The feds have just lined up a tough one-two punch against two top Colombo family mobsters awaiting trial for six mob murders, Gang Land has learned. The mob hits include the 1997 execution slaying of New York City police officer Ralph Dols.
Sources say prosecutors plan to unleash two new turncoats against family "street boss" Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli and consigliere Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace later this year. Charged 13 months ago with murders that qualify for capital punishment, Gioeli, 57, and Cacace, 68, are still sweating out a final decision by the feds on the death penalty issue.
One of the new federal songbirds is capo Dino (Big Dino) Calabro, who was a triggerman in Dols's killing and who has been rumored for months to have been seeking a deal. The other new recruit to Team America is Frank (Frankie Blue Eyes) Sparaco, a longtime pal of jailed-for-life acting boss Alphonse Persico. Gang Land's sources say Sparaco's decision to flip shocked the already staggered crime family.
Sparaco was arrested back in 1993 along with capo Theodore Persico - brother of official family boss Carmine and Alphonse's uncle. Sparaco was hit with murder conspiracy charges stemming from a bloody two-year-long family feud that left 12 dead.
Frankie Blue Eyes was also fingered by turncoats for the January 1992 slaying of Michael Devine, a bar-owner who had been dating Allie Perisco's then-estranged wife Teresa. Sparaco was never charged with that murder, but court documents say he shot Devine to death as the bar owner drove his Nissan Pathfinder into his Staten Island garage where the gunman then fired several coup de grace bullets into the dead man's groin. The hit was allegedly ordered from behind bars by Allie Persico, who was then near the end of a 12-year-prison stretch for racketeering.
The Persicos fought their charges. But Frankie Blue Eyes quickly agreed to plead guilty to murder conspiracy, and accept "coverage" that would preclude the feds from prosecuting him for the Devine slaying, and take 24 years in prison.
His only caveat was that he be released on bail for one day in order to take his then-three-year-old son, Antonio to the Great Adventure Amusement Park in Jackson, New Jersey.
Sources say Sparaco, who was scheduled for release in 2014, made his surprise decision to defect about 10 days ago. His relatives were notified, and he was quickly hustled out of general population and moved to a secure facility for further questioning by FBI agents, who had been pressing him to cooperate for months.
Agents used a two-pronged effort to convince Frankie Blue Eyes, a staunch Persico loyalist involved in several murder conspiracies during the bloody 1991-1993 family feud, the sources said.
Both were sticks, not carrots. First, they threatened Sparaco with new murder charges based on information they had obtained from Calabro, who along with Gioeli is charged in the current indictment with the March 1992 murders of a rival gangster and an innocent bystander during the internal family strife.
They also confronted him with strong evidence that he had fleeced $18,500 from John LeBoutillier, a former Long Island congressman. According to court papers, Sparaco conned LeBoutillier into believing that he was buying information about American POWs from Russian gangsters that Frankie Blue Eyes had met in various federal prisons over the years.
"After doing so many years in prison, Frank just couldn't handle the thought of spending the rest of his life behind bars," said one knowledgeable source.
Spokesmen for the FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment about the current status of Sparaco, or Calabro. According to the Bureau of Prisons, Sparaco, 54, who had been at a BOP facility in Elkton, Ohio, is "in transit." Calabro, 43, who had been at the Metropolitan Detention Center, was released last week, but sources say he is still incarcerated outside the BOP system.
FBI agents moved Calabro's family out of their Farmingdale, L.I. home last week and relocated them under the federal witness program.
Calabro, along with his cousin, Dino (Little Dino) Saracino, allegedly killed Dols, an off-duty housing cop in front of his Brooklyn home. Officials believe Calabro strengthens the government's case against Cacace, who is charged with angrily ordering the slaying because the cop had married the gangster's ex-wife.
Sources say that turncoat gangster Joseph (Joey Caves) Competiello, who drove a crash car to and from the murder scene, had less first-hand knowledge that Joe Waverly had ordered the hit, and the reasons for it.
Like Frankie Blue Eyes, whose 1993 guilty plea covered five murders, Big Dino Calabro has numerous killings on his mob resume. In the current indictment, for example, Calabro is charged with eight murders, including the 1994 killing of college student Carmine Gargano, whose body has never been recovered.
At trial, Calabro is expected to testify that Tommy Shots Gioeli (right) was involved in at least five of those murders, including the 1999 slaying of former underboss William (Wild Bill) Cutolo. Also on the hit list is the 1992 double homicide of rival gangster John Minerva and a friend who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time during the Colombo war.
Sources say that Frankie Blue Eyes, who was involved in several wartime murder plots by the Persico faction, will also be able to shed some light on the Minerva slaying, for which three other mobsters were also convicted in 1994.
LeBoutillier, a wealthy blue-blood Republican from Old Westbury who believed he was paying Russian gangsters for leads about American POWs through Sparaco for about nine years, told Gang Land that he is still not convinced that he was conned by Frankie Blue Eyes.
"I'm very unhappy about this," he said. "But I don't know that it's true; I still hope that it isn't. I know I never paid any money to Frank, I paid the money to try and get information from the Russian mob about the POWs."