The “administration” or “panel” that rules the Colombo Family is ever changing depending on who is locked up and who gets taken down. The one constant is the boss, Carmine “The Snake” Pesico, who now lives in Butner FCI in North Carolina with 737 other inmates including Bernie Madoff. Carmine is now 81 years old and it is doubtful he will make his release date in 2050 but he keeps the family in check with a never ending supply of acting bosses. Many of these are relatives both by blood and by marriage. I have already written about Tommy Geoli and Joe Waverly running the family on a day-to-day basis.
Andrew Russo was the acting boss in 2011, and he was another Persico relative. Benjamin “The Claw” Castellazzo was the underboss during that time who dealt with a lot of the capos around Brooklyn. Richard Fusco was the Consigliere and with him were senior capos Joseph Carna, Dennis Delucia, Ren Maragni and Anthony Russo.
They were quick to beef up the ranks of the family and replace those that were lost to death or incarceration. They held a secret initiation ceremony in January of 2009 where they made 5 new soldiers. They were preparing to have another ceremony on December 7, 2010 at Emanuele Favuzza’s home. Andrew Russo and Benji Castellazzo would run the ceremony and Anthony Russo was bringing the pistol and the knife to the location, but they found out the FBI was watching so they cancelled it. They had planned on making 4 more soldiers at this ceremony.
They never seem to miss a step when it comes to crime. They were once again inside the Union LIUNA Local 6a and this time they were extorting the “Coffee Boy”. The Coffee Boy is where any Union Member on any job site must buy their food and beverages from. The Coffee Boy was required to kick back at least $250.00 a week. This adds up quick considering how many job sites there are around the city. They still held high positions in the Union and could hand out jobs to their relatives.
The Colombo family is not above being in the drug business unlike what movies try to portray.
They contacted some well known mafia-connected drug traffickers in Canada and arranged for a 250 pound load of marijuana to be delivered in Massachusetts. The FBI was waiting for them when they were picking up the load.
They were all heavily involved in the mafia staples of shylocking and gambling. They continued to loan out and collect large sums of cash. They had bookies all over New York and Florida that brought in more than 2k a day each.
Ren Maragni was not only a senior capo he was Cooperating Individual (CI) for the FBI and he wore a wire. He was able to capture 90 conversations during his time wearing the wire.
When Thomas Farese was upped to the Consigliere position, he recorded him speaking about his promotion. He told the FBI about a January 20, 2011 induction ceremony that Benji Castellazzo presided over where they again inducted soldiers.
One of the guys he gave up to the FBI is my old pal Teddy Persico Jr. He let the FBI know about his position as capo in the family. He also told the FBI about Teddy’s participation in the murder of Joe Scopo while he was on a prison furlough.
He gave up a lot of information on the role of Michael Persico, the unmade son of Carmine who for years was the clean Persico. Michael was able to see his father and bring back messages to the rest of the family because of his lack of record.
He also brought to light the pizza sauce beef, one of the funniest Mafia stories. Big Frank Guerra, or BF, has been very close to the Persicos since his motorcycle accident many years ago. He married into the family who owns the L&B Pizza place, where they make world famous pizza. A former worker had left L&B and opened his own place on Staten Island which he called the Square. BF was livid and there was a series of Mafia sit downs over the stealing of the sauce recipe. Ren Maragni wore his trusty wire and captured for all time this laughable episode inside the Colombo Family. BF ended up getting 4k from the Square and a lot of time in prison.
Ren Maragni gave up his whole life in the Colombo family from his start when he was with Jerry Langella to his meeting Allie Boy Persico when they were young. Their cousins had a beef and Allie fixed it. Years later while he was still an associate Allie Boy had him keep tabs on the South Florida Colombo crew. He would meet Allie once a month and pass messages.
Ren also told the FBI about his own induction ceremony in the Bronx at a social club in the basement. Benji Castellazzo as the underboss was in charge that night and he along with Richard Fusco recited the words while Ren had his hand on the pistol as the saint burned in his hand.
Ren double crossed the FBI when he was wearing a wire by using a secret cell phone to call people. He also collected his shylock debts and diverted money from secret businesses he owned. The FBI still went to bat for him when he was sentenced!
The FBI keeps taking the Colombos down, but the next day others replace them. This is why the Cosa Nostra is still alive, the structure assures that it will continue. Other crime groups are usually ruled by one guy and when he goes down that is it.