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Profile: Lucchese crime family capo Joseph DiNapoli

By David Amoruso

Lucchese crime family captain Joseph DiNapoli (photos above) has seen it all. The longtime mobster grew up in the life alongside his two brothers, both made members of the Genovese family, and climbed to the top of the pyramid when he was handpicked by imprisoned boss Vic Amuso to lead the Lucchese family as part of a three-man ruling panel.

Through the years authorities have linked the elderly gangster to various multi-million-dollar schemes. Including one scheme that involved billions of illegal dollars.

In December 2007, DiNapoli and several other high ranking Lucchese wiseguys were busted in Operation Heat, an investigation that uncovered an international criminal enterprise which, according to prosecutors, transacted an estimated $2.2 billion in wagers, primarily on sporting events, during a 15-month period. The gambling operation received and processed the wagers using password-protected websites and a Costa Rican “wire room” where bets were recorded and results tallied.

As one of the family’s leading bosses, DiNapoli received a percentage of the racket’s profits. As the government laid out its case, it was clear to the old wiseguy he had little chance taking his chances at a trial. On February 12, 2016, DiNapoli pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree racketeering as part of the billion-dollar gambling enterprise and got himself ready to spend some time behind bars.

You don’t retire from the Mafia. Yesterday, at 80 years old, DiNapoli was sentenced to three years in New Jersey State Prison. If he makes it out alive, the mob will be waiting. His street smarts are in high demand as law enforcement and turncoats are decimating mob families of their talent.

Whether DiNapoli is up for it, remains to be seen. He’s made enough money to retire. Of course, the life is never that simple.

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