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Tag: La Cosa Nostra

Member of Gambino Organized Crime Family to spend Life in Prison on Racketeering Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A member of the Gambino organized crime family was sentenced to life without parole for racketeering charges that span more than thee decades.

Bartolomeo Vernace was found guilty of all nine racketeering acts, a 1981 double homicide, heroin trafficking, robbery and illegal gambling.

“For more than four decades, the defendant dedicated his life to committing crimes for the mafia. He rose through the ranks to become a powerful Gambino family leader by making money from crime and committing brutal acts of violence, including the 1981 murders of two innocent bar owners over a spilled drink. Though they were taken from their families long ago, Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese—two businessmen who also ran the local Boys’ Club—have not been forgotten,” U.S. Attorney Lynch said. “We hope the victims’ families are able to take some measure of comfort from the fact that, with this life sentence, one of the killers has now been brought to justice.”

“After more than 33 years evading justice, Bartolomeo ‘Bobby Glasses’ Vernace can hide no more. Vernace made a life of being a key player in the Gambino crime family where his activities led to his convictions for heroin trafficking, robbery, loansharking, gambling, and firearms, as well the vicious double murder. Today’s life sentence ensures the rest of Bobby Glasses’s life will only be seen inside of a federal facility,” added FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Book Explores Relationship Between FBI Informant and Mobster ‘Grim Reaper’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A new book explores the secret world of FBI informants, questioning the extent of bureau protection for killers and other criminals, U.S. News & World Report said.

“Deal With the Devil: The FBI’s Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer” is written by investigative reporter and former ABC correspondent Peter Lance, who exposes the bureau’s questionable relationship with mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr., AKA the “Grim Reaper.”

Scarpa “was the most vicious killer in the history of La Cosa Nostra,” a notorious crime organization in the U.S. and Italy.

Because of deals with the FBI, Scarpa served a total of 30 days “in over 40 years of murder and racketeering.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Acting New England Crime Boss Anthony Dinunzio Off to Prison for 6 years and 6 Months

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anthony L. Dinunzio, the acting boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced Wednesday in Providence, R.I. federal court to 6 years and 6 months in prison for his role in extorting protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island.

Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Mass., pleaded guilty on Sept. 13 to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise (RICO).

“Today, the admitted leader of the New England La Cosa Nostra was sentenced to prison for the years of significant harm he caused to the people of Rhode Island,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer in a statement. “Anthony Dinunzio and his NELCN subordinates used threats of violence to extort protection payments from business owners throughout the state, and his sentence sends a powerful message about the department’s determination to hold mafia leaders and associates to account.”

“Over the last several years, the FBI and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners have undeniably shattered Omerta, the New England LCN’s code of silence,” said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers. “Through persistent, methodical and unyielding investigations, Mr. Dinunzio and others in the LCN know they no longer are able to rely on their sworn bonds for protection from the FBI and our partners.”

 

 

FBI In Early 1960s Mistakenly Referred to Mob as “La Causa Nostra”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

How unsophisticated was the FBI when dealing with the mob in the early 1960s?

So unsophisticated that the bureau referred to the La Cosa Nostra as the La Causa Nostra, according to Jerry Capeci, the mob expert who runs the site Gang Land News.

Capeci writes that for near two years, from September 1961 until July of 1963, the FBI had the name wrong.

Capeci writes:

The lack of agents familiar with the Italian language probably didn’t help matters, but the incorrect term originated with two confidential informants who were developed by FBI agents under the Top Hoodlum program that Hoover put into play to gather intelligence about the Mafia in the 1950s, according to FBI documents obtained by Gang Land.

“According to (informer) NY T-2,” stated one FBI report, “during  September, 1961, in the Italian underworld, the overall organization or group is referred to as ‘La Causa Nostra,’ literally translated, ‘our Cause.’ This term, in his opinion,” the report continued, “could be readily interchangeable with the word Mafia.”

Visit Gang Land News website

 

 

 

FBI Agent Calls Staffing Against NY Mob “Dangerously Low”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is the N.Y. FBI allocating far too little to fight the five Organized Crime Families?

The answer is a definite Yes, according to a story by mob expert Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News.

The site reports that the number of agents investigating New York wiseguys is at an all time low. One agent, the site reports, calls it “dangerously low.”

Still, Gangland reports that “G-men and women from other federal agencies have jumped into the fray to fill the void against the thousands of wiseguys and associates of the infamous Five Families.”

An example, according to the site, were the arrests last week by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Diplomatic Security Services (DSS) agents with the State Department arrested three wiseguys and four associates of the Gambino and Bonanno crime families on racketeering charges.

Gang Land reported that the FBI has reduced the number of squads that investigate the Five Families to three and the number of agents trying to keep tabs and arrest 700 made men and 7000 associates to about 45.

“It’s pretty obvious that there are other people locking up people that we used to lock up,” one veteran agent who has worked on mob squads for more than a dozen years told Gang Land. The agent called the number of FBI agents going after the mob “dangerously low.”

“In terms that the numbers-crunching bureaucrats can understand,” said the agent, “it’s impossible for 45 agents to do the work that 65 or 70 – or even more – were doing without losing effectiveness.”

“Across the U.S. the mob’s influence and power is not what it used to be, even in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

But New York is different,” the agent said, according to Gang Land News. “They are still a viable force here. But for some reason the organized crime emphasis here is on non-traditional OC, not the LCN,” which is FBI-speak for La Cosa Nostra.

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin told Gang Land News: “The FBI’s allocation of resources isn’t etched in stone. We continually monitor and assess how best to deploy agents and other resources. We’re continuing to address the threat posed by organized crime in New York, including the five La Cosa Nostra families. But we have to do that with finite resources, spread across all of our investigative programs.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

FBI History: The Surveillance Squad Took a 1979 Photo of the Detroit Mob Worth Thousands of Words

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. He is a columnist for ticklethewire.com.

Jack Tocco With Fellow Mobsters in 1979

Jack Tocco With Fellow Mobsters in 1979

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

I joined the Detroit FBI surveillance squad in 1977. Two years later, on June 11, 1979 , we witnessed an event- its historical significance and ramifications would not be clear until many years later.

But before I get to that, a little history. In the early 1970s, the FBI’s Detroit Field Office established the FBI’s 1st full-time surveillance squad. At that time, organized crime was one of the priorities of the FBI.

Neil Welch, the then Detroit FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC), decided it was a good idea to have a squad dedicated to primarily following members of the Detroit family of the La Cosa Nostra, the Mafia, and learning about their activities. It should be noted that the Detroit family was one of the oldest and most successful LCN families in the country.

Although a surveillance squad was not a new concept, it was for the FBI. And FBI headquarters would have to be persuaded it was worthwhile, and that meant the Director, J. Edgar Hoover, had to agree. He did, and the Detroit surveillance squad was born.

The squad was unique not just in its function, but in its entire nature. As its primary target was a sophisticated organization, that would be surveillance wary, the squad had to be equal to the task.

Read more »