Bonanno crime family captain Nicky “Cigars” Santora was caught on secret wire tap telling one of his mob crew to quit acting like a clown as he was grooming him to take over. Santora told fellow mobster Vito Badamo that he had to start to conduct himself in a certain way because when he left he was going to take over the neighborhood and he needed to know what he was doing according to prosecutors. Assistant District Attorney Gary Galperin read off excerpts at Santora’s arraignment from the secret wiretaps and seems the aging capo had taged Badamo as his upcoming replacement. Santora went on to say the days of acting like a clown were over for Badamo and you gotta act like your supposed to. Santora a powerful Bonnano family capo was in court to face the latest charges against him related to a July takedown of the mob crew he allegedly controls on drug, extortion, and other charges.
The judge said it was clear that Santora was the head of a New York mafia crew that ran a lucrative racketeering business. Eight other alleged mobsters including Anthony “Skinny” Santoro, Vito Badamo, Anthony Urban, and mob associate Nicholas Bernhard were arrested along with Santora. They have all been charged in a 158-count indictment that includes charges of grand larceny, enterprise corruption, among other crimes. Santora has a rap sheet that dates back to 1966 and is currently serving a 24 month prison sentence for his most recent federal conviction. Santora was granted bail set at $1 million dollars bond or $500,000 cash to be posted upon his release from federal custody in October.
“(left to right) Anthony Santoro, Vito Badamo, Anthony Urban, and Nicholas Bernhard “
Santora’s attorney alleged that his client was already charged with the current crimes and it is a case of “double jeopardy”. He also stated that during the time much of these new alleged crimes and mafia activity took place his client was in prison and there is no direct evidence that links Santora to this indictment.