In 1996 I made the decision to walk away from the life. It would be another 8 years before I was off the streets and on with my “fresh start.” I got that fresh start because I wore a wire for the FBI. That lasted more than 8 years. When I first started writing online posts, I was attacked by people because they kept insisting that someone would not “just flip.” I kept getting hate mail calling me every name in the book, and claiming the FBI must have had more of a case on me. A person cannot just look at their life, see what a waste it had become, and decide to change? I saw that it was a dead end and that I would be brought down or killed if I continued with the way things were. All these “armchair gangsters” online do not know what it is like to be a part of the life and to make that decision.
I have one friend who was in the life from birth. He followed his father into the life and even served a prison term. When he was able to step back from the life and see the toll it had taken on his family, he made the choice to work with the FBI. He wore a wire on his father. The father was an evil man who belonged to an evil organization. The father had killed for gain and enjoyed it. How is my friend in the wrong?
Another friend grew up in the life. He lived the Mafia life without having to go through much of what the rank and file had to go through. When the family was involved in a civil war he was not on the front lines. His father murdered and ordered murders,. One day his father went to a secret meeting where a few guys were supposed to be inducted into the family.
There was no induction, there was only a bullet to the head.
When his father never came home, the vultures descended on his father's businesses to split up what his father had built. My friend saw it first hand when he went to his father's office. A man was sitting behind his father's desk in the Union he had built up and this was before he knew his father was never coming home. This man was a drug abusing alcoholic overweight idiot who could not have run a lemonade stand, but his last name happens to be Persico. The Underboss of the family came to his mother's home and threatened her for money. So many people attacked my friend for being a weakling for not taking his revenge by gun. He wore a wire instead.
This Tuesday another man who has lived the mafia life will face a judge and be sentenced for his crimes: Michael Persico. This so called “mafia prince” never had to get in the trenches to get his hands dirty. He was born into power and ordered others (who were not born into the ruling class) to do his work for him. He lived the life of privilege, wealth and power that comes with being mafia royalty. A position he never earned. He was able to live the way he did because of the murderous reign of his father Carmine.
Michael Persico was never an inducted member of the Colombo Family, yet he held the power of life and death. He held a position that was higher than the capos in the family. He was able to amass wealth from the family. He was the conduit to his father, imprisoned-for-life Boss Carmine Persico. He held the purse strings for the Persico Family. When his brother Allie Boy was locked up and his ex-wife decided move on with her life, Michael was in the the thick of it. He took calls from his brother. He met with men who had one purpose and that was murder. He took part in the murder of Michael Devine who was not part of the life. Michael Devine had nothing to do with the Colombo Family or the Mafia he was a civilian. He was shot to death in his car on Staten Island because he loved the wrong woman and that woman happened to be Allie Boys ex-wife.
Michael Persico got away with murder for 18 years until another Colombo soldier decided to change sides.
Tuesday Michael Persico will only face a maximum of 5 years. He has had a battery of high priced lawyers (that none of the family soldiers would ever be able to afford) delay the sentencing for 3 years.
One of the tapes the FBI used to bring the racketeering charges against Michael was made by Steve Marcus who Michael gave a $100,000 Shylock loan. Steven was partners with Teddy Persico and Eddie Garofalo in the trucking business on Staten Island.
Eddie has already taken a 7 year deal and Teddy took 12 years. The two people who really gained the most but face the least are Michael Persico and Alicia DiMichele. They both got great deals for pleading out.
The enterprise could not have functioned without those two.
Maybe the judge will grant Michael Persico his wish and let him take back his plea deal. Send him to trial where he will face murder and racketeering charges.
Teddy Persico will emerge from prison ready to continue on in the family tradition because that is what he knows. Eddie Garofalo, whose father was a big man in the construction industry in New York until he was murdered in front of his Brooklyn home by Sammy the Bull’s crew, continued on in the footsteps of his father regardless of his father’s fate. The Gambinos wanted to take away Eddie’s business after his father was murdered, but Teddy stepped in the argument. Teddy told them to let the kid earn a living. Once Teddy and I were talking about a guy who bad mouthed Eddie for not doing anything about his father’s murder. The guy was talking about using a gun to get revenge. Teddy said what was he supposed to do? He was a kid. Fight the whole Gambino family? A few years later Eddie was in a bad spot because nothing happened to him after I wore a wire on him. The Colombos wondered why nothing had happened to him as a result. I wonder also.
I hope more guys continue to get out of the life. Maybe more will see that it leads to a dead end. There are no happy endings in the Mafia. There are no exceptions to the rule.
The Colombos need to take notice of how Michael lives and how many lawyers he has and how he was able to post millions in bail. Then they need to look at what they have for themselves. Michael, and those like him, live off the blood and sweat of others.