April 16, 2015
This Week in Gang Land
Feds Tie Howard Beach Home Invasions To Last Year's Lufthansa Heist Indictment
Federal authorities have linked an imprisoned Bonanno soldier to a brazen gang of mob associates who pulled off dozens of home invasion robberies and burglaries in Howard Beach and nearby communities, Gang Lang has learned. The wiseguy, John (Bazoo) Ragano, was one of five defendants in an indictment that charged an aging capo with the storied $6 million Lufthansa heist depicted in the 1990 mob movie classic, Goodfellas.
Sources say the feds suspect Ragano of fingering the owner of an Ozone Park auto repair shop – Bonanno associate Robert Cotrone – for robbery. Seven weeks after Ragano's arrest in the Lufthansa case, a trio of armed thugs invaded Cotrone's Howard Beach home, stealing thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry.
Ragano had "worked" for Cotrone at Bam's Auto Body, but in a telling display of mob duplicity, he allegedly gave Cotrone up to the robbery team because he knew the auto repair shop owner was on his own after his longtime mob protector was locked up. The protector, Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro, was detained without bail for the airline robbery. Cotrone has allegedly made years of "protection" payments to Asaro, even once testifying as a defense witness for him.
Sources say a key witness in the Howard Beach break-ins grand jury investigation is Frank Nunziata, a member of the home invasion crew who was arrested on state drug charges by Organized Crime Investigation Detectives (OCID) in 2013.
Thirty days in the hole: That's the penalty meted out to the Italo-American wiseguys and Albanian-American gangsters who went at each other in a bloody brawl last month in Danbury federal prison. Other than their wounds, authorities didn't have much to go on: the combatants observed their respective versions of omerta and kept their mouths shut. Also, and most importantly, the rec room video cameras didn't work that day. Most inmates are already out of solitary confinement, and the others expect to return to regular inmate status soon.
Unless you get really lucky, and find a copy squirreled away in the wrong section of your local bookstore, you won't be able to get a first printing of Mob Boss: The Life Of Little Al D'Arco, The Man Who Brought Down The Mafia. But there are still some second print versions of the hardcover available as gifts or for your own reading pleasure.
Because of the heavy demand, Thomas Dunne Books went to the well again for a second printing of Mob Boss, the book that The New York Times called a "gripping, novelistic biography – a bulls-eye."
The mass market, paperback version was published this month, and is available online and at for favorite bookstores. You still should be able to pick up a copy of the hard cover at your favorite bookstore, or, as Claude Raines might say to Humphrey Bogart, from any number of the usual online suspects: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and BooksAMillion, as well as an independent book seller near you.
See why Mob Boss has been praised by Pete Hamill, Jimmy Breslin, Nicholas Pileggi, Mister District Attorney Robert Morgenthau – as well as readers everywhere.
Mob Boss is also available in a special BIG PRINT edition. And for those who would rather hear every word of the 406 page book read to them, Mob Boss is also available on an MP3 CD from Tantor Audio.