Tuesday, February 3, 2009
In a taste of trouble to come for John "Junior" Gotti, a Mafia turncoat fingered the mob scion for a legendary hit on a Gambino soldier who refused to come running when his father, John "Dapper Don" Gotti, called.
On the witness stand for a second day at the trial of accused hit man Charles Carneglia, former capo Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo recounted how another wiseguy had told him that the younger Gotti orchestrated the 1990 murder of Louis DiBono.
"It was the first time I learned John Jr. was involved in a hit," DiLeonardo, 53, said.
DiLeonardo testified that he got the damning bit of information from Edward Garafola, brother-in-law to infamous mob canary Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, once the underboss of the Gambino crime family.
"Eddie told me John Jr. was in on a hit," DiLeonardo testified as he explained how Gravano never implicated the Mafia don's son in the murder during his cooperation with the feds due to a stunning secret agreement with the Dapper Don.
"It was a son-for-a-son deal," DiLeonardo said, adding that Gravano agreed to protect Junior as long as Gotti agreed not to harm the turncoat's son, Gerard "Baby Bull" Gravano.
"There were guys going away [to prison] for a long time, and others were being left out. It was a mystery," DiLeonardo said.
The younger Gotti is currently behind bars awaiting trial for three murders, including the DiBono slaying, and a host of other racketeering charges.
DiLeonardo testified against Junior Gotti at three previous mistrials, but the earlier cases did not include any murder charges.
Carneglia, 62, allegedly reported to Junior Gotti in the 1990s and is charged with shooting DiBono.
On Dec. 12, 1989, the feds taped the elder Gotti in a conversation with Frank Locascio about the DiBono hit: "I took Sammy's word. Louie DiBono. And I sat with this guy. I saw the papers and everything. He didn't rob nothin'.
"You know why he's dying? He's gonna die because he refused to come in when I called. He didn't do nothing else wrong."
Prosecutors yesterday also showed the jury some old videotapes, recorded outside the elder Gotti's Ravenite Social Club headquarters, of Carneglia skulking around and kissing John and his brother Peter Gotti.
Prosecutors claim the hit team tracked DiBono to a World Trade Center parking garage after he failed to show up at a meeting.
Another mobster, Bobby Boriello, was acting as lookout and contacted Carneglia by radio once he spotted DiBono.
When DiBono tried to get out of his car, Carneglia allegedly shot him seven times, including four times in the head.
This slaying is one of five murder charges Carneglia faces at his racketeering trial in Brooklyn federal court.
Word of DiBono's death was welcomed by Gravano, who had a longstanding vendetta against him stemming from a dispute over a construction company they controlled together, DiLeonardo said.
DiBono had previously sought permission from mob higher-ups to have Gravano whacked over this falling out, but the request was denied.