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Tommy ‘Shots’ Gioeli trial: Testimony from mob rat cousin bites defense

Thomas McLaughlin testifies that Gioeli approved killers for 1991 hit on Frank ‘Chestnut’ Marasa.

Tommy Shots’ decision to call his cousin as a witness in his murder and racketeering trial backfired Monday.

Colombo crime boss Thomas Gioeli had hoped mob turncoat Thomas McLaughlin’s testimony would clear him of any role in the 1991 rubout of Frank (Chestnut) Marasa in Brooklyn. Instead it did the opposite.

McLaughlin testified that Gioeli had approved the killers on the hit team.

After Marasa was gunned down, McLaughlin said he drove shooter Dino Calabro to meet his cousin at the Cropsey Diner.

McLaughlin also testified that he was reprimanded by Gioeli for blabbing to people about “taking care of” Marasa.

Defense lawyer Adam Perlmutter looked stunned as McLaughlin unloaded on the stand and asked the turncoat if he told these details to investigators.

“I don’t recall if I did say it before, or if I didn’t,” McLaughlin sneered.

McLaughlin wore a wire for the feds, secretly recording conversations with multiple Colombo gangsters. But federal prosecutors decided not to call McLaughlin during the Gioeli trial.

The latest family betrayal in the trial — last week co-defendant Dino Saracino was implicated by his brother in multiple murders — triggered a volley of retorts in the courtroom.

With the jury present, Gioeli snapped, “Stop drinking,” to McLaughlin.

That prompted McLaughlin to reply, “Richie says hello,” apparently a reference to slain crew member Richard Greaves, whom Gioeli and Saracino are charged with murdering.

“How’s Joey Caves?” Gioeli shot back, referring to another turncoat witness, Joseph Competiello.

Then Gioeli’s daughter got in the act, shouting at McLaughlin from the gallery section.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian Cogan threatened to eject the next spectator who yelled at a witness.

Earlier, Cogan had threatened to boot Gioeli if he didn’t stay silent.

After getting sandbagged by McLaughlin, defense lawyers decided against calling their dozen character witnesses.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday, with Gioeli charged with six murders and Saracino charged with three.

 

Source: nydailynews.com

Thomas Gioeli

Mob hit-victims vanished during construction projects: feds

Prosecutors at the slay trial of reputed Colombo boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli yesterday introduced aerial photos that showed buildings atop an alleged mob graveyard on Long Island.

The structures explain why the bodies of two mobsters were never found after they were murdered in a Colombo crime-family war, a law-enforcement source told The Post.

The source said Manhattan federal prosecutors and the FBI believe that the decomposed corpses are either buried beneath the buildings or were obliterated during excavation for the new construction.

The missing corpses include those of Carmine “The Gorilla” Gargano and Mafia associate Richard Greaves.

Gioeli, 59, faces murder and racketeering charges tied to six mob rubouts.

 

 

Source: nypost.com

Thomas Gioeli

Mob boss laments loss of ‘favorite juror’ during rambling radio spot

Maybe he got the nickname for shooting his mouth off.

Accused Mafia big Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli took a break from his murder and racketeering trial to lament the loss of his “favorite juror” during a radio interview from jail.

“This guy was right on the ball. We loved him and we didn’t hide the fact,” Gioeli said of the man he identified as “Juror No. 5,” a man with long dreadlocks who was dismissed from the panel last week.

Juror 5 was dismissed after a mysterious encounter at his home with “an Italian gentleman” led him to believe the mob knew who he was, Gioeli claimed in his interview with 970-AM radio talker Frank Morano, which was also posted online.

But Gioeli insisted he had nothing to do with any attempt to intimidate the juror, and instead charged that it was the prosecution that was happy to see him go.

“To lose him, in my opinion, was terrible,” he said, explaining that on the questionnaire potential jurors have to fill out, the man said he’d have a hard time believing testimony from mob turncoats because they’re paid by the feds.

“The prosecution team . . . had smiles from ear to ear, like the cat that caught the canaries. I don’t know what was behind it but . . . we wind up losing a good juror,” Gioeli said.

In the rambling interview, the alleged Colombo crime family street boss also disparaged the wife of a mob turncoat as “a terrible mother” who “fed her kids Nyquil when she wanted a night out on the town. She would put them to sleep.”

And he blasted the FBI as “a berserk agency” that terrorized his wife and daughters when they raided his home armed with machine guns.

“It was a disgraceful act. If there was a man home, I don’t think they would have behaved that way. They’re a berserk agency, they’re out of control,” Gioeli fumed.

He also ripped the feds for losing the transcript of Joseph “Joey Caves” Competiello’s confession to crimes for which Gioeli is also charged.

“Joey evidently said something they didn’t want to use, so they destroyed it. It’s all one big ball of s–t and I’m on the end of it. You might expect this in Iran or Afghanistan — not in the United States of America.”

But he seemed most vexed about losing Juror No. 5, who he thought was likely to be sympathetic to his defense.

“Supposedly he sees a guy, an Italian guy, an Italian gentleman with a duffel bag in front of his house, and the guy sees him and the guy runs away, and now he’s a little concerned,” Gioeli said.

The juror shared his concerns with the judge, who then dismissed him from the panel. The feds would not specify the reasons for his dismissal.

“I don’t know what was behind it, but he was a definite, definite supporter of justice on the jury that we lost because of all this nonsense,” Gioeli said.

 

Source: nypost.com

Thomas Gioeli

Mafia: ‘Kill or be killed next’

They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

A self-described pothead said he was drafted into a mob war against his will when a Mafia associate took him out for what he thought would be a night of club hopping — but he was instead given a gun and told to participate in a gangland hit.

Robert Ventriglia — who wasn’t even in the mob — yesterday told jurors in the trial of two Colombo Mafia members, that he was taken to a street in North Massapequa, Long Island, and told to “shoot at the people” who get into a nearby parked car.

He said if he didn’t obey the order from Colombo associate Eric Curcio, he may be the one sleeping with the fishes.

“I was in fear of my life,” Ventriglia said.

Before the night in 1992 was over, renegade Colombo crime-family member John Minerva was dead along with his pal Michael Imbergamo.

“We shot at the car,” said Ventriglia, who carried out the Long Island murder with another gunman. “I was on the passenger side on the sidewalk in front.”

Ventriglia, 46, described the rubout for members of a jury deciding the fate of two alleged mobsters on trial in a Brooklyn federal courtroom.

Dino “Little Dino” Saracino, 39, and former Colombo street boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, 59, are on trial for six gangland murders, including the killing of a cop.

Prosecutors said Ventriglia was carrying out Gioeli’s orders when he and the second gunman, Anthony Colandra, opened fire on Minerva and Imbergamo.

Minerva, a Colombo soldier, and Imbergamo, his friend who was not an intended target, were gunned down as they sat in a car parked in front of the Broadway Café in North Massapequa.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors have charged Colandra with lying to the FBI about the double-hit on Long Island. Colandra allegedly told investigators he was at a bar at the time of the killings.

A law-enforcement source confirmed that Ventriglia, a cooperating witness, had no choice.

“In this life, refusing an order will get you killed,” the source said.

As for Colandra, “several cooperating witnesses, including his former co-conspirators, will testify that Colandra in fact did commit the murders and that Colandra even bragged about doing so,” Brooklyn Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Geddes wrote in a court document.

Saracino’s cousin, Dino “Big Dino” Calabro, testified earlier in the trial about his role in the double murder.

Calabro said he drove the getaway car and said the handguns used in the hit were tossed down sewer drains.

He said he “zig-zagged” through side streets after leaving the murder scene in an effort to avoid responding police cars.

Calabro has pleaded guilty to the Minerva-Imbergamo murders and testified against Gioeli as an FBI informant.

He is now in the witness-protection program.

Calabro has said he and Saracino murdered NYPD Officer Ralph Dols on Gioeli’s orders in 1997.

 

Source: nypost.com

Thomas Gioeli

Mob rat testifies Colombo boss Tommy Shots & goons wanted to quit

 

Turncoat Joseph (Joey Caves) Competiello says federal subpoenas became too much for Thomas Gioeli & Dino Calabro.

To be, or not to be, the boss of the Colombo crime family?

A Hamlet-like Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli once pondered that question in the prayer garden of a Long Island church, a turncoat witness testified Tuesday.

It was 2008 and he and his crew of gangsters were in full retreat amid a flurry of grand jury subpoenas from the feds.

A pensive Gioeli took refuge at the Rosary walk and grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, where he frequently prayed and had allegedly ordered the 1999 murder of capo William Cutolo.

Capo Dino (Big Dino) Calabro and soldier Joseph (Joey Caves) Competiello joined Gioeli in the serene setting, and the three discussed whether their good times as goodfellas had come to an end.

“They said they wanted to give up their positions and get out of the life,” Competiello, now a cooperating witness, testified in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Competiello recalled how he had offered to take the fall for the murder of their associate Richard Greaves, but Gioeli nixed the idea.

“Tommy said, ‘Absolutely not,’ ” Competiello said.

Before betraying their crime leader as government witnesses, Competiello and Calabro had been loyal dogs. When one of Gioeli’s four daughters was “bothered” by her boyfriend, Competiello said he went to the guy’s house and cracked him in the face.

They were also ready to tune up radio disc jockey Goumba Johnny for getting “fresh” with another Gioeli daughter, Competiello said.

Competiello and Calabro were in a Queens restaurant when Gioeli called to tell them the deejay could be found at Club Mirage in Farmingdale, L.I. They raced out east, but their prey had already left, Competiello recalled.

Goumba Johnny, an ex-bouncer whose real name is John Sialiano, did not return a call seeking comment. The former record spinner at WKTU now does an afternoon show at a Long Island radio station.

Meanwhile, Judge Brian Cogan warned Competiello and Gioeli not to make hand signals at each other after a juror reported seeing some unspoken communication between them.

 “I’m not saying it happened,” Cogan said, but warned there would be consequences if it does.

“That goes for both the witness and the defendant,” Cogan said.

 

Source: nydailynews.com

Thomas-Tommy-Shots-Gioeli-

Mob describes killing of US officer

Among the do’s and don’ts for New York City’s Italian organised crime families, knocking off anyone in law enforcement is one of the bigger don’ts.

That’s why mobster Dino Calabro claims he was stunned by a front-page headline in his newspaper one morning in 1997. It identified a man he admits helping shoot the day before as an off-duty New York police patrolman.

‘I was amazed,’ Calabro testified on Tuesday at a Mafia murder trial. ‘We don’t typically kill police officers. That’s just the rule – you don’t hurt kids and you don’t kill cops.’

Calabro offered a Brooklyn jury the first detailed account of the previously unsolved slaying of Officer Ralph Dols – and the first explanation of how he got duped into breaking the don’t-kill-cops rule.

 

Prosecutors allege Dols was among six murder victims who died during the 1990s at the hands of Thomas ‘Tommy Guns’ Gioeli, the former reputed boss of the Colombo crime family. A recent crop of mob turncoats, including Calabro, have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Gioeli about the gangland slayings in exchange for leniency.

Investigators believe Dols ran afoul of the mob by marrying the ex-wife of Joel Cacace, another Colombo boss. Calabro, at the time a Colombo associate, described being recruited by Gioeli for a ‘piece of work’ wanted by Cacace.

Gioeli told Calabro the target was a worker at a Queens social club who was in trouble with the family, and Gioeli ordered Calabro to kill him when he got home from work, the witness said. Calabro and another assassin donned baseball caps and gloves before confronting Dols as he got out of his car, he added.

‘What’s up?’ the officer asked before both men opened fire and left him fatally wounded on the street, Calabro said. The killers tossed their guns in the sewer as they fled, he said.

Once Calabro learned the victim’s identity, he said he confronted Gioeli, telling him, ‘What the F…? The guy’s a cop.’ Gioeli acted like it was a surprise to him as well, the witness said.

Calabro testified that his first instinct was to seek retribution against Cacace ‘because he screwed us’. But the higher-ranking Gioeli wouldn’t allow it, he added.

The topic of Dols’ killing quickly became taboo. When it was came up, Calabro said, the gangsters silently referred to the officer by miming putting a hypodermic needle into their arms – a reference to the fact that killing a police officer could bring a punishment of death by lethal injection.

Source:http://www.skynews.com.au

Related post: Killings of Officer and 5 Others Detailed as Mob Trial Begins (Written on:March 20, 2012)

Thomas Tommy Shots Gioeli

Killings of Officer and 5 Others Detailed as Mob Trial Begins

The off-duty police officer was ambushed by gunmen, and left to die in the street outside his home in Brooklyn.

For two other men, the end came farther from home: they were killed separately in the basement of a man they had trusted, prosecutors say. One was a mob associate who wanted out of the life; he was shot once in the back of the head, never to be seen again. The other was an underboss who apparently had accumulated too much clout for comfort; his body was not found for nearly a decade.

Those killings and three others, all from the 1990s, were described on Monday in the opening statement of Cristina M. Posa, a federal prosecutor. They are at the heart of the prosecution of Thomas Gioeli, whom officials called the former acting boss of the Colombo crime family, and Dino Saracino, who the authorities say was one of his hit men, on murder and racketeering charges in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Ms. Posa said the murder crew was methodical in its preparations, trailing potential victims for days to determine their habits, luring them to the places where they would be killed, disposing of evidence and disposing of bodies.

“As professional killers, that was their specialty — committing murder and getting away with it — until today,” Ms. Posa told the jurors, many of whom said during jury selection that they had known little of the ways of the mob.

The prosecution plans to call cooperating witnesses who will describe how the killings were carried out.

Of the six killings, the one shrouded in the most mystery was that of the police officer, Ralph C. Dols, 28, in 1997.

Officer Dols had married a woman, Kim T. Kennaugh, who had been previously married to three men associated with the Colombo crime family. One of them, Enrico Carrini, was killed in 1987; the most recent former husband was Joel Cacace, also known as Joe Waverly, described by officials as a consigliere, or top mob adviser. Mr. Cacace is awaiting trial on murder and other charges.

Federal prosecutors have accused Mr. Cacace of ordering Mr. Saracino and others to kill Officer Dols because it was embarrassing that Ms. Kennaugh would leave a powerful mobster for someone in law enforcement. Mr. Saracino, known as Little Dino, and Mr. Gioeli, known as Tommy Shots, were among those charged with the murder of the underboss, William (Wild Bill) Cutolo Sr., who was a union official. His body was found on Long Island in 2008 after the authorities were tipped off by an informer.

Mr. Gioeli’s lawyer, Carl J. Herman, said in his opening remarks on Monday that the prosecution had built its case based on the work of a desperate federal agent who relied on cooperating witnesses who had reason to lie.

“The F.B.I. since the mid-’90s has been attempting to gather evidence on Gioeli by surveillance,” Mr. Herman said. “Sometimes they get a little desperate, your government, and that’s what happened in this case.”

Samuel M. Braverman, a lawyer for Mr. Saracino, said there was no physical evidence that the homicides even happened. He said the prosecution could only present the testimony of sociopaths who could not be trusted.

“I’m not here to tell you Dino is a choirboy,” Mr. Braverman said of Mr. Saracino. “He isn’t. I’m not here to tell you he didn’t commit the murders because he’s a nice guy. I’m telling you he didn’t commit the murders because he didn’t commit the murders.”

This list of people who were killed for crossing the Colombo family is long. In 1991, Frank Marasa, known as Chestnut, was killed to avenge the death of a Colombo family member, prosecutors said. A year later, John Minerva took the wrong side in a war that split the Colombo family. He was killed in his car with another man, Michael Imbergamo, prosecutors said.

In 1995, Richard Greaves wanted to leave the Colombo mob, so he had to be eliminated, prosecutors said. In 1997, Officer Dols was killed. Mr. Cutolo’s killing was in 1999.

Katherine Kelley, an F.B.I. agent, said she was present at the wooded lot where Mr. Cutolo’s body was finally discovered; the toes of his shoes protruded above ground. She led a team of excavators, who, with small tools, removed the body, which she said was covered with bits of lime, its blackened and skeletal limbs hogtied behind its back.

Judge Brian M. Cogan ordered a short break during Ms. Kelley’s testimony. Mr. Gioeli, looking avuncular in a navy shirt, a tan sweater vest and a tie, smiled and waved to friends and family in the audience. He blew them kisses.

Mr. Saracino, wearing a crisp blue shirt and tie, his head shaved, offered no expression. He and Mr. Gioeli face life in prison if convicted.

Source: By MOSI SECRET http://www.nytimes.com