Jackie The Kid Giacalone

Current Mafia Bosses in 2022

In 2022, not all mafia families have an official boss. Some have “acting bosses” or “street bosses” who run the family. Others like the Luccheses and Bruno Family have had the same bosses for decades. In certain cases, the bosses and hierarchy of the families are not known because the real boss recently passed away, was killed or retired. 

Michael “The Nose” Mancuso – Michael “The Nose” Mancuso has been the official boss of the Bonanno Family for eight years. He’s the first official boss of the Bonannos since Joey Massino became a government witness in 2004. Joseph “Joe C” Cammarano Jr. is Mancuso’s street boss, and also is serving as acting underboss. 

Mancuso initially made his name as a member of the Purple Gang. They were an Italian based gang of enforcers who ran the heroin trade in East Harlem. The Purple Gang did jobs for the five families, but were mostly an independent unit. Mancuso would eventually become made into the Bonanno Family. He was named acting underboss in 2004.

The Nose has a real sordid past. He served 10 years after being convicted of manslaughter in the death of his wife Evelina. He has been implicated in several murders, including that of Bonanno capo Gerlando Sciascia in 1999. It was “Big Joe” Massino who tied Mancuso to that killing. In 2008, Mancuso was convicted of yet another murder and sentenced to 15 years this time.. 

He didn’t get released until 2019, and was made official boss in 2013 while he was in prison. The family he has now is one that has been very depleted. An FBI narcotics bust in 2017 and a major racketeering case in 2018 put many more Bonanno members and associates in prison. It’s likely Mancuso is being tightly monitored on a daily basis.

Andrew “Andy Mush” Russo – The most violent New York mafia family was recently forced to look for a new leader. With the death of Carmine “The Snake” Persico in 2019, the Colombo Family lost their boss since the 1970s. Some have said that Carmine assigned the position to his son Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico, but that has not been confirmed and Allie Boy is serving a life sentence.

It’s not clear if they are going to name another official boss. What is known is that “Andy “Mush” Russo is occupying the position of street boss for the Colombo Family. The problem with this arrangement is Russo is well into his 80s. Russo is a cousin of Carmine Persico and he held the title of acting unboss all the way back in 1973 when Persico took over the family. 

Russo would first be street boss all the way back in 1996. Rebuilding the Colombo Family would be no easy task. They are still a legitimate mafia family but most of their relevant members are serving long prison sentences. The Colombos never really recovered from the 3rd family war back in the early 1990s, which led to 13 people dead and a slew of informants and government witnesses. 

For decades, Carmine Persico schemed and killed anyone who might threaten his position as Colombo boss. With Russo running the family, he leaves a distant relative in charge of the struggling empire. It will be quite interesting to see if another challenger to the throne arises. The family has a long history of battling for supremacy, could a possible 4th war break out?

Lorenzo “Lore” Mannino – Lore Maninno is the new acting boss of the Gambino Family. He’s taking over for former acting boss Frank Cali, who was murdered in front of his home on March 13, 2019. While there was much speculation pointing to recently released Gene Gotti, Cali was killed by a disturbed young man in a domestic dispute. 

Lore Mannino is 60 years old and his involvement with the Gambino Family goes all the way back to the Gotti/Gravano era. In fact, Mannino was a hitman for Gotti. In 1988, Lore was part of a 5 man hit team who killed Francesco Oliveri. The planning and execution of the hit was done by Sammy Gravano, who testified against Lore and the others in 1993. 

Mannino served 10 years and was released in 2004. He served his time quietly and was promoted to capo soon after his return to the streets. By this time, some of the heat surrounding the Gotti era had finally died down. This allowed Mannino and the family to begin the slow process of rebuilding after nearly two decades of rapid Gambino Family decline. 

When official family boss Domenico “Italian Dom” Cefalu went into semi-retirement in 2015, he named Cali the acting boss. Lore Mannino became the family’s new underboss, and then became acting boss after Cali’s death. He’s taking over a family which still seems to be in transition. It’s not yet clear if Lore will be named official boss, or if they will go in another direction. 

Liborio “Barney” Bellomo – Liborio Bellomo was inducted into the Genovese Family all the way back in 1977. He was a very competent and trusted underling of legendary Genovese boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante. “Barney rose fast in the family, by 33 years old, he was named acting boss when Gigante got indicted in the Windows case. 

In 1996, Bellomo was hit with R.I.C.O. charges, which included multiple murders, racketeering and extortion. The murder charges would eventually get dropped. Barney worked out a plea agreement on the other charges, and took a 10 year sentence which was a huge success compared to the life sentence he could’ve gotten. 

He was released in 2004 and soon got wrapped up in another murder charge. He was accused of ordering the 1998 murder of Ralph Coppola while in the middle of serving his sentence. Yet again, he was able to beat the charge, while only being convicted of mail fraud. Bellomo’s daughter Sabrina may have helped him get a lighter sentence, 1 year, with her heartfelt plea for leniency. 

Bellomo has since been in firm control of the family, and may be the most powerful mafia boss in America. The Genovese Family as a unit might be doing better than any other mafia family in the country. They have a very healthy number of active captains paying tribute, roughly 15. They have a diversified income stream that leans on both criminal and legit businesses. 

Joseph “Big Joe” Todaro Jr. – Big Joe Todaro Jr.is the boss of the Magaddino Crime Family in Buffalo, New York. The family also has vast influence north of the border in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Big Joe’s father Joseph Todaro Sr. was the boss of the family in the 1980s when the family was at its strongest point. The Magaddino Family has been in existence for over a century. 

Todaro Jr. became the acting boss back in 1995 when his father went into semi-retirement. 11 years later in 2006, he would be named official boss. The family had tremendous influence over local labor unions at the time. They have since lost most of that racket, but still have many others including drug trafficking, loansharking and extortion of local businesses. 

Big Joe and his pizzeria La Nova were featured on Barstool Pizza Review with David Portnoy. The episode was a bit strange, with constant mafia references throughout by Portnoy, even though it wasn’t mentioned about Todaro being a mafia boss. At one point, Todaro gives Portnoy two La Nova hats with “Get Your F**king Shinebox” on the back of them. 

Big Joe Todaro Jr. on Barstool Pizza Review

While Todaro made some obvious tongue in cheek mafia jokes, he has never acknowledged being a part of the mafia at any point in his life. His underboss Domenico Violi oversees the Canadian interests of the family. A recent wiretap revealed that Todaro had consulted the Commission before promoting Violi, indicating that the Commission was indeed still around in some capacity. 

There is no doubt that the Magaddino Family still exists, the argument in recent years is how much influence they still carry. It’s certainly not at the level it was in years past, but they have morphed into a more semi legitimate kind of organization, like Todaro with La Nova. In December 2019, Pharaoh’s Adult Entertainment club was raided, the club is run by Todaro’s nephew. 

Vittorio “Vic” Amuso – Vic Amuso has been the official boss of the Lucchese Family since 1987. He is considered one of the deadliest mafia bosses in American history and multiple informants have reported that he still rules the family from prison. Vic and his former underboss Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso were involved in dozens of mafia killings. 

It’s not a surprise that Amuso was so violent when you consider who his original mentor was, “Crazy Joe” Gallo.  It was Vic and Gaspipe Casso who were responsible for the car bomb killing of John Gotti’s underboss Frank DeCicco in 1986. It was partial revenge for the Paul Castellano killing. Eventually they both got caught up in the famous Windows case and Casso turned informer

Amuso is the longest reigning current mafia boss, even though he’s been in prison since 1992 after being convicted on murder and racketeering charges. He is currently housed in a federal prison in Maryland serving a life sentence. He had a couple of mafia heavyweights running the show, acting boss  “Big Mike” DeSantis and underboss Steven “Wonderboy” Crea, but Crea is now serving a life sentence. 

The Lucchese Family as a unit is actually doing well, maybe third in the country behind the Gambino and Genovese families. They have captains with crews of soldiers and associates based in various areas throughout New York City and New Jersey. There have been a number of recent stings since 2017 that show the Luccheses are still under massive law enforcement scrutiny

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Active Mafia Families in the United States 2021

Salvatore “Solly D” DeLaurentis – The Chicago Outfit has been around as long or longer than any of New York’s five families. Their past bosses read like a who’s who in mafia lore: Johnny “The Fox” Torrio, Al “Scarface” Capone, Tony “Joe Batters” Accardo, Paul “The Waiter” Ricca and Sam Giancana. Their current boss is Salvatore “Solly” DeLaurentis. 

Solly took over as official boss in 2014 when previous boss John “No Nose” DiFronzo retired.DiFronzo continued to advise on family matters until his death from Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.  DeLaurentis is a very capable mobster and has in the past played peacemaker between warring Outfit factions, earning a respect that slowly carried him to the top of the Chicago Outfit. 

Solly is now in his early 80s, although he’s not retired he has taken a step back. In his place to run the Outfit is street boss Albert “Albie the Falcon” Vena, the man who most experts feel will soon be named official boss. Underboss Salvatore “Sammy Cards” Cataudella and acting consigliere John “Pudgy” Matassa Jr. round out the current Outfit hierarchy. 

The current state of the Outfit has been a subject of hot debate in recent years as to how influential they still are. Operation Family Secrets back in 2007 was a devastating gutting to their ranks. They have since rebuilt the once dominant family back into a more underground type of operation, but their high profile past will continue to haunt them moving forward. 

Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, – Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino has been the boss of the Bruno Family in Philadelphia for over twenty years now. His father was former Scarfo underboss Chuckie Merlino. Joey took over in 1999 when then boss Ralph Natale in a shocking move became a government witness. 

Merlino and his gang of “Young Turks” had boldly gone to war with previous boss John Stanfa’s crew and won in the early 1990s putting them on the map. Skinny Joey was known as a flashy dressing gangster who hung out with celebrities. He became something of a poor man’s John Gotti and would survive many attempts on his life by his enemies.

In 2001, Merlino beat three murder charges but was convicted of racketeering and served the next decade in prison. He did his time quietly but the FBI knew that Merlino was still calling the shots in Philly. When he was released in 2011, he relocated full time to Boca Raton, Florida. According to him he was fully retired from all mafia activities. 

The mafia made the news again in 2016 when a massive RICO case saw 46 mobsters arrested. Merlino was one of the men, along with several known Genovese Family members in New York. This shows the families throughout the country are still working with each other actively. Skinny Joey went back to prison until he was released again in October 2019. 

Joey has a street boss, Michael “Mikey Lance” Lancelotti who actively runs the family but defers to him. In November 2020, underboss Steven “Handsome Steve” Mazzone was indicted after the FBI recorded a making ceremony. Mazzone and a few others also discussed their desire to take back Atlantic City. The next few months should be very interesting in Philly. 

Skinny Joey Merlino
Skinny Joey Merlino

Carmen “The Cheese Man” DiNunzio – The Patriarca Family is often referred to as the New England mafia because they operate in at least four of those five states. Their base has always been in Rhode Island, but their current boss is from Boston’s North End. Carmen “The Cheese Man” DiNunzio is a former cheese shop owner who had served as the family’s underboss since 2004. 

The very large Cheese Man weighs in the neighborhood of 400lbs. He was a protege of longtime boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio who went to prison in 2011 and is now believed to be retired. DiNunzio went to prison in 2009 for bribery, and was released in early 2015. When family boss Peter Limone passed away, he became the new boss in 2016. 

DiNunzio’s brother Anthony was the former acting boss and a man that made millions of dollars shaking down strip club owners. The current underboss of the family is Matthew “Good Looking Matty” Gugliemetti, who operates out of Rhode Island. The family looks to be strengthening after decades of decline, but took a blow with the recent death of consigliere Joseph “The Bishop” Achille. 

The family is surviving because they have such a wide base and that many of their members have invested heavily into more legitimate businesses. They also have done well at avoiding the public eye in recent years and staying out of the media. It looks like their hierarchy will remain solid after nearly a full century, but they don’t have a lot of captains currently and need to build the ranks. 

Jackie “The Kid” Giacalone – The Detroit Partnership is an organized crime family that’s been in operation since the 1930s and still exists today. When the longtime boss Giacomo Tocco died in 2014, Jackie “The Kid” Giacalone stepped into his place. The Kid’s family were no strangers to the Partnership and he grew up in “the life”. He was groomed to be the boss from a young age. .

His late father Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone and late uncle Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone were both captains in the Partnership. Tony Jack was one of the men that former teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa was on the way to meet when he disappeared forever on July 30, 1975. The universal story in the mafia is that Tony Jack had Hoffa killed, not Frank Sheeran as told in The Irishman. 

Jackie The Kid inherited a fairly healthy crime family. The Partnership is smaller, about 40-50 members, but pretty functional as an outfit. They have done a great job of staying low key and have only had a minimal amount of informers. Along with extortion, loansharking and drug dealing, they have lots of investments in legitimate businesses.