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Tag: bonanno

Judge: Ex-Mafia Informant Can Sue FBI for Scheming to Imprison Him

judge and gavelBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An ex-mafia informant who is suing the federal government and three FBI agents may proceed with a lawsuit that alleges he was thrown in jail despite authorities knowing he was innocent.

The New York Daily News reports that former Bonanno family soldier Joseph Barone Jr. was a mole for 18 years and is thrilled by the judge’s decision Thursday.

“This is wonderful, this is no joke,” Barone said. “I’m nervous, I’m happy, I’m angry still. I’m so thankful to God, and we’ve just got to wait to take the next step.”

Barone claims federal agents leaked his status as an informant after he refused to wear a wire.

The FBI declined to comment.

Gang Land Exclusive: Feds Tie Howard Beach Home Invasions To Last Year’s Lufthansa Heist Indictment

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

By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

Federal authorities have linked an imprisoned Bonanno soldier to abrazen gang of mob associates who pulled off dozens of home invasion robberies and burglaries in Howard Beach and nearby communities, Gang Lang has learned.

The wiseguy, John (Bazoo) Ragano, was one of five defendants in an indictment that charged an aging capo with the storied $6 million Lufthansa heist depicted in the 1990 mob movie classic, Goodfellas.

Sources say the feds suspect Ragano of fingering the owner of an Ozone Park auto repair shop — Bonanno associate Robert Cotrone — for robbery.

Seven weeks after Ragano’s arrest in the Lufthansa case, a trio of armed thugs invaded Cotrone’s Howard Beach home, stealing thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry.

Ragano had “worked” for Cotrone at Bam’s Auto Body, but in a telling display of mob duplicity, he allegedly gave Cotrone up to the robbery team because he knew the auto repair shop owner was on his own after his longtime mob protector was locked up. The protector, Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro, was detained without bail for the airline robbery. Cotrone has allegedly made years of “protection” payments to Asaro, even once testifying as a defense witness for him.

A law enforcement official familiar with the case put it this way: “Money, of course, was very important” to Ragano. “The guy’s a gangster. Locked up, he needs cash. The other guy (Cotrone) is unprotected; his guy (Asaro) just got put away. There’s no honor with these guys, it’s survival of the fittest.

It’s simple: He needed the money, he knew there’d be no payback. Makes no difference to him that he’s going to steal his dough.”

According to court papers in the Lufthansa prosecution, Ragano, 53, was inducted into the Bonanno crime family about three years ago, and was a ready and willing enforcer for his mob superior, Asaro, based on what Ragano was heard saying during the FBI investigation.

Read more »

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.

 

High-Ranking Mobster Asks to Be Released for Helping FBI Arrest Mafia Members

Joseph Massino/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Bonanno crime boss and FBI informant wants to be freed from jail in exchange for damaging testimony against the mafia, the New York Post reportsBon.

Joseph Massino, who will be re-sentenced toady, provided key testimony against former colleagues, including Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano.

“It is fair to say that not only is Mr. Massino the most prominent La Cosa Nostra leader ever to cooperate but also that seldom in the history of the war against organized crime has anyone contributed as much to the government,” Massino attorney Edward McDonald wrote to the court.

The 70-year-old career criminal is in poor health, his attorney said.

Mafia Expert “Donnie Brasco” to Speak to Montreal Officials About the Criminal Underworld

Joseph Pistone

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mafia expert and former undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone, better known as Donnie Brasco, is expected to share knowledge of the criminal underworld to Montreal officials as early as Monday, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Pistone is known for bringing down members of two of New York City’s most notorious mobs – the Bonanno and Colombo crime families – by earning their trust during a six-year sting operation in the late 1970s.

But don’t expect Pistone to reveal much about the mafia in Canada, the Montreal Gazette reported.

According to an author who has spoken with Pistone, the former agent doesn’t have specific information on the mafia in Montreal.

Feds Arrest Bonanno Mob Family Members

 
By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Four members of the Bonanno organized crime family were arrested early Friday in New York by DEA and FBI agents on charges of racketeering, gambling and drug sales, reports NBC. Also charged in the case was Anthony Graziano, the father of Mob Wives”  reality show star Renee Graziano .

Vincent Badalamenti, identified as a member of the Bonanno crime family administration, Nicholas Santora, a Bonanno family capo, Vito Balsamo, an acting captain, and Anthony Calabrese, a soldier, were arrested and charged on Friday with racketeering, extortion, illegal gambling, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, according to NBC.

All the defendants  entered pleas of not guilty.

To read more click here.

Ex-NY Mob Boss Testifies that Crooked FBI Agent in 80s Tipped Off the Mafia About Arrests

Joseph Massino/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Bonanno mob boss Joseph Massino — the first N.Y. family boss to ever take the witness stand for the government — testified Thursday that a crooked FBI agent tipped off the Mafia back in the 80s that he and others were about to get arrested, the Associated Press reported.

As a result, he said, he went on the lam for two years, AP reported.

“The FBI agent never gave a bad tip,” Massino testified, according to AP. “Anytime he told us something, we could take it to the bank.”

Massino is currently serving a life sentence for multiple murders. He was testifying against his successor in the mob, Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, who is accused of putting a hit out on a mob associate. Basciano is already serving a life sentence in another case.

AP reported that it was unclear whether authorities ever confirmed Massino’s story about the crooked FBI agent. AP reported that the FBI on Thursday declined comment.