The Gambino Family is always a fun topic. This week is a story about Vincent “Marbles” Dragonetti, Little Nicky Corozzo’s son in law.
Vincent became known as Marbles when he was in his teens because of his bad skin. He had big pimples and boils so the name stuck. Marbles was not like most crime famimly guys, because he also had a regular job working in landscaping. He worked with his father and brother in the business until his father passed away. He then partnered up with his brother and they ran it together.
He was a regular guy in the crew who used to move cocaine with Mario, another crew member. Selling drugs is supposed to be forbidden, but this was before he was really close to Nicky. The Sicilians who now run the family come from a deep heroin selling background, but I guess that does not count either.
Gambino Capo Little Nicky Corozzo had a daughter. Little Nicky’s daughter Bernadette had been dating a man who was killed at Wheelers Bar in Sheepshead Bay. She met Marbles and they started to get serious so Nicky brought him closer to him. Nicky started grooming him. He still did a lot of credit card fraud and his first real pinch was credit card fraud on Long Island.
Nicky set him with a lot of landscaping accounts in Howard Beach, John Gotti’s old neighborhood. Then he helped Marbles open a nursery on Utica in Brooklyn. Marbles moved up the ranks pretty quick without getting his hands real dirty. Marbles used to sell slugs for parking meters and now he was taking care of a shylock customers of Little Nickys. One of the guys Little Nicky gave to him was a guy who had a 60k loan out.
Other guys in the crew started to stay away from Marbles because he would report everything about them to Little Nicky. Marbles had stopped being one of the guys and became the ears and eyes of the boss.
It would not be long until Marbles was inducted into the Gambino Family. It pays to marry the boss's daughter because it takes most guys many years of work to get inside. Marbles was soon heavily involved in the labor racketeering, which is still a huge money maker for the Gambino Family.
One of the crimes the FBI went after him for took place in Brooklyn. Here is how it went down. Sitt Asset Management had a condominium complex on Ave P in Brooklyn. Marbles and some others had ACE, a Gambino controlled subcontractor, file a lien against another Gambino Controlled contractor named DURAMAX for work that they had never really done. This was to force Sitt to pay so they could get bank financing without a problem.
Sitt, without knowing that it had been scammed, paid ACE $120,000 to remove the lien. This is an old Mob trick called “Create and Alleviate.” One Mob guy or company creates a problem and another steps in to fix the problem. The problem is that it costs money and after paying once it never stops. Marbles was able to get ACE to give him $40k of the $120k, not bad for doing nothing. He used threats which were caught on tape that went like this. “I dont know anyone who gets hurt unless they have to get hurt.”
The FBI caught Marbles walking out of his house in February 2008, and as soon as Bernadette saw this go down she was on the phone to Little Nicky. Little Nicky fled so fast that he left his wallet in the house. Little Nicky ended up turning himself in to the Feds. Little Nicky would end up taking a 13 year plea deal. Marbles lucked out with the judge and he ended up with 200 hours of community service because of Hurricane Sandy.
A lot of people think the Mob is dead but they are still doing business as usual.