According to reports aging mobster, Domenico Cefalù took over as boss of the Gambino crime family back in 2011.
He took control of the infamous New York Mafia family at the end of the Gotti era. The reign, imprisonment, and death of former boss John Gotti brought turmoil and instability. The Cosa Nostra family had lost its way under the flamboyant Gotti. It led to convictions of not only the Dapper Don but also other high ranking members of the family’s administration. Peter Gotti took the reigns as the official boss before being convicted and sentenced in the early 2000s to 25 years behind bars. It was clear that the Gambino family needed to change to survive and re-establish itself. A series of acting and street bosses controlled the beleaguered crime family over the next few years.
There was clearly an opportunity for someone to step up and take control of the NY Mafia family. The family’s powerful Sicilian faction which included several key members of the crime family stepped up and seized power. Domenico Cefalù had long been a leading member within the Sicilian ranks and his appointment to boss brought with it a new way of doing things. He was an old school mobster who understood the value of taking a low key approach to doing business and to staying out of the headlines, unlike his predecessor.
Although had several run-ins with law enforcement prior to being voted in as the new head of the family. In 1992 and 1996 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for contempt after refusing to answer questions from a grand jury investigating the Mafia. In 2005 he would temporarily become the family underboss under acting boss Jackie D’Amico but the feds would quickly come calling again. In 2008 Cefalu was indicted on racketeering conspiracy charges as part of Operation Old Bridge. He would eventually plead guilty and be sent back to prison for 24 months.
Domenico Cefalù was released from prison in 2009. Since then he has remained completely off the radar of both law enforcement and the media. He’s been able to run one of the largest and most powerful mafia families in New York for years without any entanglements with the feds. These kinds of runs as boss are seldom seen when it comes to the Mafia today. But at 73 is Cefalu still calling the shots in the Gambino Family?
While the Sicilian faction still seems firmly in control of the Gambino family reports have surfaced as to Cefalù’s current status. A 2015 report quoted sources that maintained that Frank Cali a rising star within the Cosa Nostra family had taken over as the family’s new acting boss. It maintained that Cefalù had taken a step back and no longer ran the families day to day operations. Cefalu has always been known as a smart and cagey wiseguy who perhaps felt it was better to retire before the feds found a way to indict him. Cali had long been seen as the heir apparent to a new Gambino generation until he was gunned down last year.
Cali’s untimely death was seen as a huge blow to the resurgent organized crime family. If Cefalù has stepped aside so that his former protege could take the reigns and lead the family into a new era then those plans had been abruptly brought to an end. Both Cefalu and Cali maintained close ties through blood and marriage to the Mafia in Sicily. They helped to fill the families once decimated ranks with Sicilians who were seen as being more loyal and less showy.
Many now wonder if Cali’s death had forced Domenico “Italian Dom” Cefalù to step back in and take the reigns once again if, in fact, he had stepped away. As far as the feds are concerned Cefalù is still the boss of the Gambino family. But there are plenty of rumors and theories as to whether or not he’s still calling the shots. After Cali’s death, there were reports that a powerful Sicilian mobster named Lorenzo Mannino may have taken over as the family’s new acting boss.
From all accounts, Mannino has the respect and standing within the Gambino families Sicilian faction to have been the successor to Cali. While there has been little corroboration from law enforcement or street-level sources of the reports of either Cefalu stepping down or Mannino taking the reigns there seems to be enough there to make it a fairly interesting conversation. There may even be others yet unknown within the crime families ranks influential enough to be calling the shots. When it comes to the mafia today keeping the feds guessing and the actual boss insulated and off the radar isn’t a bad strategy. The Sicilian faction seems competent enough to pull something like that off.
Who do you think is the current boss of the Gambino Crime Family?