By Steve Neavling
Joseph C. Massino, the former boss of the Bonanno crime family who later became a government witness, has died following a short illness, Newsday reports.
Massino, who was known as “The Last Don,” was 80 years old.
In his final years of life, Massino had chronic health problems, including diabetes and obesity.
He died on Sept. 14 at a rehabilitation facility in the New York City area.
In 2003, Massino was arrested in a sweeping RICO indictment and was later convicted of eight murders, including those of several rivals in the Bonanno family.
He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.
While in prison, Massino broke the code of silence for mobsters and became the first sitting boss of a New York crime family to become a government informant. He recorded conversations with a mafia captain and provided investigators with information about hundreds of people associated with the Bonanno family and other crime families.
In the summer of 2013, a federal judge commuted Massino’s sentence after prosecutors cited his extensive cooperation.
Until recently, Bonanno lived in Ohio.