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Mob Con 2013 Las Vegas Part II Andrew DiDonato

Submitted by on Wednesday, 9 October 20138 Comments

Last week I shared with you a letter that I sent to Mr. James M. Sweeney, the President-Business Manager of Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers. His union contributed $12,308.50 to Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s campaign for Sheriff of McHenry County. I want to know why this Joliet based union is kicking in on his campaign and you should too. We all should want to know their interest in our election and why they choose to support a gangster regime. Hopefully Mr. Sweeney can provide clarity to those questions soon. While we wait, I want to introduce you to some of the great people that I have met at Mob Con 2013.

The folks that attended this event were not only former mobsters and the cops that chased them. There were true crime authors, journalist, a CIA operative, private investigators, people related to the movie CASINO, and of course a victim’s son. Some of the people that I have met wore many of these hats. All of the people that were there were united at least under one flag, we are all against corruption; whether it is law enforcement, government, or the mob.

Andrew DiDonato on ABC Channel 13 Action News Las Vegas.

Andrew DiDonato on ABC Channel 13 Action News Las Vegas.

I want to introduce you to Andrew DiDonato. I knew Andrew before Mob Con. Denny Griffin was working on  Andrew’s Book, SURVIVING THE MOB, when Denny and I were raising awareness on my father’s case and trying to get Larry Neumann named as the murderer. Denny and Andrew also had me on their radio show right before my book was to be released. Andrew has an incredible story to tell and I want to share some of his story with you.

Andrew was no stranger to the mob. He grew up with family members that were connected to the mob in New York. Andrew is from Brooklyn and he started to get the attention of the mob when he was just 17 years old by shaking down drug dealers. He would approach them and tell them that someone is going to hurt you, but I can help. I can keep them away from you if you can kick back up to me. One day one of his drug dealers that he offered protection to, told him that someone had moved in on his territory selling weed. Andrew had to act fast and with conviction. He approached the unwanted dealer, cracked him in the head with a police baton, and sent him to the ER. Andrew made true on his word and the protection that he offered and never had a problem after that.

After his taste of shaking down dealers, he moved quickly into other ventures. Stealing cars, drug dealing, extortion, book making, loan sharking, and anything else that would prep him to be a good soldier to a New York family. With his abilities as a criminal and his envy for “the life,” he was on his way. Shortly after working on the street he would come face to face with Nicky Corozzo.

Nicky Corrozo was a made member of the Gambino Crime Family. Like Andrew he was from Brooklyn and he was a rising star in the Gambino Crime Family. He would later become Capo and acting Gambino boss.

Hearing of the exploits of Andrew, Nicky was impressed. He put the word out on the street that he wanted to meet with Andrew. Andrew wasted no time and met with Nicky. Nicky told him that if you run into any trouble out in the street to let people know that he was with him. At the age of 17 years old, Andrew was now a Gambino Associate.

Sometimes the New York families will fight among each other. Andrew found himself in the midst of an escalation with some of the Lucchese associates. The escalation turned into a gun fight where Andrew’s boss was in the cross hairs. Andrew pushed Nicky’s head down in the car that he was sitting in, to protect him from the flying bullets. No one was hurt, but Nicky ordered the Luccheses that did this dead. Andrew waited for these guys, and he was able to move up on them in his vehicle while Luccheses sat in theirs. The Gambinos moved in and shot the Luccheses  vehicle up. Again no one was hurt, including the Luccheses. Instead of continual escalation it was decided that they would have a sit down with the Luccheses. Out of the sit down the Luccheses wanted the shooter to settle the score; Andrew! However, that was not going to happen. Nicky is a made guy and there was no orders to shoot at him, a big no no in the world of the mob. That settled the beef between the two factions and Nicky had a soldier that he could trust and Andrew thinks that he has family that has his back.

Things change quickly for Andrew. In a hot-headed rage with a guy that was making passes at his girlfriend, he shoots him in the head. The guy loses his eye sight in one eye but lives. Andrew winds up in prison for four years. He was put away on the testimony of a childhood friend that was driving around with him that day. Andrew thought the guy should have been intimidated or killed so he would not testify against him. He thought that was what the “family” is all about. When he gets out of prison he goes back to his crime family were Nicky explains to Andrew that there are things that are bigger than him. More or less he learns that he is expendable and there is no loyalty among the bosses for good soldiers kicking up to them.

Disenchanted with the Gambinos, Andrew breaks his parole, and goes on the lam committing crimes with other New York Families. Now the Gambinos are looking for him and so is law enforcement. Andrew was on the street for 14 months and eventually snuck back home. While home he started to date a girl whose father was a mobster.

The girl’s father heard that Andrew was dating his daughter and sent one of his guys to have a sit down with him. Andrew was unsure if this was a setup but he went to meet the associate anyway. As he was talking to this man sitting on a park bench, Andrew noticed a woman sitting on a park bench across from him. He realizes that it is his mother. She is clutching a pistol in her hand. She thought that this may be a setup as well, and wanted to protect her son. Andrew is losing his mind because if this associates sees his mother, he is most likely going to shoot her. Andrew knows that he is going to have to kill him first before he would be allowed to do that. Luckily it was legit. The father wanted to relay to Andrew that he was to hot right now, and he did not want him endangering his daughter. As soon as the conversation was over, Andrew ran over towards his mother on the park bench and grabbed the pistol away from her. She loss it, and broke down, another message to Andrew of what life in the mob is really all about. Making a mother cry because she is fearing for the life of her son.

Still in the life, Andrew had to resort to crime to fund him being on the run. He was planning to rob a bank when he was swarmed by vehicles and men with guns. To his relief it was the feds and not a crime family there to assassinate him. However, Andrew realizes he is now facing real time, not just four years like before,  he was facing 40 years for his crimes.

Kenji Gallow, Paul Scharff, Andrew DiDonato, and Dennis N. Griffin at Mob Con 2013 September 7th. Kenji Gallow is a former Columbo Crime Family member, Andrew DiDonato is a former Gambino Crime Family Member, and Dennis N Griffin is a nationally renowned true crime author.

Kenji Gallow, Paul Scharff, Andrew DiDonato, and Dennis N. Griffin at Mob Con 2013 September 7th. Kenji Gallow is a former Columbo Crime Family member, Andrew DiDonato is a former Gambino Crime Family Member, and Dennis N Griffin is a nationally renowned true crime author.

Now it was time to reflect on his life. Andrew figured that there was no one there for him and there was no such thing as a “family,” it was all folklore. For a reduction of his sentence to four years, Andrew spent his time at trials testifying against members of different  New York crime families that he committed crimes with, which included Nicky Corozzo. After he served his time, he goes into the witness protection program.

Since then Andrew has co-authored his book with my good friend Denny Griffin called SURVIVING THE MOB. It is an excellent book. It provides insight to the New York mob which is different in some ways to the Chicago Outfit. I did not spoil anything here, there is a ton of stories left in Andrew’s book to read. Other than I know that all of his stories are true it is hard for me to imagine that he has done all of these things. When I talk to him,  he is really a genuine guy; but then again that is because he is.

After Mob Con I hung around Las Vegas to go see the Mob Museum. While I was paying for my ticket I hear Andrew. I thought cool, I will hurry up pay for my ticket and check out the museum with him. When I ran around the coroner to catch him, I ran into an exhibit where I see Andrew on a big monitor talking about his experiences. Oh well, on my own walking through the museum as initially planned.

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8 Comments »

  • Duncan Mchenry says:

    The Mafia runs deep in Mchenry County….. There is no doubt they help determine politics in Mchenry County……

  • Duncan Mchenry says:

    Members of the Local 150 and the Mafia have their own personal parking spots at the Mchenry County Courthouse. Additionally, they have been provided “KEY CARDS” so they can enter the County Court House at their leisure, compliments of Andy Zinke and Keith Nygren… I have heard from “SEVERAL” sources this week that the the Local 150, which is entrenched with Mafia, have been extorting money from people in exchange for being allowed to run their businesses…. This is what happens when the Mafia becomes advanced within a Government system and has the blessings of our local County Sheriff Keith Nygren. The same dynamic is taking place in Mchenry County that takes place in New York where there is a Mafia stronghold on the City. If you want to get rid of the Mafia in Mchenry County we will have to get rid of Keith Nygren and Andy Zinke and that means making sure they are not elected into office… Bill Prim has no Mafia connections and is willing to bring our community back to the Home Town Government everyone deserves. Well people what are you going to do? It is up to everyone to take a stand and get out on election day and take our government back. The laws can again become for the people by the people, but only if the people make make it happen through the power of the vote.

  • […] We were all at the cocktail party at the Tropicana in Las Vegas for Mob Con. He was talking to Andrew DiDonato, a former Gambino Associate and a friend of mine. Andrew had walked off and I was talking to Kenji. […]

  • Really? says:

    Paul- As a newbie to McHenry County, I have to ask–on what basis are you making the assertions that McHenry County is tied to the mob? I’ve visited this site before and have read about your father and what happened +30 years ago–but aside from a Union donation–where’s this mob link? This line of conspiracy theory has been laid out before–each person has announced that the “end is coming” and all the electorate evil deeds will come to light–but the reveal is always another day away. Sorry, but you’re sounding a bit like a disenfranchised son, with an axe to grind, who’s out to sell his book by lambasting elected officials by safely quoting that you “heard from several sources”. I’m sure this post will never see the light of day, but it has to be said…

  • Duncan Mchenry says:

    “Really” There absolutely is a mafia link. Your twist on the facts has no validity. I am no disenfranchised son with an ax to grind. However, I have lived in Mchenry County for over thirty years and have had first hand experience with corruption in Mchenry County and have first hand knowledge of Mafia extortion… Not only do you have to pay to play in Illinois but, business owners are required to pay a fee to run their businesses.The Mafia is tied to Mchenry County politics and corruption and has been for years… You are clearly out of touch and don’t have a clue about what you are talking about. Or, maybe you are just one more “BIG FAT CHARADE”.. If you don’t know how to speak the truth, don’t speak at all. Because, you are waisting everyones time by twisting the truth..

  • […] son, with an axe to grind, who’s out to sell his book,” is a comment that I found on my article on Andrew DiDonato that I did two weeks ago. I think that is more than ok to have a difference of opinion and/or […]

  • Paul Scharff says:

    Not only have I posted your comment, I have made your comment the basis of my article this week. Here is my reply “newbie,” or shall I say long time Regime supporter.
    http://www.mchenrycounty1981.com/archives/2013/10/paul-scharff-disenfranchised-son-axe-grind-whos-sell-book/

  • Paul Scharff says:

    I want to thank you for posting your comment. Since my response in form of my latest article this week, the traffic to the site has increased. It seems that the people were greatly interested in my reply to your response and it is getting passed around. Thank you for participating on my website. Participation increases momentum.

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