April 28, 2016
This Week in Gang Land
Bonannos Go All In; Reject A Mistrial In State Racketeering Case
There is no doubt that Manhattan prosecutors introduced plenty of evidence that four accused Bonanno gangsters were involved in many crimes during their ten-week-long state racketeering trial in Manhattan Supreme Court. They owned lots of guns, sold marijuana, were engaged in extortion, ran a lucrative online bookmaking operation, and illegally sold prescription drugs including Viagra and Cialis, according to testimony and tape-recordings at the trial.
Despite that, the alleged fearsome foursome – whose trial began in February – may just beat those overwhelming odds the same way their Bonanno family cohort Vincent Asaro beat his own federal racketeering indictment late last year.
That's not because there isn't a stack of strong evidence against capos Nicholas (Nicky Mouth) Santora, Ernest (Ernie) Aiello, and Vito Badamo, or associate Anthony (Skinny) Santoro. The problem for the prosecutors is that the jurors have to find them guilty of committing their crimes in Manhattan. And based on their early notes, the jury is having a hard time doing so. Notes show they specifically asked about venue, where the alleged crimes took place. After talking for two days last week, jurors took a 10-day spring recess. They are slated to resume deliberations Monday.
In March, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance won an important appeals court ruling allowing him to re-try a landmark case against a wiseguy and the creators of online betting software on upgraded gambling and money laundering charges. But seven weeks later, the DA's rackets bureau is dragging its feet on moving ahead with the case.
A Manhattan federal judge made prosecutors pay Tuesday for a screw-up they made last year when they mistakenly lowballed the recommended sentence for Genovese capo Daniel Pagano. As a result, Judge Ronnie Abrams handed gangster Michael (Mikey P) Palazzolo a sentence of 30 months behind bars for racketeering – 11 months less than the minimum prison term
Unless you get really lucky, and find a copy squirreled away in the wrong section of your local bookstore, you won't be able to get a first printing of Mob Boss: The Life Of Little Al D'Arco, The Man Who Brought Down The Mafia. But there are still some second print versions of the hardcover available as gifts or for your own reading pleasure.
Because of the heavy demand, Thomas Dunne Books went to the well again for a second printing of Mob Boss, the book that The New York Times called a "gripping, novelistic biography – a bulls-eye."
The mass market, paperback version was published a year ago, however, and it is available online and at your favorite bookstores for about eight bucks. You still should be able to pick up a copy of the hard cover at your favorite bookstore, or, as Claude Raines might say to Humphrey Bogart, from any number of the usual online suspects: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and BooksAMillion, as well as an independent book seller near you.
See why Mob Boss has been praised by Pete Hamill, Jimmy Breslin, Nicholas Pileggi, Mister District Attorney Robert Morgenthau – as well as readers everywhere.
Mob Boss is also available in a special BIG PRINT edition. And for those who would rather hear every word of the 406 page book read to them, Mob Boss is also available on an MP3 CD from Tantor Audio.