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Tag: Bonanno Crime Family

Son of Mob Associate Refuses to Assist FBI After Getting Shot Three Times

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Salvatore Zottola, the son of a Bonanno crime family associate, ain’t cooperating with the FBI after being shot three times.

Zottola was critically wounded in an attempted hit outside his sprawling Bronx home.

Law enforcement sources tell the New York Post has denied the FBI access to his houses’ cameras. He was shot while walking to his car Wednesday morning.

He is at the Jacobi Medical Center and has made it clear to investigators he’s not cooperating.

 

Federal Grand Jury Probes A Rash Of Home Invasions In Howard Beach

Jerry Capeci is regarded as an expert on the mob. His website, Gang Land News, is a subscription-based website. This article was republished with permission.

By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

A federal grand jury in Brooklyn is investigating a violent gang of low level Bonanno crime family associates that is alleged to be behind a rash of home invasion robberies and burglaries in Howard Beach and nearby communities in Queens and Long Island, Gang Land has learned. Sources say federal prosecutors have been presenting evidence to a grand jury about dozens of robberies in a community that was immune to drug dealing and violent crime when John Gotti and the bosses of the Luchese and Bonanno crime families lived there.

That mob immunity apparently vanished, however, with the death of the Dapper Don and the removals of Vic Amuso to prison, and Joe Massino to the federal witness protection program. In several home invasions, sources say the masked marauders made off with thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry after beating residents.

Victims, both men and women, were allegedly forced to strip naked and bound with plastic ties. Sources say that on occasion the gang threw all caution — and good sense — to the wind by targetting the homes of organized crime figures and others with crime connections. The gang’s death-wish modus operandi mirrors the real-life plot of Rob The Mob, the 2014 movie about Thomas and Rosemarie Uva, a Howard Beach couple who robbed mob social clubs in the 1990s, and were whacked by the mob.

Local community leaders confirmed the crime outbreak to Gang Land. “In March and April (of last year), there were a lot of push-in robberies and burglaries,” said Joseph Thompson, a former Brooklyn resident who moved to Howard Beach 20 years ago and is president of the Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol Inc., HBCOP, a community watchdog group that was founded in June to try to help cops stem the tide. “For a while,” said one neighborhood denizen, recalling the onslaught of break-ins a year ago, “it got so bad it seemed like every other day, you’d hear about another one. The 106 (precinct) even set up a command station.” And those were “just the reported robberies,” said a knowledgeable law enforcement source who is familiar with a federal grand jury probe by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn in conjunction with the Queens District Attorney’s Office and Detectives with the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID).

According to court records obtained by Gang Land, a ringleader of the group is Gene Borrello, a 30-year-old 6-foot-2inch, 200-pound former Howard Beach resident with numerous arrests and convictions for fraud, drugs and weapons charges in New York and Long Island since 2003. Borrello is currently cooling his heels on Rikers Island, where he’s been detained on burglary, and possession of weapons and burglars tools on a Queens arrest warrant. Borrello is also facing armed robbery charges lodged against him in Palm Beach Florida, where he was living last year and where he also is a suspect in home invasions.

In Queens, Borrello is charged with planning the armed robbery of a suspected drug dealer’s home last June 5, and with supplying the guns that two co-conspirators had with them when they set out from Howard Beach to hit a residence in the upscale Five Towns area of Long Island, according to an arrest complaint by OCID detective Gerard McNally. In mid-March of 2014, as the ring was moving into high gear, Borrello supplied a Howard Beach cohort, Frank Nunziata, also 30, with two loaded guns, a 9-millimeter pistol and a .22 caliber revolver, for use in the caper, McNally stated in the complaint. From his Florida base, Borrello later “sent him pictures of the target location” and gave Nunziata the layout of the house. In late May, Borrello allegedly instructed Nunziatta to meet up with the third member of the plot, Borrello’s brother, Frank Cipolla, 25, to give him the guns for safekeeping, and iron out the robbery plan.

The plan was for Nunziata to drive, and supply Cipolla a towel-covered-crowbar to break the sliding glass back door. They would find a safe with drugs, guns and more than $100,000 in the bedroom. Each would get a third of the haul, McNally wrote.

Unbeknownst to the brothers Borrello and Cipolla, however, Nunziata began cooperating with detectives and the Queens DA’s office following his arrest on drug and other charges a year earlier. And at 11:44 PM on June 5, shortly after Nunziata pulled away from his home at 115th Avenue and Bridgeton Street, OCID detectives stopped his dark blue BMW, and pulled both men from the car.

 In the glove box, they found a loaded .22 caliber revolver. Also allegedly found in the car were plastic zip ties, a pair of crowbars, two screwdrivers, a ski-mask and a bandana. Cipolla, whom police said had a 9millimeter pistol tucked in his waistband and a pair of black gloves in his lap, was arrested on numerous charges.
Since their arrests, hearings on charges against Borrello and Cipolla have been adjourned repeatedly with no objection from defense lawyers. Cipolla, who has a New Jersey drug conviction on his rap sheet, is free on $150,000 bail. Attorneys for each defendant, and Queens Rackets Bureau prosecutor Brian Kohm declined to comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s office also stayed mum. Howard Beach Community patrol president Thompson credited the law enforcement community, particularly the 106 precinct police, for squelching the recent robbery plague. He said crime in Howard Beach is down more than 25% since last year.
“We’re pretty much a quality of life patrol right now,” said Thompson, adding that his diverse group of community volunteers “serves as eyes and ears of the police department” and has proven to be “a deterrent against crime” since they began their patrols last August. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, sources say a federal grand jury impaneled to hear the case has heard testimony from several robbery and burglary victims in recent months as prosecutors push forward in an effort to obtain a racketeering indictment against several members of the violent home invasion gang of mob associates.

 

FBI May Have Cracked Case of Pre-Dawn Robbery Immortalized by ‘Goodfellas’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 1978 robbery depicted in the movie “Goodfellas” was inspired by real life events at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

CNN reports a major break in that case, in which suspected organized crime associates were murdered and more than $6 million in cash and jewelry stolen.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested suspected Bonanno mob captain Vincent Asaro, 78, on charges that he participated in the robbery. Four other alleged members of Bonanno were also arrested.

“As alleged, Vincent Asaro devoted his adult life to the Bonanno crime family, with a criminal career that spanned decades,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. “Far from a code of honor, theirs was a code of violence and brute force. Those suspected of cooperating with law enforcement paid with their lives.”

Only one person – an airline employee – was previously convicted in the robbery case.

httpv://youtu.be/aC5al-btIEw

 

NY Crime Boss Testifies in Court; Makes Mafia History

Joseph Massino/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In what’s being billed as a first, a boss of one of the five New York crime families took the stand Tuesday to testify in court for the government.

No New York boss had ever done that before, though it’s generally accepted that the code of silence aint’ what it used to be in the mob.

Joseph C.  Massino, 68, who headed the Bonanno Crime Family in New York for 14 years, and is now behind bars, testified in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn against his successor,  Vincent Basicano,  who is accused of killing Bonanno associate Randolph Pizzolo, the New York Daily News reported. Basciano is already serving a life sentence for a murder and racketeering conviction in 2007.

Massino testified Tuesday that while in prison with Basicano, he  recorded him talking about the killing, the Daily News reported.

“He told me that he had him killed,” Massino testified.  “He said he was a scumbag, a rat, a troublemaker, a bad kid.”

The New York Times reported that Massino became a government snitch after his July 2004 conviction for murder and racketeering. At the time, the government talked about going after the death penalty against Massino. But Massino, as part of his plea,  pleaded guilty to eight more murders and got two consecutive life terms. On the upside, his wife and daughter were allowed to keep their homes.

After his conviction, the Times reports, that Massino offered up info that Basciano was plotting to kill a federal prosecutor and U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, who is presiding over the current trial.

Attorney Barry Levin, who represented Basciano in a 2006 trial,  told the Times that Massino was a “pathological liar” and that the government “had welcomed him with open arms only to prove they could break a boss.” He also said the prosecution was a waste of millions of dollar of government money considering Basciano is already serving a life sentence.

Basciano faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

Read NY Daily News Story

Read NY Times Story

NY Killer Mob Snitch Gets Time Served and Witness Protection Program

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The headline in the New York Post read: ” ‘Life’ of a Super Mob Rat; Turncoat Killer Gets Witness Protection.”

The headline referred to former Bonanno crime-family underboss Salvatore “Good Looking Sal” Vitale, who the Post described as “one of the most helpful government informers in US Mafia history.”

Vitale was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn to time served. And Vitale, who had pleaded guilty to 11 murders and a number of other mob related charges, was being placed in a witness protection program, the Post reported. He had served eight years.

Vitale “will live the balance of his life as a notorious and endangered prisoner, in a cell of his own creation, targeted by the very criminal organization of which he was once a leader,” U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said, according to the post.

Vitale helped put a number of mobsters behind bars including the boss of the Bonanno crime family Joseph Massino.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Brooklyn Feds Vouch for Bonanno Crime Family Mobster

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors are putting in a good word for convicted killer and tough guy Salvatore “Good Looking Sal” Vitale, a Bonanno family mobster who is set to be sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court. He hopes to avoid a life sentence.

Newsday reports that prosecutors, in a court filing, are advocating that Vitale get a break in sentencing because his cooperation was “devastating to the mafia” and worthy of a “substantial” sentencing break.

Prosecutors in a court document described the cooperation as “groundbreaking by any measure.”

Newsday reported that Vitale’s testified against his close friend and brother-in-law Joseph Massino, who was the boss of the Bonanno family.

Newsday reported that Vitale provided the FBI with evidence about more than 30 gangland murders or attempted murders. Court papers say he also helped identify hundreds of mobsters.

In court papers the prosecution described Vitale, who had been charged with racketeering,  this way:

Vitale was, for more than three decades, associated with the Bonanno organized crime family of Cosa Nostra (the “Bonanno family”). He rose to leadership positions in that enterprise, and ultimately, as the underboss and acting boss, he served in two of the most powerful positions in the American mafia.

“He has committed, sometimes daily, a wide array of crimes that include horrific acts of violence. He engaged in murder repeatedly, including the eleven murders to which he pled guilty. For most of his adult life, Salvatore Vitale lived outside the laws of the United States.”

Read Government’s 128-Page Filing

Bonanno Crime Family Mobster in N.Y. Sentenced to Life

The federal prosecutors continue to knock off one New York mobster after another. How many more are left?

By KATI CORNELL
New York Post
NEW YORK — A Bonanno associate convicted of carrying out a ghoulish mob murder at a reputedly haunted house on Staten Island was put behind bars for life yesterday.

Brooklyn federal Judge Allyne Ross sentenced Joseph Young, 29, to a mandatory life term on 24 racketeering counts, including charges stemming from the murder of mob associate Robert McKelvey in March 2005.

“He took a human life. It’s the most serious crime to commit, and it deserves the most serious sentence,” said Assistant US Attorney Winston Chan.

To Read More
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