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   Allan May's book MOB STORIES
· Castellammarese War (Part One)

· "Buster from Chicago" – Revealed?
· This Week in Mob History
· Trials and Tribulations



Castellammarese War (Part One)

     AmericanMafia.com begins a three-part series this week that analyzes the inconsistencies between three mob legends that participated in and later wrote about the Castellammarese War – Joseph Valachi, Charles "Lucky" Luciano and Joseph Bonanno.

     In comparing the three books – The Valachi Papers (1968), The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano (1974) and A Man of Honor (1983) – at times one can easily get the impression that the men are not discussing the same event. In analyzing the differences we have used articles from the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune, which in some cases only helped to widen the gap between fact and fiction.

     In this week’s segment we offer our theory as to who the mysterious killer "Buster from Chicago" actually was. This is only an opinion and we think most of our readers will be surprised.

"Buster from Chicago" – Revealed?     ^TOP

     Few members of organized crime have remained as mysterious as the infamous "Buster from Chicago" who was introduced to us by Joseph Michael Valachi during his precedent setting government testimony in 1963. Valachi, a soldier in the Genovese Family, claims he was given the "kiss of death" in 1962 by Vito Genovese, his boss and onetime cell-mate at the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, where both were serving sentences for narcotics convictions. Paranoid that prison underlings of Genovese were following him and waiting for an opportunity to kill him, Valachi stuck first bludgeoning an innocent man to death.

     Now sentenced to life in prison for the murder Valachi knew he would soon be killed. Instead of waiting to be knifed to death, Valachi chose to talk to the FBI and became the first made-member of the Mafia to become a government witness. Valachi would tell the McClellan Committee, the informal name of the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, "The main reason [he flipped] is simply to destroy the Cosa Nostra bosses and leaders. Through the years they have been very bad to the soldiers thinking only of themselves."

     While today’s mob followers would consider Valachi’s touch of nobility nothing short of a line of self-serving crap, keep in mind that Valachi didn’t "cut and roll" in order to walk free – like Sammy Gravano and Al D’Arco – he spent the remainder of his life incarcerated, dying at the La Tuna Federal Prison in El Paso, Texas on April 3, 1971.

     On October 1, 1963, during Valachi’s televised testimony before the committee, he introduced "Buster from Chicago" to the nation. "He looked like a college boy," Valachi testified. "He was 23 years old, about six feet tall, weighed 200 pounds. He always carried a violin case."

     "What did he carry in the violin case?" inquired Jerome S. Alderman, the general counsel for the committee.

     "A machine gun," Valachi responded.

     During his testimony, and in the book, Valachi states that the Windy City killer was introduced to him only as "Buster." Valachi offers no reason as to why he never pursued further details about his deadly companion.

     Using The Valachi Papers, written by the late Peter Maas and published less than five years after Valachi’s ground breaking testimony, we have provided a time-line re-cap, in page number sequence, to cover Buster’s brief existence:

Pages 88-89 – Sometime after August 15, 1930 Valachi claims Buster confesses to killing Pietro "Peter the Clutching Hand" Morello in his office. "He said he kept running around the office, and Buster had to give him a couple of more shots before he went down. He said there was some other guy in the office, so he took him, too." Valachi doesn’t mention any accomplices to these murders.

Pages 91-93 – Valachi discusses the November 5, 1930 ambush of Steve Ferrigno and Al Mineo. He claims the killers were Buster, Girolamo "Bobby Doyle" Santucci and Nicholas "Nick the Thief" Capuzzi. In the book Valachi claims the day after the killings he left to visit his brother Anthony in Dannemora Prison. The New York Times article covering the hearing reported Valachi’s testimony revealed: Ferrigno and Mineo "were finally slain without his [Valachi’s] knowledge and while he was away from the scene of the shootings."

Page 95 – Sometime in November 1930, after the Ferrigno/Mineo murders, Valachi reports that he is initiated into the Mafia at a ceremony in Upstate New York, at which Salvatore Maranzano presides. Valachi claims that Buster is present and speaks to him at the ceremony indicating that at age 23 Buster is already a made-member of the Mafia. Valachi is initiated into the Gaetano Gagliano Family, but states his "Godfather" is Joseph Bonanno.

Pages 101-103 – Valachi claims that on February 3, 1931 he, Buster and two other unidentified gunmen force their way into an apartment where they encounter three painters "hard at work." While two men hold the painters at gunpoint, Valachi runs to prepare the get-away car while Buster alone shoots Joseph "Joe the Baker" Catania. Valachi states that Catania kisses his wife goodbye and as she watched him walk away Buster opens fire, later telling Valachi, "You could see the dust coming off his coat when the bullets hit."

Page 108 – Shortly after the murder of Guiseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria on April 15, 1931, at a heavily attended meeting, Maranzano outlines his plans as "boss of bosses" and introduces the heads of the five New York Families. Valachi decides to leave the Gagliano Family and join Maranzano as a bodyguard, claiming he’s happy to be back with Buster.

Page 109 – During the summer of 1931 but prior to September 10, Valachi talks about being a bodyguard for Maranzano with Buster, but he is unhappy about not being permitted to carry a gun in the boss’s Park Avenue office.

Page 115 – Soon after the September 10, 1931 murder of Maranzano Valachi feels he is a hunted man and is hiding in the Reina home. Valachi claims Buster comes to speak with him about their options for staying alive. Shortly after this talk Valachi says Buster was murdered. The only time frame we have for Buster’s killing is that it took place prior to the release of "Bobby Doyle" Santucci, who was being held as a material witness by the police after the Maranzano murder.

     The day after Valachi’s October 1 testimony the Chicago Tribune boldly announced:


     "Buster from Chicago," the "collegiate looking" Cosa Nostra trigger man described yesterday by Joseph Valachi as his companion in murders, probably was Frank [Buster] Marlo, Chicago police said yesterday."

     The article went on to report that Marlo, an associate of the Joe Aiello mob that was at war with Al Capone, had fled the city in April 1929 after he was "positively" identified as one of the gunmen who murdered Unione Siciliana president Anthony Lombardo and one of his bodyguards on September 7, 1928.

     The timeframe for Marlo relocating to New York, in October 1930 "or there abouts" according to one newspaper, squarely places him in a position to perform some of the murders that Valachi claims Buster was involved in. However, Frank Marlo was found brutally murdered during the early morning hours of February 17, 1931, exactly two weeks after the murder of Joseph Catania, and therefore couldn’t have been conversing with Valachi as the last three entries in the above time-line indicate.

     Articles regarding his death appeared in both the New York Times and the Herald Tribune. Valachi, who claimed that Buster’s true identity was "never revealed to him," surely would have been aware of who Buster was if he had been the murdered Frank Marlo.

     New York City police believed that Marlo was murdered someplace prior to his body being tossed into the gutter on East 19th Street. Seven bullets hit Marlo in the chest piercing his undershirt, but not penetrating his vest or coat, leading police to theorize that Marlo was either in an apartment or hotel at the time of the murder. In addition, Marlo suffered three savage knife wounds to the head, which the Chicago Tribune reported that it looked "as though they tried to scalp him." In Marlo’s tightly clenched fist was a pack of cigarettes.

     Information found on the body led police to the Victoria Hotel where Marlo had been living with Yvonne Richman, the former wife of popular Chicago entertainer Harry Richman.

     The Chicago Tribune printed the victim’s picture with their February 18, 1931 story with the name "Frank Marlo" beneath it. (Marlo resembles actor Kevin McDonald, who played "Guppy Calzone" in the movie The Godson). In the three articles reporting Marlo’s murder, although several aliases are listed, he is never referred to as "Buster." However, in the Chicago Tribune’s October 2, 1963 article they reprinted the picture from 1931, with the caption now reading, "Frank (Buster) Marlo."

     The New York newspapers apparently didn’t share the Chicago Tribune’s enthusiasm that Marlo was the now infamous "Buster from Chicago." They never even acknowledged the Tribune’s revelation. In addition, mob historians have apparently shunned the allegation due to the fact that there aren’t any books that give credence to the Tribune’s claim that Frank Marlo was "probably" the notorious "Buster."

     In A Man of Honor Joseph Bonanno writes, in response to Valachi’s "Buster" tales, "I gather he must have been talking about Bastiano Domingo. But Valachi describes Buster as being six feet and weighing two hundred pounds. In fact, Buster was a very thin man. If he weighed two hundred pounds, he had to be wearing three fur coats, all of them dripping wet."

     Bonanno never discusses Domingo’s participation in any of the killings Valachi has Buster being involved with. Bonanno’s closeness to Domingo is revealed by the fact that Bastiano was a member of his wedding party. The wedding of Joseph Bonanno to Faye Labruzzo took place after the timeframe in which Valachi claims Buster was murdered.

     Bonanno certainly doesn’t indicate that Domingo’s identity was any secret. We can’t imagine that Valachi would have any reason to keep it so especially since he revealed that Bonanno, obviously a good friend of Domingo, was his "Godfather."

     So, who does AmericanMafia.com think "Buster from Chicago" was? Our theory is that he was none other than Joseph Valachi himself. Valachi created the persona to cover up the fact that he was one of the shooters in the Ferrigno/Mineo murders and in the killing of Joseph Catania. We leave out the Morello slaying simply because not only does he provide the least amount of information on this murder, but Luciano claimed he ordered the killing and sent the hitmen – Albert Anastasia and Frank Scalice – to carry it out.

     Here is our thinking behind the theory. Valachi is able to hide the fact that he is directly responsible for these killings by creating another killer, whom no one can challenge. To throw the police and the local newspaper reporters from New York off from investigating the phantom hitman, he simply claims that Buster is from another city – Chicago. There was never any effort by New York police or media that we’ve seen to track Buster down.

     Valachi was always praised for his amazing recall of facts and details about the people he worked for, and associated with, from decades ago. The description of his initiation ceremony is one case in point. He also discussed how Joseph Profaci sat with him one day during the stake out on Ferrigno and "explained a lot of the history of what has been going on." Yet he claims never to have found out any more about Buster, despite the fact that they were together almost constantly in the month prior to the Ferrigno/Mineo murders and together at least a week before the Catania killing.

     Valachi added color to the mysterious hitman with his description of him carrying a machinegun concealed in a violin case. Yet in none of the murders he attributed to Buster was a machinegun used.

     Following the murders of Ferrigno and Mineo, of which Valachi intimates he is wasn’t a part of, he is initiated into the Mafia even though he’s hasn’t "made his bones." Valachi claims Buster was one of the killers though. If Valachi is to be believed then he had no role in the Ferrigno/Mineo murders other than to rent an apartment. Was this the impetus to make him a member of the secret society? It seems more likely that he would be proposed after participating in an actual killing for the family.

     In late January 1931 Valachi states he and Buster are stalking Joseph Catania. Valachi maintains throughout his book that he despises Ciro Terranova, the "artichoke king." Catania is the nephew of Terranova. This gives Valachi chance to get even with Terranova, against whom he holds a grudge.

     There is more than a casual collection of evidence that this was a grudge killing that Valachi set up himself. Our support of this theory is that the murder isn’t talked about as being part of the war in either Luciano’s or Bonanno’s book. The newspaper reports provide a far different version of the killing than what Valachi testified to and what he talked about in his book. Valachi, with his penchant for recalling names, doesn’t identify the gunmen who he claims covered the "three painters" in the apartment. He then claims he left before the shooting to make sure "the car was ready to go." According to Valachi, Buster was the only shooter.

     Both the New York Times and the Herald Tribune reported the "two painters" told police investigators that they were ordered out of the apartment by two gunmen, who moments later shot and mortally wounded Catania, who died the following day. Police recovered two shotguns in the empty apartment afterwards.

     Joseph Bonanno, who claimed he was Maranzano’s right hand man during the Castellammarese War, never mentions "Buster from Chicago" in his book except to refute Valachi’s description of him as it relates to Bastiano "Buster" Domingo. Bonanno fails to tie Domingo into any of the shootings that Valachi discusses.

     Lucky Luciano doesn’t mention Buster either in his telling of the conflict. "Buster from Chicago" is never mentioned in any book as being tied to the Castellammarese War except for when he is being referenced with Valachi. "Buster from Chicago" clearly existed only in the mind of Valachi.

     Finally, all of the murders that are associated with the Castellammarese War are publicized, many of them – Gaetano Reina, Ferrigno, Mineo and Catania – are public executions. In The Valachi Papers Peter Maas goes through the exercise of researching and noting the files of the New York City Police Department in regards to all of the murders except one – "Buster from Chicago."

     Perhaps an acid test for our theory is this: If Valachi never mentioned "Buster from Chicago," but instead took credit for the murders of Ferrigno, Mineo and Catania, could anyone disprove his claims?

     At the committee hearing Valachi testified, "Buster later got killed in an argument at a crap game." In the book the story changes significantly. Valachi claims Buster "was killed on the orders of Luciano and Genovese on Manhattan’s Lower East Side." Maas concludes, "The disposal of his body remains a mystery, it is the one such gangland slaying cited by Valachi for which there are no police records."

     How convenient! "Buster from Chicago" comes out of no where to provide cover for the murders Valachi describes, but says he doesn’t commit. When Valachi doesn’t need him anymore, Buster simply disappears – forever!

     The epitaph on the tomb of the "Unknown Soldier" is "Known But to God." If they created a tomb for Buster the epitaph for the "Unknown Mafia Soldier" would read "Known But to Valachi."

Next Week: AmericanMafia.com looks at Salvatore Maranzano through the recollections of Joseph Bonanno and Lucky Luciano. Are these two mob bosses talking about the same man?

This Week in Mob History     ^TOP

June 10, 1961 – Mike Farah was the recognized mob boss of Trumbull County in the Mahoning Valley for more than 20 years after moving there from Cleveland in the late 1940s. Farah and his brother John were partners with Anthony "Tony Dope" Delsanter in the ownership of the infamous Jungle Inn prior to its spectacular closing in August 1949. Farah was practicing golf shots on his lawn when a gunman in a speeding automobile fired a fatal shotgun blast into his abdomen. The 56 year-old Farah died in the emergency room two hours later.

June11, 1929 – Salvatore "Black Sam" Todaro was believed to be responsible for setting up the murders of Joseph "Big Joe" Lonardo and his brother John in October 1927. Less than two years later Joe’s son, Angelo, known as "Big Ange," gained revenge. On this warm summer afternoon Angelo drove to the corner of East 110th Street and Woodland Avenue with his mother and cousin, Dominic Sospirato in tow. At this corner was the Porrello brother’s barbershop in which the Lonardo brothers had been ambushed. Angelo asked an acquaintance to ask Todaro to come out to the car to speak with his mother. As Todaro approached the automobile Angelo Lonardo emptied his revolver into him. For more see Rick Porrello’s The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia.

June11, 1970 – Gaspare DiGregorio, according to Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi, was appointed by the Commission to succeed Joseph Bonanno after he was expelled from the Commission and disappeared in October 1964. DiGregorio served as leader of the Bonanno Family from January or February 1965 until approximately May 1966. DiGregorio died of natural causes.

June 11, 1995 – Claire Sterling, perhaps the Grand Dame of female Mafia writers, died from colon cancer. Sterling was born in the United States and served as a foreign correspondent based in Italy for over thirty years. Her first book that touched upon the activities of the Sicilian Mafia was the internationally acclaimed The Terror Network, published in 1981. In 1983 she released The Time of the Assassin, which was an in depth look at the plot to kill Pope John Paul II. Organized crime aficionados will remember her best for Octopus: The Long Reach of the International Sicilian Mafia, released in 1990. The year before Sterling died, her last book Thieves’ World: The Threat of the New Global Network of Organized Crime, was published.

June 12, 1941 – Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein and Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, two cold-blooded killers from the infamous Murder, Inc. gang, got their just deserve when they were executed in the death chamber at Sing Sing prison. The two prolific killers were ratted out by Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, who would meet his own demise just five months later.

June 12, 1984 – Vincent J. Craparotta, Sr., a successful Jersey Shore contractor, was murdered because he "failed to show proper respect" to Lucchese Family bosses. Craparotta was beaten to death "by a group of golf-club wielding assailants" shortly after arriving at his Dover Township office one morning. In 1993 Martin Taccetta, the reputed consigliere of the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese Family, was charged with participating in the murder based on the testimony of mob turncoats Philip Leonetti and Al D’Arco. In September 2001 an FBI memo surfaced from 1991 that the info about Taccetta was erroneous.

June 13, 1925 – Mike Genna, Harold F. Olson and Charles B. Walsh were all killed in one of Chicago’s saddest Prohibition era shootouts. Olson and Walsh, both Chicago Police officers were gunned down by Genna and the Sicilian killing duo of Albert Anselmi and John Scalise after a high-speed automobile chase through the streets of Chicago. When the chase ended the officers exited their car to confront the trio. The hoodlums opened fire killing the two and critically wounding Sergeant Michael Conway. After the shooting the trio split up, Genna going one way; Anselmi and Scalise in another. Genna dove into the cellar of a house where he was wounded in the thigh and later bled to death. When police captured Anselmi and Scalise they gave them a brutal and well-deserved beating. Unfortunately that would be their only punishment. They were acquitted of killing both officers.

June 13, 1927 – Salvatore Vella led a small bootlegging gang that tried to gain a foothold in Cleveland by underselling its rivals. Rumor had it that he was also providing the authorities with intimate facts about the Lonardo brothers operations. On June 13 Vella was sitting in his automobile on Woodland Avenue, near the corner of East 25th Street, outside the Piunno Funeral Parlor. On June 15 Vella was lying inside the Piunno Funeral Parlor. Vella was 40 years old.

June 13, 1929 – Peter Cassidy, William "Red" Cassidy, and Simon Walker made the mistake of getting drunk and then wandering into Jack "Legs" Diamond’s Hotsy Totsy Club. The trio insulted and roughed up a few employees before Diamond and his partner Charles Entratta entered the room. When the pair left the room "Red" Cassidy and Walker were dead and Peter Cassidy critically wounded.

June 13, 1979 – Paolo LiCastri was a Sicilian born hood who, after arriving in the United States, became associated with the Gambino Family. After a murder conviction in 1975 he was deported in early 1978 to Sicily as an illegal alien. During the fall of that year he was smuggled back in. LiCastri was reputedly appointed to participate and oversee the Gambino Family’s interests in the Lufthansa robbery. Having an overblown air of importance about himself and his responsibilities, LiCastri quickly got on the wrong side of James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke. In Henry Hill’s account of LiCastri he disclosed that he was "an illegal Sicilian shooter, who used to say he was in the air-conditioning business because he put holes in people." LiCastri was just one of the many unfortunate participants in the robbery who never lived to enjoy the fruits of his labor. His shirtless and shoeless body was found with four bullet wounds on Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn. A tiny New York Times article, which appeared on June 22, nine days after the discovery of the body in an area described as a place "where people dump things," stated that LiCastri was a suspected "stick-up man" in the Lufthansa robbery. See my article http://www.crimelibrary.com/gangsters3/lufthansa/

June 14, 1937 – Francesco Lanza, according to Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi, was the boss of the San Francisco Family and the father of future boss, James Joseph Lanza. After Francesco died of natural causes he was replaced by Anthony J. Lima.

June 14, 1986 – Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro and Michael Spilotro were found buried in a cornfield near Enos, Indiana after they had been beaten to death with baseball bats. Anthony, who earned a reputation for brutality, was known as the Chicago’s Outfit’s "Man in Las Vegas." Anthony Spilotro, like Tommy DeSimone in the movie Goodfellas', was made famous by actor Joe Pesci’s portrayal of him in the movie Casino. In October 1989 Elizabeth Tocco told the FBI that her husband Albert Tocco, the alleged boss of Chicago Heights, and two associates buried the brothers, who were still alive.

June 14, 1986 – Frankie "the Beast" Falanga was a long-time loan shark and associate of the Colombo Family. In 1986 he was convicted in a RICO trial at which mob turncoat Joseph Cantalupo testified. The day following the conviction he died.

June 14, 1996 – William F. Roemer, Jr. died of lung cancer at the age of 69. Roemer, an ex-FBI agent from Chicago, burst into the organized crime writing field with his book Roemer: Man Against the Mob, in 1989. However, Roemer was already known to most organized crime buffs from his tales of encounters with Sam Giancana and mob murders in Martin Short’s classic video series "Crime, Inc." Roemer followed up his first book with two novels. The first was War of the Godfathers, the second was Mob Power Plays" Both were written in such a way that many of the readers thought they were non-fiction. These books were followed by The Enforcer: Spilotro – The Chicago Mob’s Man Over Las Vegas, in 1994 and Accardo: The Genuine Godfather the following year.

June 15, 1977 – Joseph Frank Theo was the 18th and final victim on prolific Chicago Outfit killer Harry Aleman’s hit parade. The 33 year old Theo, a burglar involved in stolen auto parts, was found in the backseat of an automobile parked on North Cleveland Avenue with two shotgun wounds in his head.

June 15, 1992 – James "Costa Jimmy" Longo, according to Tampa mob expert Scott Deitche, was a soldier in the Tampa Family and onetime bodyguard for Santo Trafficante, Jr. He died of natural causes.

June 16, 1989 – William P. "The Wild Man" Grasso, who had close connections to mob higher-ups in New York City, was believed by some experts to be the real power in New England after his alleged promotion to underboss of the Patriarca Family in the mid-1980s. If he was, his reign was short lived. The 62 year-old Grasso was found along the banks of the Connecticut River with a bullet in the back of his head. See my story http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_9-11-00.html

June 16, 1989 – Frances "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was shot and seriously wounded in Saugus, Massachusetts. Salemme had driven to the International House of Pancakes restaurant in a black BMW with a brief case packed with $12,000. As Salemme got out of the car he was wounded in the chest and leg by gunmen blasting away from a car that pulled up from behind. For more of Salemme career see my story http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_9-11-00.html

Trials and Tribulations     ^TOP

AmericanMafia.com attempts to keep its audience advised of ongoing legal matters in the world of organized crime. New entries and addition to existing information will appear in RED.



June 12, 2002 – Cleveland/Youngstown – A closed hearing will be held regarding the release of Ronald D. Carabbia, the convicted of the murder of Cleveland mobster Daniel J. "Danny" Greene in 1977. The Ohio Parole Board ordered Carabbia’s release for May 20, but an emergency board hearing was requested by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason derailing the release.

June 13, 2002 – Philadelphia – A preliminary hearing is scheduled for William Rinick. On May 14 he surrendered to authorities after being indicted for the October 31, 2001 murder of Adam Finelli in South Philadelphia.

June 24, 2002 – Boston – Retired state trooper Richard J. Schneiderman goes on trial on charges that he hampered the FBI’s search for James "Whitey" Bulger by letting Bulger family members know that the FBI had requested pen registers on their telephones. The trial was originally scheduled for January 28. AM.com thanks J. M. Lawrence for this update.

June 27, 2002 – Las Vegas – The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled arguments on the appeals of Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish the convicted murderers of Ted Binion. Alan Dershowitz will argue Murphy’s case.

July 29, 2002 – Cleveland – Richard E. Detore goes to trial on one count of conspiring to violate a federal bribery statute involving United States Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr.

September 9, 2002 – Camden – The trial of Daniel M. Daidone and James R. Mathis, Jr. is scheduled to begin. Both are charged with corruption involving disgraced mayor Milton Milan. Daidone answered to former Philadelphia mob boss Ralph Natale, who is expected to testify. The federal trial will be in the courtroom of US District Judge Joseph H. Rodriquez. (A May 20 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Mathis trial is scheduled for December 3.)

September 2002 – Hackensack, NJ – The racketeering trial of Danny Provenzano is "tentatively" scheduled to get underway. The great-nephew of Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano is charged with extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars through fear, intimidation and violence.

POSTPONED INDEFINITELY – Rochester, NYAlbert M Ranieri goes on trial for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Since his arrest on December 29, 2000, another defendant, prominent defense attorney Anthony Leonardo, Jr., has pled guilty and implicated Ranieri in the May 2000 murder of his former business partner Anthony Vaccaro. Authorities also suspect Ranieri of a 1990 armor car heist of $11 million.

STILL WAITING ON A DATE FOR THIS ONE – Boston – The racketeering trial of Robert Luisi, Jr. is scheduled to get underway before US District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay. Luisi at one time had a plea agreement which called for him to testify against Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino last year. On December 27, 2001 Luisi withdrew the plea.

STILL WAITING FOR RESULTS ON THIS ONE – May 28, 2002 – Boston – US District Judge Robert E. Keeton will hear arguments on the April 16 conviction of Michael L. Carucci. The judge will decide whether to uphold the conviction or overturn the six convictions the jury arrived at. Carucci was found guilty of transferring money earned from the criminal activity of Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, who earlier pled guilty to the same charges. AM.com thanks our friend J. M. Lawrence of the Boston Herald for informing us "Keeton did the Carucci arguments but did not rule yet. His comments from the bench were critical of the prosecution. This is one to watch."


NO WORD ON THIS – May 17, 2002 – New York – Colombo Family underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss will be sentenced for his February 6 conviction on extortion charges.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 23, 2002 – New York – Nicholas Gambino will get his official sentence of five years probation after copping a plea on April 17 involving the stabbing of two men outside the Metropolis nightclub in Queens. A February trial resulted in Gambino being acquitted on 9 of 12 charges after he took the stand and lied to the jury telling them he had acted in self-defense.

NO WORD ON THIS – May 2002 – New York – Donna Curra, wife of Dominick "Little Dom" Curra, is scheduled to be sentenced for lying to the FBI after her husband fled on Christmas Eve 2001 to Costa Rica. She is looking at a 6 to 12 month stretch. Meanwhile, "Little Dom" remains in a Costa Rica jail fighting extradition.

June 2002 – Buffalo – Three former Buffalo narcotics detectives will be sentenced for their role in stealing money from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Jamaican drug dealer. The men were found guilty in March.

June 2002 – Newark – Nicodemo "Young Nicky" Scarfo will be sentenced for supervising a North Jersey gambling operation by US District Judge Joel Pisano.

June 13, 2002 – New York – Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico will be sentenced after pleading guilty to extortion, loansharking and money laundering. The son of jailed-for-life mobster Carmine "the Snake" Persico was the alleged "acting boss of the Colombo family.

June 27, 2002 – Cleveland – Mahoning Valley Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr., will be sentenced after being found guilty on all ten counts in a Federal trial which ended April 11.

THIS IS LIKELY TO BE POSTPONED – July 10, 2002 – Philadelphia – William Rinick will be sentenced for his April 17 assault conviction of Salvatore Abbruzzese in a South Philadelphia men’s shop. Rinick made headlines in December 2001 when narcotics investigators raided the home of Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino and found Rinick hiding under the bed of one of Merlino’s daughters.

July 15, 2002 – Boston – Michael Flemmi, the brother of notorious Winter Hill Gang member Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, will be sentenced for his May 3 conviction of obstruction of justice and perjury. Michael Flemmi helped hide the arsenal of the Winter Hill Gang and lied to a grand jury about it.

August 7, 2002 – Boston – Disgraced former FBI agent "Dishonest John" Connolly will be sentenced for his May 28 conviction on one count of racketeering and two counts of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. He is looking at from 8 to 20 years.

September 9, 2002 – Camden – Robert E. Gibson, the former Camden sewer superintendent and a 40-year employee of the city, will be sentenced for accepting illegal payments. Gibson claimed he was swept up in the corruption of disgraced mayor Milton Milan’s administration. He is looking at 18 to 24 months.

Contact: AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com


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