Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nick Calabrese gets 12+ years

A federal judge today sentenced Chicago Outfit hitman Nicholas Calabrese to 12 years and four months in prison, according to published accounts by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Calabrese, who became the only "made" member of the Chicago Outfit to testify against the organization in court, admitted involvement in a number of Mafia murders. He was convicted of killing 14 people.

In the Family Secrets trial of 2007, Nicholas Calabrese testified against his older brother Frank Calabrese Sr. and other leaders of the Outfit. His testimony helped to secure convictions and long prison sentences for several Outfit bosses.

Nicholas Calabrese, 67, will be credited for time already served. A previous loansharking sentence expired in 2002, but he has remained in prison since that time, as he cooperated with authorities. He is expected to serve an additional for years in prison.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Carneglia convicted of racketeering, murders

Charles Carneglia, once a trusted hitman for Gambino Crime Family boss John J. Gotti, was convicted in Brooklyn federal court today of racketeering and gangland murders, according to a story by John Marzulli and Larry McShane of the New York Daily News and other published accounts.

The jury reportedly reached its decision Monday night. It found Carneglia (right) guilty of four murders, racketeering, extortion and robbery. His victims were armored car guard Jose Delgado Rivera, Gambino soldier Louis DiBono, and reputed crime family associates Sal Puma and Michael Cotillo. The jury could not agree on whether he committed a fifth murder, that of court officer Albert Gelb in 1976. It found Carneglia not guilty of a conspiracy charge.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York provided details on the Carneglia murders. Cotillo was stabbed to death during a fight between two Gambino factions in front of a Queens diner in 1977. Puma was stabbed to death in 1983 over a dispute concerning the delivery of money to a jailed member of Carneglia's underworld "crew." DiBono was shot to death in 1990 on orders of John J. Gotti. DiBono had refused to meet with Gotti when the crime boss summoned him. Rivera was shot and beaten to death during a 1990 robbery of an armored truck at the American Airlines facility at JFK Airport.

Carneglia faces a possible sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole. He argued, apparently unconvincingly, that he had left the Mafia life back in 2001, putting his offenses beyond the statute of limitations for federal racketeering charges.

Prosecutors said Carneglia dissolved some of his victims' bodies with acid.

"We sincerely hope that today's verdict brings a measure of closure to the families of Carneglia's victims," U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said. "They have waited years for this day because the Gambino Family used violence and intimidation to silence witnesses and protect its members."

Carneglia was one of 62 alleged members and associates of the Gambino, Genovese and Bonanno Crime Families arrested on Feb. 7, 2008. Carneglia is the only defendant to insist upon a trial - 60 others have reached plea deals.

Bonanno associate Young sentenced to life

Joseph Young, former associate of the Bonanno Crime Family, was sentenced last week to a mandatory term of life imprisonment for a 2008 murder conviction and other crimes, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Young, 30, was convicted of the March 29, 2005, murder of Robert McKelvey. According to prosecutors, Young belonged to a Bonanno crew led by crime family soldier Gino Galestro. Galestro ordered the murder of McKelvey, who was also a crew associate, after McKelvey openly boasted of the criminal organization's activities.

McKelvey was lured to the historic Kreischer Mansion on Staten Island by another crime family associate. Young worked at the mansion as a caretaker and lived there. Young stabbed McKelvey as he entered the mansion. The victim fled. Young tackled McKelvey and dragged him to a garden pool, drowing him there. Young and three Bonanno associates dismembered McKelvey's body and burned the remains in the mansion's furnace. Ashes and bone fragments were later disposed of in the facility's septic system.

Galestro previously pleaded guilty to ordering the McKelvey murder.

Young was also convicted of arson, attempted arson, extortion, gunpoint robbery, robbery conspiracy, assault, and illegal purchases and transport of firearms.

"Young's gruesome criminal conduct reminds us that organized crime is alive and well," said U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell. "We will continue to prosecute the members and associates of organized crime who engage in such wanton acts of violence in our communities."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chicago's 'Twan' Doyle gets 12 years

The last of Chicago's Family Secrets defendants, former police officer Anthony "Twan" Doyle, was sentenced today to 12 years in prison, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Doyle (left), 64, was convicted of racketeering in the 2007 Family Secrets case. His four codefendants already have been sentenced. James Marcello, Joseph Lombardo and Frank Calabrese Sr., convicted of racketeering and murders, were sentenced to life in prison. Paul Schiro, convicted of racketeering, was sentenced to 20 years.

Prosecutors charged that Doyle was an associate of the Chicago underworld organization known as the Outfit since the 1960s. He became a member of the local police force in 1980.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mafia cops sentenced to life in prison

Former New York Police Detectives Louis Eppolito, 61, and Stephen Caracappa, 67, convicted of participating in organized crime murders, were sentenced this afternoon to life in prison, according to a story by Christine Kearney of Reuters.
Dubbed the "Mafia Cops," Eppolito and Caracappa (left) were convicted in 2006 of moonlighting for the Lucchese Crime Family in New York. Federal prosecutors said that, while the two men were detectives on the NYPD, they used police cars and police badges to stop or kidnap victims and provided the Lucchese family with details on organized crime informants. They reportedly collected retainer payments of $4,000 a month from the crime family.
A jury convicted the pair of racketeering and conspiracy charges, including participating in 11 murders or attempted murders. The trial judge, however, ruled that the statute of limitations on the most serious federal charges against them had run out. He threw out the verdict. Prosecutors appealed the ruling, and the guilty verdict was reinstated in September 2008.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Persico control of Colombo clan may be over

With Carmine "the Snake" Persico now 25 years into a life prison sentence and his son Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico just starting his own life sentence, the Persicos' control over the Colombo Crime Family may be at an end, suggests a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Carmine Persico has long called the shots in the Colombo organization, according to authorities. Since his imprisonment for murder and racketeering, Alphonse Persico has been an acting boss of the clan, battling rivals on his father's behalf. Alphonse Persico was sentenced to life on Friday, after being convicted of murdering former Colombo underboss William "Wild Bill" Cutolo.

The Persico branch of the underworld organization came out on top after a bloody 1991 civil war against a faction loyal to Vittorio Orena. With Carmine and Alphone Persico locked away for good, remnants of the Orena faction might move to take control of the organization.

Two Persico relatives could have something to say about that, according to the Daily News story. Reputed crime family soldier Theodore Persico, a cousin of Alphonse, recently was released from prison. Carmine's cousin, Andrew Russo, is reputed to be a lieutenant in the organization.

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.