Gambino crime family associate known as 'Seven-Second Bandit' cried when he was busted: defense This mobster turned rat has one heck of a sob story.
Known as the “Seven-Second Bandit,” Gambino crime family associate and speedy serial bank heists Jack Mannino had 24 New York bank stick-ups under his belt — enough to earn him life behind bars — when the FBI caught up to him.
But the feds had no idea the wannabe wiseguy was also a crybaby.
“The day you were arrested by agents, you actually started to cry. Is that right?” defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio asked the broad-shouldered ex-con.
“Yes,” the mob associate answered.
Mannino was on the witness stand in Brooklyn federal court today testifying as a government witness against his alleged accomplice in his final bank robbery — the one that got both of them arrested earlier this year.
A serial bank robber who was in continual debt to loansharks, Mannino admitted that he decided to flip after his arrest and became a government witness.
Yesterday he gave the jury a detailed account of the Bensonhurst bank robbery and said he planned and executed it with the man standing truial — reputed mob associate Gary Fama.
Despite careful planning by the two experienced stick-up men, unexpected events marred their efforts.
A dye pack exploded inside the bag of money they had stolen from the bank, and the transmission blew out of their getaway Lexus as they tried to speed away when the sound of sirens grew louder.
Just three months after the robbery, Mannino said was holed up in a hideaway on Staten Island, broke and running low on food.
FBI agents eventually tracked him down with the help of belongings he abandoned in the ailing getaway car — including his wallet filled with ID and credit cards and cellphone.
An ex-con with links to the Gambino crime family was found guilty of bank robbery and firearms charges today after a mob associate flipped to testify against him.
A jury in Brooklyn federal court deliberated for less than two hours before convicting Gary Fama.
Fama, 47, who has previous convictions on firearms and drug charges, faces 17 years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge William Kuntz II.
His accomplice, Gambino associate Jack Mannino, 44, has cut a deal with prosecutors and is awaiting sentencing.
Mannino - who has 24 New York bank heists under his belt and was dubbed the “Seven Second Bandit” for his speedy robberies - testified that he and and Fama held up a Capital One Bank in Bensonhurst last Dec. 29.
They fled the bank with a bag of cash, but things went awry when a dye pack exploded inside the money pouch, and the transmission blew out on their getaway car, Mannino told the jury.
They panicked after hearing sirens of responding police cars and jumped out of the Lexus - leaving behind a wallet and cellphone, Mannino said.
That helped FBI agents track them down.
MONTREAL — The weekend killing of a man with alleged ties to the Mafia is the latest manifestation of the power struggle being waged in Montreal’s underworld, experts said. And there’s likely more bloodshed to come.
"Montreal is like a powder keg right now. And there is a sense that the violence is no longer one-sided," Mafia expert Antonio Nicaso said in an interview on Sunday." Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the end of it."
Montreal homicide detectives did not release the name of the victim, whose body was found riddled with bullets and slumped in a white Range Rover SUV about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. But he was identified in numerous reports as Emilio Cordileone, 50. Cordileone had no criminal record. However, his name came up numerous times during Operation Colisée, the RCMP probe into organized crime.
"The main thing our investigators are looking at is this is connected to Italian organized crime," Constable Dany Richer said.
Police are interviewing neighbours and witnesses but have no suspects for the moment, he said.
Experts who study Mob activity in Montreal said it comes as no surprise that gangland attacks continue.
"Tension remains extraordinarily high among gangsters of all stripes, across Quebec and Ontario," said Adrian Humphreys, author of The Sixth Family, a biography of the Rizzuto family and organized crime reporter for the National Post.
"The power struggle is far from settled, and Vito Rizzuto’s place in the underworld since his release from prison is very much an unanswered question.
"More people will die before that’s decided — and likely more before the new year."
Rizzuto, the reputed godfather of the Canadian Mafia, spent five years in jail after he was arrested in 2004 and extradited to the United States, where he was convicted on charges of racketeering and conspiracy for his role in the 1981 murder of three Bonanno crime family members in New York. He was released in October and deported to Canada. After flying to Toronto, he is reported to be back in Montreal.
Cordileone and several of his relatives have had significant ties to the Mafia in Montreal. According to Humphreys, court documents indicate that, at least 10 years ago, Cordileone was connected enough in business and in the Mob to be the intermediary between Rizzuto and his associates. Nicaso, who has written a book on the Rizzuto family, said that Cordileone’s relatives are named in 1991 RCMP reports on organized crime as having close links with Frank Cotroni, whose family ruled the drug trade in Montreal until they were supplanted by the Rizzutos.
In 2005, Cordileone’s father was abducted for a week and then set free. And, according to a report in La Presse, the victim’s nephew, Mark Cordileone, is the owner of a bar on Belanger St. in St. Leonard, called QVS. It was also the site of a double shooting last August in which one man was seriously hurt and another killed. That shooting was believed to have been linked to the drug trade.
Cordileone’s brother, too, has allegedly been in business with the Mob. Dino Cordileone’s role in a plot to bomb a factory owned by a biker gang netted him a 23-month jail sentence in 1994.
The fatal shooting is only the latest in a string of recent murders of Montrealers with reputed Mob ties. Only a month ago, Joseph Di Maulo, 70, was found face-down in the driveway outside his home in Blainville. He was a Mafia veteran and a one-time confidant of Rizzuto who is believed to have begun trying to consolidate power in Montreal in Rizzuto’s absence.
Not long afterward, Mohamed Awada was murdered in front of his house in Montreal North. Awada had faced multiple charges during the past two decades, including drug offences, weapons and assault. In 2008, he was one of the people charged, but later acquitted, in the kidnapping of a low-level member of the Rizzuto clan.
Nicaso said the latest spate of violence seems to indicate that the Rizzuto clan is ready to strike back to reclaim power now that the head of the family has returned from exile. While Rizzuto was behind bars, his father Nicolo and his son Nick Rizzuto Jr. were killed. His brother-in-law, Paolo Renda, was kidnapped in 2010 and hasn’t been seen since.
"For a long time, the violence seemed one-sided, meant to challenge the Rizzuto family’s power," Nicaso said. "But now there is a sense that the Rizzuto family is capable of striking back."
Nicaso said that if this is the case, then Rizzuto has his work cut out for him.
"He has been challenged on the street, and his political and financial connections have been exposed during testimony before the Charbonneau Commission," Nicaso said. "He came back from jail to a new criminal landscape with new players trying to take over his turf.
"There doesn’t seem to be anyone in place who is recognized as being in charge. There are symptoms of a power vacuum. It is even difficult to describe who is on one side and who is on the other."
A Bonanno crime capo who carried a pillow to a mob sitdown didn't get a soft landing at his sentencing Friday.
Nicholas (Nicky Cigars) Santora was slapped with 20 months behind bars for extortion, plus an additional four months for associating with mobsters while on release for a prior conviction.
Santora, 70, was clutching the pillow to his chest when he showed up at Tony's Pizzeria in Corona, Queens, to represent mob associate Joseph Galante, Jr. in a sitdown over a $30,000 debt Galante owed to a mortgage broker. The associate was working for the government and secretly recording the sitdown.
For years Yoshinori Watanabe (aka ‘Mr. Gorilla’) ran Japan’s most powerful and successful yakuza group. Jake Adelstein on his mysterious death over the weekend—and his legacy of modern and ruthless management of the crime syndicate.
Yoshinori Watanabe, the previous boss of Japan’s largest yakuza group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, passed away this weekend according to the Hyogo prefectural police. He was the fifth-generation leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi and had rarely appeared in public since retiring or being forced out of power in 2005. He was 71.
Yoshinori Watanabe, leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza group, walks toward the Kobe District Court, November 2002. (Kyodo / Landov)
Watanabe was found collapsed at his home in Kobe on Saturday, by his family; his death was confirmed the same day. A memorial service was held for him Monday. The cause of death is unknown, but he allegedly had been in poor health for years.
Watanabe became the fifth head of the Yamaguchi-gumi in 1989 after a four-year gang war between the Yamaguchi-gumi and the Ichiwa-kai, which had split off from the main group. Watanabe, in a move to encourage Ichiwa-kai members to return to the fold, is credited with introducing a pension plan to the Yamaguchi-gumi that promised to take care of retired “employees,” much like major Japanese corporations. Watanabe was a highly intelligent gangster, but because of his slightly simian facial features, he was known amongst some police officers and some yakuza affectionately as “Mr. Gorilla” (ゴロちゃん).
Watanabe was a charismatic leader and a good businessman. By keeping the association dues low and through aggressive gang wars and leveraged peace treaties with rival gangs, he expanded the organization to become Japan’s largest organized crime group; by 2004, the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters was collecting nearly $25 million per year in association dues alone, according to police files. In the book The Business Management Methods of the Yamaguchi-gumi (2005), by yakuza expert Atsushi Mizoguchi, Watanabe succinctly explains the secret of his organized crime management: “Absolute Unity. Retaliation. Silence. Appropriate rewards and punishments, and judicious use of violence.”
However, during his reign, problems also emerged. Anti-yakuza legislation went on the books (1992) and legal precedents were set that gradually forced the yakuza underground. In a civil lawsuit over the shooting death of a policeman in a gang conflict that involved the Yamaguchi-gumi, Watanabe was effectively ordered by Japan’s Supreme Count to pay damages of about 80 million yen in 2004. This was the first time the courts recognized a Yakuza boss’s "employer liability."
In the summer of 2005, Watanabe resigned as leader and was succeeded by Kenichi Shinoda, also known as Shinobu Tsukasa. It was never clear whether he really retired or was forced out. In the video of succession ceremony held at Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters in August 2005, Watanabe appeared disgruntled and barely spoke. There was a failed attempt by Tadamasa Goto and other Yamaguchi-gumi members to restore Watanabe to power in 2008, but it was quashed quickly and the Yamaguchi-gumi bosses involved were exiled. Since then, Watanabe was closely monitored by the Yamaguchi-gumi ruling faction, and in essence, “the gorilla boss” died in captivity.
Watanabe was a folk hero in Kobe, the town where he died, after organizing relief efforts and providing food, water, and essential supplies to the locals after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in January of 1995.
Under Watanabe’s successor, Shinobu Tsukasa, the Yamaguchi-gumi absorbed the Tokyo-based Kokusui-kai in 2005, giving them a strong base in eastern Japan. By 2007 the Yamaguchi-gumi had effectively put the Inagawa-kai under their umbrella, making them the Walmart of Japanese organized crime with more than half of the total yakuza (79,000) being under their control.
This mobster is the scam artist-in-chief.
A longtime Gambino crime-family associate tried to convince a judge he’s politically connected to avoid a harsh sentence — claiming a mass-mailing from President Obama proves he has pals in the Oval Office.
Anthony “Tony O” O’Donnell is awaiting sentencing on Dec. 18 on federal charges of shaking down owners of Sitt Asset Management, a Manhattan real-estate investment firm.
His lawyer yesterday filed 17 pages of cookie-cutter thank-you letters from politicians as part of the mobster’s sentencing memorandum, which usually includes notes from well-meaning acquaintances.
“Anthony, I’m about to go to speak to the crowd here in Chicago, but I wanted to thank you first,” read an election night e-mail from the president’s campaign headquarters, which was also sent to millions of other supporters.
Another, from former President Bill Clinton, read, “Anthony, Thank you so very much for your message on my 66th birthday.
“Hearing from you made a special day even more memorable,” said the Aug. 23 letter, complete with a letterhead from the Clinton Foundation and a note thanking O’Donnell for his support.
In his impersonal letter, Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote, “Anthony, thank you, thank you, thank you!
“Because of your support, we re-elected president Obama, expanded our democratic majority in the Senate, and picked up seats in the House,” the Democratic senator from New York said.
Mobster letters from politicians
O’Donnell also filed thank-you letters from US senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The mobster was arrested by the FBI in January 2011 alongside 126 other wiseguys in the largest single-day operation against organized crime in US history.
The raid took down members of every one of the notorious Five Families of New York for crimes including murder, racketeering, drug-dealing, union extortion, robbery and loan-sharking.
Other criminals in the federal indictment included members of New Jersey’s DeCavalcante crew and New England’s Patriarca clan.
O’Donnell has previously been convicted for the armed robbery of a UPS truck and a mob-related extortion, federal records show.
Assistant US Attorney Whitman Knapp said O’Donnell has served as the right-hand man to a powerful Gambino capo, “has a significant criminal history” and “poses a danger to the community.”
He faces up to 37 months behind bars under a plea agreement.
Mafia hitmen chased a rival gangster into a nursery school in northern Naples and shot him dead while four-year-olds were singing Christmas carols just yards away, it has emerged.
Even battle-weary citizens of the area’s bloody Camorra drug wars were horrified by the latest killing. Within minutes of the hit on Tuesday morning, panic-stricken parents arrived at the school clamouring to see if their children were safe.
After the killers fled the children were led to safety by teachers. “We were practising songs for the Christmas recital,” said a teacher at the Eugenio Montale pre-school. “We took them out through a back door and they didn’t see the body.”
The victim, Luigi Lucenti, 50, had a criminal record for drugs offences and extortion and was considered to be close to the Abbinate family of the Naples Mafia.
He was first attacked outside his nearby home in the crime-ridden Scampia district. He fled and sought refuge in the grounds of the nursery school. But one of the two masked assailants followed him in and killed him with several more shots just feet away from the main door before both attackers sped away on a scooter – a classic execution method for Camorra hitmen.
As The Independent reported last month, 160 innocent people have already been caught in the crossfire between feuding Naples mobsters in the past 30 years. In the past 12 months there has been an upsurge in the number of killings in the drug-riddled north of the city.
Local parents said they were fearful for their children. One mother interviewed outside the school told waiting television reporters: “We’re really frightened to bring our children back. We shouldn’t let these things affect us. But it’s very hard.”
Today, only four out of the school’s 80 children turned up. “We didn’t really expect anything else,” said head teacher Enzo Montesano. “But some mothers said that things might change tomorrow – I really hope so. Other parents protested that the outer gates should always be closed… but the school cannot be turned into a prison.”
A battle for one of Europe’s biggest drug markets – thought to be worth over €100m a year, in the Scampia and neighbouring Secondigliano and Miano districts – is behind the latest wave of violence .
The combatants are members of the Camorra group known as the Scissionisti – the seccessionists – who broke away from the northern-Naples Di Lauro ruling clan in 2004.
Now, younger Scissionisti are fighting amongst themselves as well as continuing hostilities with the Di Lauro faction and the body count is rising.
OSAKA — Osaka police arrested a senior member of the major underworld syndicate Yamaguchi-gumi as well as a mob-connected former world champion boxer on suspicion of fraud for allegedly playing golf by concealing their gangland status in violation of ordinances.
Arrested were Hirofumi Kyo, 65, a senior amaguchi gumi gangster, Jiro Watanabe, 57, who once held the world super flyweight boxing title and is a senior member of a group affiliated with the Kobe-based syndicate, and another yakuza figure who was not identified.
The police said the three played together at a golf course in Osaka Prefecture in March last year after hiding that they were gangsters.
The golf course bans yakuza, they said, adding Kyo has kept silent and Watanabe has denied he is a mobster.
Police have recently been cracking down on mobsters who play at golf courses that ban yakuza. There have been cases in which prosecutors have been unable to establish criminal cases against mobsters who were unaware of local ordinances banning them, and others in which at the district court level gangsters were found not guilty.
Kyo and Watanabe are known to have had friendly ties with TV celebrity Shinsuke Shimada, 56, who retired from the entertainment industry last year over his ties with the underworld.