Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The admitted gunman in the 2003 gangland-style shooting of crime boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, has kept a decidedly low profile since pleading guilty to murder in April.
Roche, 35, has not made a single public court appearance since then, despite the fact that he stands charged in U.S. District and Hampden Superior courts for the same crime.
Most recently, his two codefendants in state court, Fotios A. "Freddy" Geas, 42, and Brandon D. Croteau, 30, appeared Dec. 18 in shackles for a pretrial conference on murder conspiracy charges. Roche was not present.
Assistant District Attorney Carmen W. Picknally said Roche is still charged in both state and federal courts, but declined further comment.
On a prison search Web site, Roche is said to be in custody at the Souza-Baranowski maximum security state prison in Shirley. However, others say he has been behind bars at the Hampshire
County jail and more recently at the Franklin County jail. But, Franklin County Sheriff Fredrick B. McDonald this week said Roche was no longer at that site.
He did his thing ... but now he's gone," McDonald said in response to an inquiry.
Similarly, in Roche's federal case, there has not been a single filing since May, when a transcript of the defendant's guilty plea a month earlier was posted. He has not been scheduled for sentencing, nor has a trial date been set in the state case, which is still pending against him.
Roche waited for Bruno outside an Italian-American social club in the city's South End on Nov. 23, 2003, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd E. Newhouse.
After about a half-hour wait in a dark parking lot, Roche heard Bruno's voice and called out "Hey, Al!," according to the prosecutor. Bruno, the regional head of the New York-based Genovese crime family, responded: "Hey, buddy."
Roche shot Bruno six times and took off on foot, Newhouse said. He later told investigators it was a contract hit. The gunman said he was paid $10,000 by rival gangsters wrestling for power.
Investigators say Geas, previously identified as "the muscle" for Bruno's eventual successor, Anthony J. Arillotta, paid Roche; and Croteau, something of a hapless fringe character, helped Roche get out of town.
Geas was indicted in federal court after Roche pleaded guilty; he is held without bail. Croteau is serving a 15-year prison sentence on unrelated drug trafficking charges.
After Bruno was killed, investigators quickly got a line on Roche, but tracked him for months before he was apprehended by FBI agents while hiding out in Florida the following August.
The arrest was no less eventful than what preceded it: Roche was accidentally shot by agents during the raid.
He sued the FBI in connection with the shooting last year. The civil suit in U.S. District Court in central Florida seems to be the only thing visibly progressing through the court system.
Mark A. Sylvester, a Miami lawyer representing Roche in the civil suit, said he is embroiled in negotiations with the federal government and may not settle out of court. A trial date has been set for Aug. 31 in central Florida.
"I believe that the evidence in this case will show that a series of errors were committed by FBI personnel during the arrest," Sylvester said in an e-mail on Friday. "Those errors culminated with the accidental and wrongful discharge of an M4 carbine rifle into the back of Frankie Roche as he lay face down on the ground surrounded by multiple armed agents."
Roche could use a substantial award in that case, as he also faces a $1 million fine under his plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
In exchange for testimony against others in the Bruno case and other investigations, prosecutors declined to pursue capital punishment and may argue for a substantial reduction in an otherwise mandatory life sentence he faces as a result of his guilty plea in federal court here.
Geas may face the death penalty if he's convicted in the federal court case. Croteau has not been charged there.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Brooklyn actor who played Johnny Cakes, a gay fireman who was also the lover of a mob capo on "The Sopranos," apprently killed himself. John Costelloe appears to be the victim of a suicide in his home in the blue-collar Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The incident reportedly happened sometime around Dec. 16, according to unofficial police reports.Costelloe had himself served in real life in the New York Fire Department before becoming an actor. A friend told the Post, "I saw him three weeks ago when he stopped by, and he seemed to be in good spirits."Costelloe appeared in four episodes of "The Sopranos" in 2006. He played a short-order cook named Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski, who was in loved with Vito Spatafore--played Joseph Gannascoli, real-life friend of Costelloe’s. On the show, Vito is killed by homophobic mobsters. "It still hasn’t really sunk in," Gannascoli told the Post. "I never detected anything troubling about him. I enjoyed all the time I ever spent with him.""Sopranos" actor Steve Buscemi attended the funeral at a local Catholic Church. Buscemi was also a longtime friend of Costelloe’s.Costelloe had been apperaing in an off-off-Broadway play called "Gang of Seven." The show’s playwright told the paper he suspected the actor was bothered by something, but he never explained what it was.EDGE Editor-in-Chief Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early ’80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).
Monday, December 15, 2008
The private investigator's sentence was longer than the five-year, 10-month term recommended by the Probation Department. Four co-defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in January.
By Victoria Kim
December 16, 2008
Former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano was sentenced to 15 years in prison this afternoon for running an illegal wiretapping operation that gathered information for a list of well-to-do clients, including celebrities, attorneys and business executives.
U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer's sentence was longer than the five-year, 10-month punishment recommended by the Probation Department.
Pellicano, whose clients and victims ranked among Hollywood's biggest stars and most powerful executives, was convicted in two criminal trials earlier this year of 78 counts, including wiretapping, computer fraud and wire fraud.
In court papers filed in October, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Pellicano, 64, to more than 15 years in prison, saying the sleuth was charged with, and convicted of, only a fraction of the crimes he actually committed.
By tapping phones and bribing public officials, Pellicano violated fundamental privacy rights of hundreds of people and chipped away at the integrity of public institutions, prosecutors wrote. They added that Pellicano continues to show nothing but pride for the criminal enterprise he ran.
Though Pellicano represented himself at the federal trials -- lending to moments of farce and confusion -- he relied on a court-appointed attorney for his sentencing. Attorney Michael Artan had sought a more lenient sentence from Fischer, arguing that Pellicano's "hardscrabble" youth, work as a forensic audio expert for the government and financial struggle to provide for his autistic son in the years before his arrest were mitigating factors she should consider.
Similar pleas for leniency for Pellicano and his co-defendants, however, have been dismissed by Fischer.
Last week, the judge ordered Pellicano and two co-defendants to forfeit more than $2 million, an amount requested by prosecutors. And last month, Fischer sentenced Pellicano's co-conspirator, attorney Terry Christensen, to three years in prison, rejecting a recommendation from the Probation Department that he be placed under house arrest. Fischer rebuked Christensen, who was accused of conspiring with Pellicano to wiretap his opponents in trial, for "marring" the legal profession.
Four other defendants are scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Pellicano's troubles began in 2002, when a reporter who wrote negative articles about former Hollywood super agent Michael Ovitz went to authorities after she found a dead fish, a rose and a note saying "Stop" inside the smashed windshield of her car.
The investigation led authorities to Pellicano's office, and it quickly snowballed into a wide-reaching probe that appeared would implicate some of Hollywood's biggest names. Among Pellicano's clients were Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson and Chris Rock.
Pellicano's co-defendants included Sgt. Mark Arneson of the Los Angeles Police Department, computer technician Kevin Kachikian, and phone company employee Ray Turner, who were all convicted in sweeping jury verdicts. They helped Pellicano earn millions by getting information on ex-spouses, business associates and opponents in lawsuits, prosecutors said.
sexy actress Linda Fiorentino wants to make a movie of Pellicano's life in Hollywood.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Prosecutors say Michael (Mikey Cigars) Coppola promptly drew a second pistol and gunned down John (Johnny Coca Cola) Lardiere outside a New Jersey motel.
Coppola, 62, went on the lam in 1996, after authorities asked him to submit a DNA sample to test against hairs found in a hat at the crime scene.
The FBI captured Coppola last year on the upper West Side, where he was living with his wife.
A DNA test of the forensic evidence was inconclusive; New Jersey authorities handed off the murder to case to the feds.
Coppola has pleaded guilty to the fugitive charges and is serving a 42-month sentence.
Monday, December 8, 2008
By Suzanne Smalley and Evan Thomas NEWSWEEK
For many years, John Connolly was the FBI's most effective Mafia investigator in Boston. He has a master's degree in public administration from Harvard. He says his "hero" is Bobby Kennedy and points to his family's devotion to public service (his brother is a retired DEA agent, and his sister became a teacher). But when he met last week with a NEWSWEEK REPORTER at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami, he was wearing shackles around his ankles. Once dashing and athletic, the 68-year-old Connolly was stooped and pot-bellied in his bright-red prison jumpsuit. His skin was paper-thin and white from lack of sunlight. For the past three and a half years, he has lived in a tiny, 10- by 12-foot cinder-block cell; his food is slipped to him through a slot in the heavy metal door. He is kept in solitary confinement for his own protection: a few years ago, Connolly says, another former FBI agent was badly beaten by inmates in the same jail.
Speaking with the reporter in a holding room, Connolly was grandfatherly, intelligent, emotional. "Believe me, I am innocent!" he declared, pumping his fist in the air. "I'm a Catholic. I say the rosary every day and pray for my innocence. I pray to Saint Jude, the saint of hopeless causes, and to Saint Rita, the saint of the impossible." His cause is not entirely hopeless: last week the judge postponed his sentencing for murder in the second degree to next month to consider the defense's argument that the statute of limitations had elapsed. But there is still a chance that Connolly will never emerge from prison to see his wife and three kids.
If Connolly's story sounds like the stuff of movies, that's because it is. In Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film "The Departed," Matt Damon plays the role of a cop who works as a mole for the mob; the Damon character is widely believed to be based on Connolly. Jack Nicholson plays a role loosely based on the life of James (Whitey) Bulger an Irish mob kingpin from South Boston who secretly cooperated with the FBI against his rivals in the Italian Mafia. The subtext—in fiction as well as in real life—is the sometimes fine line between power for good and for evil.
In 2002 Connolly was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison on racketeering and obstruction-of-justice charges stemming from allegations that in 1995 he had tipped off Bulger and one of his henchmen, Stephen Flemmi (nicknamed "the Rifleman" for his expert marksmanship in the Korean War), right before they were indicted for racketeering. Bulger vanished. (He was last reliably spotted at London's Piccadilly Circus in 2002.) Flemmi dallied and was caught. In return for avoiding a death sentence for separate murder charges, Flemmi ultimately began cooperating with the government.
According to the Feds, Connolly not only helped Bulger escape but was also a spider in a tangled web of gangland slayings. In 2005 he was charged with three murder counts in connection with the death of John B. Callahan, a Boston jai alai executive who liked to drink and hang around with mobsters. In 1982 Callahan's rotting, bullet ridden body was found stuffed in the trunk of his Cadillac at Miami International Airport. A dime was found on the body—a message, some speculated, to those who would think of "dropping a dime," street parlance for cooperating with the Feds. The government charged that Connolly had let Bulger and his crew know that the FBI wanted to question Callahan about the slaying of another jai alai executive, Roger Wheeler, who had been snuffed by a member of Bulger's Winter Hill Gang. At Connolly's trial this fall, the prosecutor argued that Connolly should have known that Callahan would be killed because something similar had happened at least twice before. The Feds assert that in 1976, after Connolly allegedly leaked to Bulger that the nightclub owner and bookie Richard Castucci was an informant for the FBI, Castucci was shot to death. In another case, Edward (Brian) Halloran and an uninvolved friend were slain, execution style, while standing outside a bar on Boston's waterfront in 1982—allegedly because Connolly had told Bulger that Halloran was cooperating with the Feds
The star witnesses testifying against Connolly in his murder trial were Flemmi and John Martorano, a mob assassin known as the Basin Street Butcher who has admitted to killing 20 people. He is out of prison after serving a 12-year sentence, shortened because he agreed to testify for the government. In his jailhouse interview with NEWSWEEK, Connolly claimed that Martorano and other mobsters turned government witnesses were lying: "They're trying to save their own skin. They're like trained seals … Martorano never met me, never spoke to me … Everything he says is hearsay." (Flemmi claimed he was at a meeting—attended by Connolly—at which Bulger announced that Martorano would "take care of" Callahan, the jai alai exec.) The government presented evidence alleging that Connolly had received bribes totaling $235,000 from Bulger's gang—enough, prosecutors say, to buy a boat that cost almost as much as Connolly's annual FBI salary. (Assistant State Attorney Michael Von Zampf told NEWSWEEK THAT Connolly was so close to Bulger that he vacationed with him in Mexico.) Connolly's lawyer, Manuel Casabielle, says the idea that his client took bribes is "absolutely, categorically untrue." He adds that the defense was able to document in court that all of Connolly's assets were purchased with legitimate earnings
In his conversation with NEWSWEEK, Connolly protested that government investigators have to get close to their high-level informants, who are typically bad people, because that is the only way to penetrate secret criminal organizations or terrorist cells. While the government portrays him as a single rogue agent, Connolly describes himself as a "scapegoat." Even Von Zampf admits the FBI's Boston office was permeated by corruption; he says he believes other agents knew Connolly was taking money from Bulger but didn't act. A former FBI agent testifying for the defense admitted that Connolly delivered Christmas gifts from mobsters to him—a black leather briefcase, an expensive figurine, a bottle of cognac. Connolly's FBI supervisor has admitted receiving $7,000, some of which was delivered in a case of wine from the mob via Connolly. (The supervisor, John Morris, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying.) It is commonplace and necessary for federal agents to use criminal informants to crack criminal conspiracies. But "you don't have informants at the top of the food chain," says Rick Fraelick, a retired Massachusetts State Police major, who attended part of the trial because he said Connolly compromised his own probes of Bulger's gang. "The whole point of an informant is to get to the top of the food chain." Maybe so, but as "The Departed" portrayed, life in ethnic melting pots like South Boston can be complicated
Connolly grew up in the same grim housing project in "Southie" as Bulger did. As they rise out of poverty, proud and ambitious men can make different choices. Whitey Bulger's brother Billy became president of the Massachusetts state Senate and the University of Massachusetts. Connolly recruited Whitey on a beach in Quincy in 1975. At the time, Bulger was afraid he had been targeted by the Mafia and wanted some cover. In addition to a lot of useful tips about the Italian mob, Connolly seems to have gotten a charge from hanging around a colorful and smart (if wicked) character like Bulger. But the game turned ugly. Connolly said that the Feds made a deal with Bulger to turn a blind eye to his gambling and loan-sharking—but betrayed him by bringing racketeering charges in 1995. By then, Connolly says, he feared Bulger would come after his family. Connolly says he never crossed the line in helping Bulger. But in Boston's byzantine world of cops and mobsters, where morals are murky and tribal loyalties are strong, lines separating good from evil can be blurry indeed from Newsweek.com
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Speaking of hits, Shacks is quite a hit with the ladies..He hits the hell out of most of them. His. last girlfriend called the coppers on the creep after he beat the bejesus out of her. .Shack's wound up locked down in the slammer over it.
Seems Donnie went ballistic when the chick brought up his part in , dare I say, a movie, called "Night at the Golden Eagle" Most of the Goodfellas in Gangland were shaking their heads when they saw Shacks had gone Hollywood on them and made the. flick... I mean, come on, a made man acting in movies.
.They were all saying "This Thing of Ours" is really over"... .Maybe if the movie hadn't stunk as bad as a cesspool, and resembled a runaway train wreck, they might have cut Donnie some slack
From the very start the movie flat lined like a heart monitor on a dead man. Shack's acting in the dramatic and tragic scenes came off like slapstick... .One of Donnie's old friends was overheard saying, Oy, Vay, Donnie did to acting what he did to the guys he clipped........ Anthony "The Animal" Fiato
Monday, December 1, 2008
In Italy, the first-ever study on women in Italian organized crime reveals that women are rising up the ranks to leadership positions. This is both because the mafia is changing, and women are changing the mafia.
From la dolce vita, the sweet life, to the malavita, the underworld, the growing presence of women is being felt everywhere in Italy.
Until recently, this was almost unthinkable. The first woman arrested for "criminal association" was just five years ago, in 1999. Police have known that women play a supporting role within the mafia: As mothers, wives, and daughters, they've carried out minor tasks.
Filling in for locked up hubbies
Occasionally, women have even stepped in to run things temporarily when their men have been jailed or murdered.
But a new study shows that women within the mafia are rising through the ranks and becoming bosses in their own right. And it says that the Italian judicial system should start paying closer attention.
Ernesto Savona of the Catholic University of Milan, one of the report’s authors, says criminal organizations are becoming more appealing to women. "Criminal organizations are changing. They’re producing less violence. Less people are killed in Palermo and Columbia and in others in proportion to how many were killed before. They’re transforming the hierarchical organization into a more flexible one. That means you’ll get more women having managerial roles. We call them 'sweet criminal organizations'," he told Deutsche Welle.
From hard crime to financial crime
As underworld activities have shifted to financial crimes, violence has dropped. Organizations have also become less centralized.
"That you find women having managerial roles in small criminal organization shows that it's very flexible and not hierarchical," Savona explains. "Especially juvenile gangs. Sometimes you find a woman who has the leadership in the organization."
The evolution of women in the criminal world is exactly the same as that of women in the business world.
Pierluigi Vigna, who heads up Italy’s national anti-mafia office, says that with politically motivated crimes, women are just as willing to kill as men. Mafia women, however, aren’t as willing when it comes to business. The researchers say that’s because women find murder for profit harder to justify. And their roles reflect this difference in values.
"They’re mainly found in areas that require a certain finesse," Vigna explains, "like money laundering rather than murder."
While there are no statistics on the exact number of women in the Italian mafia, the researchers say that more women in key positions are being arrested. In April, a 28-year-old Sicilian woman was found guilty of 50 percent ownership of a thriving underworld business.
This may not be this kind of emancipation feminists had in mind, but it does show that women in Italy need to be taken seriously in all facets of life.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Blonde beauty Georgia Duranti is a gritty and gutsy gal.Talk about life in the fast lane, Georgia did everything from driving getaway cars for mob stick up men to delivering mob messages on the down-low to Mafia boss Carlo Gambino.
Georgia's book, "The Company she keeps" is just terrific. We were both on the A&E (Love Chronicles) "Love & The Mob" in Spring 2000.... Georgia sends me an Invite every year to her "Godmother" gala held in her swanky Tinseltown diggs.
by. Anthony "The Animal" Fiato
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Hollywood actor Alex Rocco was born Alexander F Petricone in Boston.Mass Petricone was known by the nickname "Bobo" in his early years as a hard fisted hood in the infamous Winter Hill Gang
According to Vincent Teresa in “My Life in the Mafia,” it was Rocco whose girlfriend Charlestown mobster Georgie McLaughlin tried to pick up on Labor Day weekend 1961, setting off the bloody Irish Gang War.
Rocco was arrested along with Winter Hill boss, Buddy McLean, as a suspect in the October 1961 murder of a gangster but was never charged.
.Petricone then bolted out of bullet riddled Boston and moved to California in 1962, and began using the name Alex Rocco. . He took acting classes and lost weight..
Rocco made his movie bones and scored the solid-gold role of Mobster,Moe Green in the Godfather. The Winter Hill Mobs most famous felons watched the movie and rooted for Moe Green to whack out Michael Corleone.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Frank Capizzi, was an associate of the Notarangelis--"Indian Joe" and "Indian Al" who started a renegade gang that tried to muscle in on some of Angiulo's racquets.. .Joe and Al were both whacked out by hitman Johnny Martarano of the Winter Hill Gang. . When FBI agent Zip Connolly was convicted in federal court, Frank Capizzi wrote Judge Joe Tauro a five page letter about what it was like to be machine-gunned by Whitey Bulger in 1973 as Capizzi and two other hoods rode in a car in the North End. The driver, Al Plummer, was decapitated by the bullets
. Frankie Capizzi and his family begged well respected "made man" Paulie Intiso to get him off the hook with the Hill and Angiulo. . Capizzi knew Paulie since he was a kid. .He cried like a baby but he got to live as long as he stayed out of Boston. . . I started out in the Patriarca mob in Paulie Intiso's crew.
Paulie is mentioned in my book. "The Animal in Hollywood"
Anthony Fiato .
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Las Vegas Review Journal
MOB INSIDER: Fiato focuses on FBI agent murder conviction
Posted by John L. Smith review Journal Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008
Anthony Fiato, the subject of my 1998 book “The Animal in Hollywood,” (at left) was the double-tough underboss of the Los Angeles mob in the early 1980s before he became ensnared in an FBI undercover investigation. Fiato was a made guy with criminal credentials in Boston and Los Angeles — and connections in Las Vegas and New York. When he decided to cooperate with the FBI, mobsters from Hollywood to the North End of Boston took a beating.
I spoke with Fiato recently about the conviction in Florida of former Boston FBI Agent John Connolly(at right), who was in connection with the mishandling of Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.
Far from simplistically condemning “Zip” Connolly, Fiato said he understood how a dedicated FBI agent could get lost along the way while trying to put the mob out of business. The fact is, he says, the good guys have to be able to relate to the bad guys in order to gain their trust. Favors are common. Friendships form on both sides of the fence.
Here is an excerpt from that conversation.
“When you’re working undercover as an FBI agent, some of the mob guys rub off on you, and some of you rubs off on them,” Fiato says. “When Mike Wacks (a veteran FBI undercover agent who was a key player in the Bribery and Labor investigation known as BRILAB that nailed New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello) worked that BRILAB case, he told me they almost had to deprogram him for a year after he surfaced. Wacks told me it took him a year to get back to being himself. He was committing crimes along with them, getting to know them as people, getting to know their families.
These FBI guys will tell you anything to get you to do your job, but they also do things undercover that they wouldn’t normally do. People are people. The bad rubs off on the good and visa versa. That’s what I think happened in Connolly’s case.
“He was told to work those guys, make cases, get them to flip, nail the mobsters — and follow every rule or face the consequences. Well, life on the street is never that simple. Never. And I think it’s unfair to throw the book at a guy who was trying to do his job.”
More from Fiato soon.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
But earlier this summer, Galante’s reign ended when he pled guilty in federal court after a long-term multi-agency investigation of wrongdoing in the waste-hauling industry. Thirty-two others—including Galante’s employees, his accountant, a silent partner with ties to New York organized crime, and a high-ranking member of the Genovese crime family—were also charged in the case and have all pled guilty.
Galante was operating what’s known as an illegal “property rights system”—when carting companies affiliated with organized crime groups assert they have a monopoly over certain “stops,” or customer accounts (mostly commercial and municipal customers in this case). These companies collude with one another to divvy up the stops, fix prices, and rig contract bids. They also pay a so-called “mob tax” to keep their piece of the action.
The result is a loss of competition and higher prices for customers. And woe to the carting companies that try to compete legally in this type of marketplace. They find their trucks and other equipment vandalized, their employees threatened or assaulted by mob muscle, and their economic livelihood at stake.
Our case began in February 2003, after Galante sent a threatening note to another trash company over a disputed contract. The company contacted our New Haven office, and we decided to introduce an undercover agent into the mix. Our agent started working as the victim company’s “strategic marketing planner,” with oversight over new trash hauling contracts that put him in direct contact with Galante and his people. Later, our undercover agent was actually hired by Galante as a salesman.
During the operation, which also included extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps, we discovered more than 40 refuse companies working within the property rights system. We identified links between Galante’s enterprise and organized crime. We collected mounds of evidence against Galante and other members of his criminal enterprise. And because we intercepted phone calls containing threats against individuals and companies, we were able to warn intended victims.
Special thanks to our partners who worked with us on this case—the Ansonia, Milford, and New Haven police departments; the Connecticut State Police; the Connecticut Department of Corrections; the Internal Revenue Service; the Department of Labor; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Marshals Service.
Part of Galante’s plea agreement involves the full forfeiture of his companies, which were valued at up to $100 million. The federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who worked with us will be receiving millions of dollars in forfeiture proceeds. And one other note: because of the case, a new state agency in Connecticut now oversees the refuse hauling industry and requires background checks on trash companies
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Gangster Squad got to Jack Dragna by bugging his mistress' bed.Dealing with him was the flip side of dealing with Mickey Cohen. Sure, Mickey ranted about the Los Angeles Police Department in public, but if squad members drew stakeout duty outside his Brentwood home on a hot day, his wife, Lavonne, would send out beers or invite them in for slices of chocolate cake.
With Dragna, icy distance was the rule when the squad members camped outside his banana warehouse or the Victory Market, where he held meetings in a concrete-walled back room. The squad's bugging expert, Con Keeler, did once get in between the rounds of a night watchman, but he didn't have time to fully conceal his bug. Dragna's men found it, carried it outside and smashed it on a curb.Dragna was cautious to a fault -- that's how he'd remained unscathed for decades, despite being branded the "Capone of Los Angeles"by Gov. Earl Warren's crime commission. A native of Palermo, Italy, he had arrived in California in 1914 and generally lay so low that one bookie was said to have asked, even in the 1940s, "Who the hell is Jack Dragna?"He was imprisoned once for extortion but won his freedom on appeal. By mid-century, his record was eight arrests, no convictions.
He knew how to go on the offensive, too, like after the 1950 dynamiting of Cohen's house, when the Gangster Squad hauled in Dragna's entire inner circle, and well as his son Frank, who had gone to USC and lost an eye in the war. The son then filed suit against the head of the squad and the "John Doe" officers who rousted him, seeking $350,000 for false arrest and humiliation, the latter for inviting photographers into the lockup.The younger Dragna's suit was pending in 1951 when the squad bugged the bed of his father's mistress. She was a secretary for the dry cleaners union, in which the mob had its hooks. If a dry cleaning shop didn't sign up, Dragna's men would send over suits with dye sewn inside so all the clothes in its vats turned purple or red.The secretary had a wooden headboard with a sunburst pattern. While she was out, Keeler picked the lock to her apartment and hid a mike in the center of the sun. Amid the pillow talk, the bug picked up occasional mentions of mob business, including plans for a new casino in Las Vegas. But that wasn't what the police used against the 60-year-old Dragna. Their ammunition came from other bedroom goings-on. If they couldn't get him for ordering hits on Cohen and his men, why not for "lewd/vag," lewd conduct and vagrancy?Dragna's lawyers could argue that the police didn't have a warrant to eavesdrop, but to no avail -- back then authorities could use illegally obtained evidence. The misdemeanor case earned Dragna a mere 30-day sentence, but how and where he was bugged stood to cost him respect in the mob. More significantly, the morals conviction could get him sent back to Italy.Indeed, Dragna was still fighting a deportation order when he died in 1956. They found his body in a Sunset Boulevard motel, in pink pajamas, with $986 in cash and two sets of false teeth nearby, his Cadillac parked outside. In his luggage was a small statue of Jesus and a newspaper clipping about his son's lawsuit, which had been dismissed.Paul Lieberman is a Times staff writer.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Louie "the Couch" Gelfuso was a Capo in the Milano Crime Family. He was nicknamed " The Couch" by FBI agent's who were listening to the planted bug in his broken-down-dump of an aparment
Gelfuso was always laying down on his couch while he was watching soap opera's like an old scrub woman. He would talk to the soap show characters, and he would even cry at some of the sentimental scenes.
Gelfuso really had the Fed's almost pissing in their pants with laughrer, when he said to a soap character who was claiming she was a virgin to her boyfriend,, " you fucki'n douche bag , your cherry is so far up your ass, you can use it for a tailgate."
Monday, October 20, 2008
After Connolly was convicted of federal racketeering charges in 2002, Pistone wrote a glowing letter to the sentencing judge urging leniency for .John Connolly,saying, ” he should never have been singled out to take the hit for the admitted flawed policies of a government that benefited from his skills, courage and dedication . I thought that was a cool thing to do.
Pistone must have caught some flack from the feds because now Pistone came up with some lame excuse for not testifying for the defense at Zip’s Conspiracy to Murder trial.. Pistone claims he can’t, and won’t testify without wearing a disguise, which the judge won”t allow. This guy has had his puss shown on TV almost as much as Barack Obama. In my opinion, Pistone is keeping his big trap shut to stay golden with Uncle.Sam. I met Pistone doing a show in the late eighties We compared war stories about what it was like wearing a wire According to Pistone. his wire had malfunctioned many times, which made me wonder if he ever really put it on in dangerous situations, or did he just claim to his superiors that it didn’t work when the going got hairy and scary. I busted his balls about it for a few laughs.
I had flipped to informant and wore a wire on many of the Boston mob . . Something Flemmi and Bulger never really had to do, or they were to scared to do. Connolly’s goose is going to be cooked because of the raw deal he is getting from the deaf, dumb. and blind agents who have thown him under the bus. Pistone should believe his own glowing letter, and have the balls to testify for Zip Connolly . Man up Joe !!! .
Anthony “The Animal” Fiato
Friday, October 17, 2008
Frank "Puggy" Sica (on the right) was the hoodlum brother of big time Los Angeles racketeer, Joe "JS" Sica . Frank was a pint sized punk,with a big chip on his shoulder... He was nothing like his older brother, JS, who was well connected and respected by Mafia figures all over the country. Puggy Sica and Sal Di Giovanni were burglars in the Sica gang.. They both got their clock cleaned by a bartender who first shot at them, and then beat the fuck out them both for punching and kicking a woman to the floor in a Hollywood gin mill.. The woman was Sal the Creep's girlfriend... Sal got beat so bad he looked like a racoon because he got two black eyes.. .Frank Sica had been arrested plenty of times, but my old lawyer Eddie "the Fixer" Gritz kept him out of the pokey.. .When I was an enforcer for JS, I hated seeing this little drunken fuck.... Anthony Fiato
..Another true Hollywood story
Friday, October 10, 2008
When I first met Ronnie "The Pig" Casesso he was in Walpole prison courtesy of the snitch Joe Barboza. .Casesso was a made guy in the Patriarca Crime Family who had gotten the death penalty for being one of the shooters in the murder of a minor hood named Teddy Deegan.. "The Pig" caught a big break when his sentence was reduced to life in prison because the death penalty was repealed.
Casesso.had the run of Walpole in those days...Here's how strong Casesso was. My friend Ronnie Rome was related to Casesso through marriage. He was also in the vending business with mob boss, Jerry Angiulo.. Rome gets a call from Casesso. who tells him to bring a pin ball machine to Walpole for the warden as a gift. .I decided to take a ride with Ronnie Rome....When we get there I expect to be frisked by the guards, but its not that way. Then I see Casesso really has the run of the place...He's in for murder, and not only is he not behind bars, he's not even inside the prison.. He's lying on the grass working on his tan outside of the front gate. "The Pig" is acting more like the warden's brother-in-law, than a prisoner.
. . ..
We greet and I see how informed "The Pig" is.. He is really happy to see Ronnie Rome Rome tells him I was with Nicky Giso.( Nicky was a Patriarca made guy),.but Casesso had already heard. He had . .better news sources than the Boston Globe . He offered us a drink....For a guy in prison , he was a gracious host.
We asked him how some of the guys from our neighborhood were doing. Casesso said," you just missed "The Bear", (Jimmy Flemmi, the brother of Stevie Flemmi)' he was just here getting a tan,.''we are going to eat good tonight,'Chinese food, 'in a swell joint down the street." I couldn't believe it. ."The Pig"
was living better than most guys on the outside. He laid woman in a motel down the road, and he even stayed overnight. He dropped in on the warden anytime he wanted anything. He was more free than the guards.
Everybody was afraid of Ronnie "The Pig." They all knew he was Raymond Patriarca's buttonman and he had killed plenty of times.. When we were leaving he told us to watch out for "those people", meaning The Patriarca Crime Family, " they will use you".. I laughed, and told Casseso to get my cell ready. ..Ronnie "The Pig" Casesso died in prison, but he lived like he was as free as a bird.......
.Anthony ."The Animal" Fiato.....
Monday, September 22, 2008
Some guys get their start in the mob busting knee caps, others whacked-out some mug in a carport,— but Tony ”Toothless Tony” Sposado busted his mob cherry lugging coca cola cases –and stocking up vending machines for a Los Angeles Mob associate of Louie Dragna’s named Mike Marquese.. ..Mike’s vending business was also a legitimate front for his bust-out scams and drug deals., The place was a haven for hoods and swindlers .. –who urged Sposado to start pushing drugs and pulling a few minor mob scams. He did, and he was going great guns,and making big money, until he palled up with a punch drunk stew bum named Ronnie Rome Although he didn’t look it, Rome was a street savvy swindler and he convinced Sposado to invest all his money in a vending business and then he robbed him blind . A broke Sposado went back to dealing drugs and got busted , He did a ton of time in the slammer and came out a useless and toothless busted suitcase.
Another True Hollywood Story
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Tags: goodfellas', Hollywood mob, Mafia
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sal is mentioned in Mafia mobster Anthony Fiato's book ----"The Animal in Hollywood"
Another True Hollywood story