Breaking the Code

The young mobster, who carried himself more like Brett Favre than like John Gotti, was wearing a wool J. Crew sweater and a green rain slicker against the sweeping winter wind. As he stepped off the U.S.S. Nautilus, the nuclear submarine docked in Groton, Connecticut, the low sky was gray and cold. This aging monument to a world below the surface, I thought, was the perfect place to meet the latest gangster turned rat.

Run silent, run deep.

To see the new face of the mob, look no further than 27-year-old Darin Mazzarella. He is slope-shouldered, about five feet ten and 180pounds, with reddish hair. Like a retired quarterback with ruined knees, he has horrific scars and a severe limp – the legacy of an incident two summers ago, when he took fourteen bullets from a mob rival outside a crowded Bronx playground. Instead of wearing sharkskin suits and listening to Frank Sinatra, the new young mobsters favor Eddie Bauer jeans and Annie Lennox CD’s while committing their mayhem. The Goodfellas days of Henry Hill and the Robert’s Lounge in South Ozone Park, Queens, are long gone. Until last year, Darin Mazzarella, along with the sons of gangsters who were his lifelong buddies, hung out not in social clubs in Little Italy and on Staten Island but at a low-rent strip shopping center in Yonkers. They’re suburban rats.

When I meet him for the first time in Groton, he is still jail-pale after being held for eight months without bail in the 1994 murder of a Westchester politician’s kid. Mazzarella and his vicious brother, Nicholas, had been in protective custody for a month. The FBI had sprung Darin from a county jail cell, ostensibly to marry his high-school sweetheart, and then made it look like the suspected killer was under house arrest so he could wear a wire around his pals.

A former high-school baseball star and community-college engineering student, Darin Mazzarella is a keen but barbed character who talks philosophically about the future of “the gangster soul.” Like John Gotti Jr., he is where New York’s mob story is headed.

For four years, I had been following Mazzarella and a wanton crew called the Tanglewood Boys who had been terrorizing Yonkers and the Bronx and had recently extended their brutal reach to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. One day last fall, after he became a protected federal informant, Darin called me at home saying he wanted to talk face-to-face. Mazzarella, who is now in the witness-protection program along with his brother and their wives, suggested we meet at the submarine base.

‘I was gonna send you e-mail from a public library near where the FBI has my family stashed, but the computers they got aren’t modern enough,” Darin explained when we met. “I used one of those phone cards the mob is selling now to call you.” We wound up in a Ground Round restaurant, sitting at a wooden table, surrounded by sailors. The Jets were playing the Minnesota Vikings at the Meadowlands, and with the televisions blaring, no one seemed to notice us at first.

“Back when I was locked up, I saw Sammy Gravano talking on television with Diane Sawyer,” Mazzarella said. “I was left to twist in the wind by guys who hired high-priced lawyers like Ben Brafman. I was in jail protecting wiseguys who weren’t doing shit for me. The guys in my own crew ain’t even paying my fiancée money they owe me. Then I see Gravano on television. Here’s a boss who ratted, kept his money, wrote a book – and I’m thinking, What the fuck am I doing? I’m gonna be the last stand-up guy? Fuck that. Like politics, the gangster culture has bottomed out. Even the mob bosses we aspire to be have movie deals.”

Mazzarella was talking too loudly, and I was concerned that a couple of sailors nearby had him on their radar. The waitress coughed. Darin lowered his voice to a whisper.

“You know, when you were writing about the Tanglewood Boys all the time, I was gonna come down to Manhattan one night and baseball-bat you,” he confessed. “You were in one of our clubs, and I got beeped. ‘McAlary is in here right now, with his wife.’ This was a big going-away party for somebody from your newspaper.”

I was jolted into remembering a dark, velvet-covered room.

“Yeah, that’s our place,” he continued. “The Genovese capo who used to run hiring at the Javits Center is the secret owner. At the same time the Daily News is screaming about the Javits mob, you’re renting our nightclub!”

“We didn’t know.”

“I didn’t come down and whack you because I realized, hey, if I ever get in trouble, you know, maybe I’ll need you. We could be partners.”

“Partners? In what?”

“You know, partners in a book-and-movie deal.”

On December 13, 1997, as the federal collar tightened on Junior Gotti and 40 others, including Tanglewood Boys past and present, Darin surfaced again at the submarine base, this time wearing a Tommy Hilfiger shirt. He and his brother had just pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in White Plains and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Even though news of the arrangement wouldn’t get out for nearly two weeks, Darin wanted to tell me about the crimes he had committed between 1989 and 1995 with several generations of established Gambino, Genovese, and Lucchese gangsters.

Before he is sentenced for racketeering, Mazzarella’s keepers say, he will testify against his old boss, Anthony “Blue Eyes” Santorelli, in a half-dozen state and federal trials covering a wide variety of crimes, including mob murders, assaults, armed robberies, hijackings, loan-sharking, and ruthless mob extortion schemes involving union jobs and building construction. Although most of his testimony will focus on his involvement with the Lucchese family, some of his best friends were arrested on January 21 with Junior Gotti, including several charter members of the Tanglewood Boys. Junior was also found, the government charges, with a list of names the prosecutors have called “The Holy Grail.” The list included names of two Lucchese mobsters – Joseph Cosentino and Anthony Magana – who executed John Petrucelli, the father of Darin Mazzarella’s best friend.

The Tanglewood Shopping Center on Central Park Avenue in Yonkers is a dingy thirteen-store, one-pay-phone, gray-and-maroon backwoods strip mall just across the street from Nathan’s Famous restaurant, where the nice kids hang out. I first began receiving letters from a guy in the Tanglewood gang in 1994, after writing about the murder of Louis Balancio, a student at Mercy College. The writer called himself Jack and wrote single-spaced, severely misspelled letters. He seemed to know a great deal about murders, assaults, arson, and bookmaking operations. In 1993, FBI agent Dave Calore and his supervisor came to see me about the letters. It turned out Jack used to write to the FBI but quit them for me. The agents showed me an advertisement they’d placed in the Daily News’s classified section trying to communicate with him. I shared Jack’s letters with the FBI, about eight of them. Some of Jack’s information was good. Some of it was wrong. The identity and motive of the mysterious mob letter-writer was baffling.

Jack knew about bookmaking operations being run by Darin Mazzarella, his friend Alfred “Freddy Boy” Santorelli, and their underlings. He gave me a complete list of the gang, which included the Santorellis, the Mazzarellas, the DiSimones, Johnnie Boy Petrucelli, and ten others. The FBI used this information, and the bookmaking phone numbers Jack provided, to make a 1995 raid near Yankee Stadium, arresting Darin Mazzarella.

“Jack made us be more careful,” Darin said. “But we figured it was the FBI writing the letters to you anyway. Only after I agreed to cooperate did I realize Jack actually existed.”

Mazzarella has since helped the FBI identify Jack, who is also being protected. “Jack helped us break up Tanglewood and solve three murders,” said Dave Calore. “He was the real deal.”

Darin Mazzarella was living the jock life at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers until 1988, his senior year, when he broke his wrist and had to quit the varsity baseball team. He lived with his mother and Nicholas, now 29, in the Crestwood Arms Apartments, behind the Dumpsters in the Tanglewood shopping center. He was from a broken family, the son of an electrical engineer with a union job in the city. The Mazzarella brothers used to hang in the mall near the deli, where they carved their names in the redbrick. Darin also had the word TANGLEWOOD tattooed on his calf.

No cops came around then, but today there is a Dunkin’ Donuts in the shopping center, and last month I counted ten Yonkers cops stopping by for coffee in one hour. The strip includes a couple of delis, a pizza store, a Laundromat, a dry cleaner, a Chinese restaurant, and some hairdressers. It’s working-middle-class – the stickers on the rear windows of the cars parked there read NEW PALTZ, ALBANY STATE, and NEWBURGH.

By 1989, Darin said, he had abandoned the jock life for the gangster life. In quick succession, he’d dropped out of community college, grabbed a mob construction job in Manhattan, and dreamed of becoming a gangster like the ones in the movies he rented from Tanglewood Video. Instead of playing baseball, he began stealing rare baseball cards, selling Mickey Mantle and Henry Aaron rookie cards to Lucchese mobsters for as much as $6,000 each. By then, there were about twenty Tanglewood Boys hanging out in the parking lot, listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN or Hot 97 FM and selling stolen goods, splitting gambling receipts, loan-sharking, or robbing local supermarkets and fast-food stores with guns.

“We were like every mall kid you ever saw in the nineties, only we got the sons of six gangsters in the Tanglewood parking lot almost every night,” Darin told me. “We got Anthony DiSimone and Freddy Boy Santorelli from the Lucchese family. Johnnie Boy Petrucelli is the son of a guy who got whacked for hiding a guy who killed a federal agent. Stevie Crea is the son of the Lucchese underboss. There is Craig DePalma, the son of a Gambino capo; Greg DePalma, who is with Junior Gotti. Pasquale Parrello is around, too. He’s the son of a Genovese soldier, Patsy Parrello. The kid got whacked after his father slapped Torrie Locascio, the son of Frank Locascio, the Gambino underboss guy who went away with John Gotti. We would hang out there before we went to the clubs, listening to music. We liked everything from Springsteen and Billy Joel to Neil Diamond and even the black gangsta rap. Anything but Metallica . . .

“We used to go to clubs all over Westchester and the Bronx and beat the shit out of people. We were just raging through the night. We intimidated the old wiseguys. We got free drinks, and if we started a fight, the other guys got thrown out. We dressed like clean-cut college kids, and we even used to make fun of gangsters in those stupid white-on-white shirts and silk suits. Our heroes were Phil Simms, Don Mattingly, and John Gotti. How could you not like the way he dressed? We would do robberies and go shopping at Take Six and Century 21 in Manhattan. Mostly we wore Gap clothes or Nike outfits. We thought we looked better than the old-timers.

“Out of high school, I had a brand-new Cougar, and Freddy Boy had a brand-new maroon iroc Camaro convertible. You sleep till noon. You got girls and cash. You go on vacations whenever you like. Anybody that doesn’t like it got to be insane. We played softball and football, and when guys owed me and Freddy money, we took their rice rockets too – red, white, and blue Kawasaki motorcycles. Once, Freddy took this guy’s girlfriend. He just called this guy down to Tanglewood and told him, ‘If you see her again, I’ll break your legs.’ Freddy even got engaged to the stolen girl. We didn’t give a shit about wiseguys, though we respected them because they were older. They had guns. We had guns. We had fathers to protect us. So we did what the fuck we wanted. It’s great until you go to jail. Then the betrayal starts.”

Darin’s first and closest mob friend was Johnnie Boy Petrucelli. Because of his deal with the prosecutor, Darin had to give Petrucelli up in three murders, including the 1995 stabbing of a 17-year-old in the Bronx. In the eighties, he and Johnnie Boy would do gangster sleepovers at Petrucelli’s mother’s house in Ardsley. They also frequented a New Rochelle restaurant where John Petrucelli Sr., who liked cocaine and silk suits, hung out five nights a week in the back room. John Sr. was a big partyer but a rebel gangster who never wanted to go to Brooklyn to his boss.

For as long as there has been a Mafia, its story has been one of fathers and sons. The senior Petrucelli was a convicted Lucchese hit man who shot two guys in a Bronx bar in the late sixties. He claimed it was an argument over heroin, but it was a classic mob hit. He fled, and the mob, of course, protected him. But eventually he went to trial, and was out on bail waiting across the street from the Bronx Criminal Courthouse when someone relayed the guilty verdict. Petrucelli fled again. After nearly ten years on the lam, he was captured in Florida and shipped to Green Haven. Sometimes Petrucelli’s sons – Johnnie Boy and Joey – would travel upstate to see him. The kids were enthralled with the gangster’s life and charmed by their father’s notion of fealty. It is all romantic fable, but the Petrucelli boys took it for truth.

In prison, Petrucelli befriended a muscular young gangster named Constabile “Gus” Farace. When another inmate threatened to drop a set of weights on Petrucelli’s head, Farace saved him. Petrucelli returned the favor after their release from prison. On February 28, 1989, while working on a drug deal, Farace shot and killed Everett Hatcher, a federal undercover agent. The murder was front-page tabloid news for weeks. Farace, now wanted by the Feds and the mob, turned to his Green Haven family, and John Petrucelli, then 47, agreed to hide him. A Lucchese boss sent word to John Petrucelli: “Either clip Farace or kill yourself.” He refused, and on September 13, 1989, Petrucelli was executed by his boyhood friend Joey “Blue Eyes” Cosentino and Anthony Magana, two names that would wind up on Junior Gotti’s list. In time, their sons went to war, the fight going on in the name of their mob fathers.

The Petrucelli boys and the Cosentino boys began to ricochet through the mob world. On March 8, 1992, outside a New Rochelle bar where Darin worked as a bouncer, the younger Petrucelli son, Joey, 16, got into a racial argument and shot another 16-year-old to death. He is doing a life bit. Johnnie Boy Petrucelli and Darin Mazzarella have beaten up on the Cosentino boys and were planning to kill them when the FBI came crashing down.

“Johnnie Boy definitely wanted to revenge his father,” Darin said. “I remember his dad’s wake in the Bronx. I was like 18 and didn’t know all the wiseguys then. It was mostly Johnnie’s friends. The Petrucelli brothers went crazy after that. I started a life of crime with Johnnie Boy. His father was on his way out of a girlfriend’s apartment trying to get to his navy-blue Mazda 929 when he got hit. Johnnie Boy got the car when the FBI was done with it. All the panels were ripped out. We didn’t care. We still drove it around. That was kind of weird, I guess, driving around in FBI evidence.

“After his father’s closed-casket funeral, Johnnie got the car and $4,000 cash from his grandmother, and I stood by Johnnie. We tried to make money and started using the car to do robberies. The FBI crime scene was the getaway car. The first crime we did was rob a New Rochelle bookmaker one night in 1989. We just knocked on his door and Johnnie stuck an unloaded gun in his face. We grabbed $3,500 and left the guy in his bathtub. Then we started robbing baseball cards in Yonkers and Hartsdale and spending money on clothes at the Cross County Mall. Our technique was simple: Break the glass with a baseball bat and run in.

“We robbed assault rifles from a sporting-goods store. We were down in the Bronx when some Albanians we were always arguing with shot up our cars. Johnnie Boy came back and killed one of them outside a bar. That was his first murder.

“Then Johnnie told me he killed another guy to revenge his brother, Joey. Johnnie said he just ran into a crowd of kids in the Bronx and stabbed one kid to death. He didn’t even know if it was the right guy and didn’t care. I gave the FBI Johnnie’s three murders. It will be difficult to testify against him, though. Loyalty died with his old man, but Johnnie never betrayed me.”

By 1991, Darin Mazzarella had moved from violence to bookmaking. He opened an office in a building controlled by a friend’s father on 109th Street, between First and Second Avenues, and was making $100,000 on some weekends. The crack dealers on the corner never messed with Anthony “Blue Eyes” Santorelli’s Tanglewood Boys.

They still gathered in the parking lot, but the Tanglewood Boys were rich now. On February 2, 1992, the Mazzarella brothers went to a friend’s house for a party in Tuckahoe. An older Gambino associate was snorting coke in the bathroom all night and teasing Nick Mazzarella, who then grabbed the guy by the throat and choked him. He fell to the floor, unconscious. Another Tanglewood Boy ran into the kitchen and stabbed him in the neck with a kitchen knife.

“I never saw anyone killed before,” Darin recalled. “Instead of people breaking the stereo while his parents were away, we killed somebody in this kid’s house. We wrapped his body in a handmade quilt, and I drove his van with the body to Manhattan. We had just seen Goodfellas and were listening to the CD on the stereo. I left the van on the Upper East Side with a body.” The case went unsolved until Darin and Nick, who were both wired by the FBI, ratted out their friends. Nick pleaded guilty to the murder last month, and Darin admitted dumping the body.

Then, on February 4, 1994, the Tanglewood Boys killed a 21-year-old Mercy College student in a very public way. Louis Balancio was knifed to death outside the Strike Zone Bar, a mob hangout, now closed, across the street from Darin’s high school in Yonkers. Although there may have been as many as 30 witnesses, none came forward.

“I was in the place a couple of hours before the fight broke out,” Darin said. “Louis Balancio is already in the bar with another guy, who I know socially but I never did business with. At the same time Balancio’s friends are trying to get in, there is an Albanian crew trying to get in. But they had a fight outside the place too, and DiSimone don’t want to let them in. The Irish guys and the Albanian guys start to fight outside at the top of the steps. There is a rumble. I got out. We are 100 percent on the Irish guys’ side. DiSimone came out to help me and them. I am gonna fight this Albanian kid near the underpass, but he says he knows my brother. I run back past the bar, see Balancio bleeding on the ground. He’s going to die.

“We get in Anthony DiSimone’s car. We were ready to pull out of the parking lot, and Anthony pulled out a pistol to shoot people running. The kid was in a rage, I guess you could say. On the way to my house, we throw the knife out the window. Anthony’s driving. He has blood on his clothes and his hands. I take him into the house and bandage his hands in my bathroom. He says, ‘I killed an Albanian kid.’ I say, ‘That kid you killed, I don’t think he was Albanian, I think it’s a friend of one of the younger guys.’ He was thinking it was an Albanian he grabbed, because he never saw Balancio before. He just stabbed him up.

“I call the bar from my house and speak to one of the owners. He says, ‘Tell Anthony to get out of here; that kid’s dead.’ My roommate, Freddy Boy, walks in. We’re going to help each other any way we can.” They put all the bloody clothes in bags. “Freddy Boy leaves with the clothes, and he leaves with Anthony’s gun. He also leaves with the money we had in the house – in case the cops get a warrant and find it – about $100,000. Freddy leaves with the garbage bags.”

About twelve hours after the Balancio murder, FBI agent Calore, a former Boston cop, was sitting in his government-issue Chevrolet Caprice, eating a hamburger outside the White Castle restaurant on Bruckner Boulevard. He watched as a white Mercedes pulled into the lot and a man got out, looked around nervously, and dropped a paper bag in a Dumpster. At the time, Calore was working on an old murder case involving another mobster, and he was curious. The guy, who was with a woman, returned to the car and finished eating. Then he went back and dropped a second bag in the Dumpster. The agent waited until they left, and after running the plate and discovering it belonged to “Blue Eyes” Santorelli, expected to find gambling receipts in the bags. Instead, Calore found the bloody clothes.

“This part is amazing,” Darin Mazzarella told me. “Freddy is a street guy – and he has to give the bloody clothes to his father? The father has to be the dumbest fucking wiseguy of all time. He has two fireplaces in his house – and he drops them off in the Bronx and he doesn’t see the only other white guy in that neighborhood sitting in the parking lot in an FBI car? I am working with morons here. Anyway, we took Anthony to my friend Vinnie Russo’s house, who later gets arrested with his father and Junior Gotti. We waited until DiSimone’s father, Sally Bo, decided what to do. Sally Bo, a Lucchese capo, sent another person, who is also a made guy, to get Anthony. The last I seen of Anthony DiSimone, he was wearing my Raiders jacket. He says, ‘See you in about ten years, guys.’ Anthony DiSimone ain’t ever been seen again.”

The blood on the clothing Dave Calore found in the Dumpster was fresh, but he couldn’t connect it with a mob murder, and it took years to find out what really happened. Ultimately, he sent the clothes to the bureau’s lab in Quantico, along with a sample of Louis Balancio’s blood. It was a perfect match.

Mazzarella was arrested for the murder in December 1996. Jeanine Pirro, the Westchester D.A.; Mary Joe White, the federal prosecutor; and James Kallstrom, the former assistant director of the New York FBI office, announced the arrests. In August 1997, Darin’s future wife met with Calore on the sly and told him that Darin wanted to turn. In February, the D.A. quietly dropped the murder charges against Mazzarella. Two weeks ago, “Blue Eyes” Santorelli was convicted of disposing of evidence. Nicholas Mazzarella and agent Dave Calore were the main witnesses against him. The government is saving Darin for the bigger cases.

Earlier – in January, after Darin had told me his story – I met with Louis Balancio’s parents, Jeffrey and Dorothy, in the Bronx, and brought a transcript of my conversations with Mazzarella. Jeff Balancio had just been elected to the Yonkers City Council, having won by a margin of six votes. He read the account of his son’s murder aloud to his wife, a human-sexuality professor at Mercy College. By the time we all met, a murder indictment based on Mazzarella’s grand jury testimony had been issued for Anthony DiSimone, now 31.

“We thought God forgot about us,” Dorothy Balancio said. “Now we finally know what happened.”

The gangster spirit was shot out of Darin Mazzarella’s soul on June 30, 1995. He had played golf that day and was hanging out in the park with Johnnie Boy Petrucelli. A few nights before, Freddie Boy and Darin had beaten up a guy in a Bronx mob bar, knocking out his teeth with a bottle after the guy remarked, “There are no tough guys from Westchester.” They also beat up the sons of the jailed mobster who killed John Petrucelli. The Tanglewood Boys were getting out of control.

On that late-June evening, a rich guy, Gene Gallo, whom another crew used to front them loan-shark money, parked his Mercedes and walked into the park. Johnnie Boy Petrucelli threw a bottle at him, and Gene Gallo left. A couple of minutes later, Gallo came back with a Genovese hit man they all knew as Hippy – Michael Zanfardino. When Hippy asked, “Who threw the bottle?,” Petrucelli replied, “I did.”

“At this stage in my life, I’m like 25, I don’t hang out in parks,” Darin said. “I had shorts on. We were drinking beer and bustin’ balls. I know this guy Gallo well. He’s a pussy. One of my guys beat the shit out of him once and got Gallo to say, ‘I’m a pussy.’ Which shows how much of a pussy the guy is. He’s driving his convertible Mercedes. He wants desperately to be a wiseguy, but the Genovese crew just used his money for shylocking. We all hate him. He leaves and comes back with Hippy in his mother’s Jeep. Hippy tells Johnnie, ‘This guy is a friend of mine. He’s with me. You’re making me look stupid.’ So at that point I know they are up to something. He is trying to get Johnnie Boy in the street. I said, ‘Johnnie, I just got beeped.’ I know Johnnie has a gun in his car, and I want to get it. On the way to the car, I hear something. It’s Hippy. He says, ‘Hey. How’s Freddy Boy doing? Give him my best,’ and I just turn around. Hippy opens fire on me. I don’t know how many bullets I was hit with, because there are so many in-and-outs. I make it halfway down the street running. Finally, my leg collapses, because it’s shattered in a couple of spots. They throw me into a car and take me to the hospital.

“Johnnie went back alone to get his car. On the way to the car he sees Gene Gallo’s cousin, Paul Cicero. He stabbed him once and said, ‘Give this to your cousin, Gene.’ The kid bled to death.”

In January I also visited Paul Cicero’s parents and brought a transcript of Darin’s admissions. One comment stood out. “By being stupid, Gene Gallo got his cousin killed.” Joanne Cicero is a strong, even heroic woman. She raised a good boy who worked at the corner grocery. His room has been untouched since the day he died. There are posters of Don Mattingly and Mickey Mantle on the wood-paneled walls. His closet is still filled with sports jackets and baseball clothes.

“My son was selling firecrackers a couple of weeks before this with Johnnie Petrucelli,” Cicero said. “He never told the cops who stabbed him. He believed in the false gangster bullshit: Don’t be a rat. Paulie figures he’s going to recover and come back as a hero. He died instead. His father gave him $100 to see Batman Forever that night. We have the bill upstairs – a bloody bill forever.”

In time, Darin Mazzarella got strong again. Nick was released from prison. Hippy was working for a crew headed by the former Javits Center boss, Ralphie Coppola, who was hit with a federal fraud-and-money-laundering indictment last year, set up in Manhattan by the two angry factions from the opposing Genovese and Lucchese families. The old wiseguys may be weak, but they are the only law that matters.

“It went on for awhile and eventually went to the top of the families, the Luccheses speaking for me and the Genoveses speaking for him,” Darin said. “The Genovese bosses told our bosses, ‘Hey, listen, we got a dead kid here, you’ve got a kid who is injured. Youse already won. It’s even. Leave it like that.’ So rather than Hippy getting killed, it got squashed.

“We all met on 86th Street in Manhattan. Me, Freddy, Freddy’s father, and another wiseguy. Hippy came with Ralphie Coppola and another wiseguy from that crew. We stood on the street corner. And Ralphie said, ‘I’m happy you both picked this life and that you are going to let us settle this instead of the authorities. He says he respects us both for that. Ralphie said Hippy was 100 percent wrong for what he did, but because of things that happened afterwards with Gallo’s cousin, it’s going to be a dead issue. I felt betrayed by my Lucchese friends. I am still going to kill Hippy, but I am going to wait.”

Following his release from jail in August, Darin went to work for the FBI. Now he is looking for a partner, someone to write his story. It won’t be me. On the day before Junior Gotti surrendered on a Yonkers street, I met with agent Dave Calore again in the parking lot of a deserted Nassau County golf course. I needed to tell him – as I promised Mazzarella I would – that I had been meeting secretly with the FBI’s newest witness. The Tanglewood chase, it seemed, was perfectly completed. After getting beeped, the federal agent sped away to help round up the son of the most famous mobster in the world, along with New York’s next generation of gangsters.

Breaking the Code