As Anthony Casso progressed in his mob career, he became more suspicious and violent. One of the many interesting stories about Gaspipe is his interactions with the Russian Mafia of Brighton Beach. Casso was a very prolific thief during his life. He was not choosy who he worked with as long he could make money. He developed a close alliance with a Ukrainian mob boss named Marat Balagula. This guy had multi-billion dollar gasoline tax avoidance scam going on in and around Brighton Beach. The Russians formed small companies and purchased gasoline as wholesalers. At that time the wholesalers were supposed to collect the tax and pay it to the government. These small gasoline wholesale companies collected the taxes from the retailers and failed to pay the government entities as required. When an investigation followed, the companies folded and they created new companies.
The Russian Mafia learned Casso’s friend, Balagula, was paying off Casso. The Russian mobsters started a campaign to discredit him among other Russians and they said because Barat was a punk and had no balls. They were wrong about Balagua, he was a ruthless killer and a smart dude. He knew that the combined force of the Italian crime families would end any threat from the other Russians. In 1986, a Russian boss named Vladimir Reznikov, entered the Rasputin nightclub in Brighton Beach and confronted Balagula. He pushed a 9mm Beretta into Balagula’s face and demanded $600,000 immediately and a future percentage of the gasoline profits. Balagula promised to get the money to which Reznikov replied, “Fuck with me and you’re dead, you and your whole fucking family; I swear I’ll fucking and kill your wife as you watch, you understand?”
Anthony Casso heard about this and told Balagula, “Send word to Vladimir that you have his money, that he should come to the club tomorrow. We’ll take care of the rest.” Casso also requested a photograph of Reznikov and a description of his car. When Reznikov arrived at Balagula’s nightclub to pick up his money, a Gambino associate named Joseph Testa killed. Gaspipe Casso would later claim, “After that, Marat didn’t have any problems with other Russians.”
During the 1990s, several high ranking members of the Lucchese family had gone over to the government. Peter Chiodo had committed numerous murders for Casso. Casso became enraged at Chido or rather at his wife for meddling in family business, He ordered a hit on Chiodo’s wife. It seems she had advised him to take a plea in a case and he did not consult with his boss, Anthony Casso. After a murder attempt on Peter Chido, he entered Witness Protection. Casso will soon follow him into the program after he realized the government had several good witnesses and a massive amount of evidence against him. Gaspipe, the head of the Lucchese Crime family would enter into the witness protection program.
In one of the biggest and most shocking reveals, Casso disclosed that his two NYPD detective friends who helped him with hits were on the Lucchese payroll. It would be learned that Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa had committed eight murders ordered by Casso. They had given Casso information and he used this info to commit other murders. The turncoat cops revealed the names of many police and FBI informants.
After Gaspipe helped law enforcement dismantle the Lucchese family, he was accused of continuing to commit crimes and other disruptions inside a federal witness protection facility. The U.S. Attorney dropped him the Witness Protection Program. He is currently serving a life sentence without parole at the Supermax ADX Florence prison in Florence, Colorado.
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