WHERE DO THE BONANNO’S STAND TODAY?
When convicted murderer and Bronx wiseguy Michael (Mickey the Nose) Mancuso walks out of prison in a few years, he will be leaving the Federal Department of Corrections as the official boss of New York’s Bonanno Crime Family.
The New York press corps reported Mancuso’s promotion in the summer of 2013.
Mancuso, 59 and the one-time Bonanno “acting boss” and underboss, is serving time in a South Carolina federal penitentiary for ordering the 2004 gangland slaying of mob associate Randy Pizzolo. Pleading guilty in 2008, he is set for release in 2019. The Feds say he’s running the Bonannos from his prison cell.
Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, Mickey the Nose was a leader of a Bronx-based “mafia JV team” known as “The Purple Gang,” named after the Detroit’s murderous Prohibition Era Jewish mob.
In the early 2000s, he was imprisoned Bonanno boss Vincent (Vinnie Gorgeous) Basciano’s right-hand man and No. 2 in charge. Around Thanksgiving 2004, a week prior to the Pizzolo hit, he was named Basciano’s “acting boss.”
Prior to his conviction and jailing for the murder of Pizzolo, Mancuso had served a decade behind bars for shooting and killing his wife in 1984. When longtime Bonanno Godfather Joseph (Big Joey) Massino turned witness for the government in August of 2004, he implicated Mancuso in helping organize the March 1999 execution of syndicate captain Gerlando (George From Canada) Sciascia.
Mickey the Nose’s underboss and current “acting boss” is Thomas (Tommy D) Di Fiore of Long Island and his consigliere is 80-year old Bonanno vet Anthony (Fat Tony) Rabito, according to the FBI.
Di Fiore is in jail under indictment for an extortion sceme.
Top capos in the Family include former acting boss Vincent (Vinnie T.V.) Badalamenti, former acting underboss Nicholas (Nicky Mouth) Santora, former Massino consigliere Anthony (T.G.) Graziano, William (Willie Glasses) Rivello, Frank (Frankie the Fireman) Porco, Joseph (Little Joe Saunders) Cammerano, Jr., Anthony (Tony from Elmont) Mannone, Joseph (J.B.) Indelicato, Louis (Louie Electric) DeCicco , Joseph (Sammie) Sammerino, Jerry Chilli and Vinnie Asaro (under indictment with DiFiore).
A character based on Santora was portrayed by actor Bruno Kirby (The Godfather II, When Harry Met Sally) in the 1997 movie “Donnie Brasco,” starring Johnny Depp, Al Pacino and Michael Madsen.
The Bonanno Family has roughly 100 members and according to sources on the street and in law enforcement, has inducted a dozen or so new members in the past couple years, ceremonies presided over by Di Fiore and Rabito. Rocked by the infiltration of an FBI undercover agent in the early 1980s (Operation Donnie Brasco), an incident that temporarily cost the syndicate a seat on the mob’s national “Commission,” the Bonanno clan shot back to prominence in the 1990s under the guidance of Massino, at that point one of the most-revered mafia Dons in America. Massino’s defection and the arrest and convictions of several primary administrators in the 2000s, set the Bonannos back severely, seeing the Family lose respect and much of its’ overall luster once again.
Experts say the Family has faith in Mancuso and Di Fiore to put the pieces back together and return the New York City crime conglomerate back to prominence. Those same experts speculate that Brooklyn mob power Vinnie Badalamenti is currently looking after day-to-day affairs in Mancuso’s and Di Fiore’s absence.