Nicholas became known as Little Nicky because of his diminutive size 5 foot 5 inches tall and weighing a soft 170lbs. But he was no push over. Little Nicky was always in gangster mode, he was gangster 24/7. He was proposed to be made in the late 70's but he told the powers-that-be that he could not do it unless they made Lenny DiMaria because he would not be where he was without Lenny. So they made them both and soon Little Nicky had a vast gambling network in Brooklyn and Queens that included bookmaking, numbers, a horse room and shylock. He became a huge earner for the family and when his Capo Fat Andy went on the lam and joined a biker gang, he and Lenny reported directly to Neil Dellacroce, the legendary underboss of the Gambino Family. This made those in power take notice of what he was doing and the cash he was able to generate.He liked to recruit young guys, guys that he saw some criminal spark inside. So he gathered a good crew of capable guys like Mike Yannotti and he was soon a powerhouse in the family that the higher ups looked to when they needed work done.
A lot of guys in the Mafia like to claim they have nothing to do with drugs and a lot of the public buys this load of crap. Little Nicky had guys all over the five Boroughs shaking down drug dealers. He used to have them give cash as a Christmas gift or throw it into the kitty for the crew but he knew exactly where the cash was coming from. When dealers who had been ripped off or extorted came to him he would get back their drugs from his guys and get a taste of the cash. He liked to play both sides against each other. One thing he did know was the rules of La Cosa Nostra and he knew how to use them to his advantage. When his guy Mikey Y shot a guy with the Lucchese Family and left him for dead in a Brooklyn parking lot, he had a sitdown with the Lucchese family. It was during that sitdown that he told the Lucchese guys that if they couldn’t get a hold of their guys to call them off, they would be dead. If you were in his crew and he didn't like you, he would still go to bat for you because he didn't want to appear weak or wrong. He would close his social clubs and take a meeting late at night off parkways around New York. He used to drive by his guys’ places and check up on them at night.
Little Nicky ordered the killing of Lucchese associate Robert Arena because he said Robert had something to do with the killing of one of his crew members. Robert also stole a large amount of marijuana from a dealer associated with his crew and when ordered to give it back he refused. Robert Arena would be gunned down in his car in the Mill Basin area by Mikey Y along with a friend named Tommy Maranga. Nicky would plead guilty to taking part in planning the killing. Nicky became a Capo after John Gotti went away. He was on the ruling panel for awhile and then he was tapped as boss. He finally had made it to where he dreamed of being, but it was not to last. He had befriended a trucking guy named Joey V while locked up, but when Joey V was faced with new drug charges he decided to wear a wire. Nicky was boss for a week. When he gets out he will find that the family has changed and he will be in his 80's, Lenny today is free and completing his parole.