The mafia never stops delivering a story. I often wonder what to write about, but every week I have a few fresh stories to choose from. This week is no different.
The FBI really screwed up their big mafia takedown that was all the news last summer. They arrested 46 people from various east coast families, all interconnected. They snared some big fish, like one time Philly Boss Joey Merlino and Genovese capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello. The FBI had some issues with their informant and at least two special agents working on the case. The majority of those picked up during the sweep have opted to take generous plea bargains offered by the US Attorney’s office.
Parrello is one of those who decided not to roll the dice and plea out this week. He copped to three counts of conspiracy to commit extortion for sending guys to collect his loanshark debts. He will face between five and six and a half years in federal prison. This deal is a far cry from the 60 years Parrello was facing for three racketeering counts he was charged with.
The FBI had a confidential human source who was close to Parrello and Merlino. He recorded hundreds of hours of tape, but they failed to debrief him properly and some other problems came to light. So rather than lose the case, they group was offered reduced charges.
Merlino, who has spent a lot of time in prison, has not bitten on the deal as of yet. Merlino was still on supervised release and did time for a violation while the FBI was making this case.
Parrello, a Genovese family capo and the owner of Pasquale's Rigoletto Restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, is no stranger to trouble. In 2001 Parrello was charged in a 98 count indictment of embezzling funds that totaled more than one million dollars from Local 11 and Local 964 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.
He and some other Genovese used S&F Carpentry, a unionized company based in Tuckahoe, N.Y., To pay and use non union workers. They destroyed payroll records and threatened members of the union if they complained about non union workers on jobs.
He would end up doing a 7 year sentence for that case.
This case involved having his guys attack a panhandler who was bothering people outside his restaurant. Threatening debtors, running gambling and other assorted scams.
Most people would be happy with just owning Pasquale's Rigoletto Restaurant. The problem is, Parrello is no normal person, and I suspect if he lives till the end of this sentence it will not be the last we have heard of him.
For any of you who have not been to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, it is worth the trip. It is the real Little Italy, unlike the three small blocks called that in Manhattan. Stop by Pasquale's Rigoletto Restaurant, they put out a great plate.
Bonanno Capo Vincent Asaro, known for his involvement in the famous Lufthansa airlines heist made famous in the movie Goodfellas, is a degenerate gambler who lost what little of the loot he got from the robbery.
Last year he beat the case the government brought against him for the robbery and murder.
He is now locked up on another case. This week the government claimed he wanted to have the federal prosecutor on his case murdered. The Feds do not want him released on bail because he reportedly told another defendant in this case, ‘we need to take care of this bitch,’ and not to ‘f**k it up like Vinnie.’ He was referring to Vincent Basciano, the boss of the Bonanno family who was taken down by the former boss of the family who recorded him while they were locked up together.
Like I said, the mafia always delivers!