Andrea Giovino tells how when she was a little girl growing up in Brooklyn, her mother ran an illegal gambling operation and crap game from the basement of her home for “Crazy” Joe Gallo. Little did she know she would grow up to become involved in a cocaine sales conspiracy for the Gotti family. Two of her brothers will grow up to be Mafia crime associates. Brother Frankie Silvestri was a member of the Colombo crime family. Johnny “Bubble Gum” Silvestri, was a killer for the Lucchese family and is presently incarcerated in a federal prison on a murder rap.
By the time she was 21-years-old, Andrea the girlfriend of Frank Lino, a captain in the Bonanno crime family. Lino bought her a 1978 Mercedes Benz 450 SL convertible as a Valentine’s Day gift. She became the stereotypical Goomar or mob girl friend. Frank Lino made sure she bought and dressed in the best brands of clothes and jewelry. He sent her shopping in a chauffeured limo. He bought matching platinum Presidential Rolex watches. Frank Lino would eventually become a government witness himself. His son Joseph was one of the many mobsters he would later testify against in court on charges of extortion and racketeering.
Andrea would soon date a man named Mark Reiter. This is where she was introduced to the life of a drug kingpin, complete with all the accouterments like a mansion, limos, unlimited spending. Andrea or Andy as she was known in the clubs was an attractive well-known figure in the Manhattan night club scene by this time. Mark Reiter was a dead ringer for actor Ray Liotta. When they met, Reiter was sitting next to Mob boss John Gotti in Manhattan’s Club A. Gotti, the ‘dapper don’ and head of the Gambino family, was the most infamous gangster since Al Capone. He sent over a bottle of Dom Pérignon and the request that Giovino and her sister join them. Reiter was Gotti’s right-hand man in his heroin operation along with Angelo Ruggerio.
Mark Reiter will go to prison and Andrea marries a Gotti cocaine dealer named John Fogarty who has been described as a mafia hitman and trafficker. They fall in love and Andrea has two children by him. With John Fogarty, Giovino became a real Mafia wife. She helped Fogarty move up in the mob world. When they met, Fogarty was living in a shabby one-bedroom apartment and wearing tracksuits and trainers. By the end of their relationship he had bought a $100,000 speed boat and named it Andy Girl. She would say that John would rent a limo and drive to Atlantic City with a trunk full of cocaine.
Fogarty was known as Big John and had a reputation for being tough. He owned a construction company and that is probably how he became involved with Gotti folks. He established a Cuban connection in Florida and started moving kilos of cocaine up to New York. The Mob wanted a part of it and were soon his partners. Fogarty showed what he was made of when he set up two guys from Brazil who were transporting a large load of coke to him. At a meeting in Hell’s Kitchen, Fogarty took the drugs, kept the money and shot the Brazilians and left them for dead. Fogarty’s Mob partners now knew they could count on him. Since he was Irish, he could never be a made guy, but as long as he was a good earner, he was on his way up.
This will all come crashing down as it usually does. In September if 1992, the DEA, FBI and ATF arrested Andrea Giovino, and served search warrants on four Staten Island residences. Wiretaps and other informants had identified these houses as part of the Mob-run drugs network. In a deal to save Andrea, the mother of his children, Fogarty confessed to an undisclosed number of murders and served six years in a federal penitentiary before joining the Witness Protection Program. Her brother Silvestri confessed to the murder of nine men and still lives under the Witness Protection Program.
Andrea gave information and was given a settlement of $75,000 and a new life in a new town. She had a six months old daughter and three other children and no means of earning a living. The government wanted her to go into Witness protection and relocate to a Midwest mid size city. She refused and merely moved out of state with her 4 children. This move was facilitated by friendly DEA agents because the FBI had picked up wiretap information that a plan was in place to have her murdered. In her new life Andy signed up with the PTA, joined the church’s fundraising committee and secured a family pass to the country club.
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