Ralph DiMatteo, 66, was the only person mentioned in Tuesday’s federal indictment to evade arrest, and that’s because he was soaking up the Florida rays.
At some point, his son – Angelo DiMatteo – posted a picture of his dad – shirtless and waist-deep in a pool – to his Twitter account.
DiMatteo’s wife is pictured behind him, with her head at the edge of the pool as she relaxes and enjoys its waters.
It was accompanied by a rat emoji, suggesting the family are unhappy about snitches getting them in trouble.
The picture and tweet have since been removed, and it isn’t clear if it was posted before or after the indictment against DiMatteo was filed.
John Marzulli, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, declined to comment on the snap.
Ralph DiMatteo, 66,(pictured) taunts the FBI with a pool picture after federal law enforcement arrested other members of his Colombo crime family
DiMatteo, who remains on the run as of Thursday morning, served as consigliere – or special adviser to the crime boss – was part of a sweeping indictment against the entire leadership of the Colombo crime family.
The indictment accuses the crime family of running a scheme involving labor union shakedowns, extortion, loansharking, drug trafficking and money laundering.
DiMatteo is accused of colluding with fellow defendants to devise a scheme to launder money from union healthcare contracts and payments.
He is said to have done so through various channels linked to Joseph Bellantoni, who was named as a co-conspirator, and eventually to the Colombo crime family’s leaders, according to the federal indictment.
DiMatteo was also accused of threatening bodily harm to control the management of the labor union that they were targeting, and influenced decisions that benefitted the family.
Reputed Colombo street boss Andrew ‘Andy Mush’ Russo, 87, and his underboss, Benjamin ‘The Claw’ Castellazzo, 83, were also scooped up by federal agents and New York police, along with seven other members of the Colombo crime family.
Among those charged was 75-year-old capo (captain) Vincent ‘Vinny Unions’ Ricciardo, who was recorded during a phone call in June threatening to kill a labor union official if he didn’t play ball, according to the 19-count indictment.
‘I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids, right in front of his f***ing house,’ Ricciardo says in the disturbing recording described in the indictment.
‘I’m not afraid to go to jail, let me tell you something, to prove a point? I would f***ing shoot him right in front of his wife and kids, call the police, f*** it, let me go, how long you think I’m gonna last anyway?’
Reputed street boss of the Colombo crime family Andrew ‘Mush’ Russo, 85, (left) and Capo Vincent ‘Vinny Unions’ Ricciardo (right) arrested in an early-morning raid Tuesday in NYC
Colombo underboss Benjamin ‘The Claw’ Castellazzo (left), 83, and high-ranking capo Theodore ‘Skinny Teddy’ Persico Jr. (right), were among the 13 arrested mobsters, feds said
The other captains, or capos, arrested include Richard Ferrara, 59, and Theodore ‘Skinny Teddy’ Persico Jr., 58, who is the nephew of the late Colombo boss Carmine ‘The Snake’ Persico.
Colombo soldier Michael Uvino, 56, and associates Thomas Costa, 52, and Domenick Ricciardo, 56 – Vincent’s cousin – were also booked.
The indictment against the crime family members lays out multiple schemes in a long-running campaign to infiltrate and take control of a Queens-based labor union and its affiliated health care benefit program, and a conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with workplace safety certifications.
The feds also arrested a footsoldier for the Bonanno family, 59-year-old John ‘Maniac’ Ragano, who is charged with loansharking, fraud and drug-trafficking offenses.
Ragano is accused of leading a scheme to issue fraudulent workplace safety training certifications to construction workers, according to the indictment.
Rather than provide candidates the proper training, Ragano and fellow defendant and business partner, John Glover, 62, allegedly falsified federal paperwork, indicating hundreds of workers completed mandatory safety courses that they did not actually complete – or even attend.
The feds also arrested a soldier for the Bonanno family, John ‘Maniac’ Ragano, who is charged with loansharking, fraud and drug-trafficking offenses
Instead, various defendants used Ragano’s pseudo-schools to conduct meetings involving Sicilian mafia members and to store stashes of illegal drugs.
Meanwhile they generated cash using the schools in Franklin Square and Ozone Park as ‘certificate mills’, charging $500 a pop for construction safety training certificates without providing any training or testing, according to the indictment.
Biggest mafia busts in history
November 14, 1957: State troopers raid a national meeting of mafia leaders at the home of mobster Joseph ‘Joe the Barber’ Barbara in Apalachin, New York. Dozens escape and the 58 taken into custody insisted they were there to deliver well-wishes to an ailing friend, and were eventually released. The incident raised major national awareness of the mafia.
February 1985: US Attorney Rudy Giuliani indicted 11 Mafia leaders, including the heads of New York’s five dominant crime families. The Mafia Commission Trial delivered a crushing blow to the mob.
December 11, 1990: Detectives raid the Ravenite Social Club, arresting Gambino boss John Gotti Jr, his underboss Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano and Gambino consigliere Frank ‘Frankie Loc’ LoCascio.
January 20, 2011: Authorities arrested 119 organized crime suspects in what the FBI called the largest single-day operation against the Mafia in history.
The final defendant, Vincent Martino, 43, was charged along with Vincent Ricciardo, Ragano, Costa, and Glover with conspiracy to distribute marijuana by transporting large shipments of the drug across state lines in vehicles from New York to Florida.
‘Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,’ FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll said concerning the indictment. ‘The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.’
‘These soldiers, consiglieres, underbosses, and bosses are obviously not students of history, and don’t seem to comprehend that we’re going to catch them. Regardless of how many times they fill the void we create in their ranks, our FBI Organized Crime Task Force, and our law enforcement partners, are positioned to take them out again, and again.’
According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators committed and are charged with a wide array of crimes – including extortion, loansharking, fraud and drug trafficking – on behalf of the Colombo organized crime family.
In 2019, the family sought to divert more than $10,000 per month from the union’s healthcare system directly to the administration of the Colombo crime family.
The Colombo family is one of five major mafia organizations in the northeastern United States. The others are the Genovese, Lucchese, Gambino and Bonanno families.
The latest indictments leave it unclear who remains to take control of the Colombo syndicate on the street.
The entire administration of the Colombo crime family, including Russo and Castellazzo, already pleaded guilty to a variety of mobster activities in 2012.
The New York mafia has been weakened by several blows in recent years, including arrests, fratricidal struggles and competition from other criminal organizations, but they are still considered active.
The reputed boss of the Gambino clan, ‘Frank’ Cali, was shot and killed outside his home in the New York borough of Staten Island in March 2019.
Colombo crime family: A history of violence and in-fighting
The Colombo Crime Family is the youngest of the big five families which run the organized mafia in New York.
It was initially recognized as the Profaci Crime Family, with Joe Profaci leading the family following the assassinations of Giuseppe ‘Joe The Boss’ Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano.
Profaci ruled the family until the 1950s when internal feuds led to three conflicts.
The first was led by Joe Gallo, but this revolt died down after Gallo was arrested and Profaci died from cancer.
The family remained divided until the 1960s when Joseph Colombo assumed control, however, after he was shot in 1971 following Gallo’s release from prison, a second family war broke out.
Colombo loyalists under the command of Persico defeated the Gallos and exiled them to the Genovese family.
A third internal family war eventually broke out in the 1990s when acting boss Victor Orena tried to seize power while Persico was in prison.
The family was divided in two, and ended after two years when Orena was imprisoned.
Persico continued to lead the family until his death behind bars in 2019.
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