When it comes to the New York Mafia families one of the questions that we always seem to get is in regards to their current membership.
How many made guys do each of the Cosa Nostra families in New York currently have? When it comes to the mafia and membership numbers its far from an exact science so there isn’t really an easy answer. We often get tidbits from sources like the FBI and or trial transcripts of turncoats etc which can help to identify mob leaders. But when it comes to overall size and strength of the Five Families of NY we seldom get the same amount of useful information. The FBI really doesn’t expose member identifications publicly unless it’s necessary so we don’t get the amount of info we would like to get from this important source in that regard. It’s also not something we see mobsters talking about all that often on wiretaps or from other forms of surveillance.
While this makes it hard to be completely accurate there is still enough information from court records, turncoats, fed documents, and law enforcement that can be obtained to make a solid estimate. While these numbers will always be up for debate it certainly makes for a very interesting conversation. Everyone knows the Mafia in New York and elsewhere around the country isn’t what it once was. But this certainly doesn’t mean that the NY Mafia families are fading away anytime soon.
We do know that there have been rules in place that govern the induction of new members into the NY Mafia. Families are only allowed to make new members as replacements for mobsters who have died. Each family is allowed to add 2 new made guys at Christmas time which was put in as a way to compensate for jailed wiseguys etc. Families are not allowed to replace turncoats who have ratted on the family until they are dead. While it’s believed these rules are still in place its unclear as to whether or not the current New York Mafia families still follow them to the letter.
When it comes to current membership numbers the Genovese family and the Gambino family lead the way in NY. Both organizations are believed to have between 145-160 made guys within their ranks. Both families have been extremely low key in recent years so the margin of error for both may be a bit more expansive then it is for some of the smaller families. The Bonanno family follows closely behind those two powerhouses and is believed to have between 140-150 made guys.
The current number of made guys within the Lucchese family is estimated to be between 100-115. Although recent testimony from a mob turncoat had the number of made guys in the families remaining crews at a significantly lower total. It’s unclear as to just how accurate his assessment of today’s family actually was. The Colombo family has always and continues to bring up the rear and are currently believed to have between 70-80 made guys.
While we can debate as to the accuracy and how many of these made guys remain active its seems clear that the New York Mafia still maintains a significant presence. There will always be plenty of made guys we aren’t aware of and even some the feds may not even know of yet which is why these are estimates that cannot be set in stone.
About The Mafia would like to give credit where it is due for the estimates included here today which are largely based on charts maintained by forum member Pogo the Clown over at The Black Hand Forum. He always maintains a high standard when it comes to accuracy across the board.
Please feel free to comment below and get into the New York Mafia families membership numbers discussion!