Mikey Nose Mancuso, the boss of the Bonanno crime family has been back on the streets since March and seems to be firmly in charge.
In a surprising move, Mancuso has reportedly shelved former acting boss Joseph (Joe C) Cammarano and consigliere John (Porky) Zancocchio. Both Cammarano and Zancocchio were acquitted of racketeering charges in March just a day after Mancuso was released from a halfway house. But the trial strategy used to get the mobsters off the hook didn’t sit well with Mancuso according to a Gangland News report. Defense attorney John Meringolo pointed to the fact that several alleged wiseguys other than his client had allegedly served as the families consigliere from 2012-2018. Meringolo mocked the idea that his client was the current consigliere saying during his opening remarks “This is like musical consiglieres.”
“Joseph Cammarano and John (Porky) Zancocchio”
It seems there was evidence that pointed to the possibility of multiple mobsters including Vincent (Vinny TV) Badalamenti, Anthony Rabito, and Simone Esposito holding the rank of consigliere within that time frame. “So you shake your head, and you’re going to say, ‘I thought Vinny TV was the consigliere for life.’ And then, Pete Lovaglio is going to say: ‘Well there was a consigliere for a day.’ Then the government is going to say, ‘John Zancocchio, he was the consigliere.’ This is like musical consiglieres. Musical consiglieres. That’s what we’re going to see here.” said Meringolo.
But Michael Mancuso was not amused at the fact that this defense made it seem like he consistently switched consiglieres like underwear. Multiple sources said that Mikey Nose was so hot that he even shelved Joe C’s father-in-law Vito Grimaldi and brother-in-law Joseph Grimaldi. Both mobsters were capos and part of the families Sicilian faction. The Cosa Nostra boss blamed all four mobsters for allowing what he considered to be a demeaning trial strategy to be used. But there may be more to this move than just Mancuso being hot under the collar about a defense strategy that proved to be quite effective. He may have simply been looking for a convenient excuse to install a more loyal administration.
Mancuso originally wanted veteran wiseguy and loyalist John Palazzolo to take over as acting boss in 2015 after Thomas DiFiore was hit with racketeering charges. But the feds stepped in and sent Palazzolo back to prison on a parole violation. This left Mikey Nose Mancuso short on alternative and he reluctantly went along with promoting Joe C to official underboss and acting street boss. Cammarano is the son of former Bonanno family leader Joseph (Joe Saunders) Cammarano and has close ties to the families Sicilian faction giving him some standing within the family. Mancuso never really seemed to think that Cammarano was thrilled with the fact that he had become the boss of the family.
The rift between the two seemingly escalated in 2017 when prosecutors claimed Cammarano had held a meeting with the families captions. During the meeting, they allegedly voted to name Joe C. as the families official boss and Zancocchio consigliere. Turncoat mobster Thomas Carrube would testify later that a vote likely took place after taping another Bonanno mobster saying it was meaningless. Which seems to be the case as Mancuso clearly still has control of the New York Mafia family. The NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division had gathered information indicating that Palazzolo had agreed to rebuff any emerging movement by Cammarano and his cohorts to take over control of the family before he was sent back to prison.
There was even taped talks between turncoat mobster Carrube and Vinny Badalamenti about a potential Bonanno family feud erupting with Cammarano, Zancocchio, and captain Joseph Sabella on one side, and Mancuso, Vinny TV and Carrube on the other. So it seems that Mikey Nose Mancuso wanted to make it clear that he held the reigns and was the power at the top of the NY mafia family. This also allowed him to install 82-year-old Palazzolo into the families new administration as he had previously wanted to do. According to the report a panel of wiseguy which likely includes Badalamenti has been put in place to assist Palazzolo in his new role.
Cammarano and the other wiseguys that were shelved have been stripped of all wiseguy privileges and responsibilities and more importantly their lucrative rackets. It will be interesting to see if this move causes any friction within the family. It’s unlikely that a power struggle would erupt as Mancuso seems to have enough loyalist on the streets to squash any kind of uprising. Plus a violent internal mafia war would certainly wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone involved.