Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family

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"Petey Chops wasn't kicking up. And if he didn't start soon, he was going to get whacked." So begins Making Jack Falcone, the extraordinary true story of an undercover FBI agent's years-long investigation of the Gambinos, which resulted in a string of arrests that crippled the organized crime family.

But long before Joaquin "Jack" Garcia found himself wearing a wire with some of the Mafia's top capos, he was one of the FBI's unlikeliest recruits. A Cuban-born American, Jack graduated from Quantico standing six-foot-four and weighing 300 pounds -- not your typical G-man. Jack's stature soon proved an asset as the FBI looked to place agents undercover with drug smugglers, counterfeiters, and even killers. Jack became one of the few FBI agents dedicated solely to undercover work.

Using a series of carefully created aliases, Jack insinuated himself in the criminal world, from the Badlands of Philadelphia, where he was a gregarious money launderer, to the streets of Miami, where an undercover Garcia moved stolen and illicit goods and brought down dirty cops. Jack jumped at the opportunity to infiltrate the shadowy world of La Cosa Nostra, but how would the Cuban-American convince wiseguys that he was one of their own, a Sicilian capable of "earning his button" -- getting made in the Mafia? For the first time, the FBI created a special "mob school" for Jack, teaching him how to eat, talk, and think like a wiseguy. And it wasn't long before the freshly minted Jack Falcone found himself under the wing of one of the Gambinos' old school capos, Greg DePalma. DePalma, who cared for an ailing John Gotti in prison, introduced Falcone to his world of shakedowns, beatings, and envelopes of cash, never suspecting that one of his trusted crew members was a federal agent.

A page-turning account of the struggle between law enforcement and organized crime that will rank with such classic stories as Donnie Brasco, Serpico, and Wiseguy, Making Jack Falcone is an unforgettable trip into America's underworld through the eyes of a highly decorated FBI veteran.
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About the author

Jack Garcia spent a total of twenty-six years as a special agent for the FBI. He has received awards from the United States Attorney's offices in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Miami, as well as the FBI's Director's Award for Investigative Excellence and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Now retired from the FBI, Jack enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Michael Levin writes and ghostwrites in Orange County, California, where he runs www.Business Ghost.com.
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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 29, 2009
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781439166680
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
Biography & Autobiography / Law Enforcement
Law / Criminal Law / General
True Crime / Organized Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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No one can tell the true story of the Mafia in America better than Bill Bonanno. He was there. He lived it.

Bill Bonanno was born into a world of respect, tradition, and honor. The son of legendary mafioso Joe Bonanno, Bill was a "made" member of the Mafia by the time he was in his early twenties. He was rumored to be the model for The Godfather's Michael Corleone and was the subject of Gay Talese's best-selling Honor Thy Father.

Now retired, Bill is finally ready to give an eyewitness account of his life as a high-ranking captain in the Bonanno crime family, one of America's most powerful Mafia syndicates. He takes you inside the mob at its peak, when New York's Five Families-Bonanno, Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese, and Genovese-not only dominated local businesses, but also controlled national politics. For the first time, Bill Bonanno discloses the machinations behind his marriage to Rosalie Profaci (niece of the powerful don Joe Profaci), and even that cemented the alliance between the two Families with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding. From the truth about the mysterious disappearance of his father to a startling disclosure about he mob's participation in the Kennedy assassination, Bill Bonanno lays bare the inner workings of his chaotic, violent, and surprisingly human world with unparalleled detail and insight.

Bound By Honor not only recounts Bill Bonanno's tumultuous life, but also is an engrossing chronicle of organized crime. Bonanno's story provides a remarkable glimpse into all of the intriguing personalities of the underworld of yesterday to today, from Bugsy Siegel to John Gotti.

This book is a must for readers of Mario Puzo, Gay Talese, Nicholas Pileggi, and others who have written abut the Mafia, but who have never been in the eye of the storm in quite the same way as Bill Bonanno in Bound By Honor.

Meet the men who murdered for the mob—and made John Gotti the most powerful and deadly crime boss in America . . .

They called him the “Teflon Don.” But in his short reign as the head of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti wracked up a lifetime of charges from gambling, extortion, and tax evasion to racketeering, conspiracy, and five convictions of murder. He didn’t do it alone. Surrounding himself with a rogues gallery of contract killers, fixers, and enforcers, he built one of the richest, most powerful crime empires in modern history. Who were these men? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony M. DeStefano takes you inside Gotti’s inner circle to reveal the dark hearts and violent deeds of the most remorseless and cold-blooded characters in organized crime. Men so vicious even the other Mafia families were terrified of them. Meet Gotti’s Boys . . .

* Charles Carneglia: the ruthless junkyard dog who allegedly disposed of bodies for the mob—by dissolving them in acid then displaying their jewels.

* Gene Gotti: the younger Gotti brother who ran a multimillion-dollar drug smuggling ring—enraging his bosses in the Gambino family.

* Angelo “Quack-Quack” Ruggiero: the loose-lipped contract killer who was wire-tapped by the FBI—and dared to insult Gotti behind his back.

* Tony “Roach” Rampino: the hardcore stoner who looked like a cockroach—and used his gangly arms and horror-mask face to frighten his enemies.

* “Sammy the Bull” Gravano: the Gambino underboss who helped John Gotti execute Gambino mob boss Paul Castellano—then sang like a canary to take Gotti down.

Rounding out this nefarious group were the likes of Frank DeCicco, Vincent Artuso, and Joe “The German” Watts, a man who wasn’t a Mafiosi but had all of the power and prestige of one in John Gotti’s slaughterhouse crew. Gotti’s Boys is a killer line-up of the crime-hardened mob soldiers who killed at their ruthless leader’s merciless bidding—brought to vivid life by the prize-winning chronicler of the American mob.
The basis for the hit TV series Gangland Undercover!

The gripping account from an ex-con who went undercover to help the ATF infiltrate three of America's most violent biker gangs

Despite lacking any experience with motorcycle gangs, Charles Falco infiltrated three of America's deadliest biker gangs: the Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws. In separate investigations that spanned years and coasts, Falco risked his life, suffering a fractured neck and a severely torn shoulder, working deep under cover to bring violent sociopaths to justice.

His dedication was profound; Falco spent almost three years infiltrating the Vagos gang and rose to second in command of the Victorville, California chapter. He even served time in San Bernardino's Murder Unit and endured solitary confinement to protect his cover and the investigations. Falco recorded confessions of gangland-style killings and nearly became a target himself before he sought refuge in the Witness Protection Program. But discontent to remain on the sidelines and motivated by a strong sense of duty, Falco eventually left the Program and volunteer his talents again to infiltrate the Mongols and Outlaws, rising in rank to Vice President of the Petersburg, Virginia Outlaws chapter.

His efforts culminated in sixty two arrests of members for various crimes, including assault and murder. Executing one of this country's most successful RICO prosecutions and effectively crippling the criminal enterprise, Falco's engrossing narrative of the dangers of the biker underworld harkens back to Hunter S. Thompson's classic Hell's Angels, vividly recounting a life undercover.

The Last Of The Old-World Mob Bosses--And The Ultimate Betrayal

For more than twenty years, Joseph "Big Joey" Massino ran what was called the largest criminal network in the U.S., employing over two hundred and fifty made men and untold numbers of associates. The Bonanno family was responsible for over thirty murders, even killing a dozen of its own members to enforce discipline and settle scores. He would be brought down by Salvatore "Good Looking Sal" Vitale, the underboss who was not only Massino's closest and most trusted friend, but also his brother-in-law. In the end, facing the death penalty and the prospect of leaving his family penniless, Massino started talking to the FBI--the first Mafia Godfather to break the sacred code of omerta, and the end of a centuries-old tradition.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Anthony DeStefano, who interviewed Massino's family and friends as well as law enforcement officials and confidential sources, King of the Godfathers is the story of the brutal mob war that made Massino head of the Bonanno family and the most powerful gangster in America.

"The best and last word on the subject." --Jerry Capeci, Gangland News.com and bestselling co-author of Murder Machine

With 16 Pages of Revealing Photos!

Anthony Destefano was part of the team of New York Newsday reporters who won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the August 1991 subway crash in Manhattan. He covers organized crime for Newsday and was the lead reporter on several major criminal trials, including that of subway gunman Bernhard Goetz. He lives in New Jersey.
The chilling true story of how the son of the most violent mobster in Chicago helped bring down the last great American crime syndicate: the one-hundred-year-old Chicago Outfit.

In Operation Family Secrets, Frank Calabrese, Jr. reveals for the first time the outfit’s “made” ceremony and describes being put to work alongside his father and uncle in loan sharking, gambling, labor racketeering, and extortion. As members of the outfit, they plotted the slaying of a fellow gangster, committed the bombing murder of a trucking executive, the gangland execution of two mobsters—whose burial in an Indiana cornfield was reenacted in Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster film Casino—and numerous other hits.

The Calabrese Crew’s colossal earnings and extreme ruthlessness made them both a dreaded criminal gang and the object of an intense FBi inquiry. When Frank Jr., his father, and Uncle Nick are convicted on racketeering violations, “Junior” and “Senior” are sent to the same federal penitentiary in Michigan. It's there that Frank Jr. makes the life-changing decision to go straight. But he needs to keep his father behind bars in order to regain control of his life and save his family. So Frank Jr. makes a secret deal with prosecutors, and for six months—unmonitored and unprotected—he wears a wire as his father recounts decades of hideous crimes. Frank Jr.’s cooperation with the FBI for virtually no monetary gain or special privileges helped create the government’s “Operation Family Secrets” campaign against the Chicago outfit, which reopened eighteen unsolved murders, implicated twelve La Cosa Nostra soldiers and two outfit bosses, and became one of the largest organized crime cases in U.S. history.

Operation Family Secrets intimately portrays how organized crime rots a family from the inside out while detailing Frank Jr.’s deadly prison-yard mission, the FBI’s landmark investigation, and the U.S. attorney’s office’s daring prosecution of America’s most dangerous criminal organization.
The Mob was the biggest, richest business in America—too dangerous and too deadly to fail. Until it was destroyed from within by drugs, greed, and the decline of its traditional crime Family values.

And by guys like Sal Polisi.

He was born in Brooklyn—the same place that spawned Murder, Inc., Al Capone, and John Gotti, the future Mob godfather who became his friend. Polisi was raised on a family legacy that led him into the life he loved as a member of the Colombos, one of the New York Mob’s feared Five Families, and came of age when the Mafia was at the height of its vast wealth and power.

Known by his Mob name, Sally Ubatz (“Crazy Sally”), he ran an illegal after-hours gambling den, The Sinatra Club, that was a magic kingdom of crime and a hangout for up-and-coming mobsters like Gotti and the three wiseguys immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas—Henry Hill, Jimmy Burke, and Tommy DeSimone. For Polisi, the nonstop thrills of glory days spent robbing banks, hijacking trucks, pulling daring heists—and getting away with it all, thanks to cops and public servants corrupted by Mob money—were fleeting. When he was busted for drug trafficking, and already sickened by the bloodbath that engulfed the Mob as it teetered toward extinction, he flipped and became one of a breed he had loathed all his life—a rat.

In this riveting, pulse-pounding, and, at times, darkly hilarious first-person chronicle of his brazen crimes, wild sexual escapades, and personal tragedies, Polisi tells his story of life inside the New York Mob in a voice straight from the streets. With shocking candor, he draws on a hard-won knowledge of Mob history to paint a neverbefore- seen picture of the inner workings of the Mob and the larger-than-life characters who populated a once extensive and secret underworld that, thanks to guys like him, no longer exists.

***

I was always a street guy. I was into robbing and stealing and gambling and loan sharking. I wasn’t involved in the bigmoney sit-downs, the labor racketeering and construction company shakedowns, the Garment District and garbage and cement company kickbacks. . . . For guys like me and Fox, my blood brother and crime partner, the thing we loved about being in that life was the action, the excitement. . . .We were in it for the money, sure. But it was the danger, the thrills that made the life of crime something special.

A guy like John Gotti was different. He was far more ambitious than me and Fox. He wasn’t just in it for the rush and the riches. He wanted the power and the glory.

John Gotti’s tragedy, if you can call it that, was that he was born too late for the old-school gangster crown that he craved. He began his rise as the Mob was beginning to crumble; by the time he got to the top, the bottom had dropped out.

From the beginning, John was charismatic and smart. He just wasn’t cut out to be godfather. Once he became boss, he drove the bus right off the bridge. Or maybe it was the bus that drove him. Either way, I watched him go.

Here’s how it all happened.
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