Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Colombo crime family

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Founded by
Joseph Profaci

Founding location
Named after
Years active
c. 1928–present

Colombo crime family

Various neighborhoods in New York City, New York. Territory in Long Island, Massachusetts, South Florida, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

People of Italian descent as "made men", and other ethnicities as "associates"

Buffalo crime family, Gambino crime family, Chicago Outfit

The Colombo crime family (pronounced [koˈlombo]) is the youngest of the "Five Families" that dominates organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal organization known as the Mafia (or Cosa Nostra). It was during Lucky Luciano's organisation of the American Mafia after the Castellammarese War, and the assassinations of Giuseppe "Joe The Boss" Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano, that the gang run by Joseph Profaci was recognized as the Profaci crime family


The family traces its roots to a bootlegging gang formed by Joseph Profaci in 1928. Profaci would rule his family without interruption or challenge until the late 1950s. The family has been torn by three internal wars. The first war took place during the late 1950s when capo Joe Gallo revolted against Profaci, but it lost momentum in the early 1960s when Gallo was arrested and Profaci died of cancer. The family was not reunited until the early 1960s under Joseph Colombo. In 1971, the second family war began after Gallo's release from prison and the shooting of Colombo. Colombo supporters led by Carmine Persico won the second war after the exiling of the remaining Gallo crew to the Genovese family in 1975. The family would now enjoy over 15 years of peace under Persico and his string of acting bosses.

In 1991, the third and bloodiest war erupted when acting boss Victor Orena tried to seize power from the imprisoned Carmine Persico. The family split into factions loyal to Orena and Persico and two years of mayhem ensued. It ended in 1993 with 12 family members dead and Orena imprisoned, leaving Persico the winner more or less by default. He was left with a family decimated by war. Although Persico still runs the family today, it has never recovered. In the 2000s, the family was further crippled by multiple convictions in federal racketeering cases and numerous members becoming government witnesses. Most observers believe that the Colombo crime family is the weakest of the Five Families of New York City.


In September 1921, Joseph Profaci arrived in New York City from Villabate, Sicily, Italy. After struggling in Chicago with his businesses, Profaci moved back to Brooklyn in 1925 and become a well known olive oil importer. On September 27, Profaci obtained his American citizenship. With his olive oil importing business doing well, Profaci made deals with friends from his old town in Sicily and one of his largest buyers was Tampa mobster Ignazio Italiano. Profaci controlled a small criminal gang that operated mainly in Brooklyn. The dominant Cosa Nostra groups in Brooklyn were led by Salvatore D'Aquila, Frankie Yale, Giuseppe Masseria, and Nicolo Schirò.

On July 1, 1928, Brooklyn mobster Frankie Yale was murdered by Chicago Outfit boss Al Capone's hit-men. Capone murdered Yale because Yale refused to give Capone, a Neapolitan, control over the Unione Siciliana fraternal association. Yale's murder allowed Profaci and his brother in-law Joseph Magliocco to gain territory for their small gang. Profaci's gang gained territory in Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Carroll Gardens while the rest of Yale's group went to the Masseria family.

On October 10, 1928, the capo di tutti capi, Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila, was murdered, resulting in a fight for D'Aquila's territory. To prevent a gang war in Brooklyn, a Mafia meeting was called on December 5, 1928, at the Statler Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. The site was chosen because it was neutral territory outside New York under Porrello crime family control and protection. The main topic was dividing D'Aquila's territory. Attendees representing Brooklyn included Profaci, Magliocco, Vincent Mangano (who reported to D'Aqulia family boss Alfred "Al Mineo" Manfredi), Joseph Bonanno (who represented Salvatore Maranzano and the Castellammarese Clan), Chicago mobsters Joseph Guinta and Pasquale Lolordo, and Tampa mobster Ignazio Italiano. At the end of the meeting, Profaci received a share of D'Aqulia's Brooklyn territory, with Magliocco as his second-in-command.

The Castellammarese War

Months after the D'Aquila murder, Joe Masseria began a campaign to become capo di tutti capi ('boss of bosses') in the United States demanding tribute from the remaining three Mafia groups in New York City which included the Reina family, the Castellammarese Clan and the Profaci family. Castellammarese Clan boss Salvatore Maranzano began his own campaign to become 'boss of bosses', this started the Castellammarese War. Masseria along with his ally Alfred Manfredi, the new boss of the D'Aquila family ordered the murder of Gaetano Reina. Masseria believed that Reina was going to support Maranzano to become the new 'boss of bosses'. On February 26, 1930, Gaetano Reina was murdered and Masseria appointed Joseph Pinzolo as the new boss of the Reina family. During the war Profaci remained neutral, while he secretly supported Maranzano.

The Castellammarese War ended when Charles "Lucky" Luciano, a Masseria lieutenant, betrayed him to Maranzano. Luciano set up the murder of Masseria on April 15, 1931. Maranzano then became the new capo di tutti capi in the United States. Within a few months, Maranzano and Luciano were plotting to kill each other. On September 10, 1931, Luciano had Maranzano killed and created the Mafia Commission. Now there would be five independent Cosa Nostra families in New York City and twenty one additional families across the United States that were regulated by a supreme Commission in New York. Profaci and Magliocco were confirmed as boss and underboss, respectively, of what was now known as the Profaci crime family.

First Family War (1960–1963)

Joseph Profaci had become a wealthy Mafia boss and was known as "the olive-oil and tomato paste king of America". One of Profaci's most unpopular demands was a $25 monthly tribute from every soldier in his family. In the late 1950s, capo Frank "Frankie Shots" Abbatemarco became a problem for Joe Profaci. Abbatemarco controlled a lucrative policy game that earned him nearly $2.5 million a year with an average of $7,000 a day in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In early 1959, Abbatemarco, with the support of Gallo brothers and the Garfield Boys, began refusing to pay tribute to Profaci. By late 1959, Abbatemarco's debt had grown to $50,000 and Profaci allegedly ordered Joe Gallo to murder Abbatemarco. However, other versions of the story indicate that Gallo played no part in this murder. In return for Abbatemarco's murder, Profaci allegedly agreed to give the Gallos control over Abbatemarco's policy game. On November 4, 1959, Frank Abbatemarco walked out of his cousin's bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn and was shot and killed by Joseph Gioielli and another hitman. Profaci then ordered the Gallos to hand over Abbatemaro's son Anthony. The Gallos refused and Profaci refused to give them the policy game. This was the start of the first family war. The Gallo brothers and the Garfield boys (led by Carmine Persico) were aligned against Profaci and his loyalists.

On February 27, 1961 the Gallos kidnapped four of Profaci's top men: underboss Magliocco, Frank Profaci (Joe Profaci's brother), capo Salvatore Musacchio and soldier John Scimone. Profaci himself eluded capture and flew to sanctuary in Florida. While holding the hostages, Larry and Albert Gallo sent Joe Gallo to California. Profaci's consigliere Charles "the Sidge" LoCicero negotiated with the Gallos and all the hostages were released peacefully. However, Profaci had no intention of honoring this peace agreement. On August 20, 1961 Joseph Profaci ordered the murder of Gallo members Joseph "Joe Jelly" Gioielli and Larry Gallo. Gunmen allegedly murdered Gioilli after inviting him to go deep sea fishing. Gallo survived a strangulation attempt in the Sahara club of East Flatbush by Carmine Persico and Salvatore "Sally" D'Ambrosio after a police officer intervened. The Gallos then began calling Persico "The Snake"; he had betrayed them, the war continued on resulting in nine murders and three disappearances.

In late November 1961, Joe Gallo was sentenced to seven-to-fourteen years in prison for murder. In 1962, Joe Profaci died of cancer, leaving Joe Magliocco, his longtime underboss, as the new boss. The war continued on between the two factions. In 1963, Carmine Persico survived a car bombing and his enforcer Hugh McIntosh was shot in the groin as he attempted kill Larry Gallo. On May 19, 1963, a Gallo hit team shot Carmine Persico multiple times, but Persico survived.

In 1963, Magliocco and Bonanno boss Joseph Bonanno hatched an audacious plan to murder bosses Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese, Stefano Magaddino and Frank DeSimone and take over the Mafia Commission. Joseph Magliocco gave the murder contact to Joseph Colombo. Colombo either feared for his life, or sensed an opportunity for advancement, and instead reported the plot to The Commission. The Commission, realizing that Bonanno was the real mastermind, ordered both Magliocco and Bonanno to appear for a Mob trial. Bonanno went into hiding, but a badly shaken Magliocco appeared and confessed everything. He was fined $43,000 and forced into retirement.

Colombo and Italian American Civil Rights League

The Commission rewarded Colombo for his loyalty by awarding him the Profaci family, which he renamed the Colombo family. The 41-year-old Colombo was the youngest boss in New York at the time, and the first New York Mafia boss to have been born and raised in the United States.

Along with former Gallo crew member Nicholas Bianco and New England family boss Raymond Patriarca, Colombo was able to end the war. As a reward for his loyalty, Bianco was made into the Colombo family. As boss, Colombo brought peace and stability to the broken crime family. However, some Cosa Nostra bosses viewed Colombo as Carlo Gambino's "puppet boss" and felt he never deserved the title. Colombo's leadership was never challenged due to his support from Carlo Gambino. In 1968, Gallo crew leader Larry Gallo died of cancer.

In 1969, Colombo founded the Italian-American Civil Rights League, dedicated to fighting discrimination against Italian-Americans. Many mobsters disapproved of the League because it brought unwanted public attention to the Cosa Nostra. Colombo ignored their concerns and continued gaining support for his league. On July 28, 1970, Colombo held the first league demonstration, a big success. In 1971, months before the second demonstration, the other New York bosses ordered their men to stay away from the demonstration and not support Colombo's cause. In a sign that the New York bosses had turned on Colombo, the league's chief organizer, Gambino family capo Joseph DeCicco, resigned ostensibly due to ill health. In 1971, Joe Gallo was also released from prison. At the time of his release, Gallo said the 1963 peace agreement did not apply to him because he was in prison when it was negotiated.

Second Family War (1971–1975)

On June 28, 1971, Colombo held the second League demonstration at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. As Colombo prepared to speak, an African-American man, Jerome Johnson, walked up to Colombo and shot him in the back of the head three times; seconds later, Colombo's bodyguards shot Johnson to death. The shooting did not kill Colombo but left him paralyzed and permanently incapacitated for the last seven years of his life; he died of natural causes on May 22, 1978. Although many in the Colombo family blamed Joe Gallo for the shooting, the police eventually concluded that Johnson was a lone gunman. Regardless, the Colombo shooting triggered the Second Colombo war.

Colombo's consigliere Joseph Yacovelli became the family acting boss, and he directed a new campaign to murder Joe Gallo and his crew. On April 7, 1972, acting on a quick tip, four gunmen walked into Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy and killed Joe Gallo as he was dining with his family. Looking for revenge, Albert Gallo sent a gunman from Las Vegas to the Neapolitan Noodle restaurant in Manhattan, where Yacovelli, Alphonse Persico, and Langella were dining one day. However, the gunman did not recognize the mobsters and shot four innocent diners instead, killing two of them. After this assassination attempt, Yacovelli fled New York, leaving Carmine Persico as the new boss.

The Second Colombo war continued on and off for the next several years. In 1975, the Gallo faction itself split into two groups that started fighting each other. To finally resolve the conflict, the New York families negotiated an agreement in which Albert Gallo and his remaining crew left the Colombo family and peacefully joined the Genovese family. The Gallo wars were finally over.

The family under Persico

Following the high-profile media exposure of Joseph Colombo and the murderous excesses of Joe Gallo, the Colombo family entered a period of comparative calm and stability. With Colombo in a coma, the family leadership went to Thomas DiBella, a man adept at evading the authorities since his sole bootlegging conviction in 1932. However, DiBella was unable to prevent the Gambino family from chipping away at Colombo rackets, and the Colombos declined in power. Poor health forced DiBella to retire in 1977, and Colombo died in 1978. The Colombo family was facing another power vacuum.

During the 1970s, Carmine Persico had grown in stature within the family and was considered to be the clear successor as boss. However, Persico had spent much of this time in prison, and it was unclear if he could effectively rule the family from prison. Nevertheless, Persico took control, designating Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella as his street boss until his release in 1979. In 1986, both men were convicted on massive Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges in the Mafia Commission Trial and sentenced to 100 years. In a separate RICO trial related only to the Colombos, Persico was convicted with several other family heavyweights and sentenced to 39 years in prison.

Mafia historian and New York Times organized-crime reporter Selwyn Raab later wrote that the Colombos suffered more long-term damage than any other family as a result of the Commission Trial. Raab pointed out that Persico was by far the youngest boss in New York and "at the peak of his abilities." Although he was 53 years old at the time of the Commission Trial, he had already headed the family for 14 years. In contrast, the other New York bosses were in their seventies and likely would have ceded power to mafiosi of Persico's generation even if they hadn't been sent to prison. Raab believed that Persico would have had a long reign ahead of him had the trial not intervened. Persico knew that it was likely he would not have been able to resume active command of the family again; even if his conviction in the Commission case had been overturned on appeal, the 39-year sentence in the Colombo Trial alone could have amounted to a life sentence at his age (even with time off for good behavior, he wouldn't have been eligible for release until 2012 at the earliest). However, he invoked his right to retain the boss's title in order to ensure the family's illicit profits would still flow to him. As further insurance, Persico named his older brother, Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, as acting boss. However, Allie Boy skipped bail on loansharking charges a year later. Persico wanted to name his son, Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico, as acting boss, but Little Allie Boy had also been convicted in the 1986 "Colombo Trial." Instead, Persico named the capo of Little Allie Boy's former crew, Victor "Little Vic" Orena, as acting boss. Although Persico granted Orena the power to induct new members and order hits on his own authority—powers rarely granted to an acting boss—it was understood that he was merely keeping the chair warm until Little Allie Boy's parole.

Third Family War (1991–1993)

Orena was initially content with serving as acting boss. By 1990, however, Orena had come to believe Persico was out of touch and causing the family to miss out on lucrative opportunities. He was also alarmed at Persico's plans for a made-for-television biography, fearing that prosecutors could use it as evidence in the same way they had used Joe Bonanno's tell-all book as evidence in the Commission Trial. He therefore decided to take over the family himself. Using his strong ties to Gambino boss John Gotti, Orena petitioned the Mafia Commission to recognize him as boss. Unwilling to cause more conflict, the Commission refused. Orena then instructed consigliere Carmine Sessa to poll the capos on whether Orena should replace Persico. Instead, Sessa alerted Persico that Orena was staging a palace coup. An enraged Persico ordered a hit on Orena. On June 21, 1991, when Orena arrived at his home in Cedarhurst on Long Island, he found gunmen under Sessa's leadership waiting for him. However, Orena managed to escape before the gunmen could strike. The third Colombo war had begun. Orena sent his younger brother Michael "Mickey Brown" Orena's 2 sons Michael and younger son William "Willy Boy" Orena into Brooklyn on a murder mission. It is unclear what roles the 2 brothers played in the murders during the war, but F.B.I agents are certain they were responsible for the disappearance of 15 associates and business partners of the Orena clan. William "willy Boy" Orena was picked up getting off of the Fire Island Ferry in Sayville Long Island, in his possession were 8 pistols believed to be used in the bloodshed and $43,000 in cash. During Willy Boy's stay at the Riverhead County Jail, all 8 of the firearms disappeared from the evidence locker. Twelve people, including three innocent bystanders, died in this gang war, and 18 associates have never been seen again. More than 80 made members and associates from both sides of the Colombo family were convicted, jailed or indicted. These included Persico's brother Theodore "Teddy" Persico and his son Alphonse Persico, DeRoss, Orena's nephews William V Orena his older brother Micheal Orena and Orena's two sons, Victor, Jr. Orena and John Orena. While both sides appealed to the Commission for help, the war continued. On November 1991, Gregory Scarpa, a Persico loyalist, was driving his daughter and granddaughter home when several Orena gunmen ambushed them. Scarpa and his relatives managed to escape.

The war continued until 1992, when Orena was convicted on massive RICO charges and sentenced to 100 years in prison. As it turned out, the real winners in the war were federal prosecutors. They had initially made little headway in their efforts to undermine the gang. As the war raged, though, at least 12 members turned informer, mostly to save their lives. The highest-profile member to flip was the consigliere, Sessa. With their help, 58 soldiers and associates—42 from the Persico faction and 16 from the Orena faction—were sent to prison. George Stamboulidis, who prosecuted most of the cases arising from the war, later said that the two years of bloodletting helped prosecutors destroy the family from within. He credited the large number of informers with helping them to build big cases sooner than they would have otherwise been able to. Raab later wrote that Persico's attempts to keep control of the family from prison nearly destroyed it.

While the Colombo war raged, the Commission refused to allow any Colombo member to sit on the Commission and considered dissolving the family. Lucchese underboss Anthony Casso proposed to merge the family with his own to end the war, while in 2000 plans were proposed to split its manpower and resources among the remaining families. In 2002, with the help of Bonanno family boss Joseph Massino, the other families finally allowed the Colombos to rejoin the Commission.

The family after Third Colombo War

With Orena out of the picture, the way was clear for "Little Allie Boy" to become acting boss after his 1995 parole. However, he didn't rule for long. In 1999, he was arrested in Fort Lauderdale after being caught in possession of a pistol and shotgun; as a convicted felon he was barred from carrying guns. Shortly afterward, he ordered the murder of underboss William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, an Orena supporter during the Third Colombo War. Cutolo's son, vowing revenge, offered to wear a wire and pose as a prospective Colombo associate. Based on evidence from this wire, Little Allie Boy was indicted on RICO charges. Realizing he stood no chance of acquittal, he pleaded guilty to the state charges in February 2000 and to the RICO charges in December 2001. In 2004, Alphonse Persico and underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss were indicted for the Cutolo murder. In December 2007, both men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Family consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace took over running the family until 2003 when he was imprisoned on murder and racketeering charges.

The family then came under the influence of Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, who took over as street boss. In June 2008, Gioeli, underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, former consigliere Joel Cacace, captain Dino Calabro, soldier Dino Saracino and several other members and associates were indicted on multiple racketeering charges which included loan sharking, extortion and three murders dating back to the Colombo Wars. If convicted, they are all facing life sentences.

After Gioeli was imprisoned, Ralph F. DeLeo, who operated from Boston, Massachusetts, became the family's street boss. On December 17, 2009, the FBI charged DeLeo and Colombo family members with drug trafficking, extortion and loansharking in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Florida and Arkansas.

With DeLeo's imprisoned, Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo, once again took control of the family. On January 20, 2011, street boss Andrew Russo, acting underboss Benjamin Castellazzo, consigliere Richard Fusco, and others were charged with murder, narcotics trafficking, and labor racketeering. In September 2011, Castellazzo and Fusco pleaded guilty to reduced charges. In December 2011, it was revealed that capo Reynold Maragni wore a wire for the FBI and gained information about Thomas Gioeli's role in the 1999 murder of William Cutolo.

Boss (official and acting)

  • 1928–1962 — Joseph Profaci – died of natural causes
  • 1962–1963 — Joseph Magliocco – forced to retire by Mafia Commission
  • 1963–1973 — Joseph Colombo – paralyzed by assassination attempt
  • Acting 1971–1972 — Joseph Yacovelli – fled, after the murder of Joe Gallo
  • Acting 1972–1973 – Vincenzo "Vincent" Aloi – imprisoned
  • Acting 1973 — Joseph "Joey" Brancato – imprisoned
  • 1973–present — Carmine "Junior" Persico – imprisoned 1973–1979, 1981–1984, 1985–present
  • Acting 1973–1979 — Thomas DiBella – stepped down, became consigliere
  • Acting 1981–1983 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; fugitive 1980–1987, imprisoned
  • Acting 1983–1984 — Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella – imprisoned
  • Acting 1985–1987 — Anthony "Scappy" Scarpati – imprisoned
  • Acting 1987–1991 — Vittorio "Vic" Orena – imprisoned sentenced to life
  • Acting 1991–1993 — Vacant – disputed leadership during the third war
  • Acting 1994–1996 — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo – imprisoned March 1997
  • Acting 1996–present — Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's son; imprisoned 2000 to life
  • Street boss

  • 1987 — Ruling PanelBenedetto Aloi, Vincent "Jimmy" Angelino and Joseph T. Tomasello – disbanded September 1987
  • 1991–1993 — Joseph T. Tomasello
  • 1993–1994 — Ruling Panel – Joseph T. Tomasello, Theodore "Teddy" Persico and Joseph Baudanza – disbanded 1994
  • 1994–1996 — Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico – became acting boss
  • 1996–1999 — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo – imprisoned
  • 2000–2003 — Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace – imprisoned January 2003
  • 2003–2008 — Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli – imprisoned June 2008
  • 2008–2009 — Ralph F. DeLeo – operated from New England, imprisoned December 2009
  • 2009–2010 — Ruling Panel – Theodore N. Persico, Jr. (jailed) and others
  • 2010–present — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo – jailed January 2011
  • Underboss (official and acting)

  • 1928–1962 — Joseph "Joe Malyak" Magliocco – promoted to boss
  • 1962–1963 — Salvatore "Sally the Sheik" Musacchio – brother-in-law to Joseph Magliocco
  • 1963–1967 — John "Sonny" Franzese – imprisoned
  • 1967–1971 — Charles "Charlie Lemons" Mineo – stepped down
  • 1971–1973 — Sebastian "Buster" Aloi
  • 1973–1977 — Anthony "Tony Shots" Abbatemarco – fled
  • Acting 1973–1975 — Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo
  • 1977–1981 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; promoted to acting boss
  • 1981–1994 — Gennaro "Jerry Lang" Langella – promoted to acting boss
  • Acting 1983–1987 — John "Sonny" Franzese – imprisoned
  • Acting 1987— Benedetto "Benny" Aloi
  • Acting 1991–1993 — Vacant — disputed leadership during the third war
  • 1994–1999 — Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace – became consigliere
  • Acting 1993–1999 — Benedetto "Benny" Aloi
  • 1999 — William "Wild Bill" Cutolo – murdered 1999
  • 1999–2004 — John DeRoss – imprisoned life sentence
  • Acting 2001–2003 — Thomas Gioeli – promoted to acting boss
  • 2004–present — John "Sonny" Franzese – On January 14, 2011, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
  • Acting 2008–2009 — Theodore "Skinny Teddy" Persico, Jr. – Theodore Persico's son; joined the ruling panel
  • Acting 2009–2011 — Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo – jailed January 2011
  • Consigliere (official and acting)

  • 1931–1954 — Salvatore Profaci – Joseph Profaci's brother; died
  • 1954–1963 — Carlaggero "Charles the Sidge" LoCicero – murdered 1968
  • 1963–1969 — Benedetto D'Alessandro
  • 1970–1973 — Joseph "Joey Yack" Yacovelli – became acting boss 1971
  • 1973–1977 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; promoted to underboss
  • 1977–1983 — Thomas "Old Man" DiBella – stepped down
  • 1983–1988 — Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico – Carmine Persico's brother; died in 1989
  • Acting 1983–1986 — Thomas "Old Man" DiBella – retired
  • Acting 1987–1988 — Vincent "James" Angellino
  • 1988–1993 — Carmine Sessa
  • Acting 1988–1991 — Benedetto "Benny" Aloi – promoted to acting underboss
  • Acting 1991–1993 — Vacant – disputed leadership during the third war
  • 1993–1999 — Vincenzo "Vinny" Aloi
  • 1999–2008 — Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace – promoted to acting boss
  • Acting 2001–2004 — Ralph "Ralphie" Lombardo
  • Acting 2004–2008 — Vincenzo "Vinny" Aloi
  • 2008–2011 — Richard "Ritchie Nerves" Fusco – jailed January 2011
  • 2011–present — Thomas "Tom Mix" Farese; In December 2012, Farese was acquitted of money laundering charges. He currently operates in South Florida.
  • Factions of the third war

    The Colombo crime family divided into two factions during the third family war (1991 to 1993).

    The Persico faction

  • Boss – Carmine "Junior" Persico
  • Acting boss – Joseph T. Tomasello
  • Underboss – Jerry Langella
  • Acting underboss – Joseph "JoJo" Russo
  • Consigliere – Carmine Sessa
  • The Orena faction

  • Boss – Vittorio "Vic" Orena
  • Underboss – Joseph Scopo
  • Consigliere – Vincenzo Aloi
  • Administration

  • Boss Carmine "Junior" Persico – has been boss since 1973. In 1986, Persico was convicted in the Mafia Commission Trial and sentenced to 139 years in federal prison. His projected release date is March 20, 2050.
  • Acting boss Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico – is Carmine Persico's son, holding the title of "acting boss". In 2009, Alphonse was sentenced to life in prison and is currently in the FCI Mckean in Pennsylvania.
  • Street boss Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo – is Carmine Persico's cousin. In November 1986, Russo was sentenced to 14 years, he was released on July 29, 1994 under special parole conditions. In August 1999, Russo was convicted of jury tampering and sentenced to 57 months, he was also sentenced to 123 months for both parole violation and his involvement in a racketeering case of a Long Island carting company. In March 2010, after his parole period expired, Russo became street boss. In January 2011, Russo was indicted on federal racketeering charges. On March 21, 2013, Russo was sentenced to thirty three months for racketeering. He was released from prison in 2013.
  • Underboss John "Sonny" Franzese – a longtime member of the family. In 2011, Franzese was sentenced to eight years in prison. His projected release date is June 25, 2017.
  • Acting underboss Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo – on January 20, 2011, Castellazzo was indicted on federal racketeering charges. In September 2011, Castellazzo pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. On January 30, 2013 Castellazzo was sentenced to 63 months. He is currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn with a projected release date of August 16, 2015.
  • Consigliere Thomas "Tom Mix" Farese – is Carmine Persico's nephew. His wife Suzanne is the daughter of the late Alphonse Persico (Carmine Persico's brother). During the 1970s, Farese moved from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he became friends with Colombo mobster Nicholas Forlano. In July 1978, Farese was made into the Colombo family. In 1980, he was convicted of smuggling marijuana and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, he was released in 1994. In 1998, Farese plead guilty to money laundering. On January 5, 2012, Farese was arrested on charges of loansharking and money laundering in South Florida. Prosecutors obtained evidence on Farese through a recording device on government informant Reynold Maragni. On March 22, 2012, Farese was released from jail on $2.5 million bond. During his trial in September the judge allowed Farese lawyer to inspect informant Reynold Maragni's wristwatch that contained secret recording device. In December 2012, Farese was acquitted of all charges
  • Caporegimes

    Brooklyn/Staten Island faction

  • Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli — a capo and former street boss. Gioeli's crew is operating in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island. In June 2008, Gallicchio along with John Franzese, Joel Cacace, Dino Calabro, Dino Saracino were indicted on multiple racketeering and murders from the third Colombo family War. In 2011, Gioeli's acting capo Paul Bevacqua became a government informant. As of September 2015, Gioeli is incarcerated in federal prison with a projected release date of September 9, 2024.
  • Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo — on January 20, 2011, Castellazzo was indicted on federal racketeering charges. In September 2011, Castellazzo pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. Present is the acting underboss for John Franzese.
  • Dennis DeLucia — presumed capo, in 2012 was involved in a deposition against the Colombo's administration. His lesbian daughter described him how "a same-sex marriage supporter, despite his role in the Mafia".
  • Joseph Baudanza — a capo with operations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. Baudanza along with his brother Carmine and nephew John were arrested and convicted on stock fraud in 2008. Baudanza was released from prison in February 2011.
  • William "Billy" Russo — a capo and the youngest son of Andrew Russo. His brother Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo died in prison in 2007.
  • James "Jimmy Green Eyes" Clemenza — a capo operating in Brooklyn. On August 25, 1961 he tried to strangle Larry Gallo with a rope in a Brooklyn bar. In the mid-1990s, Clemenza along with his brother Gerard "Jerry", and brothers Chris and Anthony Colombo, were placed on the "shelf" for backing Orena during the family war. In 1999, Clemenza along with his brother Jerry were under FBI surveillance attending a dinner in a Little Italy restaurant on Mulberry Street with cast members of "The Sopranos".
  • Queens faction

  • Theodore "Teddy" Persico — brother to Carmine Persico, uncle to Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico, and father to Theodore N. Persico, Jr. Theodore, Sr. has been a capo in Brooklyn since the 1970s. He served on the family ruling panel from the early 1990s until his arrest and conviction. Theodore, Sr.'s projected release date from prison is October 9, 2013.
  • Long Island faction

  • (In prison) Michael Uvino — a capo since 2007. Uvino ran his crew from "The sons of Italy Social Club" in Hauppauge, Long Island. In 2009, Uvino was sentenced to 10 years for running illegal card games on Long Island and for assaulting two men. His projected release date is May 24, 2016.
  • Ralph "Ralphie" Lombardo — a capo and former acting consigliere. Lombardo runs bookmaking and loansharking activities on Long Island. In 1975, Lombardo was convicted of conspiracy of selling stock in an automobile leasing company in New Jersey. In 2003, Lombardo was the consigliere and he was indicted on illegal gambling, loan-sharking and witness tampering. He was released from prison on August 27, 2006.
  • Other territories

  • Massachusetts: Ralph F. DeLeo — lives in Somerville, Massachusetts and led the New England faction for family. He met Alphonse Persico in prison in the 1990s. When DeLeo was released in 1997, he was inducted into Colombo crime family. In 2008, DeLeo became street Boss after Thomas Gioeli was arrested. On December 17, 2009, DeLeo was indicted on racketeering charges from crimes in five different states.
  • Florida: Thomas "Tom Mix" Farese — despite his promotion to consigliere, Farese maintained the control of the Florida faction. In 1998, Farese plead guilty to money laundering and onn January 5, 2012, Farese was arrested on charges of loansharking and money laundering in South Florida.
  • California: Dominic "Donnie Shacks" Montemarano (1990s–present) — Colombo's capo based in Los Angeles and also active in Arizona and Las Vegas.
  • Soldiers

  • Vincenzo "Vinny" Aloi – former consigliere, semi-retired in 2008, is residing in Florida.
  • John "Jackie" DeRoss – a soldier serving life in prison after his 2009 conviction for the 1999 William Cutolo murder. DeRoss is a brother-in-law to Carmine Persico and served as underboss from 1999 to 2004.
  • Charles "Moose" Panarella – a hitman who spent time in Las Vegas. Declared mentally unfit for trial, under house arrest.  
  • Theodore N. Persico, Jr. - the son of Theodore Persico. Worked with his cousins Michael Persico and Lawrence Persico. Theodore, Jr. is currently imprisoned awaiting trial.
  • Daniel Persico – the son of Theodore Persico. In March 2000, Daniel was arrested and later convicted on a pump and dump stock scam. He was released from prison on November 14, 2003.
  • Vincent Langella – the son of Gennaro Langella. In 2001, Langella pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. On July 3, 2001, he was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Langella was released on April 12, 2005.
  • Thomas Petrizzo – a soldier who operated a contracting company in Middlesex, New Jersey.
  • Ralph F. DeLeo – a soldier and former street boss. DeLeo lived in Somerville, Massachusetts and led the New England faction for family. During the 1990s, while in prison he met Alphonse Persico; when he was released in 1997, he was inducted into the Colombo crime family. In 2008, DeLeo became street boss after Thomas Gioeli was arrested. On December 17, 2009, DeLeo was indicted on racketeering charges from crimes in five different states. He is currently imprisoned with a release date of October 2, 2025.
  • Vincent "Chickie" DeMartino - a soldier. In 1993, DeMartino was sentenced to four years in prison on weapons charges. In 1999, Alphonse Persico ordered DeMartino and Thomas Gioeli to murder William Cutolo. On July 16, 2001, DeMartino and Michael Spataro attempted to murder Joseph Campanella, but failed. In May 2004, Campanella testified against DeMartino. DeMartino has a projected release date of January 1, 2025.
  • Anthony "Chucky" Russo - a soldier and cousin to William "Billy" Russo. In the 1990s, Anthony Russo worked closely with his now deceased cousin Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo in Brooklyn and Long Island.
  • Michael Catapano - a former acting capo and a nephew of John Franzese. Catapano is currently serving a 6½ year prison sentence after pleading guilty to extorting a pizzeria and a gambling club. His projected release date is May 1, 2016.
  • Associates

  • Lawrence "Larry" Persico – the son of imprisoned family boss Carmine Persico and brother to Alphonse Persico and Michael Persico. In 2004, Larry was indicted on racketeering charges. His father wrote a letter to the courts defending his son. Lawrence was sentenced on March 11, 2005 and released on December 9, 2005.
  • Michael Joseph Persico – the son of imprisoned family boss Carmine Persico and brother to Alphonse Persico and Lawrence Persico. In 2010, Michael was accused of racketeering conspiracy involving debris removal contracts for the site of the former World Trade Center. In 2011, Michael was indicted for supplying firearms in the 1993 murder of Joseph Scopo.
  • Sean Persico – the son of Theodore Persico and brother to Daniel, Frank and Theodore, Jr., Sean was involved in stock scams.
  • Family crews

  • The Garfield Boys – was an Italian American street gang that operated in South Brooklyn sections of Red Hook and Gowanus. The gang was headed by future Colombo boss Carmine Persico from the 1950s to the early 1970s.
  • Controlled unions

  • N.Y.C. District Council of Carpenters The Colombo and Genovese families ran the Council from 1991 to 1996, extorting huge amounts of money from several N.Y.C. District Council of Carpenters union locals. Colombo capos Thomas Petrizzo and Vincent "Jimmy" Angellino controlled Council President Frederick Devine. The two crime families illegally used the Council to create hundreds of "no show" absentee jobs for their associates. In 1998, government witnesses Sammy Gravano and Vincent Cafaro testified against Devine. He was found guilty of embezzling union funds and sentenced to 15 months in prison.
  • Former members and associates

  • Richard "Ritchie Nerves" Fusco – a former consigliere. On January 20, 2011, Fusco was indicted on federal racketeering charges. On September 29, 2011, Fusco pleaded guilty to running a shakedown scheme against the Gambino family; he was sentenced to four months in prison. Fusco was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Fusco passed away in September 2013.
  • Michael "Yuppie Don" Franzese – son of John Franzese. Michael organized a highly lucrative bootleg gasoline racket with the Russian mob. He retired from the crime family during the 1990s.
  • Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo – the oldest son of Andrew Russo, convicted in 1994 with his cousin Anthony "Chuckie" Russo. Both men received life sentences after former FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio testified against them. In 2007, Joseph Russo died of kidney cancer in prison.
  • Salvatore "Sally" D'Ambrosio – During the 1960s First Colombo War, D'Ambrosio and future boss Carmine Persico attempted to murder mobster Larry Gallo. D'Ambrosio also participated in the murder of Joseph Gioelli.
  • Nicholas "Jiggs" Forlano – former capo who ran a loan-sharking operations with Charles "Ruby" Stein. In the 1970s, Forlano moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and started operating there. In 1977, Forlano died of a heart attack at the Hialeah race track in Florida.
  • Frank "Frankie Shots" Abbatemarco – was born in 1899 and grew up in Red Hook, Brooklyn. During the 1950s, Abbatemarco was a powerful capo in Profaci family controlling Red Hook. On November 4, 1959, Abbatemarco was murdered.
  • Anthony "Big Tony" Peraino – associate who helped finance groundbreaking adult entertainment movie "Deep Throat". Died of natural causes in 1996.
  • Dominick "Little Dom" Cataldo – died in prison 1990
  • Ralph "Little Ralphie" Scopo – influential associate who ran Cement Club for family. Died in prison 1993
  • Ralph Scopo Jr. - son of Ralph Scopo. Died under indictment for extortion in 2013.
  • Antonio Cottone – deported to Sicily, where he became the Mafia boss of Villabate, the home town for the Profaci family. Cotonne was murdered in 1956.
  • Benedetto "Benny" Aloi – capo and brother to Vincent Aloi. During the 1990s Third Colombo war, Aloi was Orena's underboss. In 1991, Aloi was convicted in the Windows Case, was released from prison on March 17, 2009. He died on April 7, 2011.
  • Associates

  • Frank Persico - the son of Theodore "Teddy" Persico and cousin of acting Colombo boss Alphonse "Allie" Persico. Frank was a stockbroker who was sentenced to five years in prison for a $15 million stock swindle. Frank was released on July 12, 2006; four months later, Frank died of a heart attack.
  • Hugh "Apples" MacIntosh – an Irish-American enforcer for Carmine Persico during the 1960s. In 1969, MacIntosh was imprisoned on hijacking charges. In 1975, he was released and went on to control several clubs and loan sharking rings for Persico. In 1982, McIntosh was caught bribing an Internal Revenue Service agent for Carmine Persico's early release. McIntosh was imprisoned after the Colombo trial and released on December 31, 1992. MacIntosh was later arrested for meeting with mobster Daniel Persico and was returned to prison. McIntosh died on November 10, 1997.
  • Charles Ruby Stein"loanshark to the stars", was an associate and business partner to Nicholas Forlano. Stein ran gambling clubs on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In the early 1970s, mobster Jimmy Coonan became Stein's bodyguard. Stein was murdered in 1977.
  • Nicholas "Nicky" Bianco – a Gallo crew member, Bianco later joined the Patriarca crime family. Bianco died in prison in 1994.
  • Gerard Pappa – a family associate who transferred to become a soldier in the Genovese crime family working with Peter Saverio in the New York windows scheme. Was murdered in 1980 by the Cataldo brothers.
  • Government informants and witnesses


  • Paul "Paulie Guns" Bevacqua – former acting capo of the Gieoli crew. In 2011, Bevacqua became a government witness. On November 11, 2011, Bevacqua died.
  • Rocco Cagno - soldier. His New Jersey home was used for the murder of mobster Vincent Angellino. In the 1990s, Cagno became a government witness and testified against Denis DeLucia and Joseph Lograno
  • Dino "Big Dino" Calabro – former capo involved in the 1997 murder of New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Ralph Dols. In 2009, Calabro was convicted of murder. On January 26, 2010, Calabro, facing trial for the Dols murder, became a government witness. Calabro is going to testify against mobster Joel Cacace, who allegedly ordered him to murder Dols.
  • Joseph "Joe Campy" Campanella – former capo. In 2001, after surviving an assassination attempt, Campanella was arrested and became a government witness.
  • Joseph "Joey Caves" Competiello – former soldier, he was involved in the 1997 murder of NYPD officer Ralph Dols. In 2008, Competiello became a government witness and led the FBI to find the body of Colombo mobster William Cutolo. Marzulli, John (December 19, 2008)
  • Reynold Maragni – a former capo, who ran loansharking and illegal gambling in South Florida. Maragni was arrested during the January 2011 Federal indictments that arrested 127 Mafia members. In December 2011, Maragni wore a wire for the FBI and obtained information about Thomas Gioeli's role in the 1999 murder of William Cutolo. He was dropped from testifying against consigliere Thomas Farese in 2012 for misconduct.
  • Salvatore "Big Sal" Miciotta - soldier who participated in four murders in 1996 he became a government witness. While in prison Miciotta fought with former Lucchese underboss Anthony Casso.
  • Anthony "Big Anthony" Russo – former acting capo, not related to Andrew Russo. In 2011, Russo was charged with the 1993 murder of Orena loyalist Joseph Scopo and agreed to be a federal witness.
  • Gregory Scarpa, Sr. – notorious hitman and FBI informant from the 1970s to 1994. Scarpa, Sr. died in prison from AIDS–related complications.
  • Carmine Sessa – consigliere and hitman. In 1993, Sessa became a government witness.
  • Michael "Mickey" Souza - on July 20, 2010, Souza became a government witness and testified against Genovese mobster Anthony Antico.
  • Frank "Frankie Blue Eyes" Sparaco - soldier. Expected to testify against Michael Persico in the 1992 Devine murder.
  • John Pate - capo who participated in the 1991 attempted murder of Victor Orena.
  • Associates

  • John Franzese, Jr. - son of underboss John Franzese. In 2004, he became a government witness and testified against his father in his 2010 trial.
  • Kenny "Kenji" Gallo – former associate of the Los Angeles crime family and of Italian-Japanese heritage. worked for the Colombo family before becoming a government witnesses.
  • Joseph "Joe Pesh" Luparelli – a Colombo associate and bodyguard to Joseph Yacovelli. Luparelli was part of the team that murdered Colombo mobster Joe Gallo. After the Gallo murder, a fearful Luparelli entered the Witness Protection Program and later testified against Yacovelli.
  • Salvatore "Crazy Sal" Polisi – a former associate of the Colombo and Gambino crime families. Polisi and his friends Dominick and Joseph Cataldo all joined the Mafia. In 1984, Polisi was arrested on narcotics charges and became a government witness. Polisi testified in John Gotti's 1986 trial.
  • William "Bill" Cutolo, Jr. - son of former Colombo family underboss William Cutolo, became an undercover informant in 1999 after the murder of his father which was orchestrated by Alphonse Persico.
  • References

    Colombo crime family Wikipedia

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