- Andrew Thomas DelGiorno
name = Andrew Thomas DelGiorno
Tommy Delat ease in a casinohotel suite overlooking Atlantic City's Boardwalk.
birth_date = 1940 (age 68)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
status = Alive
nationality = American
ethnicity = Polish-Italian
known_for = Former
Mobster/ Hit man
spouse = Maryann DelGiorno Fisher nee Welch (divorced)
children = Thomas G DelGiorno
Andrew Thomas DelGiorno aka "Tommy Del" (1940- ) is a former American
mobster, captainin the Philadelphia crime familyand FBI informant. He was responsible for 5 murders during his association with Nicky Scarfoin the 1980s. Tommy was part Polish and part Italian; he managed to hide his Polish heritage from his friends in the Philly Mob so that he could be formally inducted into the Philly Mob.
In 1964, Tommy Del was 24 and was supplementing his days as a
truck driverwith a small time bookmakingand policyoperation at night and on weekends. At the time he was just one of hundreds of numbers writers in South Philadelphiachasing after action. He also began hanging out in afterhour clubsand began to socialize with mobstersat card and dice games.
He later became a close friend of numbers writer John Bastion, when Bastione retired years later he left his entire operation and a large sum of money to back the operation to DelGiorno. Tommy was soon in need of financiers to cover his action in an emergency.
In 1967 Tommy met Joey McGreal a Local 107 organizer and began working for him. The two became close friends and business associates. Tommy was interested in labor racketeering and Joey was interested in
gambling. Tommy was involved in the strike which resulted in the closure of United Parcel and 1,150 truck driversand warehouseworkers were left without jobs. But DelGiorno didn't mind the loss of permanent employment and it had little effect on his lifestyle. McGreal began backing DelGiorno's criminal activities.
Tommy DelGiorno wasn't much of a husband to his wife or father to his sons. He was often cold and aloof, when he was actually at home. He felt that he was living up to his end of the bargain by keeping a roof over his family's heads and putting food on the table.
Activities in the 1970s
In 1970 Joey McGreal and three others were indicted for labor racketeering and
extortion. They later received 8 years in prison. Tommy had lost a significant financial backer. So he and John Bastione began holding all night card games at his home. The house took $1,000 from each game and Tommy easily took several thousand more during each game.
In the early 1970s "Broadway Eddie" Colcher and "Frankie Flowers" D'Alfonso began backing DelGiorno's
gamblingoperations including a sports betting operation he had set up to take advantage of the customers available during American footballseasons.
Frankie Flowers was one of the biggest bookmakers in the City and he was a close friend of
Philadelphia Mob Boss Angelo Bruno, not to mention an associateto his crime family.
By 1972 Tommy had established links to the Philly Mob through D'Alfonso and Colcher. That same year he and his first wife Maryann divorced.
That same year the
FBIraided Broadway Eddie's Restaurant and arrested Tommy, Broadway Eddie and Frankie Flowers for running a gambling operation. The raid led to probation and suspended sentences for the three men. By then the bookmaking operation was making $20,000 a day if not double that during football season.
Whilst Joey McGreal was in prison
Ralph Nataletook his place in Local 107 with the help of Angelo Bruno. McGreal was later released from prison early in 1973.
In December 1973 Tommy was called to a meeting with Joey McGreal. That night Joey McGreal was found dead, shot three times in the head with a 38 caliber pistol. McGreal had been killed on orders from
Angelo Brunobecause he was attempting to force his way into the unions again.
Atlantic City gamblingwas legalized and 47 year-old Nicky Scarfotook advantage on the behalf of the Philly Mob. Though the government looked to keep the Mafiaout of the casinocounting rooms which had been so easily infiltrated by the mobs in Las Vegas. Scarfoused his ties to Local 54 to squeeze money out of the casinosby threataning strikes and withholding materials necessary during construction.
As the shores of
Atlantic Citywere soon flourishing once more, Tommy Delwas one of the few mobsters in Philadelphiacontent with his gamblingoperations and not desperate to run to Atlantic City.
Around this time Bruno's
consigliere Tony Caponigroand underboss Phil Testabegan to suspect that Angelo was allowing members of the Gambino crime familyto traffic herointhrough a string of restaurants in New Jerseyfor a cut of the profits; whilst upholding a contradictory "no go" policy towards drug traffickingin his own crime family. Though this was never confirmed it became a widespread theory among the ranks of the Philly Mob.
The recent death of Bruno's ally
Carlo Gambinoand emergence of Giuseppeand Rosario Gambinoin New Jersey undermined Bruno's leadership even more. Tommy Deland Frankie Flowers bought a restaurant called Piccolo's 500, the name was later changed to Cous' Little Italy after they hired Vincent "Cous" Pilla as head chef. Officially Frankie's wife Michelne and Tommy's second wife Roseanne were the owners of the restaurants. Tommy's sons Tommy Jr and Bobby worked at the restaurant in the late 1970s.
The Fate of Don Bruno
Angelo Brunowas shot dead whilst sitting in his car as his driver John Stanfapulled up to Bruno's house. His death had been arranged by Tony Caponigrowho was soon murdered as well along with the gun man in the Bruno hit Alfred Salerno.
Some speculated that
Genovese Boss Frank Tieriwas involved in the plot to overthrow Bruno. Tieri wanted in on the Atlantic City casinoswhich were proving to be a cash cow for the Philadelphia Mafia. When Angelo Brunorefused to allow Tieri's family to operate in the Cityit's possible that Tieri saw red and conspired with Caponigro to remove Bruno from the leadership position. Newarkbased captainJohn Simone was killed as well for his involvement with Caponigro. What role he played in the assassination of the aging Donis vague.
By then Frank Sindone had replaced D'Alfonso as Tommy's partner in their restaurant. DelGiorno soon began to suspect that Sindone had been involved in the murder of Bruno. Soon Sindone was killed as well and Tommy felt lucky he hadn't become part of his inner circle. After the Sindone murder Testa sent word to DelGiorno that Sindone's share of Cous' Little Italy now belonged to captain Frank Monte and Joseph "Chickie" Ciancaglini.
The Chicken Man's Reign
In the chaos that followed the Bruno hit, Tommy Del sided with
Phil Testa; his consigliere Nicky Scarfoand underbossPeter Casella. The new administration wanted some "new blood" in the Family and inducted several new members into the Family including Testa's son Salvatore Testa.
John McCullough was later killed on orders from
Testaand Scarfo. McCullough would've been killed many years before but Bruno wouldn't permit the murder. McCullough had links to the IRA and was a union Boss in Local 30.
In March 15th 1981 Phil Testa was killed by a bomb packed with nails that was detonated under his porch by remote control as he left his house. Pete Casella and Frank "Chickie" Narducci had killed Testa with a nail bomb in an attempt to make it look as if Testa had been murdered by the
Irish Republican Armyin retaliation for the murder of John McCullough which the administration had ordered the previous year.
The Rise of Little Nicky
Casella then attempted to seize control of the
Philadelphia crime familyby telling the made men that he had been appointed the new Boss at a meeting in New York Citywith Paul Castellanoand Fat Tony Salerno. But Nicky Scarfosensed something was wrong with Casella's story and went to New York Citywhere he met with Gambinoand Genovesefamily Bosses. There he learned that no one had approved Casella's ascension and there with Testa's body still warm, Scarfowas crowned the new Bossof Philadelphia.
Casella was banished to
Floridarather than killed. There he later died of natural causes. Whereas Chickie Narducci was left living on borrowed time in Philadelphia. Little Nicky promoted Frank Monte to consigliereand Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino to underboss.
The Scarfo Regime
Early on in
Scarfo's time as Boss a series of murders were perpetrated against a local Greek crime familyled by Chelsais Bouraswho was soon killed in a hail of bullets from the guns of Scarfo's hit men. He had been murdered for horning in on the methamphetaminetrade.
Johnny Calabrese had his back to an alleyway near Cous' Little Italy as he talked to Chickie Ciancaglini. Whilst Tommy DelGiorno and Frank "Faffy" Iannarella prepared for the hit, they pulled guns; gloves and ski masks from a bag. But the masks were children size and didn't fit.
The two hit men ran over to Calabrese without their masks and pumped four bullets into him. Calabrese was killed for not falling in line with the regime of
Nicky Scarfoand for operating a loan sharkingoperation out of several pawn shops in Atlantic City. Ciancaglini walked away casually when the shooting started and the shooters dumped their guns; then fled in a getaway car driven by Pasquale "Pat the Cat" Spirito. By then Calabrese was the eighth murder committed since 1980.
The next day
Tommy Delwent about his business as usual. Ciancaglini visited him to inform him of Scarfo's perspective of how DelGiorno and Iannarella handled the Calabrese murder.
"Jesus Christ, that was great. These guys are fuckin' great."-
Nicodemo Scarfo, Bossof the Philadelphia crime family(1981-1991)
Three weeks after
Tommy Delleft Calabrese dying in the gutter Frankie D'Alfonso was brutally beaten by captain Salvatore Testaand Gino Milano acting on orders from Little Nicky. The beating was a message from the Boss for refusing to pay tribute to Little Nicky.
In January 1982 Tommy DelGiorno, Faffy Iannarella and Pat the Cat Spirito were formally initiated into the Mafia. At a secret ceremony held in a home in
Vineland, New Jersey. There Tommy Delvowed to "Live by the gun and die by the gun" and promised to "burn like the saints in hell" if he betrayed the mob's time honored code of silence.
Between 1982 and 1983 a dozen mobsters were murdered as
Scarfosettled old grudges and moved towards solidifying his position and his criminal organization. Most of the decisions he made were contemplated in prison, he was serving time on a gun charge. It may have saved him from being killed during the infighting in the underworld with the Riccobene faction.
In late 1982 Tommy DelGiorno made $150,000 when he sold his restaurant to Ray Martorano and then he made J&M Bar on West Passyunk Avenue his headquarters. It was a small neighborhood tavern catering to a shot-and-beer crowd.
Frank "Chickie" Narducci's borrow time finally ran out. He was shot half a dozen times as he walked to his car by
Salvatore Testanot long after Tommy became a member of the Family. The murder was revenge for the murder of Phil Testain 1981.
"I wish that motherfucker was alive so I could kill him again."-
Salvatore Testaon Frank Narducci
Soon Dominick "Mickey Diamond" DeVito and Rocco Marinucci (the man who personally blew up Phil Testa) were shot to death as well. Frank Monte was shot to death by hit men from the Riccobene faction after attempting to persuade Mario "Sonny" Riccobene to help set up his brother
Harry Riccobeneto be killed. Little Nicky replaced Monte with his uncle Nicholas Piccolo. Monte's death triggered the Riccobene war.
Suspected drug dealer Robert Hornickle lay slain. Soon even Pat the Cat was dead, killed by Nicky Caramandi and Charlie Iannece for "talking treason" in regard to the current leadership of
Nicky Scarfo. Riccobene associateSammy Tamburrino was whacked in a candy store.
Bobby Riccobene was shot dead in front of his mother by Faffy Iannarella. The following week Enrico Riccobene shot himself to avoid being murdered by
Scarfo's hit men. These deaths brought the Riccobene war to an end and Harry the Hunchback surrended his territory and operations to the Scarfo faction.
At the time
methamphetaminewas the drug of choice in Philadelphia. Tommy and Nicky Caramandi began "taxing" drug dealers. In one such case they found meth dealers were importing gallons of P-2-P known as oil in from Europe and using the "oil" to produce methamphetamines. Tommy Deland Nick the Crow "taxed" the smugglers $2,000 per every gallon they imported.
In March 1984 Little Nicky was released from prison and was triumphant after all of his enemies had either been killed or incarcerated. No longer than a month after Nicky's release from prison another "piece of work" was thrown Tommy's way by the
Salvatore "Salvie" Testa had virtually led the
Scarfo crime familyduring the war with the Riccobene faction, for most of the war Little Nicky was in a prison cell in Texas. Salvie even took a bullet for Scarfo, he was nearly killed when the Riccobenes fired a shotgun at him from a moving car. Salvie survived and nearly lost his arm. Salvie Testa was loyal and the epitome of La Cosa Nostra, his father Phil had taught him well since he was a teenager. By 1984 at the age of 28 Salvie was a millionaire and had achieved the position of captainin the Scarfo crime familysince his father made him in 1981.
Then in April of 1984
Nicky Scarfodecided that Salvatore Testahad to die. Testa had recently broke off an engagement to Chuckie Merlino's daughter Maria and expected Little Nicky to side with him for his loyalty during the Riccobene war. But that war had left Little Nicky paranoidand trigger happy.
Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino wouldn't let go of the fact Salvie dumped his Maria. He began telling Little Nicky that his youngest capo was involved in
drug traffickingwith a Black gang, trying to put together his own organization and possibly making moves to take over the Philly Mob. Merlinowas Scarfo's oldest friend and his underboss, if anyone could persuade Scarfoto murder one of his most loyal guys it was Chuckie. Merlinowas desperate to avenge his honor.
Tommy DelGiorno and Faffy Iannarella was put in charge of supervising the Testa murder, Nick Caramandi and Charlie Iannece were going to be the shooters. But it was difficult, Testa was a professional
hit manand knew all the tricks of the trade. He was extremely cautious and checked everyone who hugged him for a gun. The job seemed almost impossible and Little Nicky was getting restless. So Tommy and Faffy brought Salvatore "Wayne" Grande and Joseph "Joey Pung" Pungitore into the conspiracy. Pungitore was Testa's closest friend and would only go along with the job if he didn't have to pull the trigger. Wayne Grande on the other hand jumped at the opportunity to put a bullet in Testa.
Less than a week later
Salvatore Testathe Crowned Prince of the Philly Mob was dead and had been found hogtied at the side of a dirt road in Gloucester Township, New Jersey. Salvie had been lured to a meeting with Wayne Grande and Joey Pung at a candy store on Passyunk Avenue. There Salvie went into the back room where he shook the hand of Wayne Grande who was sitting on a sofa. Salvie then turned to talk to Joey Pung. At that moment Wayne took out a pistol hidden under a cushion and shot Testa in the back of his head; then shot him again as he lied on the floor lifelessly. Nicky Caramandi, Charlie Iannece and Salvatore "Tory" Scafidi helped get Testa out of the candy store and dumped the body in New Jersey.
Testa's murder created career opportunities all around. Nick Caramandi, Charlie Iannece and Joe Grande were made members of the
Scarfo crime family. Tommy DelGiorno and Faffy Iannarella were promoted to acting capos of the old Ciancaglini crew and Testa's former crew respectively, assuming most of the responsibilities of the deceased Testa, who had been running both Philly crews after Ciancaglini went to prison. Their operations included bookmaking, gamblingand loan sharking. Nicky Scarfotook a third of the profits made by a major bookmakingoperation put together by Tommy, Salvie and Joey Pung. Wayne Grande was rewarded with 25% of Testa's business and Salvatore "Tory" Scafidi got a $500 a week job making numbers pick ups.
In some ways Testa's murder marked the beginning of
Scarfo's downfall since it defeated most the trust the soldiers had in their leader, they had tolerated the previous murders because they all deserved it. But when Scarfomarked Testa for death many felt he had gone to far, Testa was a highly respected capoand popular made man.
By 1985 the
New Jersey State Police's Organized Crime Bureau had targeted Nicky Scarfoand Tommy DelGiorno in a major gambling investigation. Nailing Little Nicky was proving very difficult for the State Police, veteran detectives on the mob squad were amazed that a greedy, nepotisticand psychopathic killerlike Nicky Scarfohad risen to the top spot in the Philly Mob. They set their sights on DelGiorno, he was a much easier target as wiretaps on Scarfowere fruitless because Little Nicky preferred to talk business face to face with his associates. Where DelGiorno often talked businessat great length at his home. The only fear was that DelGiorno's wife Roseanne (a compulsive cleaner) would stumble upon one of their listening devices.
In February of that year Frank "JR" Forline was found lying in the cab of his
pickup truckin the parking lotof a K martin Marple Township, Pennsylvania. He had been shot five times in the head, neck and body. Forline was a loan shark and gambler who operated on the fringe of the Mafiain Philadelphia.
springof that year Scarfodecided it was time to send Frankie D'Alfonso one last message. He called a meeting with his top associatesat the Wok, a trendy Chinese restauranton Walnut Street in the middle of Philadelphia's Center City commercialand business district. Among the restaurant's regular customers of lawyers, bankers, office workersand shoppers. No one paid any attention to the group of casually dressed middle-aged men sitting at two tables in a far corner. There Nicky Scarfo, Chuckie and Yogi Merlino, Faffy Iannarella and Phil Leonettispent three hours discussing the business agenda of the Philly Mob. Murders, pastand present, were a major topic of discussion. Specifically the murder of Frankie Flowers.
Tommy supervised the hit used Gino and Nicky Milano; Frank and Philip Narducci as the shooters. Frankie Flowers D'Alfonso was sitting on a crate in the middle of the block near Cartherine and Percy Streets enjoying a smoke when two men ran up behind him and fired five shots into his back and head. The
hit mendumped their weaponsat the scene and kept running to a waiting car. In seconds they had gone and Frankie Flowers was dead.
Tommy Del's world began to unravel. A drug dealer who was ripped off by DelGiorno's crew was threataning to go to war and Little Nicky didn't like that kind of aggravation. Nick Caramandi had been arrested by the FBItrying to extortmoney from a real estate developer. DelGiorno was Nick's capoand he knew he might be held responsible by Little Nicky.
In March of that year
Nicky Scarfoonce again summoned his top associatesto a meeting. At that meeting Little Nicky demoted his underbossand best friendSalvatore "Chuckie" Merlino to a soldierfor his drunken behavior. Nicky stripped Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino of his capo rankalso and promoted his nephew Phil Leonettito underboss. At the same meeting Little Nicky promoted Faffy Iannarella and Tommy DelGiorno to official captains.
From the pressure of the added responsibility and simply the constant fear brought on by the double-dealing and treachery that had become the trademarks of the Scarfo regime
That summer the
New Jersey State Policefound themselves in possession of tapes of Tommy DelGiorno ranting and raving about the organization and belittling the Boss.
"They're all pussies, four Irish guys from Northeast
Phillycould run the mobbetter."-Andrew Thomas DelGiorno on the Philly Mob's leadership.
This was one of many recordings made by wiretaps planted in DelGiorno's home by the
New Jersey State Police. Most of which consisted of Tommy's drunken ranting and raving about the mob's leadership. Soldiersin Tommy's crewbegan complaining to Little Nicky and Crazy Phil that Tommy was drunken and irrational, that he berated them for no reason. Tommy had become a problem just like John Calabrese and Chuckie Merlino. How Scarfo would resolve the problem was another matter.
In July of that year in the midst of the
extortion investigationScarfo sent word to Tommy DelGiorno, that he was being demoted to the rank of soldierand that he would now report to Faffy Iannarella. Faffy had become Tommy's closest associate in the mob, but he had betrayed Tommy and spoke against him to Scarfo.
Tommy and Joey Pungitore would divide the cash from their
bookmakingoperation once every three or four months with Little Nicky. But when asked, Scarfo said to let the cash sit for a while. Which told DelGiorno that he might not be around for much longer, he knew that Scarfo would never turn down a cut of $300,000. With DelGiorno out of the way Scarfo could take a cut of 50% as opposed to the third he was being offered at the time.
Then Tommy found that guys he bet with were holding back and avoided making bets with him. He knew this must mean that Scarfo had already decided how to handle the situation. Then one day two detectives from the
New Jersey State Policeturned up on his doorstep telling them that his Boss had put out a contract on Tommy's head.
Tommy Del played dumb with the detectives but the visit shook him up. He considered getting as much cash together as he could and going into hiding. He even thought about taking out Scarfo. Now just like Salvatore Testa before him, Tommy Del was living life on the edge constantly looking over his shoulder.
The detectives returned in November with what they called "proof". Tommy Del and the detectives sat down in his house. There they listened to the recordings on a pair of cassette tapes. The detectives said that one tape was of DelGiorno himself and the other was of Faffy Iannarella and Wayne Grande. Tommy arranged to meet up at a hotel with the detectives to listen to the tapes.
At the hotel room Tommy listened over a cup of coffee to the sound of Iannarella and Grande discussing his demotion at the hands of Scarfo. Iannarella talked of wondering about DelGiorno's fate in the organization and Wayne Grande responded "Ain't nothin' gonna happen to him...yet." The detectives reminded DelGiorno of what he had said on the other tape and that Scarfo, himself and many others were going to be
indictedon the basis of that tape.
Already in trouble for the
drug dealand the Penn's Landing waterfront extortion, DelGiorno knew that the New Jersey indictmentwould seal his fate. He knew that the tapes of him belittling Scarfo would eventually be heard by him when the prosecutorshanded the tapes over to their defense attorneys.
The next day Scarfo, DelGiorno and the others were all arrested. Word of the secret state police tapes surfaced and DelGiorno became the number one man on Scarfo's hit list. Shortly after Tommy Del made bail, his son Bobby was driving Tommy's car home when he noticed a suspicious car begin to follow him. After pulling into his father's driveway, the car drove by, and Bobby recognized Salvatore "Tori" Scafidi in the passenger seat, as well as another familiar face slouching in the backseat who may have possibly been Nicky Milano. Milano and Scafidi were younger members of the Scarfo organization known at that time to be active hitmen. Bobby considered it odd that the young men would go out of their way to drive by the DelGiorno home without stopping in, but when Tommy learned of the incident, he immediately believed that it had been a hit team ready to kill had it been he who stepped out of the car.
Two days later, Tommy arranged another meeting with Detective Ed Johnson, this time in the parking lot of the airport hotel the following Sunday on
November 9. From the parking lot the two men went to a hotel room where they discussed DelGiorno's predicament.
"What can I tell them they can expect from you?"-Ed Johnson talking to DelGiorno."Everything"-Andrew Thomas DelGiorno agreeing to become an
Tommy DelGiorno was the first of five informants that eventually gave evidence against Scarfo and his associates. He was soon joined by Nicholas "the Crow" Caramandi and Eugene "Gino" Milano. Later they were joined by Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino and
Phil Leonetti. And together the five of them put Nicky Scarfoand many others away for the rest of their lives.
*"Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob - The Mafia's Most Violent Family" by George Anastasia, 2004, ISBN 0-9410159-86-4
*"Mobfather: The Story of a wife and son caught in the web of the Mafia" by George Anastasia, 2006, ISBN 0-940159-99-6
* [http://gangstersinc.tripod.com/TommyDel.html Tommy DelGiorno profile by David Amoruso (2006)]
* [http://www.geocities.com/organizedcrimesyndicates/philadelphia.html The Philadelphia crime family]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=pocANtK_6qw Tommy DelGiorno interview, Mob Stories (1993)]
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