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Tag: crime family

Weekend Series on Crime: The Gambino Crime Family

Joe Colombo Jr., Whose Controversial Arrest In 1970 Triggered Noisy Protests Against The FBI, Dead At 67

This article is published with permission of Gang Land News, which is a paid-subscription website.

Gang Land News photo

 
By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

Joseph Colombo Jr., whose arrest back on April 30, 1970 spurred his Mafia boss father to dramatically turn the tables on the FBI, picketing the agency’s East Side offices and staging huge civil rights rallies, died last week after a long battle with Neurological Lyme Disease. He was 67.

The charges against Colombo Jr. were always controversial: In a novel case, he was charged with conspiring to melt down $200,000 of silver U.S. coins and convert them into more valuable silver ingots. His dad, the Bensonhurst-based boss of one of the city’s five crime families, termed it harassment aimed at him.

And a jury agreed. Less than a year later, on February 26, 1971, after just four hours of deliberations, a panel of jurors in Brooklyn Federal Court acquitted the defendant, prompting tears of joy to flow down the cheeks of the elder Colombo — a daily spectator at his son’s eight day trial.

“My son was innocent,” the usually hot tempered Mafia boss said as he wiped the tears away, the New York Times reported. “I feel that we fought all the way.”

“The only good that came out of all this is the birth of the Italian American Civil Rights League,” the outspoken Mafia boss told The Daily News.

The hard-fought verdict came after a mistrial, and  months of noisy demonstrations outside FBI headquarters and a boisterous Italian American Civil Rights League rally of an estimated 50,000 people which included many elected officials at Columbus Circle. The rally, coupled with Colombo’s claims of discrimination by the FBI against Italian-Americans propelled Colombo to the cover of Time Magazine and a guest spot on the Dick Cavett show.

The huge and popular rallies initially succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations: The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to stop using the words “Mafia” and “La Cosa Nostra” in its organized crime cases.

An even bigger coup was achieved when Colombo Sr. prevailed upon producer Al Ruddy to also delete the word “Mafia” from The Godfather.

But the era of good feeling was short-lived. Four months later, at the second Civil Rights League rally, Colombo was shot by a lone gunman and mortally wounded, remaining in a coma until he finally succumbed to his wounds seven years later.

Like his three brothers, Colombo Jr. was never inducted into the crime family that still bears his father’s name. In 1985, though, he was indicted along with brothers Vincent and Anthony on racketeering charges of bookmaking and bribery. He pleaded guilty, was sentenced to five years,

and was never implicated in any wrongdoing following his release from prison in 1990.

“He was sick a long time, at least he’s not suffering any longer,” said his brother Christopher, sadly. “He was unique person, very charismatic — like my father.

Everybody loved him. He was a great father, a fantastic grand-father. He had a way of touching people, and everyone he touched loved him. He will be missed by the entire family, and everyone who knew him.”

In addition to his brother Chris, he is survived by Diane, his wife of 45 years, daughters Dina and Denise, and his son Joseph III; his brothers Anthony and Vincent; his sister Catherine; five grandchildren, John, Jenna, Joey, Laini, and Emily, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Following a one day viewing at the Brooks Funeral  Home in Newburgh, and a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church in Newburgh, Colombo was laid to rest Tuesday at Calvary Cemetery in New Windsor.

Meanwhile, back in Joe Colombo’s old haunts in Brooklyn, Michael Persico, the son of the crime family’s current boss is now scheduled to be sentenced next year. Last week, Federal Judge Sandra Townes rejected his motion to take back his guilty plea. He faces a maximum of five years behind bars, but his plea agreement recommends a sentence between 37 and 46 months.

A Little Update on Sammy “The Bull” Gravano


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s been a while since we’ve heard of  Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, the former underboss of the Gambino Crime Family, who testified in New York against his boss, the late John Gotti.

So we went on  the Arizona State Corrections website and found a picture of Gravano and a little information which shows him getting released in 2019 for his conviction for selling ecstasy.  He pleaded guilty in 2001 and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Gravano, 68, no longer has that nice head of hair he once displayed.  He’s bald.

There have been reports that he was diagnosed with Graves’ disease,a thyroid disorder. It can cause fatigue, weight loss with increased appetite, and hair loss.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

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:

Oops: Fed Agents’ Big Goof in Arrest of NY Mobster

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This is a goof almost too good to be true.

Mob expert Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News reports that the feds — more specifically, federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security — were a little embarrassed a few weeks ago when they tried arresting Gambino crime family  capo Alphonse Trucchio.

The feds phoned Trucchio and told him to step outside his South Ozone Park, Queens home so they could arrest him on racketeering charges, according to Gang Land News.

Problem was, when Trucchio stepped outside, no one was there, Gang Land reported. Inside, shortly after, the phone rang again.

“If you don’t come outside now, we’re going to break the door down,” warned an agitated agent, Gang Land reported.

“Where are you? I just went outside and there was no one there,” said Trucchio, according to Gang Land.

The agents said they were outside his Howard Beach home.

“I don’t live there anymore,” replied the gangster, according to Gang Land. “I’ve been living here for 10 years…I’m on house arrest on an electronic monitor – and you don’t know where I am?!”

Gang Land reported that he then gave the agents the right address.

 

Acting Genovese Capo Pleads to Plotting to Kill Hitman for Russian Mob

hitman-gun1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The acting capo of the Genovese organized crime family pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in New York to taking part in a conspiracy to commit murder of a hitman for the Russian mob, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities say that Anthony Palumbo, a soldier and Acting Capo in the Genovese Organized Crime Family and operated crews in Brooklyn and New Jersey and oversaw various rackets including including gambling, loansharking and extortion.

Around 1990, when capo Daniel Pagano went to prison, Palumbo was placed in charge of overseeing the Genovese Crime Family’s interests in an illegal mob cartel, which extorted petroleum companies affiliated with the Russian mob.

The Russian mob ran a fraudulent motor fuel bootlegging scheme, in which the petroleum companies evaded the payment of federal and state motor fuel excise taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Genovese and other Organized Crime Families extorted a share of the illegal proceeds, authorities charged.

In about late 1992 or early 1993, a member of the Russian mob asked Palumbo to murder a hitman who worked for him.

Palumbo and his co-conspirators agreed to murder the Russian hitman, but Genovese Crime Family’s higher ups refused to authorize the murder, and the Russian hitman never was killed, authorities said.