‘This is the second text, there won’t be a third’: New York’s veteran mobsters fear millennial Mafiosi are going soft using cellphones instead of pistol-whips to threaten victims
- The explosion of social media and the gentrification of Italian-American suburbs has been blamed for breeding a generation of ‘soft’ young mobsters
- Elderly mob bosses are being forced to take risks by remaining in the game to ensure their plans don’t go awry in the hands of bumbling young mafiosi
- 87-year-old mob boss Andrew ‘Mush’ Russo was arrested last month and complained in a secret FBI recording ‘I can’t walk away, I can’t rest!’
- A former FBI agent said: ‘That’s why you see some of these guys getting arrested repeatedly – they have to have their hands on minute details of the scheme’
The new generation of mobsters roaming the streets of New York have been accused of ‘going soft’ by the old guard of mafia bosses, relying on threatening texts to intimidate rivals instead of doing the talking with their fists or weapons.
The explosion of social media and mobile phone technology, along with the gentrification of Italian-American working class neighborhoods, are to blame for a wave of ‘knucklehead’ younger mobsters whose distaste for brutality and comfortable upbringing pose a difficult problem for veteran mafiosi.
According to court documents associated with a huge anti-racketeering operation in New York City reported in the Wall Street Journal, one alleged gangster sent a threatening text to a union official which read: ‘Hey, this is the 2nd text, there isn’t going to be a 3rd.’
Meanwhile, elderly mob bosses are forced to take risks by remaining in the game long after their retirement to ensure their plans don’t go awry in the hands of bumbling, wannabe gangsters who were bred using texts instead of pistol-whips.
Last month, 87 year old mobster Andrew ‘Mush’ Russo was arrested as part of a huge anti-racketeering operation which prosecutors compared to a shakedown akin to those portrayed in TV shows like ‘The Sopranos’ (pictured)
‘[The Mafia] certainly don’t kill people like they used to,’ said former FBI agent Michael Gaeta (Pictured: Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta in ‘Goodfellas’, 1990)
Last month, 87 year old mobster Andrew ‘Mush’ Russo was arrested in connection with the extortion operation, as the Colombo crime family aimed to line their pockets by controlling a city construction union’s health insurance fund.
Octogenarian Russo was among the eleven members of the crime family arrested in connection with the scheme, which prosecutors compared to a grandiose shakedown akin to those portrayed in ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Goodfellas’.
Much like in the Sopranos, it appears that Russo was experiencing problems finding a young successor trustworthy or capable enough to get the job done.
Instead, he was forced to personally oversee the operation and was caught by law enforcement.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Russo can be heard complaining ‘I can’t walk away, I can’t rest!’ in a secret FBI recording released in connection with the case, as he struggled to manage a group of pretenders not versed in the brutally efficient ways of old-time mobsters.
Scott Curtis, a former FBI agent who was tasked with the investigation into the crime family’s schemes, said that Russo was micromanaging underlings and held onto his job ‘too long’.
‘That’s why you see some of these guys getting arrested repeatedly,’ said Curtis.
‘They have to have their hands on all these minute details of the scheme.’
Another Colombo family mobster, a former made man within the organization, complained to the Wall Street Journal that ‘everything is on the phones with them,’ in reference to the younger mafiosi arrested in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, former FBI agent and crisis-management consultant Richard Frankel said the younger generation’s reliance on mobile phones poses yet more issues for older mob bosses because it is all too easy to leave incriminating messages which could be used in evidence.
‘I am sure that is frowned upon in mob circles,’ a bemused Frankel said.
Meanwhile, another former FBI agent Michael Gaeta said that although New York’s famous crime families still operate, mobsters are trying to keep a low profile by cutting back on violence after major FBI operations in the 90s gutted much of the senior management.
‘They certainly don’t kill people like they used to. At the end of the day, it attracts too much heat,’ he said.
The explosion of social media and mobile phone technology, along with the gentrification of Italian-American working class neighborhoods, are supposedly to blame for a wave of ‘knucklehead’ younger mobsters (pictured, Little Italy, Manhattan, NYC in 2012)
A professor at NYU School of Law said Italian-American neighborhoods have shrunken dramatically’, resulting in a lack of tough teenagers for mafia succession. (Pictured: The corner of Broome St and Centre St in Manhattan, NYC)
Professor James B. Jacobs of New York University School of Law believes today’s softer generation of mobsters has formed because the gentrification of New York City has all but wiped out the once bustling Italian-American working class neighborhoods.
‘Fifty years ago most big US cities had well-recognized working class Italian neighborhoods. [The Mafia] hired teenage boys, some of them Italian immigrants, for odd jobs and recruited the most promising into their operations,’ he wrote in his 2019 book ‘The Rise and Fall of Organized Crime in the United States’.
‘These neighborhoods have dramatically shrunken as Italian-Americans have steadily assimilated into mainstream society, thereby radically diminishing the pool of tough teenagers with Cosa Nostra potential.’
Cosa Nostra, directly translated as ‘Our Thing’, is the term used to refer to the traditional Sicilian mafia, one of the most brutal and well known original groups of mafiosi who still operate in Sicily today.
Gambino family underboss dies in prison from ‘health issues’ at the age of 89
Frank LoCascio, the Dapper Don’s former underboss and acting consigliere, passed away Friday after serving 31 years of a life sentence
A Gambino crime family underboss who stayed loyal to John Gotti even as the pair were hit with life sentences during a 1992 murder and racketeering trial has died in prison at age 89.
Frank LoCascio, the Dapper Don’s former underboss and acting consigliere, passed away Friday October 1 at the Federal Medical Center, Devens – a facility that houses federal prisoners with health issues – in Massachusetts.
LoCascio had been incarcerated for 31 years before his death last week after famously refusing to snitch on notorious mob boss Gotti during their infamous and highly publicized trial.
The high-ranking mafioso managed to cheat death during his three decades in the pen even with Gotti as his enemy, after the Teflon Don turned on him and put a ‘contract’ on his former right-hand’s life after a jailhouse quarrel, prison officials revealed.
‘I am guilty of being a good friend of John Gotti,’ the defiant underboss famously said in court after refusing to turn on his boss in lieu of a more lenient sentence.
‘If there was more men like John Gotti, we would have a better country,’ the mobster proudly professed at the time.
Career criminal LoCascio, pictured here on the right, next to boss John Gotti, managed to cheat death during his three decades in the pen even with Gotti as his enemy, after the Teflon Don turned on him and put a ‘contract’ on his former right-hand’s life after a jailhouse quarrel, prison officials revealed
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