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Profile: Colombo associate Giuseppe Destefano

By David Amoruso

Authorities and the media alike tend to focus on the bosses and captains of mob families, and deservingly so. But it isn’t until we take a look at the young up-and-coming mobsters that we get a sense of what’s in store for the future of La Cosa Nostra in the United States.

Take 36-year-old Giuseppe Destefano (photo above). He is an associate in the Colombo crime family and currently behind bars. On January 20, 2011, he and 126 other gangsters from New York’s five mob families, New Jersey’s DeCavalcante family, and New England’s Patriarca family were busted and charged with various racketeering charges.

Destefano was just a small fish caught in a much wider net that encapsulated a large racketeering conspiracy involving murders, union corruption, and drug trafficking. The young Colombo gangster was charged with several counts of extortion and one count of “a felon in possession of a firearm,” when he was found to have a .44 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.

Collecting extortion payments and threatening debtors seemed to be part of Destefano’s work routine in the mob. When words were not enough, perhaps he’d bring his gun to emphasize some of his talking points.

His current job description is very simple and pretty important. It’s being a standup guy who keeps his mouth shut and does his time. Destefano is doing a 50-month prison term and hopes to be back on the streets by April of 2017.

He’s already got plans too! On New Year’s Eve 2017 he wants to marry his fiancée.

As any of you who’ve ever watched any episode of a wedding reality TV show know: This day needs to be planned and rehearsed like it was a hit on mob boss Paul Castellano. Nothing may go wrong and everything needs to be perfect. If it isn’t, you better prepare for a bloody war because “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.”

Knowing this all too well, Destefano wrote a letter to a Brooklyn judge asking for permission in advance to travel out of state for the nuptials and reception. His fiancée also pointed out that the venue that is to host the wedding, Nanina’s in the Park catering hall in Belleville, New Jersey, requires a nonrefundable deposit two years in advance.

“For this reason, and to make a fiancé who has been patiently and faithfully awaiting for my return — a happily married woman — I am respectfully asking your Honors permission to be able to schedule, reserve and make arrangements for my travel to the State of New Jersey,” Destefano wrote in his misspelled letter to the judge.

You may find this to be a ballsy move by Destefano. He still has to do two years and be a well-behaved boy that entire time in order to get out at his scheduled release date. But he has good reason to be so bold. When he was awaiting sentencing on extortion charges back in 2011 a judge granted him a reprieve from house arrest to have Thanksgiving dinner with his mother at Broadway Mike restaurant in Staten Island.

Surely a wedding trumps Thanksgiving?

It doesn’t, according to the judge, who called the proposal “premature.” He ruled that Destefano is free to plan and rehearse the wedding when he has completed his sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes will no doubt be happy to hear that. “The average catering fee for a wedding at the location where the defendant seeks to celebrate his wedding is $145 per person,” Geddes told the judge. “Yet the defendant has not yet made a single payment to the outstanding $50,000 forfeiture judgment” he owes the government.

Whether he will ever make those payments is unknown. The same can be said about his future in the mob. After keeping quiet and doing his time he will come back a stronger man with more stature within La Cosa Nostra. He will be seen as dependable. He may even get a promotion and become a “made” guy with the Colombos.

But he could also figure that there is no future in life as a gangster. That there are only two ways how that life ends. Death and prison. And after experiencing time behind bars he may have gotten a new outlook on life.

When he looks his bride in the eyes and experiences the joys of life in freedom he may not want to jeopardize those things ever again.

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