is the cockroach of the underworld.  Law enforcement thinks they got rid of them, yet they come out of the woodwork again and again.

They lost their namesake boss Joe Bonanno when he went power hungry and caused a war. Then he wrote a book.  They had a rough time when the family broke into factions and part of the Sicilian crew did their own thing.  Then came Donnie Brasco, a jewel thief who became part of their crew.  They even drew in the legendary boss of Tampa, Santo Trafficante, and the boss of Milwaukee, Frank Balistrieri.

One of the guys who had interactions with Donnie Brasco was Nicky Santoro. Nicky Santoro has been an associate, a soldier, a capo and even an acting underboss.  Nicky has lived in that world his whole life.

On May 10, 2016 Nicky Santoro won a small victory in a Manhattan courtroom.  Nicky, Vito Badamo, Ernst Aiello and Anthony Santoro had been on trial for the last two months.  They faced charges including Enterprise Corruption which is the state's version of RICO.  
They took part in bookmaking, loan sharking, and get this: selling Viagra.  They infiltrated Teamsters Local 917.  

The jurors heard over 450 intercepted phone calls and heard from cooperating informants. The problem?  Not much action.  No murders, just talk.  The Bonannos just won another trial when the Feds took on Vincent Asaro.  They charged Vincent with the Lufthansa Heist at JFK that was immortalized in the film Goodfellas and a murder with Jimmy Burke.   The problem is they were decades old cases.

Nicky and his crew had a Costa Rican internet based sports book that brought in millions. Nicky was heard on tape telling Vito Badamo that he had to know everything he was doing in the street.  That no card games could happen without him.  

The state may try again or maybe they will settle for a plea if they will take one.

When I was in Brooklyn we met Nicky Santoro at BaMonte’s in Brooklyn.  He was selling knock off NFL Jerseys and he gave me one. I did record that day.  I saw a guy close with Craig Marino (Colombo soldier) and John Baudanza (Lucchese soldier) in the place meeting with some guys.  Jerry Degerolamo is there and he asked me not to say anything.  Jerry would later go down with Craig and John in a stock fraud case.  I hear both of those guys are out in a halfway house.

The people who were handling me at this time toyed with the idea of trying to sell Nicky and the Bonannos a warehouse full of knockoff software. They decided to go with Teddy Persico instead because he was a loose cannon.  

Nicky's boss was Joe Massino, who had changed the Bonanno family name to the Massino family after Joe Bonanno’s book disgraced the name.  Joe would later go with Team America and become the first boss to flip.  Nicky is still living the life. I wonder if he is happy?