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Friday, 29 April 2011

It's a delicate question: What should a gangster give another gangster's son for a wedding gift?


00:09 |



In the Bonanno crime family, $300 appears to be about right.

The murder trial of former mob boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano featured a scrap of paper with gift amounts for the December 2001 wedding of Bonanno soldier Emmanuel (Manny from the Bronx) Guaragna's son.

NYPD Det. William Dwyer testified Wednesday that the list was seized from Guaragna's apartment on Williamsbridge Rd. several days after the nuptials of son Steven and bride Maria.

Then-boss Joseph Massino gave $300; then-capo Basciano and his then-wife Angela also gave $300; future acting boss Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna kicked in $500 as did capo Anthony (TG) Graziano. Underboss Salvatore Vitale coughed up a measly $200.

Several capos gave envelopes listing their first names and "friends" - referring to soldiers in the crew - with gifts of $700.

Another list noted that the total gift amount from the Bonannos was $12,100.

The wedding cards, which were seized, appeared to be marked "Dad" if the gifts came from crime family members, not Guaragna's nuclear family.

The wedding at a New Rochelle catering hall was surveilled by investigators hiding inside a limousine with tinted windows.

The limo was also equipped with a screen inside the window that rendered the glass completely opaque, according to retired NYPD Det. William Gillespie.

Video of the surveillance played for the jury in Brooklyn Federal Court showed Basciano was the center of attention in the driveway, surrounded by Bonanno gangsters.

At one point, Basciano approached the limo and the image on the screen darkened because the investigators raised the interior screen.

On the day Basciano was arrested in 2004 on racketeering charges, he expressed gratitude that the feds came for him around 9 a.m. instead of banging on his door at the crack of dawn, FBI agent Michael Breslin testified.

"He said, 'You let me get all dolled up first," Breslin recalled.


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