Sunday, February 17, 2008

Former NYPD officers nabbed in Gambino bust

Two former New York police officers were among the scores of people arrested in Feb. 7 raids against the Gambino Crime Family, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Ronald Flam, 35, is charged with participating in a bookmaking ring, which included reputed Gambino bigshots Nicholas Corozzo and Leonard DiMaria. Frank Vassallo, 38, is charged with operating illegal Joker Poker machines in partnership with reputed Gambino soldier Vincent Dragonetti.

Flam worked in the 63rd Precinct for less than two years. Vassallo was a detective in the 83rd Precinct before retiring ona disability pension.

Riina brothers gunned down in Sicily

An apparent Sicilian Mafia attack has taken the lives of Giuseppe Riina, 32, and his brother Gianpaolo Riina, 38, according to a story from the Italian AGI news agency. The brothers were shot to death with automatic weapons just after 7 a.m. on Via Merlo near the Piazza Santa Caterina in Partinico - the same location where their father, Salvatore Riina, was killed 10 years ago. Fulvio Giordano, 24, was injured in the attack. Partinico is 30 km (18.6 miles) southwest of the City of Palermo.

Mob-linked businessman flipped for feds

Joseph Vollaro, owner of Staten Island trucking and cement companies, secretly recorded conversations related to the leadership of the Gambino Crime Family for years, according to stories by Barry Paddock and John Marzulli of the New York Daily News and William K. Rashbaum of the New York Times.

Vollaro (left), 42, agreed to cooperate with state and federal law enforcement after he was arrested several years ago on drug charges. He wore a hidden recording device during meetings with reputed Gambino Family lieutenant Nicholas Corozzo, whom he met while in prison on an extortion charge in the late 1990s. Over two years, Vollaro made tribute payments estimated at $400,000 from his businesses to Gambino gangsters.

Evidence acquired through Vollaro's undercover work aided authorities in their early February move against 62 accused mobsters and associates. Just days before the arrests, Vollaro disappeared from his Staten Island home. He is now reportedly under federal protection.

Corozzo slipped away when the arrests went down. His brother, reputed Gambino consigliere Joseph Corozzo, was arrested along with reputed acting boss John D'Amico and dozens of others linked to the crime family.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; author of Wrongly Executed?; coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime; contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime; writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.