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La Cosa Nostra – State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report – The Gambino/Gotti Family
New Jersey Operations

During the past year (1989), Gotti operatives in New Jersey have been the targets of intense state and federal law enforcement efforts. In April, 1989, for instance, a 70- count state racketeering indictment was returned against soldier Robert "Cabert" Bisaccia of Belleville. Bisaccia, who is believed to be Gotti's principal "man in New Jersey," has been observed on numerous occasions meeting with the crime boss. Charges against Bisaccia include his alleged conspiracy to burglarize the northern offices of the New Jersey Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force. According to the indictment, Bisaccia's gang attempted to locate and destroy the investigative files and evidence that had been com- piled against them, then mask the burglary by setting the building afire. The indictment, which is pending, also alleges that Bisaccia and his associates have been involved in hijacking, armed robbery, extortion and the infiltration of legitimate business.

Three months later, in July, 1989, Bisaccia was again indicted as the result of an investigation into the illegal video gambling industry in Passaic County. Interestingly, this investigation revealed a working relationship between Bisaccia and his associates, and the Taccetta faction of the Lucchese/Corallo/Amuso family. Video game vendors affiliated with either group were also afforded police protection for a fee. Three members of the Paterson Police Department were subsequently arrested as a result of these charges.

Less visible than Bisaccia but significant in New Jersey nonetheless is caporegime Michael Mandaglia. A retired official of Local 342 of the Laborers Union in Newark, Mandaglia appears to control Gambino/Gotti labor interests in New Jersey. His influence in the construction industry was recently exposed as a result of "Operation Stealth," a lengthy investigation conducted by state and federal authorities. The investigation, which lasted more than two years, revealed a group of individuals who made vast profits by using bribery and "sweet-heart" contracts to guarantee labor peace at con- struction sites throughout northern New Jersey. In return, contractors were allowed to use non-union labor at significant savings in both wages and the cost of benefits. Mandaglia, who was indicted January 24, 1990 on 71 counts (along with nine union officials, a Flanders construction company and its owner), was indicted the same day in a separate six-count indictment for using his position in organized crime to exercise control over various business entities.

Interestingly, although Mandaglia holds a higher position in the family than Bisaccia, he does not appear to be as close to Gotti or to the other New York-based caporegimes. Therefore, it is believed that Bisaccia, despite his current legal difficulties, has been designated as Gotti's key representative for the Gambino group's New Jersey interests.

Another family member residing and operating in New Jersey is 78-year-old Anthony Carminati of Fort Lee. Despite his age, Carminati remains active in illegal activities such as gambling, loan-sharking, narcotics, labor racketeering and infiltra- tion of legitimate business. Although a longtime family member, Carminati is not respected by other New Jersey members, in part because he unwittingly allowed an undercover police officer to infiltrate a family loanshark operation several years ago. Therefore, his power within LCN circles in the state is limited. In addition, group leaders currently lack confidence in Carminati's abilities because he is a heavy drinker.

Recently developed information indicates that Carminati reports to newly appointed Hillsdale, New Jersey, caporegime John D'Amico, who took over for deceased caporegime Olympio Garafalo. D'Amico, like Carminati, has fallen into disfavor with other family leaders. D'Amico is believed to have skimmed $50,000 from restaurant operations he runs for the Gambino family. While the internal consequences of D'Amico's actions are not entirely known, it is noteworthy that he continues to frequent the group's meeting sites in Queens and Manhattan.

In addition to its lucrative criminal enterprises, the Gambino/Gotti family has successfully infiltrated several legitimate industries, especially the garment industry. This is due primarily to the strong influence that caporegime Thomas Gambino has on garment trucking in New York and New Jersey. Gambino is married to the daughter of Thomas Lucchese, the late boss of his own LCN family that is also considered a power in the garment industry. And Lucchese's son is Gambino's partner in several garment businesses. Although Gambino has recently been the focus of federal, state and local investigations, he has maintained a secure position within the garment industry and has successfully thwarted law enforcement efforts. A son of the late Carlo Gambino, the last of the mob's powerful "boss of bosses," Thomas Gambino epitomizes the low profile, well buffered, successful businessman image common among second generation members of the LCN. His trucking empire that long dominated the New York garment industry has expanded into New Jersey and he is considered the single most powerful figure in that industry.

With the leadership takeover by John Gotti in 1985, there has been much speculation and media attention regarding his efforts to expand the Gambino organization's sphere of influence. Perhaps the most significant event in the past year that benefitted Gotti in this endeavor was the incarceration and eventual conviction of Genovese consigliere (counselor) Louis "Bobby" Manna of Jersey City. This action not only eliminated key Genovese leadership in New Jersey but also – at least temporarily – rid John Gotti of a bitter rival. Territorial disputes in New Jersey between Manna and Gotti led to Manna's plotting Gotti's assassination. During an investigation conducted by federal authori- ties, Gotti and his brother, Gene, were identified as Manna's targets. Gotti, however, was alerted by federal authorities that he was in danger and was able to take precautions.

During the course of the Manna investiga-tion, conversations were intercepted regarding a possible takeover of the faltering Bruno/Scarfo group's enterprises by the Genovese/Gigante and Gambino/Gotti families. Reportedly, the Gambino/Gotti group was seeking the more lucrative opera- tions in southern New Jersey, which included Atlantic City and Philadelphia-based operations, while the more limited northern rackets would have been absorbed by the Genovese/Gigante group, which for years operated in much the same territory as the northern faction of the Bruno family. While both organizations would have gained a considerable amount of new revenue from such an arrangement, Manna apparently viewed this apportionment as another attempt by Gotti to gain dominance in New Jersey.

Other events that opened up territory for a Gotti takeover in New Jersey included the murder of Genovese soldier John DiGilio, long a power on the New Jersey docks, and the conviction of Donald Carson, executive vice president of Local 1587-88 of the International Longshoremen's Association. Carson's imprisonment allowed Gambino member Anthony Pimpinella of Brooklyn to take over Carson's leadership position in the ILA local and thus to gain control for the Gotti family of the lucrative New Jersey waterfront rackets at Port Elizabeth and Port Newark, which together handle approximately 70% of the general cargo entering New York Harbor. Additional benefits derived from controlling this union are political power, financial gain, control of the flow of cargo into the metropolitan area and the ability to move contraband into and out of the country.

As previously mentioned, John Gotti's tenure as leader of this crime group has been replete with personal legal battles, all of which he has won. His most recent trial (at which he was acquitted on February 9, 1990) involved the shooting of Manhattan Carpenters Union leader John O'Connor. Prosecutors tried to prove that O'Connor was assaulted because he allegedly had sent union members to vandalize a non-union restaurant, which also happened to be owned by a Gotti family member. In retaliation for the beating, Gotti, according to the charges against him, contracted with the Westies, an Irish gang from the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan who specialize in strong-arm work, to shoot O'Connor. The Gambino/Gotti group has historically used the Westies for some of its tasks where violence is required.

While John Gotti has been portrayed in the news media as the "Dapper Don" – flamboyant, aggressive and ruthless – he should also be considered somewhat of a politician within the LCN. Gotti has been seen meeting with high level members of other LCN families, including the New Jersey- based DeCavalcante/Riggi group, the Bruno/Scarfo group, the Bonanno/Rastelli/Vitale group and the Lucchese/Corallo/Amuso group. Reportedly, Gotti has a working relationship with Michael Taccetta, an influential member of the Lucchese/Corallo/Amuso group in northern New Jersey. It should be noted that Michael Taccetta and his brother Martin began their criminal careers under the tutelage of the late Gambino caporegime Joseph Paterno before becoming members of the Lucchese organization.

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