Prosecutors in Italy are investigating how the alleged grandson of a mafia boss managed to close down traffic and land a helicopter in the crowded main square of a small Calabrian town to celebrate his wedding day.
Antonio Gallone, 31, tied the knot with his bride Aurora before celebrating with a lavish seaside spectacle complete with red carpet, Ferraris, Maseratis, and a helicopter drop-off in the main city square to a throng of cheering onlookers.
After their religious ceremony, the bride and groom took off from a nearby airfield in a Robinson 44 Ipema helicopter for an hour-long scenic flight over the Aeolian islands at sunset.
When the couple returned, their helicopter flew right over the main castle square, hovered for a moment, then touched down right in the heart of town, where traffic had been closed off for three hours.
The ancient hilltop town of Nicotera in the Calabrian province of Vibo Valentia is a known stronghold for the ‘Ndrangheta, one of the world’s richest, most powerful crime syndicates.
Nicotera’s city administration was disbanded twice in the last decade for mafia association.
MEMPHIS – An ex-Boston mobster who secretly moved to Memphis in 2013 is opening up about his life as the boss of a Boston mafia crew and his knowledge of the largest art heist in world history.
In the 1990s, Robert Luisi, Jr. was the leader of a mob crew in a Boston. Two of the men in his crew, Robert Guarente and 80-year-old Robert Gentile, are suspected by the FBI of stealing $500 million worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Luisi moved to Memphis in 2013. With guidance from the federal government, he changed his name to Alonso Esposito and started a new life.
Now, Esposito lives in a Memphis suburb with his wife, Julie Esposito, and their children.
Guarente died in 2004. Investigators have searched Gentile’s home in Philadelphia, but didn’t find the paintings. Gentile is awaiting trial for unrelated charges, and he claims he knows nothing about the missing art.
For 26 years, the investigation has led investigators to dead ends. And even with Esposito opening up about his knowledge, the art is still nowhere to be found.
When asked if men in his crew were involved in the heist, Esposito said, “I think several of them were. Yeah, that was my crew.”
But Esposito said he didn’t connect with Gentile and Guarante until a few years after the heist.
“I was coming back to Boston from Martha’s Vineyard,” Esposito said, describing what he was doing on March 18, 1990 – the night the paintings were stolen. “That crew that they suspect actually did the robbery, I really didn’t hook up with them until about ’94.”
No one has ever been arrested for stealing the art, but leads have continually taken investigators to men related to Esposito’s former friends in Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Florida.
After extensive investigation, our specialized team, the F.B.I. New-Media Task Force, has determined that organized-crime syndicates are being increasingly hampered by an inability to communicate effectively through text messages and e-mails. Agents have found that the Mafia and other large criminal groups are having difficulty planning crimes as a result of overly long strings of messages that are derailed by unrelated jokes and gifs. Our investigators are pleased to report that this pattern has led to a decrease in crime and an increase in criminal organizations’ cellular overage charges.
The bulk of this investigation involved the interception and analysis of Mafia members’ text messages. It was observed that poor texting habits led to many issues. For instance, unrecognized abbreviations often had to be explained (LOL = Lots of Larceny, CSP = Cement Shoes Please, BHK = Break His Knees, etc.). Mobsters who own different brands of phones were inadvertently left out of group texts, and as a result crimes were understaffed and failed. Winking emojis that were meant to subtly imply something illegal were often interpreted as flirtatious, and vice versa.
Combing through Mafia conversations has revealed an organization that is overly chatty, unable to make basic criminal decisions in fewer than fifty logistical messages. Consider this transcript from a group text chain labelled “Legitimate Businessmen”:
Joey Three Snaps: did you get it? Hambone Harry: yah, where can I can hand it off? Joey Three Snaps: Tito’s? Hambone Harry: eh I don’t feel like that, had mexican last night Gus Gus: we don’t have to eat for this meeting Joey Three Snaps: wat do you feel like? Hambone Harry: not Tito’s Gus Gus: guys what about just Starbucks Joey Three Snaps: nah I need to eat Gus Gus: they have muffins n stuff Hambone Harry: guys come on, pick something Gus Gus: sidebar: where’s a good place to start with don delillo?
This particular text conversation continues for another sixty-four minutes until its participants decide to abandon the plan altogether, and to start with “White Noise.” We believe that, in this instance, inept texting combined with numerous long-winded tangents about what constitutes a “low-key date spot” prevented or delayed a serious crime.
The late mob boss John Gotti must be spinning in his grave after NYPD cops raided his iconic home in Howard Beach early Thursday to arrest his namesake grandson on drug charges.
The raid marked the first time ever that members of law enforcement crossed the Gotti threshold armed with a search warrant.
“They destroyed the house,” claimed Gerard Marrone, the lawyer representing John Gotti, the grandson. His father is mob scion Peter Gotti.
Detectives seized $40,000 and 500 Oxycodone pills inside a safe in Gotti’s bedroom where he was shacked up with girlfriend Eleonor Gabrielli, who was also busted, officials said.
Retired FBI supervisor Phil Scala said the 23-year-old grandson’s reckless behavior in the House of Gotti violated a sacred rule. The Dapper Don never conducted mob business in his home because he wanted to protect his family from exposure to his criminal activities, according to Scala, who headed the Bureau’s Gambino squad for years.
“If John was still alive he would be spewing every pejorative he could, knowing that somebody did something so stupid to besmirch his home and his family,” Scala told the Daily News.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Gotti and a crew of dope dealers were peddling Oxycodone pills on the streets of Howard Beach and Ozone Park for $23 to $24 per painkiller pill.
Just like his grandfather was brought down by a bug planted in an elderly woman’s apartment above the mob boss’s Ravenite Social Club in lower Manhattan, investigators secretly installed a listening device in Gotti’s Infiniti sedan as part of their drug probe dubbed “Operation Beach Party.”
Gotti was recorded on a wiretap stating that he sold more than 4,200 pills a month and the illicit business pulled in $100,000 a month.
Undercover cops allegedly made 11 buys from Gotti, purchasing $46,000 worth of Oxycodone from him. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Investigators also executed a search warrant at the Rebel Ink Tattoo Parlor where Gotti is a part-owner.
“He’s lucky his grandfather is not alive,” said Lewis Kasman, the deceased Gotti’s so-called adopted son. “John Sr. would have killed the kid himself.”
He also said the elder Gotti never brought business home.
“No wiseguy was allowed in that house and the only non-blood family member permitted inside was me,” Kasman said. “That was his (Gotti’s) palace, so to speak. This is a desecration of everything that John stood for in terms of the family house being sacred.”
The bedroom of Gotti’s son Frankie, who was killed in a tragic car accident, was maintained as a shrine in the house, Kasman said.
Also charged are Shaine Hack, 37, Edward Holohan, 50, Steve Kruger, 57, Justin Testa, 41, Michael Farduchi, 24, Melissa Erul, 23, and Dawn Biers, 46.
Investigators seized $200,000 from Hack’s home in Howard Beach — allegedly drug proceeds he was holding for Gotti.
The feds never sought a search warrant for the home in the past although there were unproven suspicions the “Gotti legacy,” — a massive stash of cash reaped from Gambino family rackets — was possibly hidden somewhere inside, Scala said.
NEW YORK — More than 40 alleged mobsters were charged Friday in a broad-based organized crime bust, according to the FBI.
The FBI says members of reputed mafia crime families, including the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno families, were arrested in New York and Florida. The suspects allegedly operated as a part of a massive East Coast syndicate known as the “East Coast Enterprise.”
The families allegedly formed an unusual alliance and joined forces or conducted overlapping business, CBS New York reported. Members reportedly used coded language to arrange meetings at highway rest areas and restaurants.
Federal prosecutors say members operated along the East Coast including in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida and were involved with firearms trafficking, extortion, illegal gambling, health care fraud, credit card fraud, assault and other offenses.
An indictment in Manhattan federal court said the criminal activities were mostly based in New York.
The suspects included reputed old-school mobsters in New York and Philadelphia. Among those charged were Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, the reputed boss of a Philadelphia crime family. Also named in the indictment was Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello, identified as a longtime member of the Genovese organized crime family in New York City.
Diego Rodriguez, head of the FBI’s New York office, said in a statement that the indictment “reads like an old school Mafia novel, where extortion, illegal gambling, arson and threats to ‘whack’ someone are carried out along with some modern-day crimes of credit card skimming.”
The indictment lays out a organizational structure made famous through generations of mafia movies and high-profile criminal trials: each “family” was organized into “crews” or “regimes” of suspected mob members, each with a leader known as a “caporegime,” “capo,” “captain” or “skipper.” Each crew member or “soldier” allegedly carried out criminal activities for the enterprise and received protection from their “capo.”
The highest-ranking members of the family were dubbed “the administration,” the indictment says — the head of the family, or “boss,” would be assisted by an “underboss” or “consigliere.”
A local focus of the investigation was an apparent gambling operation known as the Yonkers Club where poker and dice tournaments were held, reports CBS New York. One count accuses the 72-year-old Parrello of ordering a beatdown of a panhandler he believed was harassing customers outside his Bronx restaurant, telling a cohort to “break his … knees.” The panhandler was “located and assaulted with glass jars, sharp objects and steel-tipped boots, causing bodily harm,” the court papers say.
The enterprise allegedly sought to gain power, cash and territory through intimidation, violence, and threats of physical and financial harm. In some cases, the indictment alleges, suspected members assaulted or destroyed the property of people they thought jeopardized the enterprise’s activities.
The indictment charges 46 people. By 10 a.m., some 41 of those charged were in custody, according to CBS New York.
sourced from – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-arrests-alleged-mobsters-in-east-coast-mafia-sweep/