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June 20, 2024

This Week In Gang Land

Budding Actor Gives It Up To Join The Mob; But His Old TV Show, Gravesend, Makes It Big

Gang Land Exclusive!Robert GiardinaHis family members were "legitimate people," but as a kid growing up in Bensonhurst, the late Tony Sirico saw "a lot of mob-type people" and he became enamored by "the way they walked, the cars they drove, (and) the way they approached each other." As a result, he said, he did "a lot of bad things" with local mob-tied folks, right up to and including his 1971 conviction for gun possession which sent him to Sing Sing.

While doing his bid — he served 20 months of a four year sentence — Sirico saw a performance by a group of actors, all ex-cons. "I said to myself, 'I can do that.'" As a result, he soon gave up The Life, and became an actor, he told the Daily News in 1999, a move that led to his now famous role as mobster Paulie Walnuts in The Sopranos, as a sidekick of New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano.

Things were very different for Robert Giardina. His grandfather, Louis Giardina, was a Gambino mobster-union official convicted of racketeering and sentenced to five years in prison. Robert, however, shunned wiseguy life, turning to acting. He played a wiseguy in Season 1 of Gravesend, the hot Amazon Prime TV show now shooting Season 3 in Brooklyn. But the mob life beckoned, and he soon gave up playing a mobster and became one. He was later inducted into the Gambino family, Gang Land has learned

Bazoo: That Was No Threat! It Was Just An 'Angry Retort'

John RaganoMobster John (Bazoo) Ragano twice told a wired-up snitch who had taken off all his clothes to prove he wasn't wired up that Ragano wanted the money he was owed. But his lawyers say that taken "in context," his words were not an effort to use extortion to collect a loan. They were "an angry retort" to a false accusation that Bazoo was tape-recording the snitch.

Gambino Gambling and Loansharking Operation On Staten Island Truly A Family Affair

John LaForteIf the 20 members, associates and other friends of the Gambino crime family who were rounded up and charged earlier this month with gambling, loansharking and mortgage fraud had a theme song it would definitely be Family Affair, the smash 1971 hit by Sly & The Family Stone that was Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 list for three weeks.

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