Monday, April 13, 2020

The real Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco is a 1997 American crime drama film starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. The film is based on the true story of Joseph D. Pistone (Depp), an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family in New York during the 1970s, under the alias Donnie Brasco, aka 'The Jewel Man'.
In September 1976 Joe Pistone walked out of the FBI office and did not return for the next six years. The FBI erased Pistone's history. Officially, he never existed.

Pistone became an associate in Jilly Greca's crew from the Colombo family. Greca's crew was involved mostly in hijacking trucks. He later moved to the Bonanno family and subsequently developed a close relationship with Anthony Mirra and Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano, and was tutored in the ways of the Mafia by Bonanno soldier Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggiero.

Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero
After Pistone had spent six years undercover, he was ordered to end his operation. Only after Pistone departed did FBI agents inform Napolitano and Ruggiero that their longtime associate was an FBI agent.

Shortly after Napolitano was murdered for having allowed an FBI agent to infiltrate the family; he was shot dead and his hands were cut off. Anthony Mirra, who initially brought Pistone to the family, was also killed. Ruggiero was to be killed as well, but was arrested by the FBI while on his way to a meeting in order to prevent his murder. The Mafia put out a $500,000 contract on Pistone and kicked the Bonanno family off the Commission. FBI agents visited Mafia bosses in New York and told them not to bother with the contract. It was dropped by Paul Castellano who headed the Commission. The evidence collected by Pistone led to over 200 indictments and over 100 convictions of Mafia members.
On November 24, 1994, Benjamin Ruggiero died of lung cancer at the age of 68. Ruggiero murdered 26 people. He refused to break omertà when arrested.

Anthony Mirra

Dominick Napolitano
A Brooklyn judge rejected Bonanno associate Ronald (Monkey Man) Filocomo’s bid for compassionate release from prison. Filocomo admitted killing capo Dominick (Sonny Black) Napolitano in 1981. He was sentenced to 20 years in 2004.