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Colombo crime family

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Colombo crime family

Colombo crime family
Joseph Colombo was boss of the family from 1963 to 1971.
Founder Joseph Profaci
Named after Joseph Colombo, Sr.
Founding location New York City, USA
Years active c. 1928–present
Territory Various neighborhoods in New York City, New York. Territory in Long Island, Massachusetts, South Florida, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
Ethnicity People of Italian descent as "made men", and other ethnicities as "associates"
Membership 100-115 (active) made members[1] (2011 estimate), 400 associates approx
Criminal activities Arms trafficking, arson, assault, battery, bribery, burglary, cigarette smuggling, chop shop, conspiracy, contract killing, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, extortion, fencing, fraud, illegal gambling, larceny, loansharking, money laundering, murder, Racketeering, robbery, skimming, theft, truck hijacking, pornography, prostitution, tax evasion, and protection racket.
Allies Bonanno, Gambino, Lucchese, Genovese, Trafficante, DeCavalcante, Patriarca, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Los Angeles crime families
Rivals Various gangs over NYC including their allies

The Colombo crime family (pronounced ) is the youngest of the "Mafia (or Cosa Nostra).

The family traces its roots to a bootlegging gang formed by Castellammarese War, Profaci's gang was recognized as the Profaci crime family. Profaci would rule his family without interruption or challenge until the late 1950s.[2][3] The family has been torn by three internal wars. The first war took place during the late 1950s when capo Joe Gallo revolted against Profaci. The first war lost momentum in the early 1960s when Gallo was arrested and Profaci died of cancer. The family was not reunited until the early 1960s under Joseph Colombo. In 1971, the second family war began after Gallo's release from prison and the shooting of Colombo. Colombo supporters led by Carmine Persico won the second war after the exiling of the Gallo crew to the Genovese family in 1975. The family would now enjoy over 15 years of peace under Persico and his string of acting bosses.

In 1991, the third and bloodiest war erupted when acting boss Victor Orena tried to seize power from the imprisoned Carmine Persico. The family split into factions loyal to Orena and Persico and two years of mayhem ensued. It ended in 1993 with 12 family members dead and Orena imprisoned, leaving Persico the winner more or less by default. He was left with a family decimated by war. Although Persico still runs the family today, it has never recovered. In the 2000s, the family was further crippled by multiple convictions in federal racketeering cases and numerous members becoming government witnesses. Most observers believe that the Colombo crime family is the weakest of the Five Families of New York City.[1]


  • History 1
    • Origins 1.1
    • The Castellammarese War 1.2
    • First Family War (1960–1963) 1.3
    • Colombo and Italian American Civil Rights League 1.4
    • Second Family War (1971–1975) 1.5
    • The family under Persico 1.6
    • Third Family War (1991–1993) 1.7
    • The family after Third Colombo War 1.8
  • Historical leadership 2
    • Boss (official and acting) 2.1
    • Street boss 2.2
    • Underboss (official and acting) 2.3
    • Consigliere (official and acting) 2.4
    • Factions of the third war 2.5
  • Current family members 3
    • Administration 3.1
    • Caporegimes 3.2
    • Soldiers 3.3
    • Associates 3.4
    • Family crews 3.5
  • Controlled unions 4
  • Former members and associates 5
  • Government informants and witnesses 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8



In September 1921, Joseph Profaci arrived in New York City from Villabate, Sicily, Italy.[2] After struggling in Chicago with his businesses, Profaci moved back to Brooklyn in 1925 and become a well known olive oil importer. On September 27, Profaci obtained his American citizenship.[2] With his olive oil importing business doing well, Profaci made deals with friends from his old town in Sicily and one of his largest buyers was Tampa mobster Ignazio Italiano. Profaci controlled a small criminal gang that operated mainly in Brooklyn. The dominant Cosa Nostra groups in Brooklyn were led by Salvatore D'Aquila, Frankie Yale, Giuseppe Masseria, and Nicola Schirò.

On July 1, 1928, Brooklyn mobster Frankie Yale was murdered by Chicago Outfit boss Al Capone's hit-men.[4] Capone murdered Yale because Yale refused to give Capone, a Neapolitan, control over the Unione Siciliana fraternal association.[4][5] Yale's murder allowed Profaci and his brother in-law Joseph Magliocco to gain territory for their small gang.[2] Profaci's gang gained territory in Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Carroll Gardens while the rest of Yale's group went to the Masseria family.

On October 10, 1928, the capo di tutti capi, Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila, was murdered, resulting in a fight for D'Aquila's territory.[2] To prevent a gang war in Brooklyn, a Mafia meeting was called on December 5, 1928, at the Statler Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. The site was chosen because it was neutral territory outside New York under Porrello crime family control and protection. The main topic was dividing D'Aquila's territory.[2] Attendees representing Brooklyn included Profaci, Magliocco, Vincent Mangano (who reported to D'Aqulia family boss Alfred "Al Mineo" Manfredi), Joseph Bonanno (who represented Salvatore Maranzano and the Castellammarese Clan), Chicago mobsters Joseph Guinta and Pasquale Lolordo, and Tampa mobster Ignazio Italiano.[2] At the end of the meeting, Profaci received a share of D'Aqulia's Brooklyn territory, with Magliocco as his second-in-command.

The Castellammarese War

Months after the D'Aquila murder, Joe Masseria began a campaign to become capo di tutti capi ('boss of bosses') in the United States demanding tribute from the remaining three Mafia groups in New York City which included the Reina family, the Castellammarese Clan and the Profaci family.[6] Castellammarese Clan boss Salvatore Maranzano began his own campaign to become 'boss of bosses', this started the Castellammarese War. Masseria along with his allie Alfred Manfredi, the new boss of the D'Aquila family ordered the murder of Gaetano Reina. Masseria believed that Reina was going to support Maranzano to become the new 'boss of bosses'. On February 26, 1930, Gaetano Reina was murdered and Masseria appointed Joseph Pinzolo as the new boss of the Reina family. During the war Profaci remained neutral, while he secretly supported Maranzano.

The Castellammarese War ended when Charles "Lucky" Luciano, a Masseria lieutenant, betrayed him to Maranzano. Luciano set up the murder of Masseria on April 15, 1931.[6] Maranzano then became the new capo di tutti capi in the United States. Within a few months, Maranzano and Luciano were plotting to kill each other. On September 10, 1931, Luciano had Maranzano killed and created the Mafia Commission. Now there would be five independent Cosa Nostra families in New York City and twenty one additional families across the United States that were regulated by a supreme Commission in New York. Profaci and Magliocco were confirmed as boss and underboss, respectively, of what was now known as the Profaci crime family.[6]

First Family War (1960–1963)

Joseph Profaci in 1959.

Joseph Profaci had become a wealthy Mafia boss and was known as "the olive-oil and tomato paste king of America".[7] One of Profaci's most unpopular demands was a $25 monthly tribute from every soldier in his family. In the late 1950s, capo Frank "Frankie Shots" Abbatemarco became a problem for Joe Profaci. Abbatemarco controlled a lucrative policy game that earned him nearly $2.5 million a year with an average of $7,000 a day in Red Hook, Brooklyn.[7][8] In early 1959, Abbatemarco, with the support of Gallo brothers and the Garfield Boys, began refusing to pay tribute to Profaci.[8] By late 1959, Abbatemarco's debt had grown to $50,000 and Profaci allegedly ordered Joe Gallo to murder Abbatemarco. However, other versions of the story indicate that Gallo played no part in this murder.[8] In return for Abbatemarco's murder, Profaci allegedly agreed to give the Gallos control over Abbatemarco's policy game.[9] On November 4, 1959, Frank Abbatemarco walked out of his cousin's bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn and was shot and killed by Joseph Gioielli and another hitman.[8][10] Profaci then ordered the Gallos to hand over Abbatemaro's son Anthony. The Gallos refused and Profaci refused to give them the policy game. This was the start of the first family war.[8] The Gallo brothers and the Garfield boys (led by Carmine Persico) were aligned against Profaci and his loyalists.[7][9]

On February 27, 1961 the Gallos kidnapped four of Profaci's top men: underboss Magliocco, Frank Profaci (Joe Profaci's brother), capo Salvatore Musacchio and soldier John Scimone. Profaci himself eluded capture and flew to sanctuary in Florida.[7] While holding the hostages, Larry and Albert Gallo sent Joe Gallo to California. Profaci's consigliere Charles "the Sidge" LoCicero negotiated with the Gallos and all the hostages were released peacefully.[11] However, Profaci had no intention of honoring this peace agreement. On August 20, 1961 Joseph Profaci ordered the murder of Gallo members Joseph "Joe Jelly" Gioielli and Larry Gallo. Gunmen allegedly murdered Gioilli after inviting him to go deep sea fishing. Gallo survived a strangulation attempt in the Sahara club of East Flatbush by Carmine Persico and Salvatore "Sally" D'Ambrosio after a police officer intervened.[7][9] The Gallos then began calling Persico "The Snake"; he had betrayed them, the war continued on resulting in nine murders and three disappearances.[9]

In late November 1961, Joe Gallo was sentenced to seven-to-fourteen years in prison for murder.[12] In 1962, Joe Profaci died of cancer, leaving Joe Magliocco, his longtime underboss, as the new boss. The war continued on between the two factions. In 1963, Carmine Persico survived a car bombing and his enforcer Hugh McIntosh was shot in the groin as he attempted kill Larry Gallo.[12] On May 19, 1963, a Gallo hit team shot Carmine Persico multiple times, but Persico survived.[12]

In 1963, Magliocco and Bonanno boss Joseph Bonanno hatched an audacious plan to murder bosses Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese, Stefano Magaddino and Frank DeSimone and take over the Mafia Commission.[13] Joseph Magliocco gave the murder contact to Joseph Colombo. Colombo either feared for his life, or sensed an opportunity for advancement, and instead reported the plot to The Commission. The Commission, realizing that Bonanno was the real mastermind, ordered both Magliocco and Bonanno to appear for a Mob trial. Bonanno went into hiding, but a badly shaken Magliocco appeared and confessed everything. He was fined $43,000 and forced into retirement.[13]

Colombo and Italian American Civil Rights League

The Commission rewarded Colombo for his loyalty by awarding him the Profaci family, which he renamed the Colombo family. The 41-year-old Colombo was the youngest boss in New York at the time, and the first New York Mafia boss to have been born and raised in the United States.

Along with former Gallo crew member Nicholas Bianco and New England family boss Raymond Patriarca, Colombo was able to end the war.[7] As a reward for his loyalty, Bianco was made into the Colombo family.[14] As boss, Colombo brought peace and stability to the broken crime family. However, some Cosa Nostra bosses viewed Colombo as Carlo Gambino's "puppet boss" and felt he never deserved the title.[7] Colombo's leadership was never challenged due to his support from Carlo Gambino. In 1968, Gallo crew leader Larry Gallo died of cancer.[7]

In 1969, Colombo founded the

  • La Cosa Nostra – State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report - The Colombo/Persico/Orena Family
  • truTV on the Colombo family

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hamilton, Brad (2011-01-30). "The brutal rise and bloody fall of the Colombos". The New York Post. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Critchley, David. The origins of organized crime in America: the New York City mafia, 1891-1931. 2009. Routlege Publishing. (p160-164g.) [5]
  3. ^ Robbins, Michael W. and Palitz, Wendy. Brooklyn: a state of mind. 2001. Workman Publishing. (page 104) [6]
  4. ^ a b Newton, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes. (pg.408)
  5. ^ Nash, Jay Robert. The Great Pictorial History of World Crime. (pg.535)
  6. ^ a b c d e f Raab, Selwyn. The Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empire. New York: St. Martins Press, 2005.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Cage, Nicholas. "Part II The Mafia at War". New York Magazine. July 17, 1972 (pg.27-36)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Frankie Abbatemarco is the opening casualty in the Profaci family civil war by David J. Krajicek (September 19, 2010) New York Daily News
  9. ^ a b c d Raab, Selwyn. The Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empire. New York: St. Martins Press, 2005. (pg. 321-324)
  10. ^ Organized Crime by Howard Abadinsky (1985) pg.121
  11. ^ Jerry Capeci The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia (pg. 303)
  12. ^ a b c Capeci, Jerry. The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia p. 305
  13. ^ a b The Mob: How Joe Bonanno Schemed to kill – and lost. Life Magazine Vol. 63, No.9 (September 1, 1967) pg. 15-21
  14. ^ The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia by Jerry Capeci (pg. 40)
  15. ^ a b Gage, Nicholas (April 8, 1972). "Grudges with Gallo Date to War with Profaci". New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d Raab, Selwyn. Five Families pg.197-200
  17. ^ "Tozzi Knew All Three of the Gallo Brothers". Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Capeci, Jerry The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia pg. 306
  19. ^ Gage, Nicholas (November 7, 1976). "A 'Family Quarrel', Mafia Style". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "The Colombo/Persico/Orena Family" La Cosa Nostra – State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report
  21. ^ "The Colombo Family: Junior's War" By Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
  22. ^ "FUHGEDDABOUD THE OLD MOB After Gotti, Mafia ordered to clean house" by MICHELE MCPHEE New York Daily News July 7, 2002
  23. ^ Raab, pp. 495-496
  24. ^ Destefano, Anthony. King of the Godfathers 2006. Kensington Publishing Corp. New York City. pg. 203-204
  26. ^ a b "Nine Are Arrested in Sweeping Organized Crime Crackdown" by The Associated Press (June 5, 3008) The New York Times
  27. ^ "11 Years After Officer’s Slaying, Reputed Mob Figures Are Indicted" by MICHAEL WILSON and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM New York Times December 18, 2008
  28. ^ a b "Four charged with membership in Mafia-connected crew" December 17, 2009
  29. ^ "Colombo Family Street Boss Indicted" Crime Family - December 19, 2009
  30. ^ a b c "Colombo crime family boss Ralph DeLeo indicted on racketeering charges" by John Marzulli New York Daily News December 18, 2009
  31. ^ "FBI alleges ‘crime boss’ DeLeo ran crew in Greater Boston" by Shelley Murphy Boston Globe January 17, 2010
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h William K. Rashbaum "Nearly 125 Arrested in Sweeping Mob Roundup" (January 20, 2011) New York Times
  33. ^ a b c d e f The Mafia family tree: FBI flowchart reveals 127 'mobsters' arrested in biggest ever blitz on New York's crime empires (January 20, 2011) The Daily Mail
  34. ^ "Jerry Capeci: Nephew of Top Mobster Aids in Colombo Family Takedown". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  35. ^ a b c d Maddux, Mitchel (September 30, 2011). "Co-paying for mob crimes". New York Post. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  36. ^ a b Mob capo Reynold Maragni turns rat, wears wire for feds to bust Colombos by John Marzulli (December 15, 2011) New York Daily News
  37. ^ a b c d e f DeVico, Peter J. The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra (pg. 174) Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-60247-254-8
  38. ^ a b American New York by Mario Machi
  39. ^ a b c La Cosa Nostra State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report. pg.17
  40. ^ "THE CITY; Persico Trial Put Off On Bribery Charges" (Jan. 6 1981) New York Times
  41. ^ "PERSICO RANK RANKLES AS HE IS GIVEN 5 YEARS" by Joseph P. Fried (November 10, 1981) New York Times
  42. ^ a b Peter Maas Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia. (pg. 191-192)
  43. ^ a b c d "Alphonse Persico, 61, Is Dead; Leader of Colombo Crime Family". September 13, 1989. 'New York Times
  44. ^ "Colombo Figure Given 25 Years On '80 Charges" by Leonard Buder (December 19, 1987) New York Times
  45. ^ Peter Maas Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia. (pg. 155)
  46. ^ Selwyn Raab. Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful (pg.332-333)
  47. ^ "Even to the 5 Families, the Fighting Colombos Have Been Black Sheep" by SELWYN RAAB New York Times December 10, 1991
  48. ^ a b Jerry Capeci The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia (pg. 386-388)
  49. ^ a b Capeci, Jerry (August 5, 1999). "MOB BOSS RIPS JURY-TAMPERING SENTENCE". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  50. ^ a b c United States District Judge John F. Keenan Case 1:97-cv-08591-JFK (May 22, 2006)
  51. ^ Marzulli, John (March 1, 2009). "Alphonse Persico life sentence may end control of Colombo crime family". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  52. ^ a b c Updated Colombo Family Leadership being revealed?
  53. ^ a b c Colombo Organized Crime Family Acting Boss Alphonse T. Persico and Administration Member John J. Deross Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for the Murder of William "Wild Bill" Cutolo and Related Witness Tampering (February 27, 2009)
  54. ^ a b c Colombo crime family 1987 Oct. 15, 2007. Getty Images
  55. ^ Capeci, Jerry (July 31, 1998). "NEWLYWEDS LEAD FEDS TO REPUTED MOB FIGURE". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  56. ^ a b "Colombo boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli charged with '97 slay of cop" by John Marzulli (July 15, 2010) New York Daily News
  57. ^ Kenny Gallo, Matthew Randazzo Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia (pg. 493-494)
  58. ^ John Marzulli "'Godfather star James Caan, furio from 'The Sopranos' go to bat for Colombo crime boss" January 26, 2011. New York Daily News
  59. ^ My life in the Mafia by Vincent Charles Teresa and Thomas C. Renner 1973, (pg. 82)
  60. ^ "Franzese Is Said to Have Killed '30 or 40 or 50' Persons" by Sidney E. Zion (March 04, 1967) New York Times
  61. ^ a b "A Family Business: Hijacking, Bookmaking, Policy, Dice Games Loan-sharking and Special Contracts; A family business" by Fred J. Cook (June 04, 1972) New York Times
  62. ^ Colombo: The New Look in the Mafia; Joseph Colombo: The Head of a New Generation Family of Mafia Members by Nicholas Gage (May 3, 1971) New York Times
  63. ^ "6 Alleged Mafiosi Indicted in Nassau" by Roy R. Silver (January 28, 1970) New York Times
  64. ^ "Alleged Mob Figure Balking at Inquiry" (October 16, 1974) New York Times
  65. ^ "Hijacker of Truck Loses His Freedom Because of Cohorts" (November 6, 1976) New York Times
  66. ^ "ews Summary; International National Metropolitan" (June 5, 1977) New York Times
  67. ^ Michael Franzese (page 75)I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse
  68. ^ "Colombo 'Family' Underboss Flees After Failure of Overthrow Chief; COLOMBO UNDERBOSS FLEES AS MOVE FAILS" by Nicholas Gage (June 5, 1977) New York Times
  69. ^ "Reputed Crime Leader Disappears On Day for a Hearing on Sentence" by: Unknown (June 24, 1980)
  70. ^ Organized Crime in America: hearings before the committee on judiciary, United States senate, ninety-eight congress, first session, on organized crime in America, part 1-2 (1984) (pg. 23)
  71. ^ Hays, Tom (January 14, 2011). "Geriatric NY gangster, 93, gets 8 years in prison". myway. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  72. ^ "Bond by Honor: A Mafioso's Story" by Bill Bonanno (Page 24)
  73. ^ The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia by Jerry Capeci (view)
  74. ^ "A Mafia Leader Admits Tax Guilt; Brooklyn Gang Figure Faces a 5-Year Jail Sentence" (January 14, 1965) New York Times
  75. ^ a b Hearings (1969) United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary (pg.126)
  76. ^ Peter J. Devico The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra (pg. 74)
  77. ^ "Yacovelli Said to Succeed Colombo in Mafia Family; Yacovelli Called Successor to Colombo" by Nicholas Gage (September 1, 1971) New York Times
  78. ^ "The mafia encyclopedia" by Carl Sifakis (pg.355)
  79. ^ a b Organized Crime in America: hearings before the committee on judiciary, United States senate, ninety-eight congress, first session, on organized crime in America, part 1-2 (1984) (pg. 273-274)
  80. ^ Colombo crime family 1984 Oct. 15, 2007. Getty Images
  81. ^ Mafia Son: The Scarpa Mob Family, the FBI, and a Story of Betrayal by Sandra Harmon (pg. 221)
  82. ^ a b c Marzulli, John (January 5, 2012). "Thomas Farese is latest alleged Colombo mobster to be busted". New York Daily News. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  83. ^ a b c d e f Colombo crime family Persico faction Oct. 15, 2007. Getty Images
  84. ^ US of American v. Joseph Monteleone, Sr., Joseph Russo and Anthony Russo 257 F.3d 210 (2nd Cir. 2001)
  85. ^ a b c d Colombo crime family Orena faction Oct.15, 2007. Getty Images
  86. ^ a b Raab, Selwyn. The Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empire pg.344-349
  87. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate Carmine Persico
  88. ^ "Alphonse Persico" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  89. ^ Raab, Selwyn Five Families pg.329
  90. ^ Judge limits jail time for former Colombo crime boss so the 78-year-old can rejoin Brooklyn family by John Marzulli (March 22, 2013) New York Daily News
  91. ^ "Andrew Russo". Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  92. ^ "John Franzese". Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  93. ^ 'The Claw' is headed to prison: Federal judge rejects 'poorfella' argument by reputed Colombo underboss Benjamin Castellazzo, sentences him to 63 months by John Marzulli (January 30, 2013) New York Daily News
  94. ^ Colombo underboss gets 63 months in jail by Mitchel Maddux (January 30, 2013) New York Post
  95. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator: Benjamin Castellazzo (Release date 08-16-2015)
  96. ^ a b c d e Lebowitz, Larry (May 19, 1998). "Mafia Figure On Way Back To Jail: Ex-convict Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  97. ^ a b c "Feds bust Colombo big for money laundering" by Mitchel Maddux (January 6, 2012) New York Post
  98. ^ Travel-Weary Colombo Wiseguy Gets Out of Town" by Jerry Capeci (March 22, 2012) Gang Lang News
  99. ^ Judge allows mob lawyers to inspect informant's wristwatch that contained secret recording device by John Marzulli (September 17, 2012) New York Daily News
  100. ^ Colombo consigliere acquitted, associate convicted on money laundering charges by Mitchel Maddux (December 1, 2012) New York Post
  101. ^ Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator: Thomas Ralph Farese (Released)
  102. ^ a b c d 2012 Colombo crime family chart, 2012
  103. ^ One mobster refuses plea deal, leaving four other wiseguys in the lurch, Daily News, 2012
  104. ^ Indictment Unsealed Charging Colombo Family Administration Member Theodore Persico and Seven Others (March 09, 2010)
  105. ^ "Colombo Mobsters Charged with Extortion, Theft of Teamster Benefits" by Carl Horowitz (March 1, 2010) National Legal and Policy
  106. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator: Joseph Baudanza (Released Feb. 18, 2011)
  107. ^ Born to the Mob: The True-life Story of the Only Man to Work for All Five of New York's Mafia Families. Frankie Saggio and Fred Rosen. Running Press, 2004. pp.87
  108. ^ Late Guilty Plea for Green Eyes by Jerry Capeci (January 11, 2007) New York Sun
  109. ^ SOPRANOS MADE MOB SCENE FBI spotted actors at '99 Colombo fete by Greg Smith (August 26, 2001) New York Daily News
  110. ^ "Theodore Persico" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  111. ^ "Turncoat Turns 'Mob Justice' Into Federal Justice" by Jerry Capeci New York Sun (September 13, 2007)
  112. ^ "Reputed Colombo Crime Family Capo, Michael Uvino, Gets 10 Years in Prison". The Chicago Syndicate (July 12, 2009)
  113. ^ "Michael Uvino". Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  114. ^ United States Court of Appeals "United States of America v. Vincent Aloi" (Decided Jan. 31, 1975)
  115. ^ a b The Changing Face of Organized in New Jersey A Status Report. May 2004. (pg 137-140) [7]
  116. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons: Ralph Lombardo
  117. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (July 30, 2004). "Convention Diary: Bing does the decent thing by Democrats".  
  118. ^ "John DeRoss" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  119. ^ "Mistrial Is Declared in Mob Murder Case" NEW YORK TIMES November 4, 2006
  120. ^ "F.B.I. Resumes Search for Mob Graves" By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM New York Times March 9, 2009
  121. ^ "Theodore Jr. Persico" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  122. ^ by Bob Ingle, Sandy McClure. (page 263)
  123. ^ "Daniel Persico" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  124. ^ "Vincent Langella" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
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  126. ^ Marzulli, John (December 18, 2009). "Colombo crime family boss Ralph DeLeo indicted on racketeering charges". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  127. ^ Ralph Francis DeLeo Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  128. ^ United States v. Vincent DeMartino Find Law
  129. ^ "Two Found Guilty In Botched Coney Island Mob Hit" Brooklyn Daily Eagle May 14, 2004
  130. ^ "Echoes of Mob War Reverberate 15 Years Later" New York Sun July 20, 2006
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  132. ^ Shifrel, Scott (October 16, 2007). "'"Lawyers say mob vowed to make FBI agent 'bad guy. New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  133. ^ Marzulli, John (November 17, 2010). "Colombo capo Michael Catapano's 'black sheep' bid to cut his sentence is rejected by judge". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  134. ^ "Michael Catapano". Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  135. ^ Robbins, Tom. "Analyze This A Deadly Mobster's Pleading Letter for His Son". Village Voice. Jan 20, 2004 [8]
  136. ^ "Lawrence Persico" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  137. ^ Yaniv, Oren (August 19, 2011). "Son of jailed mob boss Carmine 'The Snake' Persico indicted for ordering hit". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  138. ^ Capeci, Jerry. "Mob Boss Tied To 1999 Murders Of Stock Swindlers In NJ Mansion". New York Huffington Post. November 23, 2009
  139. ^ Selwyn Raab. Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires. (pg. 322)
  140. ^ Mobsters, Unions, and feds: the mafia and the American labor movement by James B. Jacobs (page 191)
  141. ^ Gotham Unbound: How New York City was liberated from the grip of organized crime by: James B. Jacobs, Coleen Friel and Robert Radick (page 293)
  142. ^ "Colombo gangster Richard Fusco admits trying to shake down rival Gambinos" (September 30, 2011) John Marzulli. New York Daily News
  143. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator: Richard Fusco (Release date)
  144. ^ Richie Nerves Fusco Checks Out After Funeral For His Brother-In-Law by Jerry Capeci (September 19, 2013)GanglandNews
  145. ^ "Ex-mobster shows ‘transformation is possible for anyone’" Mafia Today
  146. ^ "Pyrrhic Victory: Judge Grants a Hearing, Cancer Cancels It" by Jerry Capeci The Sun (New York) August 2, 2007
  147. ^ "Umberto’s Clam House Opens For Business, And Bullets, Again" by John William Tuohy and Ed Becker (June 5, 2000) Rick Porrello's
  148. ^ Capeci, Jerry. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia. Alpha, 2001. (view)
  149. ^ Masters of paradise: organized crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas by Alan A. Block pg. 90
  150. ^ James, George (October 22, 1993). "Man Tied to Crime Family Is Shot to Death in Queens". New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  151. ^ Marzulli, John (2013-10-15). "Mobster Ralph Scopo Jr. ducks jail with heart failure". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  152. ^ Sicilian Blood, Time, September 3, 1956
  153. ^ "Benedetto Aloi" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  154. ^ "Ex-mafia kingpin: G-man helped me beat the system" by Jerry Capeci (April 21, 2011) This Week In Gang Land
  155. ^ Capeci, Jerry. The Sun (New York). "Mob Obituaries: Boobie, Redbird, and the Brain" December 14, 2006
  156. ^ "Frank Persico" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  157. ^ Raab, Selwyn Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires (p. 324)
  158. ^ a b c d e Capeci, Jerry. Jerry Capeci's Gang Land view
  159. ^ Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster by T. J. English read
  160. ^ "Nicholas Bianco; Crime Family Figure, 62". New York Times. November 16, 1994. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  161. ^ Marzulli, John (December 21, 2010). "Trial of 1980 Brooklyn mob rubout to feature a who's who of Mafia snitches". New York Daily News. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  162. ^ "What’s Left of the Mob" by Jerry Capeci New York Magazine May 21, 2005
  163. ^ a b "Anthony (Big Anthony) Russo becomes third Colombo capo to roll over to work with feds" by John Marzulli (February 5, 2011) New York Daily News
  164. ^ Mob Snitch's Daughters Sue FBI for House by Adam Klasfeld (January 23, 2012) Courthouse News Service
  165. ^ Capeci, Jerry (August 19, 1995). "Mob Plea Deal No Steal". New York Daily News. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  166. ^ a b c "Mob wiseguy in cop hit, Colombo hit man Dino (Big Dino) Calabro, strikes deal with feds" by John Marzulli (January 25, 2010) New York Daily News
  167. ^ Marzulli, John (December 19, 2008). "Former Colombo family boss indicted in 1997 murder of NYPD cop Ralph Dols". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  168. ^ "Prosecutors to seek death penalty against ex-Colombo mob boss Joel Cacace for murder of NYPD cop" by John Marzulli (February 10, 2011) New York Daily News
  169. ^ "Two Found Guilty In Botched Coney Island Mob Hit" by John Doyle (May 14, 2004) Brooklyn Daily Eagle
  170. ^ "Former Colombo family boss indicted in 1997 murder of NYPD cop Ralph Dols" by John Marzulli (December 19, 2008) New York Daily News
  171. ^ "Corpse found at Long Island mob dig may be Wild Bill Cutolo" by John Marzulli and Leo Standora (October 6, 2008) New York Daily News
  172. ^ "127 charged in federal mob crackdown" by Michael LaForgia The Palm Beach Post News (Jan. 20, 2011)
  173. ^ Marzulli, John (2012-11-20). "Mob captain gets fired as government rat". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  174. ^ a b Capeci, Jerry (January 20, 1997). "Mob Canary Hears Birds Singing Picked Wrong Foe For Prison Fight". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  175. ^ Dannen, Fredric (December 16, 1996). "The G-man and the Hit Man". The New Yorker. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  176. ^ FRANCESCANI, CHRISTOPHER (September 29, 2000). "MURDEROUS MOB CANARY SPRUNG". New York Post. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  177. ^ Marzulli, John (July 20, 2010). "Colombo mobster Michael (Mickey) Souza, The Don of Screwups, now begging for witness protection". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  178. ^ "Colombo mobster Michael (Mickey) Souza, The Don of Screwups, now begging for witness protection" Mafia Today July 20, 2010
  179. ^ "Could another Colombo Family Persico be targeted by the Fed's". MafiaNewsToday. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  180. ^ "Made Men Who Attended College". Sho Nuff Mob. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  181. ^ Marzulli, John (2010-06-16). "Nod Father's son John Franzese Jr. sought to turn real life into reel life". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  182. ^ "93-Year-Old Crime Boss Gets 12-Year Sentence". Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  183. ^ Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia by Kenny Gallo, Matthew Randazzo pg.8
  184. ^ a b c d "Picks and Pans Review: Sins of the Father" by Nick Taylor (October 23, 1989)
  185. ^ "How Colombo crime family boss Bill Cutolo's son paid back his killers". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 


  • John Franzese, Jr. - son of underboss John Franzese. In 2004, he became a government witness and testified against his father in his 2010 trial.[181][182]
  • Kenny "Kenji" Gallo – former associate of the Los Angeles crime family and of Italian-Japanese heritage.[183] worked for the Colombo family before becoming a government witnesses.
  • Joseph "Joe Pesh" Luparelli – a Colombo associate and bodyguard to Joseph Yacovelli. Luparelli was part of the team that murdered Colombo mobster Joe Gallo. After the Gallo murder, a fearful Luparelli entered the Witness Protection Program and later testified against Yacovelli.[16]
  • Salvatore "Crazy Sal" Polisi – a former associate of the Colombo and Gambino crime families.[184] Polisi and his friends Dominick and Joseph Cataldo all joined the Mafia.[184] In 1984, Polisi was arrested on narcotics charges and became a government witness.[184] Polisi testified in John Gotti's 1986 trial.[184]
  • Bill Cutolo Jr - son of former Colombo family underboss William Cutolo, became an undercover informant in 1999 after the murder of his father which was orchestrated by Alphonse Persico.[185]


  • Paul "Paulie Guns" Bevacqua – former acting capo of the Gieoli crew.[162] In 2011, Bevacqua became a government witness.[163] On November 11, 2011, Bevacqua died.[164]
  • Rocco Cagno - soldier. His New Jersey home was used for the murder of mobster Vincent Angellino. In the 1990s, Cagno became a government witness and testified against Denis DeLucia and Joseph Lograno[165]
  • Dino "Big Dino" Calabro – former capo involved in the 1997 murder of New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Ralph Dols.[166][167] In 2009, Calabro was convicted of murder. On January 26, 2010, Calabro, facing trial for the Dols murder, became a government witness.[56][166] Calabro is going to testify against mobster Joel Cacace, who allegedly ordered him to murder Dols.[168]
  • Joseph "Joe Campy" Campanella – former capo. In 2001, after surviving an assassination attempt, Campanella was arrested and became a government witness.[169]
  • Joseph "Joey Caves" Competiello – former soldier, he was involved in the 1997 murder of NYPD officer Ralph Dols. In 2000, Competiello became a government witness and led the FBI to find the body of Colombo mobster William Cutolo.[166][170][171]
  • Reynold Maragni – a former capo, who ran loansharking and illegal gambling in South Florida. Maragni was arrested during the January 2011 Federal indictments that arrested 127 Mafia members.[172] In December 2011, Maragni wore a wire for the FBI and obtained information about Thomas Gioeli's role in the 1999 murder of William Cutolo.[36] He was dropped from testifying against consigliere Thomas Farese in 2012 for misconduct.[173]
  • Salvatore "Big Sal" Miciotta - soldier who participated in four murders in 1996 he became a government witness.[174] While in prison Miciotta fought with former Lucchese underboss Anthony Casso.[174]
  • Anthony "Big Anthony" Russo – former acting capo, not related to Andrew Russo. In 2011, Russo was charged with the 1993 murder of Orena loyalist Joseph Scopo and agreed to be a federal witness.[163]
  • Gregory Scarpa, Sr. – notorious hitman and FBI informant from the 1970s to 1994.[175] Scarpa, Sr. died in prison from AIDS–related complications.
  • Carmine Sessa – consigliere and hitman. In 1993, Sessa became a government witness.[176]
  • Michael "Mickey" Souza - on July 20, 2010, Souza became a government witness and testified against Genovese mobster Anthony Antico.[177][178]
  • Frank "Frankie Blue Eyes" Sparaco - soldier. Expected to testify against Michael Persico in the 1992 Devine murder.[179]
  • John Pate - capo who participated in the 1991 attempted murder of Victor Orena.[180]


Government informants and witnesses

  • Frank Persico - the son of Theodore "Teddy" Persico and cousin of acting Colombo boss Alphonse "Allie" Persico. Frank was a stockbroker who was sentenced to five years in prison for a $15 million stock swindle. Frank was released on July 12, 2006; four months later, Frank died of a heart attack.[155][156]
  • Hugh "Apples" MacIntosh – an Irish-American[157] enforcer for Carmine Persico during the 1960s.[158] In 1969, MacIntosh was imprisoned on hijacking charges.[158] In 1975, he was released and went on to control several clubs and loan sharking rings for Persico.[158] In 1982, McIntosh was caught bribing an Internal Revenue Service agent for Carmine Persico's early release. McIntosh was imprisoned after the Colombo trial and released on December 31, 1992.[158] MacIntosh was later arrested for meeting with mobster Daniel Persico and was returned to prison. McIntosh died on November 10, 1997.[158]
  • Charles Ruby Stein"loanshark to the stars", an associate and business partner to Nicholas Forlano. Stein ran gambling clubs on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In the early 1970s, mobster Jimmy Coonan became Stein's bodyguard. Stein was murdered in 1977.[159]
  • Nicholas "Nicky" Bianco – a Gallo crew member, Bianco later joined the Patriarca crime family. Bianco died in prison in 1994.[160]
  • Gerard Pappa – a family associate who transferred to become a soldier in the Genovese crime family working with Peter Saverio in the New York windows scheme. Was murdered in 1980 by the Cataldo brothers.[161]


  • [115][125][145]
  • Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo – the oldest son of Andrew Russo, convicted in 1994 with his cousin Anthony "Chuckie" Russo. Both men received life sentences after former FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio testified against them. In 2007, Joseph Russo died of kidney cancer in prison.[146]
  • Salvatore "Sally" D'Ambrosio – During the 1960s First Colombo War, D'Ambrosio and future boss Carmine Persico attempted to murder mobster Larry Gallo.[147][148] D'Ambrosio also participated in the murder of Joseph Gioelli.
  • Nicholas "Jiggs" Forlano – former capo who ran a loan-sharking operations with Charles "Ruby" Stein. In the 1970s, Forlano moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and started operating there. In 1977, Forlano died of a heart attack at the Hialeah race track in Florida.[149]
  • Frank "Frankie Shots" Abbatemarco – was born in 1899 and grew up in Red Hook, Brooklyn. During the 1950s, Abbatemarco was a powerful capo in Profaci family controlling Red Hook.[8] On November 4, 1959, Abbatemarco was murdered.[8]
  • Anthony "Big Tony" Peraino – associate who helped finance groundbreaking adult entertainment movie "Deep Throat". Died of natural causes in 1996.
  • Dominick "Little Dom" Cataldo – died in prison 1990
  • Ralph "Little Ralphie" Scopo – influential associate who ran Cement Club for family. Died in prison 1993[150]
  • Ralph Scopo Jr. - son of Ralph Scopo. Died under indictment for extortion in 2013.[151]
  • Antonio Cottone – deported to Sicily, where he became the Mafia boss of Villabate, the home town for the Profaci family. Cotonne was murdered in 1956.[152]
  • Benedetto "Benny" Aloi – capo and brother to Vincent Aloi. During the 1990s Third Colombo war, Aloi was Orena's underboss. In 1991, Aloi was convicted in the Windows Case, was released from prison on March 17, 2009.[153] He died on April 7, 2011.[154]
  • Richard "Ritchie Nerves" Fusco – a former consigliere. On January 20, 2011, Fusco was indicted on federal racketeering charges.[32][33] On September 29, 2011, Fusco pleaded guilty to running a shakedown scheme against the Gambino family;[142] he was sentenced to four months in prison.[35] Fusco was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.[143] Fusco passed away in September 2013.[144]

Former members and associates

  • N.Y.C. District Council of Carpenters The Colombo and Genovese families ran the Council from 1991 to 1996, extorting huge amounts of money from several N.Y.C. District Council of Carpenters union locals. Colombo capos Thomas Petrizzo and Vincent "Jimmy" Angellino controlled Council President Frederick Devine. The two crime families illegally used the Council to create hundreds of "no show" absentee jobs for their associates.[140] In 1998, government witnesses Sammy Gravano and Vincent Cafaro testified against Devine. He was found guilty of embezzling union funds and sentenced to 15 months in prison.[141]

Controlled unions

Family crews

  • Sean Persico – the son of Theodore Persico and brother to Daniel, Frank and Theodore, Jr., Sean was involved in stock scams.[138]
  • Michael Joseph Persico – the son of imprisoned family boss Carmine Persico and brother to Alphonse Persico and Lawrence Persico. In 2010, Michael was accused of racketeering conspiracy involving debris removal contracts for the site of the former World Trade Center. In 2011, Michael was indicted for supplying firearms in the 1993 murder of Joseph Scopo.[137]
  • Lawrence "Larry" Persico – the son of imprisoned family boss Carmine Persico and brother to Alphonse Persico and Michael Persico. In 2004, Larry was indicted on racketeering charges. His father wrote a letter to the courts defending his son.[135] Lawrence was sentenced on March 11, 2005 and released on December 9, 2005.[136]


  • Michael Catapano - a former acting capo and a nephew of John Franzese. Catapano is currently serving a 6½ year prison sentence after pleading guilty to extorting a pizzeria and a gambling club.[133] His projected release date is May 1, 2016.[134]
  • Anthony "Chucky" Russo - a soldier and cousin to William "Billy" Russo. In the 1990s, Anthony Russo worked closely with his now deceased cousin Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo in Brooklyn and Long Island.[132]
  • Vincent "Chickie" DeMartino - a soldier. In 1993, DeMartino was sentenced to four years in prison on weapons charges.[128] In 1999, Alphonse Persico ordered DeMartino and Thomas Gioeli to murder William Cutolo. On July 16, 2001, DeMartino and Michael Spataro attempted to murder Joseph Campanella, but failed.[129][130] In May 2004, Campanella testified against DeMartino. DeMartino has a projected release date of January 1, 2025.[131]
  • Ralph F. DeLeo – a soldier and former street boss. DeLeo lived in Somerville, Massachusetts and led the New England faction for family. During the 1990s, while in prison he met Alphonse Persico; when he was released in 1997, he was inducted into the Colombo crime family. In 2008, DeLeo became street boss after Thomas Gioeli was arrested. On December 17, 2009, DeLeo was indicted on racketeering charges from crimes in five different states.[126] He is currently imprisoned with a release date of October 2, 2025.[127]
  • Vincent Langella – the son of Gennaro Langella. In 2001, Langella pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy. On July 3, 2001, he was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Langella was released on April 12, 2005.[124]
  • Daniel Persico – the son of Theodore Persico. In March 2000, Daniel was arrested and later convicted on a pump and dump stock scam.[122] He was released from prison on November 14, 2003.[123]
  • Theodore N. Persico, Jr. - the son of Theodore Persico. Worked with his cousins Michael Persico and Lawrence Persico. Theodore, Jr. is currently imprisoned awaiting trial.[121]
  • Charles "Moose" Panarella – a hitman who spent time in Las Vegas. Declared mentally unfit for trial, under house arrest.  
  • John "Jackie" DeRoss – a soldier serving life in prison after his 2009 conviction for the 1999 William Cutolo murder. DeRoss is a brother-in-law to Carmine Persico and served as underboss from 1999 to 2004.[118][119][120]


  • Florida: Thomas "Tom Mix" Farese — despite his promotion to consigliere, Farese manteined the control of the Florida faction.[102] In 1998, Farese plead guilty to money laundering[96] and onn January 5, 2012, Farese was arrested on charges of loansharking and money laundering in South Florida.[82][97]
  • Massachusetts: Ralph F. DeLeo — lives in Somerville, Massachusetts and led the New England faction for family. He met Alphonse Persico in prison in the 1990s. When DeLeo was released in 1997, he was inducted into Colombo crime family. In 2008, DeLeo became street Boss after Thomas Gioeli was arrested. On December 17, 2009, DeLeo was indicted on racketeering charges from crimes in five different states.[30]

Other territories

  • Ralph "Ralphie" Lombardo — a capo and former acting consigliere. Lombardo runs bookmaking and loansharking activities on Long Island. In 1975, Lombardo was convicted of conspiracy of selling stock in an automobile leasing company in New Jersey.[114] In 2003, Lombardo was the consigliere and he was indicted on illegal gambling, loan-sharking and witness tampering.[115] He was released from prison on August 27, 2006.[116]
  • (In prison) Michael Uvino — a capo since 2007. Uvino ran his crew from "The sons of Italy Social Club" in Hauppauge, Long Island.[111] In 2009, Uvino was sentenced to 10 years for running illegal card games on Long Island and for assaulting two men.[112] His projected release date is May 24, 2016.[113]

Long Island faction

  • Theodore "Teddy" Persico — brother to Carmine Persico, uncle to Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico, and father to Theodore N. Persico, Jr. Theodore, Sr. has been a capo in Brooklyn since the 1970s.[102] He served on the family ruling panel from the early 1990s until his arrest and conviction. Theodore, Sr.'s projected release date from prison is October 9, 2013.[110]

Queens faction

  • James "Jimmy Green Eyes" Clemenza — a capo operating in Brooklyn. On August 25, 1961 he tried to strangle Larry Gallo with a rope in a Brooklyn bar.[107] In the mid-1990s, Clemenza along with his brother Gerard "Jerry", and brothers Chris and Anthony Colombo, were placed on the "shelf" for backing Orena during the family war.[108] In 1999, Clemenza along with his brother Jerry were under FBI surveillance attending a dinner in a Little Italy restaurant on Mulberry Street with cast members of "The Sopranos".[109]
  • William "Billy" Russo — a capo and the youngest son of Andrew Russo.[1] His brother Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo died in prison in 2007.
  • Joseph Baudanza — a capo with operations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. Baudanza along with his brother Carmine and nephew John were arrested and convicted on stock fraud in 2008.[104][105] Baudanza was released from prison in February 2011.[106]
  • Dennis DeLucia — presumed capo, in 2012 was involved in a deposition against the Colombo's administration. His lesbian daughter described him how "a same-sex marriage supporter, despite his role in the Mafia".[102][103]
  • Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo — on January 20, 2011, Castellazzo was indicted on federal racketeering charges.[32][33] In September 2011, Castellazzo pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.[35] Present is the acting underboss for John Franzese.[102]
  • (In prison) Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli — a capo and former street boss. Gioeli's crew is operating in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island. In June 2008, Gioeli along with John Franzese, Joel Cacace, Dino Calabro, Dino Saracino were indicted on multiple racketeering and murders from the third Colombo family War.[26] In 2011, Gioeli's acting capo Paul Bevacqua became a government informant. As of September 2015, Gioeli is incarcerated in federal prison with a projected release date of September 9, 2024.

Brooklyn/Staten Island faction


  • Consigliere Thomas "Tom Mix" Farese – is Carmine Persico's nephew. His wife Suzanne is the daughter of the late Alphonse Persico (Carmine Persico's brother).[96] During the 1970s, Farese moved from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he became friends with Colombo mobster Nicholas Forlano. In July 1978, Farese was made into the Colombo family.[96] In 1980, he was convicted of smuggling marijuana and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, he was released in 1994.[96] In 1998, Farese plead guilty to money laundering.[96] On January 5, 2012, Farese was arrested on charges of loansharking and money laundering in South Florida.[82][97] Prosecutors obtained evidence on Farese through a recording device on government informant Reynold Maragni.[97] On March 22, 2012, Farese was released from jail on $2.5 million bond.[98] During his trial in September the judge allowed Farese lawyer to inspect informant Reynold Maragni's wristwatch that contained secret recording device.[99] In December 2012, Farese was acquitted of all charges[100][101]
  • Acting underboss Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo[1] – on January 20, 2011, Castellazzo was indicted on federal racketeering charges.[32][33] In September 2011, Castellazzo pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.[35] On January 30, 2013 Castellazzo was sentenced to 63 months.[93][94] He is currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn with a projected release date of August 16, 2015.[95]
  • Underboss John "Sonny" Franzese – a longtime member of the family. In 2011, Franzese was sentenced to eight years in prison. His projected release date is June 25, 2017.[92]
  • Street boss Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo – is Carmine Persico's cousin.[89] In November 1986, Russo was sentenced to 14 years, he was released on July 29, 1994 under special parole conditions.[50] In August 1999, Russo was convicted of jury tampering and sentenced to 57 months, he was also sentenced to 123 months for both parole violation and his involvement in a racketeering case of a Long Island carting company.[49] In March 2010, after his parole period expired, Russo became street boss. In January 2011, Russo was indicted on federal racketeering charges.[32] On March 21, 2013, Russo was sentenced to thirty three months for racketeering.[90] He is currently being held at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center with an unknown projected release date.[91]


Current family members

The Orena faction[85]

  • Boss – Carmine "Junior" Persico[83]
  • Acting boss – Joseph T. Tomasello[83]
  • Underboss – Jerry Langella[83]
  • Acting underboss – Joseph "JoJo" Russo[83][84]
  • Consigliere – Carmine Sessa[83]

The Persico faction[83]

The Colombo crime family divided into two factions during the third family war (1991 to 1993).

Factions of the third war

  • 1931–1954 — Salvatore Profaci – Joseph Profaci's brother; died[72]
  • 1954–1963 — Carlaggero "Charles the Sidge" LoCicero[73][74][75] – murdered 1968[76]
  • 1963–1969 — Benedetto D'Alessandro[75]
  • 1970–1973 — Joseph "Joey Yack" Yacovelli – became acting boss 1971[77]
  • 1973–1977 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; promoted to underboss[43]
  • 1977–1983 — Thomas "Old Man" DiBella[78] – stepped down
  • 1983–1988 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico[79][80][81] – Carmine Persico's brother; died in 1989[43]
    • Acting 1983–1986 — Thomas "Old Man" DiBella[79] – retired
    • Acting 1987–1988 — Vincent "James" Angellino[54]
  • 1988–1993 — Carmine Sessa
    • Acting 1988–1991 — Benedetto "Benny" Aloi – promoted to acting underboss
    • Acting 1991–1993 — Vacant – disputed leadership during the third war
  • 1993–1999 — Vincenzo "Vinny" Aloi
  • 1999–2008 — Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace – promoted to acting boss
  • 2008–2011 — Richard "Ritchie Nerves" Fusco – jailed January 2011[1][32][33]
  • 2011–present — Thomas "Tom Mix" Farese[82]

Consigliere (official and acting)

  • 1928–1962 — Joseph "Joe Malyak" Magliocco – promoted to boss
  • 1962–1963 — Salvatore "Sally the Sheik" Musacchio – brother-in-law to Joseph Magliocco[59]
  • 1963–1967 — John "Sonny" Franzese[60] – imprisoned
  • 1967–1971 — Charles "Charlie Lemons" Mineo[61][62] – stepped down
  • 1971–1973 — Sebastian "Buster" Aloi[61][63]
  • 1973–1977 — Anthony "Tony Shots" Abbatemarco[64][65] – fled[66]
    • Acting 1973–1975 — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo[67]
  • 1977–1981 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; promoted to acting boss[43][68][69]
  • 1981–1994 — Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella – promoted to acting boss
  • 1994–1999 — Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace – became consigliere
  • 1999 — William "Wild Bill" Cutolo – murdered 1999[53]
  • 1999–2004 — John DeRoss – imprisoned life sentence[53]
    • Acting 2001–2003 — Thomas Gioeli – promoted to acting boss
  • 2004–present — John "Sonny" Franzese – On January 14, 2011, was sentenced to eight years in prison.[71]
    • Acting 2008–2009 — Theodore "Skinny Teddy" Persico, Jr.[52] – Theodore Persico's son; joined the ruling panel
    • Acting 2009–2011 — Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo – jailed January 2011[1][32][33]

Underboss (official and acting)

  • 1987 — Ruling PanelBenedetto Aloi, Vincent "Jimmy" Angelino and Joseph T. Tomasello – disbanded September 1987[54]
  • 1991–1993 — Joseph T. Tomasello[55]
  • 1993–1994 — Ruling Panel – Joseph T. Tomasello, Theodore "Teddy" Persico and Joseph Baudanza – disbanded 1994
  • 1994–1996 — Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico – became acting boss
  • 1996–1999 — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo – imprisoned
  • 2000–2003 — Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace – imprisoned January 2003
  • 2003–2008 — Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli[56] – imprisoned June 2008
  • 2008–2009 — Ralph F. DeLeo[30] – operated from New England, imprisoned December 2009[28]
  • 2009–2010 — Ruling Panel – Theodore N. Persico, Jr. (jailed)[57] and others
  • 2010–present — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo[52][58] – jailed January 2011[32]

Street boss

  • 1928–1962 — Joseph Profaci[37] – died of natural causes
  • 1962–1963 — Joseph Magliocco[37] – forced to retire by Mafia Commission
  • 1963–1973 — Joseph Colombo[37] – paralyzed by assassination attempt
    • Acting 1971–1972 — Joseph Yacovelli[37][38] – fled, after the murder of Joe Gallo
    • Acting 1972–1973 – Vincenzo "Vincent" Aloi[39] – imprisoned
    • Acting 1973 — Joseph "Joey" Brancato[37][39] – imprisoned[38]
  • 1973–present — Carmine "Junior" Persico[37] – imprisoned 1973–1979,[40] 1981–1984,[41] 1985–present[42]
    • Acting 1973–1979 — Thomas DiBella[39] – stepped down, became consigliere
    • Acting 1981–1983 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; fugitive 1980–1987, imprisoned[43][44]
    • Acting 1983–1984 — Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella – imprisoned[42]
    • Acting 1985–1987 — Anthony "Scappy" Scarpati[45] – imprisoned
    • Acting 1987–1991 — Vittorio "Vic" Orena[46] – imprisoned sentenced to life[47]
    • Acting 1991–1993 — Vacant – disputed leadership during the third war
    • Acting 1994–1996 — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo[48][49][50] – imprisoned March 1997[50]
    • Acting 1996–present — Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico[48] – Carmine Persico's son; imprisoned 2000 to life[51][52][53]

Boss (official and acting)

Historical leadership

With DeLeo's imprisoned, Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo, once again took control of the family. On January 20, 2011, street boss Andrew Russo, acting underboss Benjamin Castellazzo, consigliere Richard Fusco, and others were charged with murder, narcotics trafficking, and labor racketeering.[32][33][34] In September 2011, Castellazzo and Fusco pleaded guilty to reduced charges.[35] In December 2011, it was revealed that capo Reynold Maragni wore a wire for the FBI and gained information about Thomas Gioeli's role in the 1999 murder of William Cutolo.[36]

After Gioeli was imprisoned, Ralph F. DeLeo, who operated from Boston, Massachusetts, became the family's street boss. On December 17, 2009, the FBI charged DeLeo and Colombo family members with drug trafficking, extortion and loansharking in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Florida and Arkansas.[28][29][30][31]

The family then came under the influence of Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, who took over as street boss. In June 2008, Gioeli, underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, former consigliere Joel Cacace, captain Dino Calabro, soldier Dino Saracino and several other members and associates were indicted on multiple racketeering charges which included loan sharking, extortion and three murders dating back to the Colombo Wars.[25][26][27] If convicted, they are all facing life sentences.

With Orena out of the picture, the way was clear for "Little Allie Boy" to become acting boss after his 1995 parole. However, he didn't rule for long. In 1999, he was arrested in Fort Lauderdale after being caught in possession of a pistol and shotgun; as a convicted felon he was barred from carrying guns. Shortly afterward, he ordered the murder of underboss William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, an Orena supporter during the Third Colombo War. Cutolo's son, vowing revenge, offered to wear a wire and pose as a prospective Colombo associate. Based on evidence from this wire, Little Allie Boy was indicted on RICO charges. Realizing he stood no chance of acquittal, he pleaded guilty to the state charges in February 2000 and to the RICO charges in December 2001. In 2004, Alphonse Persico and underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss were indicted for the Cutolo murder. In December 2007, both men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Family consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace took over running the family until 2003 when he was imprisoned on murder and racketeering charges.

Mugshot of Ralph DeLeo

The family after Third Colombo War

While the Colombo war raged, the Commission refused to allow any Colombo member to sit on the Commission[22] and considered dissolving the family. Lucchese underboss Anthony Casso proposed to merge the family with his own to end the war,[23] while in 2000 plans were proposed to split its manpower and resources among the remaining families.[24] In 2002, with the help of Bonanno family boss Joseph Massino, the other families finally allowed the Colombos to rejoin the Commission.

The war continued until 1992, when Orena was convicted on massive RICO charges and sentenced to 100 years in prison. As it turned out, the real winners in the war were federal prosecutors. They had initially made little headway in their efforts to undermine the gang. As the war raged, though, at least 12 members turned informer, mostly to save their lives. The highest-profile member to flip was the consigliere, Sessa. With their help, 58 soldiers and associates—42 from the Persico faction and 16 from the Orena faction—were sent to prison. George Stamboulidis, who prosecuted most of the cases arising from the war, later said that the two years of bloodletting helped prosecutors destroy the family from within. He credited the large number of informers with helping them to build big cases sooner than they would have otherwise been able to. Raab later wrote that Persico's attempts to keep control of the family from prison nearly destroyed it.[6]

Twelve people, including three innocent bystanders, died in this gang war.[21] More than 80 made members and associates from both sides of the Colombo family were convicted, jailed or indicted. These included Persico's brother Theodore "Teddy" Persico and his son Alphonse Persico, DeRoss, and Orena's two sons, Victor, Jr. Orena and John Orena. While both sides appealed to the Commission for help, the war continued. On November 1991, Gregory Scarpa, a Persico loyalist, was driving his daughter and granddaughter home when several Orena gunmen ambushed them. Scarpa and his relatives managed to escape.

Orena was initially content with serving as acting boss. By 1990, however, Orena had come to believe Persico was out of touch and causing the family to miss out on lucrative opportunities. He was also alarmed at Persico's plans for a made-for-television biography, fearing that prosecutors could use it as evidence in the same way they had used Joe Bonanno's tell-all book as evidence in the Commission Trial. He therefore decided to take over the family himself.[6] Using his strong ties to Gambino boss John Gotti, Orena petitioned the Mafia Commission to recognize him as boss. Unwilling to cause more conflict, the Commission refused. Orena then instructed consigliere Carmine Sessa to poll the capos on whether Orena should replace Persico. Instead, Sessa alerted Persico that Orena was staging a palace coup. An enraged Persico ordered a hit on Orena. On June 21, 1991, when Orena arrived at his home in Cedarhurst on Long Island, he found gunmen under Sessa's leadership waiting for him. However, Orena managed to escape before the gunmen could strike. The third Colombo war had begun.[20]

Third Family War (1991–1993)

Mafia historian and Selwyn Raab later wrote that the Colombos suffered more long-term damage than any other family as a result of the Commission Trial. Raab pointed out that Persico was by far the youngest boss in New York and "at the peak of his abilities." Although he was 53 years old at the time of the Commission Trial, he had already headed the family for 14 years. In contrast, the other New York bosses were in their seventies and likely would have ceded power to mafiosi of Persico's generation even if they hadn't been sent to prison. Raab believed that Persico would have had a long reign ahead of him had the trial not intervened.[6] Persico knew that it was likely he would not have been able to resume active command of the family again; even if his conviction in the Commission case had been overturned on appeal, the 39-year sentence in the Colombo Trial alone could have amounted to a life sentence at his age (even with time off for good behavior, he wouldn't have been eligible for release until 2012 at the earliest). However, he invoked his right to retain the boss's title in order to ensure the family's illicit profits would still flow to him. As further insurance, Persico named his older brother, Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, as acting boss. However, Allie Boy skipped bail on loansharking charges a year later. Persico wanted to name his son, Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico, as acting boss, but Little Allie Boy had also been convicted in the 1986 "Colombo Trial." Instead, Persico named the capo of Little Allie Boy's former crew, Victor "Little Vic" Orena, as acting boss. Although Persico granted Orena the power to induct new members and order hits on his own authority—powers rarely granted to an acting boss—it was understood that he was merely keeping the chair warm until Little Allie Boy's parole.

During the 1970s, Mafia Commission Trial and sentenced to 100 years. In a separate RICO trial related only to the Colombos, Persico was convicted with several other family heavyweights and sentenced to 39 years in prison.

Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella

Following the high-profile media exposure of Joseph Colombo and the murderous excesses of Joe Gallo, the Colombo family entered a period of comparative calm and stability. With Colombo in a coma, the family leadership went to Thomas DiBella, a man adept at evading the authorities since his sole bootlegging conviction in 1932. However, DiBella was unable to prevent the Gambino family from chipping away at Colombo rackets, and the Colombos declined in power.[20] Poor health forced DiBella to retire in 1977, and Colombo died in 1978. The Colombo family was facing another power vacuum.

Carmine Persico

The family under Persico

The Second Colombo war continued on and off for the next several years. In 1975, the Gallo faction itself split into two groups that started fighting each other. To finally resolve the conflict, the New York families negotiated an agreement in which Albert Gallo and his remaining crew left the Colombo family and peacefully joined the Genovese family. The Gallo wars were finally over.[19]

Colombo's consigliere Joseph Yacovelli became the family acting boss, and he directed a new campaign to murder Joe Gallo and his crew.[16] On April 7, 1972, acting on a quick tip, four gunmen walked into Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy and killed Joe Gallo as he was dining with his family.[16] Looking for revenge, Albert Gallo sent a gunman from Las Vegas to the Neapolitan Noodle restaurant in Manhattan, where Yacovelli, Alphonse Persico, and Langella were dining one day. However, the gunman did not recognize the mobsters and shot four innocent diners instead, killing two of them.[17] After this assassination attempt, Yacovelli fled New York, leaving Carmine Persico as the new boss.[18]

On June 28, 1971, Colombo held the second League demonstration at Columbus Circle in Manhattan.[7] As Colombo prepared to speak, an African-American man, Jerome Johnson, walked up to Colombo and shot him in the back of the head three times; seconds later, Colombo's bodyguards shot Johnson to death.[7] The shooting did not kill Colombo but left him paralyzed and permanently incapacitated for the last seven years of his life; he died of natural causes on May 22, 1978.[16] Although many in the Colombo family blamed Joe Gallo for the shooting, the police eventually concluded that Johnson was a lone gunman.[15] Regardless, the Colombo shooting triggered the Second Colombo war.

Second Family War (1971–1975)

[15] In 1971, Joe Gallo was also released from prison. At the time of his release, Gallo said the 1963 peace agreement did not apply to him because he was in prison when it was negotiation.[7]

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