American Mafia History Website

The American Mafia history website logo

American Mafia Website - Stefan Cicale Testimony

Note: On March 29, 2005, Robert McKelvey was lured to the historic Kreischer Mansion on Staten Island. McKelvey, an associate of the Bonanno Crime Family crew led by soldier Gino Galestro, was in trouble with superiors over financial matters and bragging about the crew's crimes. At the mansion, McKelvey was stabbed and drowned in a garden pool. Bonanno associates disposed of his remains in the mansion's furnace. A Brooklyn federal grand jury in October 2006 indicted Galestro and associates Joseph "Joe Black" Young, Stefan Cicale and Jose Garcia. Galestro, 39, pleaded guilty Aug. 1, 2008, to ordering the murder. (He was sentenced to 20 years in 2009.) Galestro, Cicale, Garcia and Maggio cooperated in a federal case against Joseph Young. Cicale's Oct. 14, 2008, testimony is shown below. Young was convicted Oct. 27 of racketeering and murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. This edited and formatted version of Cicale's testimony is the property of The American Mafia website. Edited by Justin Dugard. Formatted for the web by Thomas Hunt.

Jump to Menu

Stefan Cicale Testimony

United States of America v.
Joseph Young, defendant

District Judge Allyne R. Ross

United States District Court
Eastern District of New York
Brooklyn, N.Y.
October 14, 2008

1 2 3
Prosecuting attorneys:
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Winston Y. Chan, Jack Dennehy, William Schaeffer
Defense attorney:
Robert Soloway

Stefan Cicale, called by the Government, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows (Direct examination by Mr. Chan):

Q. Mr. Cicale, I'm going to show you what's been admitted into evidence as Government's Exhibit 10. Do you recognize this person?

A. Yes.

Q. Who is it?

A. Robert McKelvey.

Q. When's the last time you saw Robert McKelvey?

A. It was in March of 2005.

Q. When you saw him, was he dead or was he alive?

A. He was dead.

Q. Where did you see Robert McKelvey's dead body?

A. It was at the Kreischer Mansion on Staten Island.

Q. Where in the Kreischer Mansion did you see his dead body?

A. It was in the shed by a house.

Kreischer Mansion

Kreischer Mansion
Staten Island

Q. Who lived at the Kreischer Mansion at that time?

A. Joe Young.

Q. Do you see Joe Young in the courtroom today?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you please point him out and describe what he's wearing?

A. He's wearing a pink shirt.

THE COURT: Indicating the defendant.
MR. CHAN: Thank you, Your Honor.

Q. How did Robert McKelvey's body end up in the shed of the Kreischer Mansion?

A. He was murdered by Joe Young and Mike Maggio.

Q. After you saw the body, did you do anything to help the defendant and Mike Maggio?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. Helped him dispose of the body.

Q. Did you help him by yourself or were you -- was there someone else who helped dispose of the body?

A. There was someone else.

Q. Who was that someone else?

A. Jose Garcia.

Q. How did the four of you get rid of the body of Robert McKelvey?

A. We cut up the body with saws and burnt it in the furnace.

Q. Where was the furnace?

A. Furnace was in the basement of the mansion.

Q. What did you cut up the body with?

A. A few hacksaws.

Q. Where did you get the hacksaws?

A. At Home Depot.

Q. Of the people involved, you, Joseph Young, Mike Maggio, Jose Garcia, were the four of you involved in something together?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. It was the Bonanno Crime Family.

Q. Were you in a particular crew within the Bonanno Crime Family?

A. Yes.

Q. Whose crew was that?

A. Gino Galestro.

Q. Was he involved in the murder as well?

A. Yes.

Q. What was his role in the murder of Robert McKelvey?

A. He ordered the murder.

Personal / Family Background

Q. Mr. Cicale, I'd like to step back at this point and talk about your background for a little bit. How old are you?

A. Thirty-four.

Q. Where were you born?

A. Brooklyn.

Stefan Cicale

Stefan Cicale

Q. What ethnicity are you?

A. Italian and Jewish.

Q. Have you lived in the New York area your whole life?

A. Yes.

Q. What neighborhoods in New York did you live in?

A. Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Q. What was the most recent neighborhood?

A. Staten Island.

Q. Did you go to high school?

A. Yes.

Q. Which high school?

A. Moor Catholic High School.

Q. Did you graduate?

A. Yes.

Q. What year?

A. 1992.

Q. After you graduated from high school, did you continue with your schooling?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did you go?

A. Into College of Staten Island.

Q. How long did you go to the College of Staten Island?

A. Around two years.

Q. Did you get a degree?

A. No.

Q. What did you study there?

A. I studied liberal arts and business.

Q. When you graduated from high school, did you get legitimate work?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of legitimate jobs did you have after high school?

A. Mainly home improvement jobs.

Q. At some point, did you start your own business?

A. Yes.

Q. When was that?

A. 1996.

Q. What business?

A. Private home improvements.

Q. What was the name of the business?

A. Eventually, eventually it was incorporated, the business, and it was Staten Island Private Home Improvements Incorporated.

Q. What kind of business was that?

A. It was a home improvement business?

Q. Did the name of your home improvement business change over time?

A. Yes.

Q. What were the different names of your business?

A. Premier Home Improvements and S.D.C. Renovations.

Q. What does the S.D.C. stand for?

A. It's my initials.

Q. Did you get a contractor's license to run your business?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you get a contractor's license to run your business?

A. Yes.

Q. Did your license get suspended at some point?

A. At some time, yes.

Q. Why?

A. I had a complaint on one of my jobs and I didn't receive the letter to appear in court. I missed a hearing and they suspended my license.

Q. What was the complaint?

A. We did a rear deck job, like a little, little balcony in back of someone's house and changing some beams and some wood and roof, and the lady wasn't happy with the job.

Q. After your license was suspended, did you continue working anyway?

A. For some time.

Q. For your construction jobs, did you sometimes get referrals for your jobs?

A. Yes.

Q. When you got those referrals, did you pay a fee to the people who referred you the jobs?

A. Sometimes.

Q. Did you disclose that to the insurance company?

A. No.

Criminal Background

Q. Over the course of your life, have you committed crimes?

A. Yes.

Q. A variety of crimes?

A. Yes.

Q. How old were you when you first started committing crime?

A. Maybe in my teens.

Q. When you first started committing crime in your teens, what types of crimes were those?

A. Mostly petty crimes. Shoplifting, things like that.

Q. Shoplifting. How many times did you do that?

A. Couple times.

Q. Were you ever part of an organized shoplifting ring?

A. Yes.

Q. Explain to the jury what you did.

A. There was people working in a department store and they worked overnight. So, they would re-package the boxes. They would take whatever was in a box and discard it and put whatever they wanted in the box and one of us would go in and buy the box the next day.

Q. Did you ever get stopped for doing that?

A. Yes.

Q. Who stopped you?

A. The police.

Q. What did the police do?

A. They stopped me and they said that, that the people that were in charge, they did that more than, more than a dozen times already and that they wanted to know who's in charge.

Q. Did you cooperate with the police?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened to you?

A. I was set free.

Q. Do you know what happened to the other people?

A. Yeah, they, they were found out. And I'm not sure what happened after that.

Q. What are some of the other crimes you did when you were a teenager besides shoplifting?

A. Vandalism. Things like that.

Q. Have you used drugs in your life?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of drugs?

A. Cocaine, marijuana, steroids. Things like that.

Q. When you obtained drugs for your use, did you sometimes get drugs for your friends, too?

A. Sometimes.

Q. Did you make money doing that?

A. Sometimes.

Q. When is the last time you used illegal drugs?

A. Maybe about ten years ago.

Bonanno Crime Family

Q. You testified that you were part of the Bonanno Organized Crime Family. What's the goal of the Bonanno Organized Crime Family.

A. To generate money for its members and associates.

Q. How do they generate money?

A. From committing crimes.

Q. What kind of crimes, generally?

A. Loansharking, extortion, arson, robbery, murder.

Q. Where is the Bonanno Family located?

A. Nationwide.

Q. Are there other organized crime families besides the Bonanno Family?

A. Yes.

Q. What families are those?

A. Lucchese, Genovese, Colombo, Gambino.

Q. Four other families?

A. Yes.

Q. Five total?

A. Yes.

Q. Are there different positions within the organized crime family?

A. Yes.

Q. What are those different positions, starting from the top and going down?

A. Boss, underboss, consigliere, captain, soldier, associate.

Q. Is there a term in organized crime used, "made man"?

A. Yes.

Q. What is a "made man" in the context of organized crime?

A. "Made man" is head of a crew.

Q. Are there any requirements to become a "made man"?

A. Yes.

Q. What are the requirements?

A. You need to be full Italian.

Q. Do you need to be male?

A. I'm not sure.

Q. Are there other names for made men in organized crime?

A. Yes.

Q. What are those other names or terms?

A. There's soldier, button, friend.

Q. Are there requirements to becoming an associate of organized crime?

A. No.

Q. Do you use the term "crew"?

A. Yes.

Q. What's a crew?

A. A crew is a group of people that work for a made man.

Q. Those group of people being associates?

A. Yes.

Q. What responsibility does the made man in charge of a crew have to the associates underneath him?

A. Usually, he delegates authority to the men and protects them.

Q. How does he protect them?

A. If there's ever a problem while the crew is out doing whatever they are doing, if there's ever a problem that arises out of that, the made guy will settle that problem.

Q. What authority does he have to settle problems in organized crime?

A. He has the power from above him, you know. He has the organization behind him.

Q. In return, what responsibilities do the associates in the crew have to the made man who controls the crew?

A. Usually, they have financial obligations to him.

Q. Is that sometimes called "kicking up"?

A. Yes.

Q. What does "kicking up" mean?

A. Usually, an associate would have to kick up a percentage of any money that was gained through illegal activity or, you know, other money generated, things he was doing.

Q. Legal and illegal?

A. Yes.

Q. What does an associate have to do when he wants to commit a crime?

A. He would check with the boss of the crew before?

Q. What position were you in the Bonanno Family?

A. I was an associate.

Q. You testified you were an associate in Gino's crew, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. What year did you first become associated with the Bonanno Organized Crime Family?

A. 2002.

Gino Galestro Crew

MR. CHAN: Your Honor, may I approach?
MR. CHAN: Sir, I'm showing you a photograph marked Government's Exhibit 1.

Q. Do you recognized this person?

A. Yes.

Q. Who is that?

A. Gino Galestro.

Gino Galestro

Gino Galestro

MR. CHAN: I offer that, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Admitted.
(Government's Exhibit 1 was received in evidence.)
(The above-referred to exhibit was published to the jury.)

Q. Who is that?

A. Gino.

Q. What was his position in organized crime?

A. He was a made guy.

Q. A made guy in charge of your crew?

A. Yes.

Q. How is it that you became associated with Gino Galestro?

A. I had run into a problem in one of my home improvement jobs and the mob had come after me to collect money for damages on a job. And I didn't think it was fair what they were asking. So, I told them I wasn't going to pay them. And they said that I needed a friend to handle the situation or that they were going to hurt me physically.

Q. Let's take that one step at a time. You said you had a problem at one of your jobs?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the problem? What happened?

A. We were, we were adding a third story onto a house. We took off the roof, the existing roof of the house, and we started raising up the roof another story. So, overnight we had tarped the house. We put tarps on the house. There was nobody living there at the time, we were renovating the whole house. It was a bad storm and the tarp blew off the house. The house was badly water damaged. So, you know, the people, they had gotten compensated from the insurance company, paid for all the damages. I offered to, you know, work free of charge and whatever I could do to amend the situation. And you know, the people were very upset and they said that they didn't want me to finish the job. And then, a little -- a short time after that, I got a call from some members of the mob.

Q. What did they tell you?

A. They told me that I had to pay them $25,000 because the people had given me maybe about almost twice that for the job. They want $25,000 back. I told them, you know, we bought the materials, we did the work, you got the money from the insurance company, there's really not much I could do. And they were like, all right. Well, if you don't pay, then you know, we're going to get you. So, you better pay. If you're not going to pay, then you gotta get a friend to handle the situation.

Q. When they said that you had to get a friend. Did you understand what that meant?

A. No.

Q. Did you later understand what they meant?

A. Yes.

Q. And what was that?

A. They were saying I needed another made man in the crime family to handle the situation for me.

Q. When you realized that, what did you do?

A. I called Mike Galestro.

Q. Who is Mike Galestro?

A. Gino's brother.

MR. CHAN: Your Honor, may I approach?
MR. CHAN: I'm showing you Government's Exhibit 6 for identification.

Q. Do you recognize this photograph?

A. Yes.

Q. Who is that?

A. Mike Galestro.

MR. CHAN: I offer it.
THE COURT: Admitted.

Q. The photograph on the right, Government's Exhibit 6, who is that?

A. That's Mike.

Q. Mike who?

A. Mike Galestro.

Q. What is the relationship between Mike Galestro and Gino Galestro?

A. Brothers.

Q. How did you know Mike Galestro?

A. I would borrow money from him, from time to time.

Q. An special kind of money?

A. Loanshark money.

Q. What's loansharking?

A. When somebody, when you borrow money from a loan, if it's a loanshark loan, they add a vig. onto that money that you have to pay every week until the money's paid back.

Q. What's another word for vig?

A. "Juice".

Q. Is that the interest rate on the loan?

A. Yes.

Q. So, if you borrowed a thousand dollars, how much would you have to pay every week?

A. Most of the time, a thousand, you pay $50 a week.

Q. Would the $50 a week go towards paying off the thousand you borrowed?

A. No.

Q. So, if you paid $50 a week for a year, how much of the thousand dollars would you still owe?

A. You still owe the thousand.

Q. Is that how you came to know Mike Galestro?

A. Yes.

Q. Why did you go to him when you were told you needed to get a friend to help you with the construction problem?

A. He was the only person I knew who was connected to a mob.

Q. Did you meet with him?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you talk about?

A. I told him the problem I was having and he said he would, he said not to worry. He would talk to his brother about it.

Q. Did that happen?

A. Yeah.

Q. What happened next?

A. He called his brother and his brother wanted to meet with me. So, he set up a meeting.

Q. What happened at the meeting?

A. I told, I told Gino what the problem was and he said not to worry, he would take care of it.

Q. What happened after that?

A. After that, we organized a sit-down and then we met with the people that were harassing me and Gino had the matter settled.

Q. You used the word "sit-down". Does that word have a special meaning in organized crime?

A. Yes.

Q. What does a sit-down mean?

A. Sit-down is when two heads of the crews or whatever branch of the family is trying to work out the dispute. So, the two bosses would meet and both of them tell their sides and then they come up with a resolution.

Q. Are there rules about how a sit-down can happen?

A. I'm not sure.

Q. Where was the sit-down for you?

A. It was at Colonnade Diner, Staten Island.

Q. Who attended the sit-down?

A. Me, Gino, Mike and the other side, the other people.

Q. Who was there for the other side?

A. Three, three guys from organized crime.

Q. Did you know them?

A. I, I didn't know them.

Q. Who talked? Who actually did the talking at the sit-down?

A. Well, it seemed like the two guys that were there, those were the guys that were calling me up harassing me. And then, their boss was there. So, he was pretty much talking with Gino most of the time.

Q. What was discussed?

A. They went into it, how the job got ruined and that I owed them the money, $25,000. And then Gino explained to them, he said, well, the guy did the job. He said it was, it was an act of God, that's how -- or accident, the storm. So, he can't be held responsible for that. You know, he tried to do everything he could to, you know, make the matter better and you don't want to deal with him. So, you know, there's nothing we could do. He said if anybody bothers him agan for the money, then they're going to owe him the $25,000.

Q. During that sit-down, did Gino Galestro describe his relationship to you to the people there?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he say?

A. He said that I was with him and that nobody's to bother me anymore. If anybody bothers me, they're going to answer to him.

Q. What does it mean to be with someone in organized crime?

A. It means that you're under him. That he speaks for you.

Q. After that sit-down, did you come to meet other people who were with him or under him in his crew?

A. Yes.

Q. Who were the first two people you met?

A. Mike Maggio and John Tufarelli.

MR. CHAN: May I approach, Your Honor?
MR. CHAN: I'm going to show you Government's Exhibit 2 and Government's Exhibit 13.

Q. Do you recognize these individuals?

A. Yes.

Q. Who are they? Starting with Number 2.

A. That's Mike Maggio.

Q. And Number 13?

A. John Tufarelli.

(Exhibits published.)

Q. Who is in Government's Exhibit 2?

A. Mike Maggio.

Q. And did he have a nickname?

A. Sonny.

Q. Government's Exhibit 13?

A. John Tufarelli.

Q. Did he have a nickname?

A. Little John.

Q. Now, after you were part of the crew in the Bonanno Family, did you have any special financial obligations to Gino Galestro?

A. Yes.

Q. What were those financial obligations?

A. I had to pay money to Gino.

Q. Different kinds of money?

A. Yes.

Q. What were those different kinds of money?

A. I had to pay him $40 or $50 a month, every month. Supposedly for people who were in jail for their commissary.

Q. What's commissary?

A. It's money when you're in prison, like an account, so you can be able to buy items in jail.

Q. Did you understand that this money was going to pay for Gino's commissary or other people in the Bonanno Family's commissary?

A. They said it was going to other people in the family, but I never knew who it was going -- knew where it was going.

Q. That was a regular payment?

A. Yes.

Q. That you had to make?

A. Yes.

Q. In addition to the commissary that you paid out, what else did you have to pay out?

A. I had to pay between $300 and $400 a month to -- for operating my business on Staten Island.

Q. That was just so that you could operate your business?

A. Yeah.

Q. Was there anything else you had to do or were expected to do with regard to your business for Gino Galestro?

A. I was to perform any work that he requested free of charge.

Q. What about in terms of hiring?

A. (No Response).

Q. Hiring workers?

A. Yeah, if he wanted certain individuals to work on my jobs, then he would tell me who he wanted for me to put on the job and I would have to hire those individuals.

Q. Were those individuals qualified?

A. He felt so.

Q. What about the percentage? What about your income that you got from your construction job?

A. At times, I had to pay percentage of any sales. When I sold the job, he would expect a certain percentage from that job.

Q. Did you have special other financial obligations at Christmastime?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened at Christmastime?

A. I had to pay him money for Christmas every year.

Q. Who's "him"?

A. Gino.

Q. Is that called "tribute"?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he borrow anything of yours?

A. Yes.

Q. What?

A. He would use my trucks.

Q. Which trucks?

A. I had two pickup trucks. One was for work and one was for leisure.

Q. What kind of trucks?

A. Black Dodge Rams.

Q. How often would he use your trucks?

A. Very often.

Q. Now, after the sit-down that we just discussed where he resolved your construction problems, did he contact -- did Gino Galestro contact you for help?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he contact you about?

A. There was a problem at Mike's -- Sonny's body shop and he wanted me to go over there with them, needed some protection. So, he wanted me to go with Mike and settle the dispute.

Q. How long after your sit-down was this?

A. This was maybe a few weeks later.

Q. Did you agree to go?

A. Yes.

Q. How did you get there?

A. Sonny had come and picked me up.

Q. Sonny as in this person in Government's Exhibit 2?

A. Yes.

Q. Also known as Mike Maggio?

A. Yes.

Q. When he came to pick you up, was that the first time you met him in your life?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he come get you by himself or with someone else?

A. No, he was with Little John.

Q. The person in Government's Exhibit 13?

A. Yes.

Q. And that's the first time you met that person in your life?

A. Yes.

Q. When they picked you up, where did the three of you go?

A. We went to Bistro Restaurant.

Q. What's Bistro Restaurant?

A. It was a restaurant in Staten Island. It has like a bar and a dance floor, restaurant.

Q. What happened at Bistro?

A. Mike, we went, we waited at a table and eventually people came that Mike was having the problem with, and they spoke. And eventually, they left. And there was no violence.

Q. Did you, yourself ever ask Gino Galestro to help you with money that you needed? That was owed to you, that is?

A. Yes.

Q. Explain what happened.

A. I did a contracting job for somebody and there was a balance left on the job and the person wasn't paying.

Q. So, what did you do?

A. I called him, told him, you know, you need to pay the money or I'm going to get someone to help collect the money from you.

Q. When you said that you were going to get someone or you threatened to do that, to what were you referring?

A. I was referring to the mob.

Q. Who was the person who owed this money?

A. Mike Navetta.

Q. And did you eventually go ask for help collecting this money?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. I went to Gino, told him what was going on?

Q. What did he say?

A. He said he's going to look into it.

Q. Did anything happen after that?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened?

A. Gino eventually spoke with him and they had a sit-down over it.

Q. Did you go to the sit-down?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was at the sit-down?

A. Me, Mike Maggio, Gino, and Mike Navetta and whoever he brought within him to represent him.

Q. Someone else from organized crime?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the result of the sit-down?

A. They worked out a payment schedule. Mike was to pay me the money he owed me. So, they made a payment plan and Mike had paid some money.

Q. You said some. He didn't pay it all?

A. No.

Q. So, what did you do about that, if anything?

A. Well, they broke the payments down into a few different payments. He paid the first one or two and then, after that, he didn't pay. And he wasn't returning phone calls. Gino was getting upset. So, we went by his house a few times, try to collect the money.

Q. What was the purpose of you going by his house?

A. Well, Gino was mad at Mike because he wasn't following the plan that they arranged. So, you know, whatever, whatever he planned to do was, you know, undecided. He was pretty mad.

Q. Did you ever get fully paid back on that?

A. No.

Q. At some point, did you take matters into your own hands to get more money out of this?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. Mike Maggio was doing work on his house he just bought and he needed windows. The job that Mike Navetta owed me the money on had shut down. He wasn't finishing the job. So, we went over there, we took the windows. They weren't installed, they were just inside of the house. So, we took the windows and put them in Mike's house.

MR. CHAN: I'm going to show you a series of photographs. Your Honor, may I approach?
MR. CHAN: They are Government's Exhibits 14, 3, 7, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12.

Q. Can you look through those photographs and tell me if you recognize each of those photographs.

A. Joe Young.

THE COURT: That's number?

MR. CHAN: 14.

THE WITNESS: That's me.

MR. CHAN: Number 3.

THE WITNESS: Jose Garcia.

MR. CHAN: Number 7.

THE WITNESS: Ronnie Escobar.

MR. CHAN: Number 4.

THE WITNESS: Joe Ferrara.

MR. CHAN: Number 5.

THE WITNESS: Joe Reliable.

MR. CHAN: Number 8.


MR. CHAN: Number 9.

THE WITNESS: John Mergen.

MR. CHAN: Number 11.


MR. CHAN: Number 12. I offer these, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Yes. Number 12 is?


THE COURT: Is 12. Admitted.

(Government's Exhibits 14, 3, 7, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11 and 12 were received in evidence.)

MR. CHAN: Now, you already identified this person.

(The above-referred to exhibit was published to the jury.)

Q. Who is that again in Government's Exhibit 1?

A. Gino.

Q. Did he have a position in organized crime?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. He was a made man.

Q. Government's Exhibit 2?

A. Mike Maggio.

Q. What was his nickname?

A. Sonny.

Q. Was he in organized crime?

A. Yes.

Q. What was his position and what crew was he in?

A. He was an associate in the Bonanno Family.

Q. Whose crew?

A. Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 13.

A. Little John.

Q. Full name?

A. John Tufarelli.

Q. Was he in organized crime?

A. Yes.

Q. Position and crew?

A. He was associate. Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 14.

A. Joe Young.

Q. Is he also in the courtroom?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he have a nickname?

A. Joe Black.

Q. What position?

A. Associate.

Q. Whose crew?

A. Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 10.

A. Robert McKelvey.

Q. Was he in organized crime?

A. Yes, he was an associate in Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 3.

A. That's me.

Q. Position and family?

A. Associate, Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 6.

A. Mike Galestro, associate, Gino's crew.

Q. What was his relationship to Gino?

A. It was his brother.

Q. Government Exhibit's 7.

A. Jose Garcia.

Q. Position?

A. Associate, Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 4.

A. Ronnie Escobar, associate, Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 5.

A. Joe Ferrara, associate, Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 8.

A. Joe Reliable.

Q. Is that his nickname or true name?

A. That's his nickname.

Q. What's his true name.

A. I think, Joe Lamattina.

Q. Do you know why he was called Joe Reliable?

A. Yeah, he was -- because he was unreliable.

Q. Did he have a nickname other than Joe Reliable, too?

A. It was Joe Lemon.

Q. Government's Exhibit 9.

A. Ox.

Q. Do you know his true name?

A. I'm not sure.

Q. Position, family?

A. Associate. Gino's crew.

Q. The same for Joe Ferrara and Joe Lamattina? Were they also associates in Gino's crew?

A. Yes.

Q. Government's Exhibit 11.

A. John Mergen.

Q. Did he have a nickname?

A. John the Turk.

Q. Why was he called John the Turk?

A. Because he was Turkish.

Q. Did he have a position in organized crime?

A. It was associate. Gino's crew.

Q. Government's Exhibit 13.

A. Daryl.

Q. Do you know his last name?

A. I'm not sure.

Q. What was his position?

A. He was associate, Gino's crew.

Q. The people in Gino's crew, was anybody especially close to him?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was that?

A. Mike Maggio.

Q. What was Michael Maggio's role within the crew?

A. He was sort of street boss. He was pretty much our boss and then, he would answer to Gino.

Q. Was there a protocal if the people in the crew wanted to talk to Gino?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. Depending on who it was, they would either go to him directly or they would have to go through Mike to speak to him.

Q. How often were Gino and Michael together?

A. Regularly.

Q. How regularly?

A. Probably almost every day.

Q. Where did they live in relationship to one another?

A. They lived next-door to each other.

Q. Do you remember the street?

A. I'm not sure.

Q. Do you remember what the street was like?

A. It was a cul-de-sac.

Q. Did either Gino or Michael refer to the cul-de-sac in a particular way?

A. Yes.

Q. What did they refer to it as?

A. The Courtyard.

Q. Do you know if Gino Galestro and Michael Maggio had a relationship beyond just being in the same crew?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. They were brother-in-laws.


Q. Now, at some point after you joined the crew, did Gino Galestro go to prison?

A. Yes.

Q. Approximately when was that?

A. 2005.

Q. Which prison did he go to?

A. Fort Dix.

Q. Where is Fort Dix?

A. In New Jersey.

Q. During the time that Gino Galestro was in prison, did Michael Maggio visit him?

A. Yes.

Q. How often?

A. Once every few weeks.

Q. Why?

A. To get Gino's instructions.

Q. After Gino Galestro went to prison, did you still have to pay him money.

A. Yes.

Q. All the same money as we talked about?

A. Yes.

Q. Who collected that money from you?

A. Mike. Maggio.

Q. Anyone else?

A. Mike Galestro.

Q. Anyone else, other than those two?

A. No.

Q. Were they successful in collecting money from you?

A. At first, for a while, yes.

Q. And then what happened?

A. And then I fell on hard times. I wasn't able to pay.

Q. Did they do anything about that.

A. Yeah. Mike had, Mike Maggio usually had collected money from me and I was close with Mike. So he, you know, he wasn't, he was pretty much saying he was going to pass it off. He told Gino he couldn't collect the money from me. So, Gino had his brother Mike contact me about it. I told him I couldn't get the money either, and I don't have the money. And then Mike, Mike and Gino's father tried to collect the money.

Q. Mike Galestro and Gino's father?

A. Yeah.


Q. What did he do when he came to collect the money from you?

A. He just explained to me, you know, his son was upset and that, you know, I had obligations to his son for the money every month. And he wanted to know why I wasn't paying it.

Q. What did you say?

A. I was just honest with him. I told him that I did a lot of things for his son and, you know, I just wasn't able to pay it. I, you know, I wasn't able to pay my rent or -- and other things in my life. There was no way I was going to be able to pay Gino. So, I just explained that to him. And he was like, all right. He would talk to his son about it.


Q. Did Michael Maggio have a job? A day job?

A. Yes.

Q. What was it?

A. He, he was the owner of Sonny's Auto Body.

Q. Where was that located?

A. It was on Staten Island.

Q. While Gino Galestro was out, before he went to prison, did he have a day job?

A. Yes.

Q. What was his day job?

A. He worked for The Post.

Q. Doing what?

A. Deliveries. Newspaper deliveries.

Q. When you say The Post, you mean the New York Post?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he ever explain to you the connection between the Bonanno Family and the New York Post?

A. No.

Q. Did you know if Galestro's crew have any regular hangouts?

A. Yes.

Q. What were the hangouts?

A. Bistro, Curves, Twenty-One Ten, Fresca's By the Bay.

Q. These are all places on Staten Island?

A. Yes.

Q. What was Twenty-One Ten?

A. It was like a lounge.

Q. What was Bistro's?

A. Bistro's was a restaurant with a bar and a dance floor.

Q. Curves what was that?

A. A strip club.

Fresca's On the Bay

Q. And Fresca's, what was that?

A. That was a restaurant with a bar and a dance floor.

Frescas restaurant

Fresca's restaurant

Q. Who owned Fresca's?

A. Frank Fresca.

MR. CHAN: Your Honor, May I approach?
MR. CHAN: I'm showing you Government's Exhibit 19.

Q. Do you recognize this person?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know this person?

A. Yes.

Q. Who is it?

A. Frank Fresca.

Q. What was the full name?

A. Fresca's On the Bay.

Q. Was it on the water?

A. Yes.

Q. In addition to the restaurant, were there other parts of it?

A. Yes.

Q. What was there?

A. It was a place where they docked boats. Like a marina.

Q. Did Frank Fresca, the owner of Fresca's on the Bay, have a connection to Michael Maggio?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. That was his cousin.

Q. Was Frank Fresca in the crew?

A. Yes.

Q. What is his position?

A. Associate.

Q. Were you assigned a particular responsibility with respect to Fresca's on the Bay Restaurant?

A. Yes.

Q. What was your job?

A. I was to handle any disputes in the restaurant, go there whenever I was needed for protection, if the restaurant needed protection for anything. Whatever problems had arose in the restaurant, they called me. I had to go resolve them.

Q. Specifically, what kind of problems came up?

A. Could have been like fights. People at the restaurant fighting or people Frank had to deal with maybe something went wrong with some of them. Whatever, whatever dealings he had with them or just anything that could have gone wrong at the place.

Q. Did you --- and what you did for Fresca's, was that an official job?

A. No.

Q. Did you get salary for that?

A. No.

Q. Was there anyone in the crew who actually had a job there?

A. Yeah.

Q. Who was that?

A. Joe Young.

Q. What was Joe Young's job at the restaurant?

A. He was kind of like an all-around guy; bouncer, valet park, checked ID's. Pretty much did everything for Frankie at the restaurant.


Go to Section 2 Go to Top of Page