The Gambino Family, one of the oldest of the “Five Families” of organized crime, went to war with the Colombo family, the youngest group to be accepted into the commission, in the early 1990s. A new Cosa Nostra News interview from with mob liaison Michael "Mikie Scars" DiLeonardo, says the dapper, future Teflon don, John Gotti pushed the buttons that started the conflict.
The Colombo family was headed by Carmine Persico in the 1970s. While the boss was in jail, he named Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella until he was released in 1979. Persico and Langella were both convicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges in 1986.
Persico, who was the youngest boss in New York, had already headed the Colombo family for 14 years. Knowing that unless he could overturn the conviction, he’d be in prison until 2012, He named his older brother, Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, as acting boss. His brother did a year before he lammed on loansharking charges and Persico named Victor "Little Vic" Orena as acting boss until Persico could turn it over to his son, Little Allie Boy, when he made parole.
All was going fine until 1990, when Persico announced he was going to pull a Joe Bonanno and sit for a made-for-television biography. Oreno petitioned the Mafia Commission to recognize him as boss but was turned down. Consigliere Carmine Sessa filled Persico in on Orena’s takeover plans and arranged to have Orena hit at his Cedarhurst, Long Island, home on June 21, 1991. Orena survived and the the third Colombo war began. 15 Orena associates and business partners disappeared. Twelve people, including three innocent bystanders, died, and 18 associates were never seen again 80 made members and associates from both sides of the Colombo family were convicted, jailed or indicted by November 1991.
Sessa flipped and took down 58 soldiers and associates for the feds. The Colombo family was barred from the commission until in 2002, when Bonanno boss Joseph Massino stood up for them.
Mikie Scars told Cosa Nostra News that John Gotti “started the Colombo war" because “he wanted to control the Colombo family. He had us; he had the Bonanno family – and he wanted the Colombos. It was (Joseph) Scopo he tried to work through to control the Commission.”
According to testimony DiLeonardo gave a 90s Brooklyn jury, “John Sr. instigated the war. John made some statement that Carmine was a rat.”
“He figured if he could get ‘Junior’ Persico out as boss and Vic Orena in, he would have another vote on the Commission [the ruling body of Mafia families],” DiLeonardo toldCosa Nostra News.
Jackie "Nose" D'Amico repeated Gotti's belief that Persico was a rat. "Jackie went around telling everyone that Junior wasn't the boss," DiLeonardo said.
"John Senior called the Colombos 'the Cambodians,'" Scars added.
"I became the liaison to the Colombo family," DiLeonardo told Cosa Nostra News. "I was picked. I get appointed – I know the Persicos.”
DiLeonardo tried to broker a peace and persuaded then-boss Peter Gotti “to meet with Allie to patch things up” after John Sr. went to prison in 1992.
"Junior doesn’t want to meet Allie Boy," DiLeonardo told the zine. "Junior asked me about Allie Boy. 'I know his brothers and his sisters but not him,' I told him. Junior wouldn't go. He tells Jackie to tell Allie Boy that 'Michael is a Gotti.'"
"I had a real good relationship with Allie Boy," DiLeonardo said. "Meanwhile Allie Boy is asking why Junior won’t meet him – 'Why won't he meet me,' he'd ask me. They were still fighting that war."
According to the interview, Gotti had a strong influence over "Little Vic" Orena and an idea for consigliere Sessa to poll all the capos after the commission turned him down as boss “sounds like John.” The idea was enough for Sessa to tell Persico, who ordered the hit on Orena.
Rumored Colombo underboss Joseph Scopo, who was a "hijacking buddy of Gene and John Gotti back in the early 1970s," was the last casualty of the third Colombo war. He was shot in front of his home on 110th Street in Ozone Park, Queens, by masked gunmen using a Mac-10 automatic pistol and a .380 automatic pistol in October of 1993. Scopo was a former vice president of Local 6A of Cement and Concrete Workers in New York City.
DiLeonardo arranged a sit-down at Areo, a restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, between Jackie and Allie Boy to let then know the Gambino crime family recognized Persico.
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"We advised jack to say Carmine was in fact the boss and that the Gambinos had no problem with that sort of an apology. Politics at play," DiLeonardo told Cosa Nostra News.
Peter Gotti became Gambino boss when when Junior went away in 1998. DiLeonardo was called in to help the Gambinos make peace with the Colombos.
"I introduced Peter to Allie Boy as acting boss,” DiLeonardo said. “They offered me a seat at the table. I said no thank you. I wanted to let them alone. I told Pete to tell (Allie Boy) that we acknowledge his father (meaning the imprisoned Carmine Persico) as the boss and we’ll help do whatever they want to put it back together."
Allie Boy was arrested while in Florida in February 2000. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for illegal weapons possession charges. Persico was eligible for release but was sent away for good for the murder of William "Wild Bill" Cutolo.
SOURCE: COSA NOSTRA NEWS