Two Gambino crime family members to walk free from prison for Thanksgiving

Decision comes almost two weeks after the two men, along with eight other alleged members of the Gambino crime family, were charged in a violent plot

Andrea Cavallier
Wednesday 22 November 2023 23:56 GMT
Gambino Crime Family Members Caught in Coordinated Transatlantic Takedown

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Two reputed members of the Gambino crime family are expected to be released on bond in time for Thanksgiving.

Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Frederic Block decided to release Diego “Danny” Tantillo and Angelo “Fifi” Gradilone, stating that it seemed as though the current generation of mobsters aren’t as dangerous as they were back in the day.

“You know, in the past we would let murderers out on bail,” Judge Block said on Tuesday. “We don’t have anything close to that in this particular case. Fortunately, I guess the younger generation of mafioso aren’t killing people these days.”

“We all have a human aspect to us,” Judge Block added. “We’re gonna have Thanksgiving on Thursday. Maybe I should try to let them out tomorrow.”

The decision comes almost two weeks after the two men, along with eight other alleged members and associates of the Gambino crime family, were charged in a violent plot to take control of the city’s carting and demolition industries, the New York Daily News reported.

Video footage shows Joseph Lanni buying a gas container at a gas station
Video footage shows Joseph Lanni buying a gas container at a gas station ( U.S. Department of Justice)

The racketeering indictment accuses the men of crimes such as assaulting a demolition company employee with a hammer and setting fire to the steps of a trash carting business owner’s house.

Prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn say the men also embezzled from unions and rigged bids in the demolition and carting industries between 2017 and 2021.

Judge Block questioned why the two men should be held while several members of the alleged extortion were cut loose on $1m bond after their arrests. However, alleged Gambino capo Joseph Lanni was ordered held without bail.

Mr Tantillo, 48, of Freehold, New Jersey, who is a “made” member of the Gambino crime family, began demanding monthly extortion payments from a business owner identified by the pseudonym John Doe 1 starting in late 2017.

On one occasion, prosecutors said, Tantillo showed John Doe 1 a metal baseball bat and said the bat was for him.

Prosecutors said Mr Tantillo showed John Doe 1 a metal baseball bat and said the bat was for him
Prosecutors said Mr Tantillo showed John Doe 1 a metal baseball bat and said the bat was for him (U.S. Department of Justice)

After John Doe 1 tried to stop making extortion payments in 2020, someone set fire to the steps of his home while his wife and children were inside, prosecutors said.

A mob associate who was not allowed to attend the ceremony because he was not a made man himself congratulated Mr Tantillo in a text that used coded language, prosecutors said.

“Good morning Dani have a great day so happy for your new job and when you sign the contract even if I’m not there is like I am very proud good luck !!” the text read, according to prosecutors.

Mr Tantillo responded, “Ty Vito I really wish you were there since you were one of the people help me get this contract. I hope we continue getting more work and everything gets better than before. Ty as always,” prosecutors said.

Still image of surveillance video of the arson at John Doe 1’s home
Still image of surveillance video of the arson at John Doe 1’s home (U.S. Department of Justice)

Mr Gradilone, 57, of Staten Island, is accused of getting a no-show job as part of the racketeering conspiracy.

“It just candidly doesn’t strike me that these charges have the dimension which I’ve seen in the past,” Judge Block said.

Assistant US Attorney Andrew Roddin argued that both men were part of a racketeering conspiracy that had violence as its goal, “things like arson, assault and extortion.”

Judge Block, who sentenced the late Gambino boss Peter Gotti, the older brother of infamous Mafia boss John Gotti, in an extortion and money laundering case said: “I’m pretty familiar with the character of the mafioso. I just don’t see where this thing rings the bell with me.”

Mr Tantillo and Mr Gradilone are expected to be released once their bonds are finalized. Both sides agreed to $5m bond for Mr Tantillo and $1m for Mr Gradilone.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in