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Tag: Mafia

Mob Museum Opens in Appropriate Setting: Las Vegas

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The nicknames have become legendary: The Chin, The Dapper Don, Bugsy.

Now, there’s a place for them, all under one roof.

The New York Times reported on Monday of a $42 million museum in Las Vegas dedicated to the Mob, three stories of a 41,000-square-foot landmark building with 17,000 square feet of exhibition space. The museum opened on Tuesday, Valentines Day.

How romantic.

“With artifacts, clever interactive displays, atmospheric exhibits and photographs and videos, … We see how the mob maneuvered into businesses of pleasure, not releasing its hold until late in the 20th century, when corporate casinos trumped their almost quaint predecessors,” reports the Times.

The museum will also teach how immigrants of a Italian and Jewish backgrounds built what they could in the “land of opportunity” until the Feds brought them down by wiretaps and informants, according to the Times.

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime History: the Donny Brasco Story

http://youtu.be/VN6jkug5p9s

Mobster John Gotti: Draft Dodger? Kinda, Sorta

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Was the late Godfather John Gotti a draft dodger? Well, kinda, sorta.

His status with the military is included in 1,580 pages of FBI files on Gotti from 1964 to 1995, archived on a CD-ROM by the website paperlessarchives.com.

Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family, nicknamed the “Dapper Don” because of his lavish lifestyle and manner of dress.

The files point out that Gotti was drafted in 1963 in Brooklyn, but did not appear for induction. The  FBI searched for Gotti for two years, eventually making contact on November 10, 1965, when the future crime boss appeared at the Kings County Court House for a hearing related to a grand larceny auto. Gotti told authorities he was unaware of the draft status. He reported to the selective service board the next day, but was never inducted into the armed forces due to his criminal record, the files show.

Also in the files are reports of an internal FBI administrative investigation in 1992 in which at least 140 agents were interviewed and provided sworn statements regarding leaks about John Gotti to the New York Daily News.

“I did not provide this information to anyone not entitled to receive it, including the Daily News,” one agent said, “with the possible exception of my wife. I do not recall discussing this with my wife, but I may have.”

Another investigation focused on leaks to a New York news television program, where reporter John Miller broke the story of a juror being bribed–$60,000 from Gotti himself and another $15,000 from a Gambino associate–which ultimately led to Gotti’s acquittal in the case. Miller was known to have wide net of connections in New York law enforcement and later went on to become the chief spokesman for the FBI in 2005 to 2009.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

FBI Finds More than Veal Cutlets at Brooklyn Butcher

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents found more than a good cut of veal and pork chops at the Graham Ave. Meats and Deli in Brooklyn, N.Y. neighborhood of Williamsburg this summer. In their arrest of Michael “Mike The Butcher” Virtuoso on extortion charges this past July, agents found a rolodex of Virtuoso’s with the contact information for many of the city’s top crime bosses and mafioso.

Feds hope the rolodex can be used against Virtuoso in the charges, and are arguing not to offer the butcher a shot at bail due to his associations with organized crime. Virtuoso made no attempt to code the names of his contacts, reports the New York Post.

Agents also found a scrapbook of Vituoso’s containing newspaper reports of mob arrests and convictions. Virtuoso was convicted in 2009 of extortion, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Gambino Crime Family Has a New Boss

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Gambino Crime Family has a new boss — Domenico (Italian Dom) Cefalu, marking a clear end to the Gotti era, Gang Land News reported.

Mob expert Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News writes:

“In a surprise move, the Gambinos have gone back to the old-fashioned way of running a crime family. They have selected a boss who is not in prison. He is a convicted drug trafficker with a well-earned reputation as a stand-up wiseguy who would never flip.”

Gang Land New reports that Cefalu, 64, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, came into the family during the Gotti reign. Many of the key Gotti folks are behind bars.

Cefalu’s rap sheet includes six years in prison for a 1982 heroin smuggling conviction, and 20 months in the joint for a 2008 extortion rap. He is a salesman for a local bakery.

NY Auction House Auctioning Fed’s Mob Files from 50s and 60s

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some fed mobster file lost in a New York cab nearly 20 years ago– with an estimated pre-sale worth of $10,000 to $15,000 — are going up for auction at Bonhams New York, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. government file in a three-ring binder — stamped “Mafia” and “United States Treasury Department Bureau of Narcotics” — includes mug shots, mug shots, criminal associates and favorite hangouts of over 800 Mafia members during the 1950s and early 1960s, AP reported.

AP reported that mobsters Carlo “Don Carlo” Gambino, Meyer Lansky and Salvatore “Lucky Luciano” Lucania each had their own entries.

The file was compiled sometime between 1957 and 1962, AP reported.

AP reported that 50 copies of the file were likely printed, and the one on auction is the only one still in existence.

Eastern European Mob #1 Priority for FBI in South Fla.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

South Florida isn’t just the home of  white belts, white shoes, early bird specials and transplanted New York mobsters.

The Miami Herald reports that the Eastern European mob has become a big concern for the FBI — bigger than the Italian mafia.

“Eurasian organized crime is our No. 1 priority,” FBI supervisory special agent Rick Brodsky of the Miami office told the paper.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Arrests Philly Mob Boss, Underboss and 9 Others


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mob in Philadelphia got a rude awakening Monday morning.

FBI agents rounded up Philly reputed mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, underboss Joseph Massimino and nine other reputed associates, capping a lengthy probe that focused on crimes including violence, gambling, loan sharking, witness tampering and extortion,  the Justice Department announced.

Others arrested, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer,  included reputed mobsters Anthony Staino, Martin Angelina and Gaetan Lucibello and alleged mob associate Louis “Bent Finger” Lou Monacello.

The arrests came as a result of 50-count, superseding indictment of 13 mobsters, the Justice Department said. Two were already in prison.

The Philadelphia LCN Family has shown a remarkable ability to reorganize and reinvigorate itself, even as its members were sent to prison,” Assistant Attorney Gen. Lanny Breuer said at a press conference in Philly. ” According to the superseding indictment, Ligambi rose through the ranks of the organization, becoming an underboss, then acting boss and, finally, when his predecessor was sent to prison, the boss.

“Attorney General Robert Kennedy understood that the devastating grip of organized crime in this country had to be broken,” Breuer later said. ” Attorney General Holder has renewed that commitment. While we have pried loose La Cosa Nostra’s grip on power and influence, we know that there is still work to be done.