‘Families of the Mafia’ returns to MTV after second reboot

They keep pulling us back in!

The troubled Staten Island mob series “Families of the Mafia” will once again return to MTV after yet another overhaul, Page Six can exclusively reveal.

The program — which is executive produced by reputed Gambino soldier Sammy “The Bull” Gravano’s daughter, Karen Gravano — had previously been a simple reality show with a gangland twist. This time, however, the retooled “Families of the Mafia” will be presented as a true-crime docuseries centered around Staten Island clans with mafia ties, Karen told Page Six.

“This is a multigenerational story that starts before me and it’s going on after me,” said Gravano, who will appear on the show with her dad and daughter, Karina Seabrook.

“So with that being said, it follows the stuff that my father has been through in his life, as we did on the last season,” she added. “But we kind of dig into it a little bit deeper this year because he pretty much opens up more. He’s doing a podcast and he’s kind of telling a lot more of his story.”

Former “Mob Wives” star Gravano, 49, noted that the “dark feel” of her dad’s story — in which he admitted to 19 murders but managed to avoid life in prison by testifying against fellow mobsters — called for “it to feel like a documentary.”

Karen Gravano out in New York
Karen Gravano is the daughter of reputed Gambino soldier Sammy “The Bull” Gravano.
Eldi / SplashNews.com

She also thought that her focus on prison reform required a more serious tone.

“Prison reform has always been something I’m very passionate [about],” she explained. “I am involved with a man who is currently incarcerated for drugs and I’ve been working on helping him get out of prison for the last five and a half years.”

She added that she hopes the show will educate people on the costs of a mafia lifestyle.

“Growing up … I kind of only looked at it through a one-track mind and that was the experiences that I was going through,” she said. “But when you really start to sit down and understand the justice system and the laws that have been changing and kind of just opened my mind up to really understanding, this became something that I was very passionate about.”

Gravano first produced “Made in Staten Island” in 2019, but she was met with a local petition against the show. The series then pivoted to “Families of the Mafia” in April 2020.

MTV was sent a cease and desist letter from the company that owns “Mob Wives” that claimed copyright infringement after it premiered and the show mysteriously disappeared from the air.

"Families of the Mafia" logo from the MTV show
“Families of the Mafia” is returning to MTV with a new format on July 15.
MTV

In addition to the Gravanos, the show will follow Billy Cutolo Jr. — the son of once powerful underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo — as he tries to get back to life with his family after their time in the witness protection program following his father’s murder.

Eli Kiperman, the son of Boris Nayfeld who is known as one of New York’s most influential Russian mafia bosses, will also appear as he reunites with his father who has been serving out his probation in Moscow.

The O’Toole family and the LaRocca family also appeared in the show’s first iteration — that was a rebrand of “Made in Staten Island — that premiered in April 2020.

“Families of the Mafia” returns to MTV on July 15 at 9 p.m. ET.

This article was originally posted here

Lucchese soldier given three year prison sentence for assaulting former husband of Real Housewives of New Jersey star

A reputed mafioso was sentenced on Thursday to two-and-a-half years behind bars for assaulting the husband of former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Dina Manzo.

John Perna, 44, an alleged soldier in the Lucchese crime family, had roughed up Manzo’s new beau at the request of her jealous ex-husband Tom Manzo in July 2015, Acting US Attorney Rachael Honig said in a statement.

In exchange for his strongarm services, Perna allegedly got a huge discount on a wedding reception at Manzo’s ritzy Patterson restaurant, Brownstone.

“The reception was attended by over 330 guests, many of whom were members of the Lucchese Crime Family,” the statement said.

Perna, the son of reputed Lucchese capo Ralph Perna, was accused of using a slap jack to beat up Dina Manzo’s new boyfriend (now husband) David Cantin in a Passaic County strip mall parking lot.

Dina and Tom split up in 2012 and divorced in 2016. They were on the outs at the time of the assault.

Dina, who appeared on the first two seasons of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” married Cantlin in 2019.

Perna will have three years supervised release after he gets out of the clink – and he’ll have to pay almost $18,000 in restitution, a federal judge ordered at sentencing.

The alleged Cosa Nostra member is the son of reputed Lucchese capo Ralph Perna, who was accused by the feds of running the faction’s Garden State operations.

Tom Manzo, 56, was recently charged in a separate incident that accuses him and associate of targeting his wife and her new husband in a 2017 home invasion.

“This is what happens when you f—k with a guy from Paterson,” one of the assailants said before they left, according to prosecutors.

Original article here.

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‘My Name is Bulger’ is a tale of two very different brothers

Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger’s murderous life of crime is only half of the saga chronicled in “My Name Is Bulger,” premiering Thursday (June 17) on discovery+.

The other half of Brendan J. Byrne’s documentary turns the spotlight on Whitey’s younger brother, William “Billy” Bulger, 87, a lifelong Massachusetts politician and hometown hero whose civic achievements — and, later, his role as president of the University of Massachusetts — were eclipsed and finally derailed by his infamous brother. “There’s a false narrative about my family,” says William’s son, James. “We cannot win…I think it’s time to knock it down — at least to throw a punch back.”

The 90-minute documentary does its best to counter-punch Whitey’s life of crime by delving into William’s life. Byrne interweaves interviews with William, his wife Mary and several of their nine children with old home movies and family photos to track William’s rise from South Boston to the heights of state politics (he was president of the Massachusetts State Senate from 1978-96).

Yet the specter of Whitey is always at the periphery as he floats in and out of his brother’s life, playing the loving uncle on his rare visits (there are photos of him with his nephews and nieces) while leading a life that no one in the family seemed to know about. “He was one more uncle who came through the door,” says William’s son, Dan. “He had big muscles and yelled a lot.” One of Whitey’s sisters sums him up thusly: “He was always gone. No one knew what-the-heck he was doing…he was always a worry.”

Whitey, it turned out, was terrorizing his South Boston stomping grounds, trafficking in drugs, extortion and murder (he was later convicted of 11 killings) but, according to family members, was “careful not to embarrass” William. “He was proud of his brother,” says Whitey’s former henchman, Kevin Weeks, adding that Whitey only killed someone as a last resort. “Violence was his last option,” he says. “There was no changing his mind once he decided to kill someone.”

Photo of William Bulger in his later years.
William Bulger is interviewed extensively about his brother Whitey in “My Name Is Bulger.”
AP

“My Name Is Bulger” draws a strict line of demarcation: William knew nothing about Whitey’s life outside of the extended Bulger family as he rose steadily in the political world after winning his first race in 1960, when he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and, as his power grew, rubbed shoulders with everyone, including governors Michael Dukakis and William Weld. They’re both interviewed here and both sing William’s praises, and as the documentary progresses, it’s easy to see why. He fought hard for his constituents, has a great sense of humor and is a devoted family man to his wife, children and 33 grandchildren.

Contrast that with Whitey, who made national headlines in 1995 when he went on lam with longtime companion Catherine Greig and wasn’t caught until 16 years later — hiding in plain sight in Santa Monica, Calif. with $882,000 in cash stuffed into the walls of his apartment. He was tried and convicted of murder, extortion and racketeering and, in 2018, was killed in prison at the age of 89.

Photo showing the prison mugshot of a bearded Whitey Bulger.
James “Whitey” Bulger after he was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif. in 2011.
AP

Greig, who spent eight years in prison, is interviewed for the documentary and offers often-teary insight into Whitey’s private life (“he was a very kind, giving person”) for those who are the least-bit interested in how a convicted killer stopped to help fix a flat tire on a Volkswagen or was nice to the maintenance staff in his apartment building. That kind of thing.

William was appointed president of the University of Massachusetts in 1985 and was forced out eight years later by then-Gov. Mitt Romney after admitting to a Congressional committee, in part, that that he had spoken to Whitey in 1995 and had failed to alert the authorities. (He was granted immunity from being prosecuted for obstruction of justice.)

“My Name Is Bulger” offers an even-handed account of the Brothers Bulger, covering all their personal and professional bases and giving the family a chance to remove part of the stain from the Bulger name.

This article was originally posted here

Getting Closer To Freedom: U.S. District Court In Detroit Judge Slices Close To Four Years Off “Big Meech” Flenory’s BMF Drug Case

June 16, 2021 – Famous Black Mafia Family boss Demetrius (Big Meech) Flenory had his 30-year prison sentence reduced by almost four years by U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson this week. The iconic drug lord is a non-violent offender serving three decades as a guest of the federal government from the historic 2005 Operation Motor City Mafia bust. Back in the summer, Lawson denied Flenory’s motion for a compassionate release due to health concerns tied to the pandemic.

With the time shaved off his original sentence, Big Meech will now be a free man in 2028, instead of late 2031. He copped a plea in the Operation Motor City Mafia case.

Flenory and his brother, Terry (Southwest T) Flenory, founded BMF in Detroit in 1990 and soon grew it into a national powerhouse in the drug world with outlets established in some 20 different states. Their fame in the dope game brought friendships with celebrities, rappers and actors, many of whom have publicly campaigned for Big Meech’s freedom. Terry Flenory, 50, was granted a compassionate release in May 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns and ordered to finish the rest of his sentence on home confinement in Detroit.

Both Flenory brothers pleaded guilty in 2007 on the eve of trial and accepted 30-year stretches for heading a continuing criminal enterprise. Barring judicial relief, the 52-year old Big Meech Flenory won’t see daylight as a free man until October 2031.

Flenory lived between Detroit and Atlanta during his days as a kingpin and was rumored to have romanced actresses Vivica A. Fox and Meagan Good. St. Louis rapper Nelly threw Big Meech a lavish 35th birthday party in Atlanta, a decadent and debaucherous 24-hour affair staged at multiple locations which drew the attention of the DEA and FBI.

The Starz Network and hip-hop mogul 50 Cent are currently filming the first season of the highly-anticipated Black Mafia Family scripted drama television show starring Demetrius (Lil’ Meech) Flenory, Jr. as his dad. Lil’ Meech, 21, is an aspiring hip hop artist. The writing team behind the Starz smash hit Power, led by Detroiter Randy Huggins, are penning the first batch of episodes expected to premiere in early 2022.

This article was originally posted here

Who is El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro?

Former beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro was the perfect picture of loyalty as she sat in the gallery of a Brooklyn courtroom watching the trial of her drug-kingpin husband, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The US-born narco queen had been an implacable fixture during 11 weeks of hearings, dutifully coming to court each morning to support her hubby — with the pair even wearing matching velvet crimson blazers one day to demonstrate their unbreakable bond. 

Dripping in designer duds and perfectly primped with contoured cheekbones, Coronel hardly flinched even when Guzman’s former mistresses took the stand — except to cackle when one of them broke down in tears. 

But Thursday, Coronel’s fealty to the world’s most feared drug kingpin and his Sinaloa cartel, now allegedly operated by her stepsons, appeared to be faltering.

In this courtroom drawing, Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, sits in the gallery listening, via earphones, to an interpreter reading a verdict in Spanish, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, after a jury in New York, convicted her husband on drug conspiracy charges.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, seen in a 2019 court sketch from El Chapo’s 2019 trial, could face up to 135 months in prison.
Elizabeth Williams via AP

She pleaded guilty to felony drug-trafficking charges against her, signaling a possible deal with prosecutors in exchange for a sentence lighter than the maximum she faces — life in prison. 

Prosecutors revealed in the latest court papers that they will seek 108 to 135 months behind bars for her.

Coronel’s Manhattan lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, has scoffed at the notion that his client is cooperating with federal prosecutors — a move that could certainly get her killed by the drug syndicate. Lichtman has said the claim is simply a farce designed to jeopardize her safety and force her into dealing with authorities.

But law-enforcement experts told The Post on Friday that the writing may be on the wall, given that Coronel has pleaded guilty and must explain her role in the illegal enterprise as part of the move.

Emma Coronel Aispuro arriving for a pre-trial hearing at Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in 2018.
Emma Coronel Aispuro arrives for a pre-trial hearing at Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in 2018.
AFP via Getty Images

“When you’re talking about a person who’s part of a criminal enterprise or part of a conspiracy, explaining your part in it by definition includes cooperating and informing against other people,” said Olivier Farache, a former FBI agent who spent 11 years with the bureau.

“You can’t just say, ‘I delivered drugs for this enterprise, and that’s all I’m going to say.’ You have to say where you got the drugs from, who you took them to — that’s how it works.” 

Coronel has been locked up since February, after she was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, and is awaiting sentencing in September. Her husband was sentenced to life — plus 30 years — in 2019.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Mexico.
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison.
Eduardo Verdugo/AP

Lou Savera, a former NYPD sergeant who created the department’s gang unit, said Coronel was between a rock and a hard place over whether to cop to a deal — and really would be safer under the protection of US authorities as part of one. 

“She’s in danger,” he said, noting all the secrets she knows. “She’d be crazy not to cooperate. … Either that, or get killed.” 

Where is Emma Coronel Aispuro from, and how did she meet ‘El Chapo?’

Coronel, known to fellow narcos as “La Reinita,” or “Little Queen,” has known Guzman since childhood. 

Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leaves federal court in New York.
Former NYPD Sgt. Lou Savera said Emma Coronel Aispuro is in danger.
Seth Wenig/AP

Born in California, Coronel grew up in the remote Durango village of Canelas on the western edges of Mexico’s rugged interior, and her father, Ines Coronel Barrera, was a feared drug lord working for Guzman, and her brother was reportedly one of his pilots. 

It’s said that Guzman first laid eyes on his future wife at a dance Coronel’s father hosted when she was just 17.

Guzman secured the gorgeous teen’s win in a beauty-pageant contest during the Coffee and Guava Festival in Canelas soon after, in 2007 — a claim Coronel has denied — and a few months later, the pair wed on the teen’s 18th birthday. 

Jeffrey Lichtman, an attorney for the wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo”, Emma Coronel Aispuro, talks to reporters outside federal court Washington.
Jeffrey Lichtman, an attorney for Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo,” talks to reporters outside federal court Washington.
Susan Walsh/AP

Not much is known about their wedding ceremony, and it’s hard to say how much of a choice Coronel even had in the nuptials, which were widely seen as a way to solidify her father’s position within the Sinaloa cartel. 

“These mythical figures are admired for their power and their money, but they’re also incredibly feared, you can’t go against them, you can’t cross them,” Farache said of Mexico’s ruthless drug lords.

“Saying no to someone like ‘El Chapo’ is not really an option,” he said.

“I imagine that her father both loved and hated it,” the former federal agent said of the pair’s union.

Coronel Aispuro married El Chapo 14 years ago.
Emma Coronel Aispuro married El Chapo 14 years ago.
Alexandria Adult Detention Center via AP

“He knows how violent El Chapo was, or is, and how dangerous he is. At the same time, it solidifies like Old World alliances, his position in the organization, knowing that there’s a wedding, there’s marriage ties,” Farache said. 

After several years of marriage, the couple had two children, twin girls Emali Guadalupe and Maria Joaquina, who are about 9 years old and always pictured dressed in matching outfits. 

Farache pointed to the girls as one of the reasons Coronel may have been inclined to plead guilty over risking a life sentence that could have come with a jury trial.  

“When I’ve seen people plead when they have young children like that, that’s one of the biggest motivating factors,” he said.  “When you have children in the mix, I think people will do anything to protect them and get back to them.” 

How involved was Emma Coronel Aispuro in ‘El Chapo’s’ drug cartel?

Coronel has previously claimed that she had no idea the man she married on her 18th birthday was the globe’s largest and most lethal trafficker of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana — but the feds say it took no time at all for her to get her hands dirty after the wedding. 

The wife of "El Chapo" Guzman, Emma Coronel Aispuro (L) listens as attorney Michelle Gelernt answers questions from reporters outside the US Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn after a hearing in the case of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on February 3, 2017 in New York.
Emma Coronel Aispuro was born in California.
AFP via Getty Images

Prosecutors allege that her work with Guzman started as soon as they were married and that she has played a role in everything from orchestrating her hubby’s elaborate July 11, 2015, escape from Altiplano prison in Mexico to serving as his go-between during difficult times to help his drug-trafficking operation.

Between 2012 and 2014, while Guzman was hiding out from Mexican authorities, his wife “relayed messages” on his behalf “in furtherance of drug-trafficking activities,” prosecutors said. 

When the drug lord was arrested in Mexico in February 2014, she continued to deliver missives she got from him during their many prison visits and is also accused of bribing guards to make sure her hubby was well-fed and had access to specialty foods while behind bars. 

The wife of 'El Chapo', Emma Coronel Aispuro, (C) exits the US Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn after a hearing in the case of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, on May 5, 2017, in New York.
Emma Coronel Aispuro pleaded guilty to a felony of conspiracy to distribute vast amounts of drugs and money laundering.
AFP via Getty Images

She also assisted in two plots to help Guzman escape from Mexican lockups — including his infamous 2015 jailbreak through an underground tunnel, the feds have alleged. 

They say Coronel played a key role in the audacious escape — an elaborate, months-long plan to dig into Guzman’s cell and whisk him away through a tunnel on a motorbike — and worked with Guzman’s sons to organize construction of the milelong, lighted passage. 

The calculated plot involved buying a piece of land near the prison, purchasing firearms and an armored truck and smuggling in a GPS watch to Guzman so they could pinpoint his location “to construct the tunnel with an entry point accessible to him,” court docs state.

This artists sketch depicts the court proceedings for the wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo”, Emma Coronel Aispuro, during a court hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington., Thursday, June 10, 2021.
Prosecutors charge that Emma Coronel Aispuro, seen in a courtroom sketch from June 10, 2021, helped El Chapo escape from prison in 2015.
Dana Verkouteren via AP

During Guzman’s trial, former Sinaloa cartel captain-turned-rat Damaso Lopez Nuñez told the court that Coronel had personally informed him Guzman wanted to escape from prison and wanted to know if he was willing to help. 

“I said, ‘Sure,’ ” Lopez testified at the time.

How was Emma Coronel Aispuro arrested, and how long will she be in prison?

For nearly three months, Coronel has been forced to trade her flashy designer outfits and made-for-Instagram lifestyle for hunter-green prison garb and the banalities of incarceration while locked up at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center in northern Virginia. 

Since her arrest in February, where she willingly turned herself in, Coronel has been denied bail and faces a lengthy prison stint come her scheduled sentencing.

The wife of "El Chapo", Emma Coronel Aispuro, exits from the US Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn after a hearing in the case of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, on February 15, 2018.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, seen outside a Brooklyn courthouse in 2018, was arrested and turned herself in earlier this year.
AFP via Getty Images

While the charges Coronel pleaded guilty to — drug trafficking, money laundering and helping Guzman run his business — could carry the life sentence, prosecutors have agreed to push for the much less nine- to 15-year sentence, records show. 

Jeff Higgins, a retired federal Drug Enforcement Agency special agent who helped bring in the first US narco-terrorism case, said it is possible that Coronel is cooperating. But he added that it is equally possible she was just trying to minimize her time in jail by pleading guilty. 

“It could be that [the Department of Justice] is looking at her as a bit player. She’s a spouse. She was only involved in this because of who is married to. Yes, she benefited financially from it, but the moral case for trying to go after her and get a life sentence really isn’t there,” Higgins explained. 

“But she’s clearly guilty, and they want to be able to send a message, and they want to be able to disrupt the organization.” 

Coronel Aispuro won't be sentenced for another three months.
Emma Coronel Aispuro won’t be sentenced for another three months.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Whether testimony from Coronel will lead to the next blockbuster narco trial — this time starring Guzman’s two sons — remains to be seen, Higgins said. 

“We’ll know when she’s sentenced in September,” the former agent said. 

Additional reporting by Ben Feuerherd

This article was originally posted here

Alleged Detroit Mafia Don Wins Game Of Dodgeball With The Feds, Giacalone’s Check Clears, Keeps Him Free Man

June 11, 2021 — Reputed Detroit mob boss Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone dodged the penitentiary by paying $12,000 to Uncle Sam last week related to a civil back-taxes case he’s been dealing with for the past four years.

U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh held Giacalone in contempt several weeks ago for failing to make payments on his more than $500,000 tax debt. Steeh gave Jackie the Kid until last Thursday to begin to settle up or risk going to prison. He finally wrote a check. He’ll be writing $2,000-to-$4,000 checks on a monthly basis going forward if he wants to avoid being back in the same predicament.

According to federal records, the 71-year old Giacalone has not paid any income taxes since 2004. He refers to himself simply as a “gambler.” Uncle Sam thinks it’s a little more complicated than that and has hounded Jackie the Kid and his family for the better half of the last century.

The feds have believed for quite some time now, that Giacalone controls all illegal gambling in the Metro Detroit area. Per sources, Giacalone was voted in as don of the Detroit mob in 2014, but had been serving as street boss for the outfit for over a decade.

Giacalone hails from distinguished mafia stock. Longtime Detroit mob street boss Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone was Jackie the Kid’s uncle and capo and underboss Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone was his father. The infamous Giacalone brothers were the faces of the Tocco-Zerilli crime family from the 1960s until their deaths in the New Millennium and their passing of the torch to Jackie the Kid, who had been being groomed for the job since he was in his 30s.

Back in 2007, Giacalone beat a racketeering and extortion case in federal court, found not guilty at a jury trial. Despite his legal victory in the case, he still has a pair of federal bookmaking and conspiracy convictions on his record and did a combined five years behind bars as punishment in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively.

This article was originally posted here

Reputed mobster sentenced for attacking husband of former ‘Real Housewives’ star

A reputed Mafioso was sentenced on Thursday to two-and-a-half years behind bars for assaulting the husband of former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Dina Manzo.

John Perna, 44, an alleged soldier in the Lucchese crime family, had roughed up Manzo’s new beau at the request of her jealous ex-husband Tom Manzo in July 2015, Acting US Attorney Rachael Honig said in a statement.

In exchange for his strongarm services, Perna allegedly got a huge discount on a wedding reception at Manzo’s ritzy Patterson restaurant, Brownstone.

“The reception was attended by over 330 guests, many of whom were members of the Lucchese Crime Family,” the statement said.

Perna, the son of reputed Lucchese capo Ralph Perna, was accused of using a slap jack to beat up Dina Manzo’s new boyfriend (now husband) David Cantin in a Passaic County strip mall parking lot.

Dina and Tom split up in 2012 and divorced in 2016. They were on the outs at the time of the assault.

Dina, who appeared on the first two seasons of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” married Cantlin in 2019.

Dina Manzo with her husband Dave Cantin.
Dina Manzo married Dave Cantin in 2019.
@dina

Perna will have three years supervised release after he gets out of the clink – and he’ll have to pay almost $18,000 in restitution, a federal judge ordered at sentencing.

The alleged Cosa Nostra member is the son of reputed Lucchese capo Ralph Perna, who was accused by the feds of running the faction’s Garden State operations.

Tom Manzo, 56, was recently charged in a separate incident that accuses him and associate of targeting his wife and her new husband in a 2017 home invasion.

“This is what happens when you f—k with a guy from Paterson,” one of the assailants said before they left, according to prosecutors.

This article was originally posted here

‘Narcos’ creator scores deal on $2.7M downtown NYC home

“Narcos” and “Godfather of Harlem” creator Chris Brancato just bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in West Soho.

The unit is at Greenwich West, a new 30-story brick building on Charlton Street that was completed during the pandemic, with interiors by Parisian architect Sebastien Segers.

The 1,400-square-foot condo features oversize casement windows, wide white-oak floors, a windowed chef’s kitchen and views of downtown and lower Manhattan.

Brancato, 58, paid around $2.75 million for the unit.

The building features a roof deck overlooking the Hudson River, where Brancato recently held a wrap party for Forest Whitaker, 59, who plays gangster Bumpy Johnson and Chazz Palminteri, along with the rest of the cast and crew of the “Godfather of Harlem” — a TV prequel to the 2007 hit film, “American Gangster”  that is currently airing its second season on Epix.

Brancato has tapped his pal, former Hollywood exec turned celebrity interior designer Eric Hughes —  whose clients include Andy Cohen, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Katie Couric — for the interiors, a source says. 

This article was originally posted here

El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro pleads guilty in drug case

The wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán pleaded guilty Thursday to helping her notorious drug lord hubby run his expansive Sinaloa Cartel.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, copped to charges including conspiracy to distribute vast amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana while working for the murderous cartel that her husband ran for years in Mexico.

The former beauty queen, who married El Chapo more than a decade ago, also pleaded guilty to money laundering and engaging in transactions and dealings in properties of a designated significant foreign narcotics trafficker.

She faces life in prison.

Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, Coronel’s only words during the hour-lnog proceeding in Washington, DC federal court were “guilty” to each of the three counts. She also confirmed that she understood she wouldn’t get a more lenient sentence because of her guilty plea.

Prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi said if the case went to trial, the feds would prove through witness testimony and evidence that Aispuro aided and abetted the objectives of the cartel and helped traffic 450 kilos of coke, 90 kilos of heroin and 45 kilos of methamphetamine.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman
Emma Coronel Aispuro married drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in 2007.
AP

She also helped traffic tens of thousands of kilos of marijuana, Nardozzi alleged.

In addition, Coronel acted as a go-between for El Chapo and other leaders of the cartel while the kingpin was locked up in a Mexican prison — and helped finance and plan his escape from the slammer in 2015, prosecutors charged.

Coronel accepted “multiple bulk cash deliveries” to finance the escape plan, Nardozzi said.

The former beauty queen married El Chapo more than a decade ago.
AP

El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison after his trial in Brooklyn federal court in 2019 and is currently serving his time at federal supermax lockup in Colorado.

Coronel was arrested in February at Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C, and has been held without bail since her arrest.

Her attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Emma Coronel Aispuro
Emma Coronel Aispuro plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute vast amounts and money laundering.
AP

This article was originally posted here

No Day At The Beach: Detroit Mafia Chief Jackie Giacalone Told “Dandy Don” To Cough Up Dough, Avoided Conviction In ’07 Case

June 10, 2021 – In the summer of 2003, alleged Detroit mob boss Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone arrived unannounced at a lunch outing between a big-fish gambler and two area bookmakers, overlooking Lake St. Clair, just a few miles east of the Detroit city limits in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

The notoriously suave and heavily bank-rolled gambler owed Giacalone, then reportedly the Tocco-Zerilli crime family’s street boss, a considerable amount of cash and Giacalone wasn’t in the mood to be trifled with.

“(You owe me) 300 fucking thousand dollars,” Giacalone bluntly told the gambler.

The gambler’s name was Don (Dandy Don) DeSerrano, uncle of Las Vegas casino mogul Derrek Stevens and he was the highest roller of all the Motown high rollers back then. Both Stevens and DeSerrano traced their family and financial roots to the Cole Heading parts manufacturing fortune.

DeSerrano, the state of Michigan’s biggest gambler and playboy of his era, cutting a Tony Stark-esque presence through the Detroit bookmaking and back-door casino world for decades, died in the spring at 75. His testimony as a witness against Jackie Giacalone at a 2007 federal racketeering trial was supposed to sink the reputed mafia chieftain, but it didn’t make a dent.

A two-time convicted federal felon, Giacalone was acquitted by a jury of trying to extort DeSerrano and steered clear of threats of imprisoned until recently. Last month, Giacalone was held in contempt of court by U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh for failing to pay more than a half-million dollars in back taxes. He’s facing a prison stay.

Giacalone comes from a rich gangland bloodline. Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, his uncle, was the Detroit mob’s street boss for over a half-century and his dad, Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone, was a capo and underboss before passing away in 2012. Tony Giacalone died of cancer in 2001 under indictment in the landmark Operation Gametax case.

According to federal records, Jackie Giacalone replaced Tony Jack as street boss of the organization in around 2000, placing him in charge of all of the borgata’s capos. He’d eventually take the reins as don in the first part of 2014, per sources.

Back in August 2003, Dandy Don DeSerrano’s gambling tab became an issue for the Motor City’s don-in-training. DeSerrano recounted just how much of an issue it became for a jury at Giacalone’s 2007 trial, where he was facing a 25-to-50 year prison term if found guilty.

As DeSerrano dined with two others at The Beach Grill in St. Clair Shores, Giacalone came storming into the restaurant and took a seat across from his debtor (the restaurant is now called The Watermark Grill and is under new ownership).

DeSerrano described Giacalone as “very angry.” Giacalone commented to Dandy Don that “You drive a nice car, you live in a nice place,” appearing to imply that DeSerrano had the means of paying back his betting losses.

On cross examination, DeSerrano refused to admit he was intimidated, instead claiming he was “in shock, not scared.” That proved enough reasonable doubt for the jury and Giacalone walked from the case.

Another meeting following the lunch dust-up at the now-closed Beach Grill was held between Giacalone and DeSerrano, allegedly having taken place at a strip club in early 2004, per FBI informants. At that meeting, Giacalone is said to have added on $50,000 to the tab for what he believed was DeSerrano’s cheating at Detroit mob-controlled gambling dens.

The strip club sit-down was said to have been arranged by Giacalone’s top adviser and best friend, Allen (The General) Hilf, the biggest bookie in Detroit for 40 years, and one of Hilf’s men, Vincent (Vinnie Beans) Fiorlini. Hilf died of kidney failure in 2013.

This article was originally posted here