New Gang Land News article

American organized crime groups included traditional groups such as La Cosa Nostra & the Italian Mafia to modern groups such as Black Mafia Family. Discuss the most organized criminal groups in the United States including gangs in Canada.
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This section discusses organized crime groups in the US and Canadian street gangs.
thewestside
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New Gang Land News article

Unread postby thewestside » March 3rd, 2011, 12:53 pm

Gang Land News
Jerry Capeci
March 3, 2011

6 Weeks After Big Bust, FBI Slashes Mob-Busting Agents



Did the Justice Department just orchestrate a bait-and-switch scam on a gullible, eager-to-believe citizenry?

Six weeks after the feds loudly proclaimed that they are still pursuing mobsters with a vengeance, the FBI has quietly cut the number of New York squads that investigate the notorious Five Families. There used to be five, one for each. That’s been cut to just three. It’s not just re-organizing either. The total number of mob-busting agents is also cut by some 25 per cent, Gang Land has learned.

As a result of changes that began this week, sources say the FBI now has only about 45 agents investigating the ongoing criminal activity of some 700 mobsters and an estimated 7000 associates of New York’s five Mafia families that operate in the city and surrounding suburbs.

The changes come two years after they were first considered, and rejected, as unwise.

The budget-cuts were a shocker even to law enforcement officials. “It makes no sense and it conflicts with what the Attorney General said when he came to New York and said over and over again that going after mobsters was a top priority of his,” said one law enforcer who was at the news conference when Eric Holder announced the arrests of more than 120 defendants in the biggest mob takedown in U.S. history.

“Our fight against traditional organized crime is strong. Our commitment is unwavering,” said Holder at the huge January 20 media event. “The Department of Justice and our partners are determined to eradicate these criminal enterprises once and for all,” he added. The attorney general also noted that mobsters were “among the most dangerous criminals in our country,” – remarks that were echoed by New York FBI boss Janice Fedarcyk and four U.S. Attorneys who joined him at the news conference.

Today, however, only the Genovese family squad remains intact, headed by Kevin Brown, the former supervisor of the Bonanno squad, which was disbanded. The Bonannos are now the responsibility of the pro-active Colombo family squad, under Seamus McElearney. The Gambino squad, headed by Gerald Conrad, now monitors the Lucchese family as well. The old Lucchese squad now chases Albanian gangsters and ethnic hoods from other Balkan countries.

To further complicate matters, FBI honchos in Washington also rewarded the agent who headed the New York office’s entire organized crime program since 2007 – David Shafer – with a new position as head of Special Operations, the agency’s black bag unit, and replaced him with an agent with no experience dealing with mobsters.

Several former FBI supervisors, including James Kossler, who oversaw all organized crime squads from 1979 until 1989, told Gang Land that this was déjà vu all over again, and likely to lead to a resurgence of power and influence by today’s beleaguered wiseguys.

“I hate to see this happen because as they have done in the past, the mobsters are going to find some new way to strengthen themselves, and we’ll have to play catch up against them again,” said Kossler, referring to a disastrous decision decreed by his Washington superiors in 1988.

That’s when the FBI first decided that the Bonanno family was dead, and put one squad in charge of pursuing the activities of the Bonanno and Colombo crime families. Eight years later, however, when the FBI realized that the once moribund crime family, under the leadership of then-boss Joe Massino, (right) had regrouped and regained its former clout, the agency put together a new Bonanno squad to combat the resurging crime family.

Former FBI supervisor Lin DeVecchio, who headed the squad that handled the Bonannos and Colombos during that eight-year stretch, told Gang Land that consolidating the squads “is a big mistake.”

“Logistically, it’s very difficult for one squad of agents to work two families,” said DeVecchio, who detailed those years in a book he just wrote with Charles Brandt about the controversial and failed 2007 murder prosecution of him by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office: We’re Going To Win This Thing: The Shocking Frame-up of a Mafia Crime Buster.

“You’ve got a lot of wiseguys you have to get to know, and obviously you can’t get to know the individual mobsters and their patterns as well as you would if you were focusing on one family,” said DeVecchio. “There should be one squad per family. Even if you had to cut the size of the squad, it makes more sense to me have one squad for each family.”

DeVecchio agreed with other current and former FBI agents that the number of agents currently assigned to the Mafia was “dangerously low.” Even if the Bureau used a more conservative estimate of five mob associates for each “made man,” said DeVecchio, there is “no way” that 45 agents can effectively keep tabs on more than 3500 organized criminals.

But wiseguys should not be giving each other high fives and chest bumps just yet.

Belle Chen, the FBI’s new chief mob buster, is a former NYPD detective who seems to have hit the ground running.

“The mob is still a priority,” said Chen, who joined the FBI 15 years ago and whose most recent task before being chosen to head the agency’s organized crime division was as head of the agency’s gangs and violent crimes unit.

Noting that she had nothing to do with the unit’s reorganization, and conceding that she was new to the mob beat, Chen told Gang Land that she has already begun re-assessing the situation and would do everything in her power to not repeat prior FBI mistakes and continue to wreak havoc for wiseguys and their criminal partners.

“The organized program is new to me,” she said. “I have to learn the program, see what was done in the past, see why these changes were made, and how they’re going to impact the organized crime program. I’m here to assess the situation, see what I can bring to the table from my past experience, and see how we can move forward.”

P.J. Works It Out His Way

Hot-headed turncoat mobster Nicholas (P.J.) Pisciotti is hiding in plain sight.

Pisciotti, 40, was such a good witness when he testified against acting Bonanno boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano at his 2007 murder and racketeering trial that the feds are planning to bring him back for a repeat performance. P.J. is currently scheduled to take the stand again at Basciano’s upcoming murder trial where he faces capital punishment if found guilty.

For Pisciotti, it’s just all in a day’s work, or in his case, a work-out. Sources say that after serving less than two years in federal prison, P.J. spurned a new identity and relocation under the federal Witness Protection Program. Instead, he came straight back to his old haunts in New York. He currently resides in Manhattan where he owns real estate, and in New Jersey. He is also a budding entrepreneur with financial interests in several Synergy Fitness Centers in the metropolitan area.

Records also show that he purchased a 35-foot boat – named Synergy, of course – as well as luxurious $900,000 home for a longtime girl friend.

The only down side has been a bankruptcy filing for one of his gyms. But even there he’s the victim of circumstances, not bad judgment. Court filings show that he sought protection last year under federal bankruptcy laws, claiming that the city’s Second Avenue subway construction had dramatically reduced revenues at an upper East Side facility.

P.J. is clearly a guy who needs to work off his excess anger. In his 2007 testimony, Pisciotti explained that he defected to the feds when his Bonanno bosses sided with the Genovese family after he pummeled two rival mob associates, including a nephew of legendary capo Matthew (Matty The Horse) Ianniello. (left) The brawl took place in 2005 outside a Little Italy eatery. The underlying reason for the dispute? Mayor Bloomberg’s recently enacted smoking ban in restaurants.

According to court records, the fisticuffs erupted in the early morning hours of September 18, 2005 after a restaurant manager cited the smoking ban and complained that several members of Pisciotti’s party were jeopardizing the restaurant's license by lighting up.

Pisciotti insists he did not start the smoking-fueled assault, but admits finishing it by punching the daylights out of the restaurant’s manager. He also copped to another assault, this one a year earlier in which the victim was his ex-wife. Completing his violence-filled resume was the 1990s stabbing death of rival hoodlum Richard Guiga during a barroom brawl.

Pisciotti is expected to join turncoat Mafia boss Joe Massino and several other family stool pigeons and link Vinny Gorgeous to the 2004 murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo.

The trial is scheduled to begin later this month in Brooklyn Federal Court following a much longer than usual jury selection process stemming from the fact that Basciano, who is serving life without parole, could be executed if found guilty of Pizzolo’s murder, which took place a few days after Vinny Gorgeous was first jailed in 2004.

FBI Agents Lose Their Marbles

Memo to the FBI’s revamped (and already overworked) Gambino/Luchese Squad: Vincent (Marbles) Dragonetti, the indicted wiseguy son-in-law of powerful Gambino capo Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo is currently housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, and is expected to be released on May 13. This memo may not be necessary, but it can be helpful, now that the squad has so many additional responsibilities. Marbles has already given them trouble.

The 46-year-old gangster is the lead defendant in a labor racketeering indictment filed six weeks ago, when Attorney General Holder announced his massive mob takedown. Dragonetti and seven other Gambino mobsters and associates are facing numerous extortion charges.

A funny thing happened, however, when the case was called in Brooklyn Federal Court. Dragonetti wasn’t there. He had a good excuse, though. No one had bothered to arrest him. Seems the FBI thought he was already behind bars, serving out the balance of a 37-month sentence for extortion that he began in 2008.

A day earlier, however, Marbles Dragonetti – he’s got five mob nicknames, according to the indictment but none has the flair of “Marbles” – had moved to a half way house on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. He was paying close attention to all the rules and regulations that govern early release, making sure to be back in time for bed check.

An even funnier thing happened after the FBI found out where he was, and brought him to court on Friday, January 28th. There, prosecutors Whitman Knapp and Duncan Levin moved to detain the oft-arrested gangster as a danger to the community. Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes sided with defense lawyer Joseph Corozzo, (right) however, and ordered him released on $3million bond. But because his suretors weren’t available to sign the appropriate paperwork, Marbles was remanded until Monday, when he was finally released on bond.

Things went downhill from there for the Gambino soldier. After Dragonetti returned to his halfway house later that day, Bureau of Prisons officials decided he no longer qualified for half way house privileges. They promptly shipped him back to the MDC, where, according to court records, he will remain until May 13.

thewestside
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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby thewestside » March 3rd, 2011, 1:02 pm

Definitely a trend here.....


1980's & 1990's - 350 FBI agents and 100 NYPD detectives in 5 squads working full or part time on LCN cases

2001 - Most FBI agents were temporarily or permanently reassigned to anti-terrorism after 9/11 attacks

2005 - Down to 150 FBI agents on LCN cases, still in 5 squads

2010 - 50 FBI agents in 5 squads, plus some NYPD detectives for Genovese family

2011 - 45 FBI agents in 3 squads - Genovese, Gambino/Lucchese, Colombo/Bonanno

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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby mayugastank » March 3rd, 2011, 1:29 pm

WHY?

And why again are the families Ive reiterated as the most viable to have their own squads? Also the lucchese family squad was moved over completely to ethnic albanian gangs.....hum......interesting. Piscotti is hiding out in public? after testifying against the don? What is the mafia today? 2011 more then surely marks the end of the Colombo family and Bonano family have been gutted for quite some time....

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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby thewestside » March 3rd, 2011, 4:41 pm

mayugastank wrote:WHY?


Why what?

And why again are the families Ive reiterated as the most viable to have their own squads?


I'm not sure I understand the wording of this question. But obviously there is a disagreement among the FBI itself whether this is a wise approach. It should be remembered that the initial downsizing of resources put against the Mafia a decade ago didn't have anything do with how big of an organized crime threat the Mafia is or is not. It was the result of agency trying to address the 9/11 attacks. Even the feds have limited resources. I don't think anyone believes as many resources are needed against the Mafia today as there was in the 1980's and 1990's. But the concern is, from within the FBI itself, is that they are going to far in the other direction and putting too little.

Also the lucchese family squad was moved over completely to ethnic albanian gangs.....hum......interesting.


From what I can tell, they basically told the Gambino squad, "OK, you're now investigating both the Gambino and Lucchese families." And they told the Lucchese squad, "OK, you're now investigating the Albanians." I certainly believe the reorganization has taken place but I'll wait to make a judgment on if an entire squad really needs to be devoted to the Albanians in Queens.

Piscotti is hiding out in public? after testifying against the don? What is the mafia today?


We've discussed this. Today, the Mafia in America apparently feels like the risks are not worth the rewards of killing a rat after they've testified, since it will only bring down additional heat after the damage has already been done. And it will not prevent others from testifying in the future. If they suspect somebody is informing before they fully flip, they will still go after them. It may not fit into what your imagine the Mafia should be but it's apparently what they consider practical.

2011 more then surely marks the end of the Colombo family and Bonano family have been gutted for quite some time....


You can keep repeating this over and over as much as you like. It doesn't make it true. We will continue to see new hierarchies established in both families, as well as new cases come forth for the Colombos and Bonannos for years to come. So, no, it doesn't "surely mark the end" of them. Enough with the dramatics.

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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby Faciulina » March 4th, 2011, 9:11 am

Also the lucchese family squad was moved over completely to ethnic albanian gangs


it's moved over to balkan gangs and among them albanian gangs, but not only albanians
you forget that balkan gangs include serbian, macedonian, bosnian etc.

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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby icegoodbarbPresident » March 6th, 2011, 11:51 am

the downsizing of the FBI squads has more to do with budget cuts and the reccession than the mob as a priority. Yeah the mob is not as powerful as it once was but as of 2011 they're doing better now than they have since the late 90s and early 2000s. All the five families have their most powerful capos out of jail and have boss underboss and consigliere or a ruling panel that has been pretty steady the last couple years. Also the number of informers has dropped significantly minus the colombo crime family, The Lucchese hasn't had an informer in almost 7 years and bonannos about 5 years, the Gambinos 4 or 5 years and the Genovese also a while, I say that because i don't think Anthony Arillotta or Felix Tranghese will have an effect on the family other than Artie Nigro. Also i think they tend to focus on albanians more because they're less organized and easier to shut down.

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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby thewestside » March 6th, 2011, 12:25 pm

icegoodbarbPresident wrote:the downsizing of the FBI squads has more to do with budget cuts and the reccession than the mob as a priority.


It's both. I don't think the FBI needs to devote as many resources to the Mafia as it did in the 1980's and 1990's. But to cut it down to only 45 agents and combine squads seems a bit much.

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Re: New Gang Land News article

Unread postby mayugastank » March 7th, 2011, 1:27 am

icegoodbarbPresident wrote:the downsizing of the FBI squads has more to do with budget cuts and the reccession than the mob as a priority. Yeah the mob is not as powerful as it once was but as of 2011 they're doing better now than they have since the late 90s and early 2000s. All the five families have their most powerful capos out of jail and have boss underboss and consigliere or a ruling panel that has been pretty steady the last couple years. Also the number of informers has dropped significantly minus the colombo crime family, The Lucchese hasn't had an informer in almost 7 years and bonannos about 5 years, the Gambinos 4 or 5 years and the Genovese also a while, I say that because i don't think Anthony Arillotta or Felix Tranghese will have an effect on the family other than Artie Nigro. Also i think they tend to focus on albanians more because they're less organized and easier to shut down.



Thats very true. I believe they have gotten either alot smarter about their prospects or have really limited new membership. Gaspipe and the onslaughtof informers was in the 1990s...20 years ago! So theyve either been so decimated that they dont make too many new bloods or they weeded out teh weak and the strong survived. The Gambinos have had some serious dudes go away for long strecthes without uttering a word....skinny/huck/ and others.....so yea theyve rebounded.


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