Bonanno capo Cantarella and kin to get free pass after snitching on Bonannos


Former Bonanno crime family captain Richard “Shellackhead” Cantarella along with his wife Castelli and son Paul are set to be sentenced on a host of crimes but are likely to get a free pass in return for their cooperation. The trio decided to become turncoats and help the feds to dismantle the Bonanno family after they were arrested in 2002. Richard Cantarella was a known killer for the Bonanno family according to the feds and had resisted offers to cooperate until his wife was charged with money laundering and his son became unhinged in prison. Richard had his son Paul inducted as a made man into the crime family in 1995 and he was the first to flip but the feds needed Richard’s cooperation because of his knowledge of the Bonanno family business and close relationship with then boss Joseph Massino.



Richard Cantarella not only testified against Massino but also his successor Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano. Along with his son Paul they also ratted out over three dozen other mobsters from all of the five New York mafia families and the DeCavalcante family in New Jersey that produced more then two dozen convictions. Prosecutors added that Richards wife Castelli did not have the wealth of information that her husband and son did but assisted the government in any way she could and her cooperation was key to securing the cooperation of the others. Amy Busa assistant U.S. Attorney stated in court papers that the cooperation of the Cantarella family was by any measure extraordinary and substantial in getting convictions of members of the Bonanno family.



The whole Cantarella family will be sentenced together in an unprecedented family affair next month in Brooklyn Federal Court. Richard Cantarella could face a life sentence and son Paul Cantarella up to 20 years from Judge Nicholas Garaufis. But sources close to the case believe that they will both get a free pass and never see a day in jail as payment for their cooperation against the mafia.


Genovese family soldiers plead guilty to extortion charges


Three mobsters in the Genovese crime family pleaded guilty to extortion charges in a scheme to try to control part of the New York and New Jersey garbage collection industry. Joseph Sarcinella, Dominick Pietranico, and William Cali were arrested along with alleged mafia members for racketeering and other charges back in January. The mob trio met who they thought was a trash collector in Bronx social club and loaned him thousands of dollars with a 3% a week interest charge and threats to charge even more. It turned out that the man they loaned the money and made threats against was working with the FBI. The three mobsters were initially facing multiple counts that held max sentences of 20 years but with the current plea deal are facing sentences ranging from 24-37 months.


“Joseph  Sarcinella”


Cali told federal judge Kevin Caster that he was simply trying to get some money back from someone he was doing business with. He said i made him understand that if he didn’t pay me it wouldnt be good and frightened him a little your honor as he copped to extortion charges. Sarcinella and Pietranico both plead guilty to making extortionate extensions of credit to the undercover FBI informant. Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco who prosecutors say is the head honcho for the Genovese family in the garbage industry has plead not guilty and is awaiting trial. The New York mafia has long used the garbage industry as a source of income and these latest arrest prove that they are still very active in this industry. Even with the feds efforts to root them out the mafia once again shows how resilient they can be.


“Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco “


Gambino soldier Sclafani sentenced to 15 years


Joseph Sclafani a reputed soldier in the Gambino crime family has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on drug charges. Sclafani was arrested in 2011 and later pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine he obtained from mob associate Neil Lombardo. Law enforcement officials claimed that Lombardo was running the drug operation by shipping the Mexican cocaine through Las Vegas. Sclafani said he couldn’t even find a reason why he made the decision to deal cocaine and admitted to making many bad decisions this latest one probably being his worse. The Gambino family seems to be quite active in drug trade as seen by many recent arrest and convictions of members of the family.


“Joseph Sclafani”

Sclafani was all set to marry Romona Rizzo a star of the hit television show “Mob Wives” but his wedding plans were put on ice. Rizzo is the granddaughter of former Bonanno crime family mobster Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero. The couple previously made June nuptial plans arranged via phone conversations that didn’t pan out likely because of Sclafani’s legal problems. Now with Sclafani being sentenced to such a long stretch behind bars Rizzo made no comment leaving the court room about any future wedding plans or status of the relationship.


“Romona Rizzo” 


Gambino family installs up front capo panel to insulate leaders as they rebuild ranks


The Gambino crime family has begun using a new wrinkle to help insulate alleged boss Domenico “Italian Dom” Cefalu and underboss Frank Cali according to sources. A up front panel of top family captains has been installed to act as the families “street boss” and handle dealings between other family capos and soldiers. This panel is believed to includes John Gambino, Anthony Gurino, and Joseph “Sonny” Juliano all leading members inside the Gamino family. Cefalu became boss of the Gambino family in 2011 after the family was rocked by 2008 indictments that saw its entire leadership taken down. Many mob insiders and law enforcement sources believe Cefalu being made boss was an important political move made by the family signaling that its Sicilian faction had now taken power.


“Domenico Cefalu”  


Cefalu since taking over the reigns of the family has moved away from the in-your-face leadership tactics of former boss John Gotti and into a more low key old school mafia boss type approach. A law enforcement source said that the family is now serious about preventing the flow of informants that has previously been a big part of their undoing and trying to operate as a secret society. Cefalu continued to shift the family power base to the Sicilian faction when he appointed young up and coming mobster Frank Cali who also has close ties to Gambino Sicilians as the families underboss. They are now looking to rebuild the ranks and power of the Gambino family and many believe they have the respect and smarts needed to do just that and the appointment of this up front panel may prove that to be true.

John Gambino who served on as part of a three capo ruling panel before Cefalu became boss has long been a power with in the Gambino families Sicilian wing. He is a cousin of late Gambino family patriarch Carlo Gambino and uncle to family underboss Cali. Anthony Gurino has also established himself with the families Sicilian faction as a top money maker and a stand up guy unwilling to cooperate with the government. Joseph Juliano is a low key Brooklyn based mobster known for conducting business below the radar a style that the new Gambino leaders indorse. The Gambino family has long been one of the top New York mafia families all which have been hit hard by government indictments in last few years. Now seemingly once again in the hands of capable leaders it will be interesting to see if they can re-establish themselves and rebuild moving them back atop the organized crime ranks.


Gambino associate and Connecticut gambling ring leader Uva pleads guilty


Richard Uva agreed to a plea-bargain for his part in a gambling ring linked to the Gambino crime family. Federal prosecutors said that Uva was the “chief operation officer” for the multi-million dollar mafia controlled gambling operation. It included an offshore internet gambling site, street bookies, and high stakes card games run in Stamford and Hamden. A percentage of all the profits made from the illegal gambling enterprise was kicked up to the Gambino crime family according to prosecutors. Uva pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the RICO act and now faces up to 51 months in prison and forfeit over $87 thousand dollars from money seized from him by authorities when he was arrested in 2011 along with an added $162 thousand dollars within three years of his sentencing.


Gambling Ring Boss “Dean DePreta”


Uva was one of 20 people that were arrested following an investigation by the FBI, IRS, and Stamford police into the million dollar illegal gambling operation. Uva was accused of collecting profits from the gambling ring and delivering a portion of those profits to the leaders of the Gambino family of the New York mafia. Prosecutors claim Uva was the second in command to longtime friend Dean DePreta who is considered by the feds to have been the titular head of the Gambino family in Connecticut. DePreta has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the RICO act and is awaiting sentencing set for October 9. He faces a long prison term and has agreed to forfeit up to $212 thousand dollars. To date 19 of the 20 defendants have pleaded guilty and a total of $1.3 million dollars agreed to be forfeited.