Nicky Santoro has had a long run in the Mafia. He was part of the Sonny Black crew that was taken down by FBI Special Agent Pistone aka Donnie Brasco. He has been part of the Bonanno crime family for decades as an associate, made guy, capo and underboss. Today he is an inmate with the state of New York awaiting trial. He has gotten away with a lot over the years, but something he can’t get away from has caught up to him: father time. He is in a hospital bed, on a no bail hold, and he has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Corrections for negligent and malicious treatment.
I was down at BaMonte's in Brooklyn one Saturday many years ago, and I met Nicky in the parking lot with a loud mouth Colombo guy. Nicky gave us some NFL jerseys. Soon after that he was made a capo, then back to a soldier and finally after the boss Joey Massino flipped, he was briefly the underboss of the family.
He has been locked up on a number of charges in the past, but now he is just old and sick.
The state case of enterprise corruption ended in a mistrial last year after two months of trial.
The state is going to retry it, but they want to keep Nicky locked up.
The heart of the case revolves around an online gambling book and the selling of prescription drugs. This is hardly like the Tommy “Shots” Gioeli case. The problem is he has gotten away with a lot in the past.
In 1994 Genovese associate Michael D’Urso and his cousin Bonanno associate Sabatino Lombarti were playing cards at San Giuseppe social club in Greenpoint, Brooklyn when Giancarlo “John” Imbrieco shot D’Urso in the head and then shot Lombardi. D’Urso survived the hit, but his cousin was killed.
He went to his Genovese capo Rosario Gangi, who told him not to retaliate. The shooting went down because another Genovese associate owed them $60,000 for a gambling debt. D’Urso tried to get one of the people involved in the hit, but failed twice. He was warned by Gangi that if it was him who was behind the failed attempts, he was in big trouble. So D’Urso went to the FBI and started wearing a wire. He wore it for three years and took down at least 60 guys, including two bosses of the Genovese family.
It seems John Imbrieco who is now more than 15 years into his 20 year plea deal has asked the judge who sentenced him to give him some leniency.
Imbrieco wrote Judge Leo Glasser and told him that he was a changed man. He has been a model prisoner, taking plumbing classes and even spin class.
Imbrieco noted that his coconspirator had their case overturned. The Judge asked prosecutors to work out a timed served deal.
The family of Sabatino Lombarti are outraged. Lombarti might have been a loan shark, but he didn't shoot two people in the back of the head for money.
Once again more drama in the mafia world. I wonder, since most of these guys are getting up in years, if they will find a litigator to keep on retainer who specializes in mafia “slip and fall” civil suits?
Sonny Franzese will be 100 this year and he has not filed one yet.