May 26, 2022 — New York mob attorney Gino Gallina was killed for what he may have known about the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance, among other reasons, according to FBI records and a new book on New York’s Purple Gang, a notorious “JV mob” operating out of East Harlem and the Bronx in the 1970s. Hoffa has been missing almost a half century and the lore and speculation about his fate and final whereabouts are heavily steeped in American pop-culture mythology.
‘Another in a long line of digs for Hoffa’s remains is expected to take place in the coming weeks under the Pulaski Skyway in Jersey City, New Jersey at the site of a former trash dump. Gallina’s execution was one of several deep-dived in Scott Dietche’s new book, Hitmen: The Mafia, Drugs & The East Harlem Purple Gang published this month by Rowman & Littlefield.
The East Harlem Purples took their name from Detroit’s Jewish mob during Prohibition. Many of the “Superfly Era” Purples went on to become captains, administrators and dons in the Genovese, Lucchese and Bonanno crime families in New York. Handsome, flashy and fast-talking, Gallina would often run messages and money between and for a series of different criminal figures, including a number of Purples, Big Apple and Garden State mafiosi and African-American drug lords like Frank Lucas and Nicky Barnes. Lucas’ name surfaced as a prime suspect in Gallina’s murder after cash Gallina was left responsible for by Lucas went up in smoke while Lucas fought a case behind bars.
Gallina was gunned down on the evening of November 3, 1977, exiting his Cadillac in front of his mother’s residence in the West Village. Per NYPD documents, Gallina was thought to be aiding the Purples in their narcotics and kidnapping-for-ransom rackets. He had spent four years in the Manhattan DA’s office before opening up his own private criminal defense practice and becoming a go-to legal mouthpiece for a slew of high-profile mobsters, gambling bosses and drug king
Facing a drug case of his own, Gallina flipped and began wiring up for the FBI. NYPD homicide files show he was wearing a recording device on the night he was killed. He was on the verge of testifying in front of a federal grand jury at the time of his death.
New York’s Genovese crime family held a particular interest in Gallina keeping his mouth shut. A major part of that interest revolved around the now-iconic Hoffa case, still unsolved and depending on the results of the upcoming Jersey dig, possibly cold as ever.
Some in the mob feared Gallina had information on the kidnapping and murder of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, who vanished from a suburban Detroit restaurant’s parking lot on the afternoon of July 30, 1975 on his way to a lunch meeting with Detroit mafia street boss Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone and New Jersey mob capo Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano to discus Hoffa’s desire to reclaim the union’s presidency. The mob didn’t want Hoffa to return to union affairs.
Gallina told people he had secret recordings related to the Hoffa case that could help investigators solve the mystery. One of the men Gallina was alleged to be feeding the feds intel on was suspected Hoffa hit-team member Salvatore (Sally Bugs) Briguglio, Tony Pro’s right-hand man and top enforcer.
Briguglio was slain in front of a Manhattan social club in Little Italy on March 21, 1978. Provenzano, the Genovese family’s shot caller in Jersey, was found guilty of an unrelated Teamsters-connected mob hit and wound up dying in prison of a heart attack in 1988. Giacalone would be convicted in a tax evasion and extortion case in the years following Hoffa’s disappearance, but did only seven years in prison and died a free man in 2001, out on bond under indictment on federal racketeering charges.
This article was originally posted here