Mafia News: New details of 1978 Lufthansa Robbery disclosed

 

Prosecutors have disclosed new details of the infamous 1978 Lufthansa Robbery some of which will be used as evidence against Vincent Asaro. The former Bonanno crime family captain is facing an impressive lineup of mafia rats including former Bonanno boss and underboss Joseph Massino and Salvatore Vitale along with former Gambino family associate Anthony Ruggiano Jr and his own cousin Gaspare Valenti.

 

1978 Lufthansa heist

 

According to recently released court documents Asaro kicked up an attache case filled with jewelry and gold to Massino who was his mob captain at the time of the heist as tribute. Massino will take the stand against Asaro to confirm the tribute payment with Sal Vitale testifying that he saw Massino in possession of the gold and jewels and that he was given a gold chain from the heist.

Ruggiano Jr will testify that his father Gambino family mobster Anthony “Fat Andy” Ruggiano helped Jimmy Burke and Asaro fence some of the stolen jewels from the robbery. Valenti claims his share was glommed by Asaro leading him to wear a wire and secretly record his cousin ranting about his participation in the heist. During a taped conversation Asaro said “We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get, we got f—ed all around, that f—ing Jimmy (Burke) kept everything.”

According to prosecutors Asaro blew his nearly $1 million dollar payoff from the robbery gambling at the racetrack. Each member of the crew was supposed to receive approx $750,000 for their part although most either were killed before they could collect or were just never paid according to the new court documents.

A roster of deceased participants in the 1978 Lufthansa heist have been released which include Jimmy Burke, Angelo Sepe, Burke’s son Frank, Tommy Desimone, Joseph “Joe Buddah” Manri, Danny Rizo, Louis “Fat Louie” Carfora, and Anthony Rodriguez. Asaro is likely facing life in prison if he is convicted on all charges in his upcoming trial. The Lufthansa robbery has long been a part of New York mafia history and lore.

 

Bonanno family mobsters face trial as prosecutors play hard ball

 

Bonanno crime family captain Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora and three fellow mobsters remain behind bars as prosecutors fail to make them an offer they can’t refuse. Santora was arrested nearly two years ago on state racketeering charges along with Bonanno family soldier Anthony Santoro and acting mob captains Ernest Aiello and Vito Badamo. The mobsters remain behind bars are prosecutors refuse to offer any of them plea deals which don’t include long multi year prison sentences.

 

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Nicholas Santora

 

The massive 158 page indictment against them includes 299 specific crimes and a recent court ruling will allow state prosecutors to introduce even more yet uncharged crimes. A judge ruled that prosecutors will be allowed to introduce new evidence and testimony against Santora and his fellow mobsters on a slew of additional crimes at trial. According to court records prosecutors will also be allowed to introduce charges of extortion conspiracy which Santora plead guilty to a decade ago along with extraneous gambling evidence against all of the defendants.

The introduction of this new evidence and new uncharged crimes can be used to establish a background and relationship between the defendants and their intent to conduct a criminal enterprise as a crew with in the New York Mafia. The 72 year old Santora could be looking at what amounts to a life sentence of convicted and his fellow mobsters who prosecutors claim were his key aids with in the mafia family extended prison sentences.

Defense attorney Timothy Parlatore who represents Santora said that its terribly unfair that state prosecutors have worked so hard to turn a non-violent glorified gambling case into something much bigger while his client sits behind bars. He said the only violence they have associated with the case is all talk with weak wire tap evidence of his client saying on the phone he would like to do something bad to someone else but never once communicated the threat directly to that person or attempt to carry it out.

Genovese family possible target for upcoming indictments ?

 

Genovese crime family was linked to the recent bust of a joint drug operation between the Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia and the New York mafia family in Queens, NY. The raid against the cocaine operation targeted Ndranghta mobsters both in the U.S. and Italy including the alleged ringleader Gregorio Gigliotti. The latest bust along with one last year shows the developing ties between the Ndrangeta and the American Mafia according to law enforcement.

 

Liborio Bellomo

Liboria “Barney” Bellomo” one of current Genovese family leaders

 

Although the Genovese family was linked to the drug operation and was believed to at a minimum to be providing financing none of their members were targeted in the bust. This has lead many mafia expert to wonder if the feds are putting together a larger indictment against the New York mob family. Perhaps the Genovese family are in the feds crosshairs in an upcoming RICO case.

Perhaps the “Ivy League of organized crime” as the Genovese family has come to be known is in line for a strike against some of its current leadership and members. The feds are usually tight lipped when it comes to possible indictments so to circulate information about the Genovese involvement to the media is seen by some as a sign of further actions. Could the Genovese family be next in line for breaking mafia news in 2015 ?

Mafia News: Ndrangheta mafia bust in U.S. and Italy

 

Calabrian mafia members were targeted in both the United Stats and Italy in a joint operation taking down a illegal drug ring. FBI agents along with Italian police arrested 15 suspected members of the Calabrian mafia also known as the Ndrangheta for alleged roles in the multi million dollar cocaine ring. According to reports cocaine was being smuggled from Central America to New York where it was then distributed.

 

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Gregorio Gigliotti the alleged leader of the mafia drug ring was arrested along with his wife and son last march. Sources confirm the family was believed to be using their Queens based Pizzeria named “Cucino A Modo Mio” and Bronx based produce warehouse as distribution points. The Calabrian born Gigliotti was also described by authorities as an associate of the Genovese crime family of the New York Mafia.

 

 

This recent operation follows one done last February which linked the Ndrangheta to the Gambino crime family in New York in another joint drug smuggling ring. FBI and Italian authorities claim these operations prove that the Ndrangheta have replaced the Sicilian mafia as the main drug partners for the American Mafia families.

The Ndrangheta according to Italian authorities control Italy’s southern Calabria region and the European drug trade and have begun to entrench themselves in other countries including the United States and Canada as they grow in power and influence. They are believed to have backed a break away group in Canada in an attempt to take down the powerful Sicilian mafia based Rizzuto crime family leading to a long and bloody Montreal mafia war.

Bonanno family street boss John Palazzolo pleads guilty to parole violation

 

John Palazzolo the current street boss of the Bonanno crime family was charged with violating his parole by meeting with known wiseguys pleads guilty. The 77 year old mobster is believed to have recently been promoted to acting street boss by Michael “Mikey Nose” Mancuso the currently imprisoned Bonanno family boss. Palazzolo was promoted in an attempt to thwart a move by a rival faction led by capo Joseph Cammarano Jr. to take control of the family.

 

John Palazzolo

 

Cammarano Jr is the son of former Bonanno family underboss Joseph “Joe Saunders” Cammarano who passed away a couple of years ago. According to court documents Mancuso was using newly made mobster Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno who is also his nephew to relay orders to Palazzolo regarding the internal feud with Cammarano Jr. Feds confirmed that Salerno was caught meeting with Palazzolo and other Bonanno family mobsters hours after a prison meet with Mancuso in March.

 

Michael Mancuso

Michael Mancuso

 

Feds have only been able to prove a single parole violation charge against Palazzolo for meeting with former Bonanno family consigliere Anthony “Fat Anthony” Rabito and wiseguys Pasquale “Patty Boy” Maiorino and John “Johnny Mulberry” Sciremammano. Federal officials have agreed to let Palazzolo plead guilty to whats being called a “technical violation” of his supervised release conditions as they have been unable to get any added charges to stick.

Palazzolo is facing sentencing guidelines of 8 to 14 months in prison but prosecutors have agreed to seek a prison term below the maximum of those guidelines according to his defense team. A war with in one of the New York Mafia families in this day and age would seems unlikely but history has proven when it comes to the mob anything is possible. The fact that the Bonanno family has been in disarray over the last few years due to multiple convictions and turncoats perhaps adds to the potential for violence inside the family.