Retired Intelligence Unit detective Gary Jenkins talks with former Gambino Crime Family associate Anthony Ruggiano about his life as the son of Gambino member Fat Andy Ruggiano. Anthony Ruggiano was born into Mob life and never had a chance. It was a typical day for him as a young man to meet others at his Father’s Social Club and plan scores like sending people out to the suburbs with stolen credit cards. He would meet them on their return and pay them a small amount on the dollar for various electronic goods and other small high-dollar items. Then take these items to the retail fence he used. This was his college and internship. He got hooked on the action, drugs, and alcohol from this dangerous fast-paced life. Ultimately, he couldn’t take it any longer and realized he could not maintain this lifestyle and stay alive. He went into treatment and then long-term recovery. He found he could not return to criminal life, and Anthony now works at an addiction treatment center. For help from Anthony, if you have a problem, call 855-963-2113. To see Anthony’s show click here on his YouTube channel, Reformed Gangsters.
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Hi my name is Anthony Ruggiano Jr. and I am the son of Anthony Fat Andy Ruggiano who became a main member of the American mafia in 1953. When I became a teenager at 16, I followed my father into that life and he started schooling me he was a member of the Gambino crime family at that time, I started to work with him at the age of 16. I started using drugs around that time and committed crimes with him when I was age 23. I went to prison for the first time when I came out. I was friendly with John Gotti through my father’s Association, I stopped running around with that Crow and also continued using drugs. My father was a high ranking member of the Gambino family in 1984. My father was arrested by the FBI at that point in time I was still in the street I started freebasing cocaine and I guess that’s what I crossed over the line into addiction my father was doing for two years in prison, John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino family at the time. I had a very good relationship with them. Welcome all you wiretappers out there. It’s good to have you back here in the studio gangland wire. I have a really special guest today. And if you’re out there on YouTube, and you’re a real mob fan and YouTube Bob fan, you know there’s a lot of guys that were formerly in the life that are out there on YouTube. Sammy the bull, Michael Franchese, but we have another guy who was part of the Gambino family Anthony ruggiano, Jr. and I’ve got him right here in the studio with me if you’re on YouTube, and if you’re not, you’re gonna hear him in a few minutes. Thanks a lot, guys for listening and welcome, Anthony. Oh, well, thanks. Thanks for having me. I’m really glad Glad to have you on here. This is like kind of a new phenomenon you guys that were formerly in the live with YouTube channels Bobby Luisi. And there’s just a quite a few of you. So it’s, you know, what a what a what a difference of 30 years makes
very true very true.
I’m waiting for somebody in Kansas City to come in and start a YouTube channel or want to co host with me I don’t see it covered though. There was a big mob family in Kansas City at one time I don’t know what happened to them well, as well you know, there’s still one of our last surviving guys just died yesterday actually, I started getting calls yesterday afternoon to hear what it comes down to Jr died and he got COVID really bad and then guy had a stroke and, and he was kind of the last there’s only one more old school guy from back in the 70s and 80s when they were at their peak left. So you know, it’s all changing and as you know, so let’s talk about your life in the mob. Now. We’ve heard a little bit about it, you guys, you know you did a little lead in with with Anthony and kind of where he came from and how he grew up and and so you know, you your father’s in prison, you’re in your 20s and you’re part of the Gambino family or is it Gotti family by the inner you’re part of the Gotti crew, right? Yes. I grew up in Ozone Park. My father and John Gotti both come out of East New York, Brooklyn. They both end up moving into Ozone Park Howard Beach area. So I grew up in Howard Beach and Ozone Park. I was just to junk it at a young age of 13 through my father, because my father knew him from when he was a teenager. And yes, so I was part of that crew. I wasn’t directly with him. I was with Tony Lee and my father and we had a social club a few blocks away from the Bergin Fish Club. But that was the clue. I ran around with that social club thing. That’s kind of an interesting little phenomenon to me here in Kansas City and people outside of New York City. There’s a little bit of it in Chicago, but but boy in New York, that social club thing and so your father had his own social club, he was part of got his crew. And so you know, what was it like that social club? What was that like? Well, it’s you know, it’s like, people ask me that all the time. It’s like, you know, guys on Wall Street, go to their office on Wall Street and guys in the mob, go to their office in the social club. I mean, every crew when I was younger, had a social club and my neighborhood and Ozone Park. I mean, probably all five families had a club there. And it was just a meeting place. It was like home base. It’s somewhere where we all went through the day we met, we would have lunch there we socialize, people would come there to meet us and we would plan out our day there was just a gathering place
that we socialized in and fellowship dinner and people would come there like my father, you know, always held quiet and his John Gotti had his social club and every Saturday he ate lunch there so people would know he was there every Saturday. And it was just a place where we met and talked about things that needed to be talked about jumper stone once said that guys sit around and plan out different scores all day long. And so I’m sure you plan down scores. What do you remember particular score that you had? How did that go down planning out a score? Yes.
We would plan out you know, we had a big policy ring and we would all start
without the club, and we would plan our day, who was going to go to the street who was going to answer the phones. I mean, you know, some actually had some social clubs, there was homicides were committed into my mean, you know? So I’m I planned out like I would, I would, I had a one point I had a credit card fraud ring, I had a big credit card fraud ring, and we would meet at my father’s Social Club, Cafe Liberty, and like, I would send one crew out in a van to Pennsylvania, I would send another throughout to Long Island. And then at the end of the day, we’d meet all back there, we’d collect all the money we needed to collect, we cut it up. So it was like a business office. How did that credit card thing work? Did you have a bunch of stolen cards or a bunch of fake accounts and sent to so bad, so to speak, and they’d like go to stores and use them and bring this stuff back or right so in the 90s, we had a guy in the post office that was selling us
credit cards, and we pay a 50,000 envelope for a credit card. And he used to give me stacks in amount of time. And then we would get we would send guys out we’d buy electronics, we would buy air conditioners, we were back. Back then in the day Palm pilots, Nintendo’s, jewelry, and then we had one guy that we would bring it all to itself to him for fix off. If the item was $100 the guy paid us $40 or $50. So and he would buy all the items. We had another guy. We had an Asian fella that we would buy cigarettes all day, we buy 100 200 cartons of cigarettes and in CVS and Walgreens throughout Long Island and then we bring them to this one fella and he would buy each carton for $10. So we had we had a pretty good I made a lot a lot of money with our credit cards. And then we also had a vending business. We had gambling machines, we had slot machines, Joker, poker machines, listen to mob makes money any way they can.
But I have to say one thing the way I made money back then I couldn’t do that today with all the technology and the cameras everywhere. And all the optics they have all this, you know, I can never earn money like that today, you would have to hire a bunch of young guys that could get online and do this games online.
Exactly. And I don’t know nothing about that.
Yeah, I just know enough about it that that’s the way to do it today. You cannot go out in the stores. I don’t know how anybody would do a hit or a murder today, with all the cameras out there and DNA and all that. It’s almost impossible. It’s almost impossible because I mean, there’s cameras and doorbells and even even with everything else, even with gambling, bookmaking. I don’t know how, like the mob today. Everybody has apps. I mean, every state, it’s legalized in every state. I mean, so who’s gonna bet with a bookmaker, a street guy, a guy that struggling for money. I mean, all anybody that has money now is going to just download an app and that is Caesars and MGM. So you know, it’s just a different world, you know, and it’s funny because everything I went to jail for now is legal.
And there are some people that are still in jail for doing things that were now illegal. So it’s it’s crazy world sometimes.
It’s hard to keep up but you know, that like, I you know, me being a policeman, I follow guys, like you’re around I said, on our social club down here in Colombus Park, I want spent Superbowl Sunday in the roof or up in the attic of a community center down the street. And when I’d see the right car pull up, then I’d call the FBI plant, they call it the office of the O or the wire room and say, hey, you know, Vinci’s in there so they could turn on the mic. And so that’s Did you remember the police? Do you remember them? Were they in order to do counter surveillance? Or, you know, how was your relationship with the police and the FBI? And, and probably New York City Police, maybe they didn’t do so much as we did here in Kansas City. I don’t know what was that like? Oh, no, they were honest. All the time. I was always being followed. My father was always being followed. There was always they were always around. You know, I used to see them on my corner. You know, I used to wave to them. You know, when when, when I stopped seeing them was when I got arrested.
So I was always under surveillance. I mean, in Florida, I was under surveillance. I mean, I even went to Europe once on vacation, and they notified Interpol and they followed me around Iris.
So I was always on the surveillance. And anytime I go about, like five o’clock in the morning, I know who I was. And you know, I always left my house in handcuffs. So I was always under surveillance. It just was part of our life. You know, it’s just part of life. You know, when we knew they were always around, law enforcement was always around, but they were they were respectful. You know, if I had to get a couple of times, I got indicted, they call they call the shop. And you know, and I would surrender. They just want to come and drag me out of my
They were there, we respected them, they did their job and you know, they respected us we did our job. So, but I was always under surveillance in my late in the night, especially in the 90s. And then I mean, I was a, I got arrested in 1989 by the Organized Crime Task Force in New York State. I got it for a policy, I went to prison for that. And then I got re arrested again in 95. By again by the by the Queens Organized Crime Task Force. But I was very unlucky. In 1989. I could, I’ll tell you a quick little story about surveillance. So in 1989, we had a number office in Jamaica, Queens, which was, you know, was the hood. And we had a number of number of offices in there. And on the corner of the block where our offices was a house where so we had a house in Jamaica Queens selling weed out of and they were under surveillance. A guy that stood with John Gotti for some reason, decided to come and see us at our office and the surveillance for the Maulana saw this guy today. What is this guy doing it? He hangs out with John Gotti they recognize them. They called up the Organized Crime Task Force and said Listen, we just saw a Freddie hot walking into this building in Jamaica, Queens. What is this guy doing in his neighborhood? The Long story short, the Queens da organized crime test was put somebody on that building and found and and I did us and I got arrested for policy and I went to prison for that. So we were always you know, we were so well known. It was just that’s what they used to tease us when they arrested us. There’s to tell us we love to follow guys like you you go to the best restaurants, the best clubs, they love to follow us.
What did you have any particular techniques that you use that to if you wanted to drop a tail off and get away to do something that you didn’t want any? Yeah, we would talk cars and we would park cars and underground garages or we would get on the subway. We would you know I would I would get on the train the A train on Liberty Avenue I would take the A train get off at another station. Have somebody picked me up.
Or I would go in buildings that had two attributes. You know, I would go into apartment buildings like in Brooklyn, there was an apartment building in Sheepshead Bay that had multiple and it was like a little city. And you go into building this had multiple exits and entrances. So we had ways when we needed to get away, we got away. Well, we hope we got away.
You probably did. It’s tough. It’s tough. I bet on the other end of that line. I just heard a story about a guy we used to follow a lot Jabra Goossen and he was working at a plumbing supply place and and he asked a customer that came in said hey, would you give me a ride down to city market? And he said, Well, sure. So Joe gets in, he lays down in the guy’s back seat and they drive down the city market. And you know, we were sitting on the outside, you know, we didn’t come and go so now it’s GPS. I’d be caught out. I got computers GPS, like a follow up to phone. I mean, now if we got it now, how do you get away today? I don’t know. I don’t know either. I tell you what, if I just did a day, I just get me one of those GPS locators and somebody was interested in just slap it up underneath here.
Watch it from the office. Watch it from the satellites now that you’ve heard the satellite. Now you could get a drone and follow me around. You know, I even was followed by a helicopter. We had it we had a number of big number runner in, in, in, in Long Island. And he was so big and we make so much money with him that we personally handled him like we didn’t let somebody that worked for us, handled him and my guy call him out of who ran the number of business for my father and myself would go out there and meet him every Monday. And I used to tell my just my friend call calls.
Every Monday when we’re driving out. I see a helicopter he goes What do you think this is good fellows. You know, he’s easy because if you remember in the movie and the hill was he goes to what are you kidding me? What do you what do you back on that shit again, because I was clean at the time. And I’m telling you I’m telling you know, for some reason, every time we come out here, I noticed this a helicopter showing off after we got arrested and we got all the all the you know what I had to turn over to us showing off. We’re in our lawyer’s office and our lawyer picks up a paper out of the box and he goes, holy shit. Aerial surveillance. I said I told you they were finally what a helicopter.
That sounds crazy.
Yeah, our guys figured out that they’d stop and they just look up. So it was a light plane. It wasn’t a helicopter, the bureau had a plane, they saw the same plane like make this big lazy circle they knew and then you know what they do. There’s an airport real close to downtown, and they drive into that airport and then back out the other side real quick. So they knew the plane couldn’t follow up and because of the flight
pattern so my father was always on the sufferance. My father would go to like to sit in Basel de and not meet nobody just sit there all day and drink and eat and they would just have to hang around all day. They actually used to tell him once in a while, Anthea, you’re going to go eat dinner. Like they asked if he was going to go to a restaurant.
I’m curious about that numbers thing. That’s something we didn’t really have in Kansas City. And we had sportsbook. So in New York, it started out many it started out at the turn of the century in Harlem, they invented the game, then the Italian guys took it over how it worked was every day in racetrack, an Aqueduct Racetrack or Belmont racetrack, they have what they call, they put the chart in the world, the results of the races, and on the bottom of the chart, is how much money the track handled that day. On online races, so we’d say like $2,340,560, the number, that day would be five, six out was the last three numbers of the mutual handle. So and people would bet and we would pay the 500 to one, that was the odd state we paid them. And we would give the runners 25. So you, let’s say you worked in a factory,
and you will run out you would everybody in the factory playing the Delta number with you, and we would give you 25%. So if you brought me $100 worth of action, you would make 25 hours, and then you would get a piece of the hit because we would pay the customer would pay the rent of 550 to one but he would pay the customer 500 to one. Okay, so So the runner stood to make a nice piece of change. And because she’s dependent on runners, because she needed a volume and, and it was always the mutual handle of the racetrack. Okay, so that money would slowly but surely make it up the pyramid, right to different people and then end up with the social club, I assume or with somebody that was struggling it was right. So this is how it works. It it was it was like a it was like a corporation. So there was control owners. So let’s see what a controller was like I let’s we will control it’s so we will control this of this neighborhood Jamaica, Queens where we had 50 runners, so we were the controller. So we collected all the work all the numbers, and we turned them numbers into a bank, a banker to bank to work we got we got 25% from the banker.
And a trickle down. So yeah, we would meet in the social club that we would go we use like people’s houses we paid directly paid up. And we would go there and the houses legitimate people in the neighborhood we would do what do the figures when we make up a ribbon, we what you call the ribbon. And that was the daily figure we would give the ribbons to the runners to tell them how much they had to pay us what they owed us. Because we would add up all the work, we would add up each individual bet. So we knew exactly how much money everybody was bringing in, and how much of a percentage everybody got. And then it turned into the lotto. Now this government runs it. Listen, I was in it’s funny, because I was in I was in. I went to a little Bodega in New York a while a couple of months ago and I walked in to play the lotto. And all this guy had in the store was a lotto machine.
And it was like a number hall that was like an old school number hall but only thing you got a lot on machine. So 20 years ago, that probably was somebody’s number spot. Yeah, now they just swapped it out for a lot on machine.
Great, but it was big money. My father’s business was we were doing, we were doing $90,000 A day in business. You know, we weren’t making 90,000 but the volume we were bringing in 90,000 night some days $99,000 A day in numbers. Because everybody played numbers back in the day. It was just you know, there was no more runners in the dice games. There was no runners in all the social clubs in the bars in the businesses. I mean, everybody played numbers, you know, families bank numbers so so so like everybody today plays the lotto was the same way but there wasn’t a lot of we were the lotto.
So you got $100,000 Handle is what they call it. $100,000
Gross at about 100,000 a day in business. And so what was your net on that? What would you drag from that but on
25% 20 Okay. That’s that’s huge. Did you ever did you ever have a number that a lot of people, there’s a
number that everybody hit one day wiped out, back out?
It happened you know, when it happens, believe it or not, when is it is it like there was there was a plane crash in New York many, many years ago, a plane crashed in Rockaway landing at JFK. And I forgot what the number was. The flight number was nine something 968 A flight 968 And that number came out the next day we got destroyed. Like everybody played it, you know?
Unlike, like, there’s some numbers that are cut like seven. Some numbers are cut numbers because everybody played like 711. Everybody plays 669 They call that the Death number. Everybody plays that. So there’s certain numbers that are cut because everybody plays them. Interesting. Now they’re not allowed on machines, they’ll just shut you out. So that it’s all computerized now not that they hit a certain ceiling, they’ll just cut the number out. That’s such a out. But darn well, that’s, that is really interesting. That is
an inside look at the numbers game. I’m not I’ve always heard about it. And I’ve kind of talked about it and other stories I’ve done, but I’ve never really got an insider’s explanation of how it work. I really appreciate that. So you start you did some narcotics in your life. It’s my understanding that everybody does, especially if you’re a heavy drinker, like understand you were in Did you ever get enticed into the narcotics business?
Um, we in the 70s, we, we had my brother had a very, very, very huge marijuana business, but I never saw I mean, he made a lot of money selling marijuana back in the day. We’re just now legal. Another thing that’s legal. Yeah. But back then it wasn’t. He made a ton of money selling them out. But we weren’t I never I mean, I had, I’ve sold drugs, but I was never into it on a large scale. I mean, I you know, I moved a little here a little bit. My father was against selling drugs. He was one of the few mob guys that lift that that believed in that rule that they shouldn’t sell drugs. And he didn’t, he wasn’t involved. I mean, he used to pass up a lot of heroin deals. And I, I used to argue with them all, but I wanted to do it and and he didn’t know I was never really into selling drugs, but I got it to have what’s the using drugs. Okay, so And let’s kind of go down that path a little bit. Now you are drinking a lot, you’re using drugs and, and at some point in time, it probably got in the way of your day to day life. But how did you what how did you deal with that? And how did that come down? Yes. Well, you know, I mean, in the beginning, it started out as fun and games like, like, could always did you know what I mean? It started out as I mean, you know, I’m in this in the 70s I’m making big money, my father’s a big shot big gangster. So I got caught, got carte blanche in Manhattan, you know, everybody’s blown coke and drinking, you know, and I grew up in bars, my father on the bars my whole life. So I felt very comfortable in a bar with a drink in my hand and warm and so I would drink every day. But I never woke up looking for a drink. I wasn’t I never looked up craving alcohol. But eventually,
the cocaine I you know, was blowing cold cocaine in the 70s. And like I said, earlier, I went to prison, and 78 When I got out of prison and 80, I got introduced to Freebase cocaine. And I started freebasing cocaine. So I was between those who in my darkest years, like from 8484 to 89. When I got clean,
then my father had gotten arrested, and my father got arrested, I started getting out of control, then I crossed over that imaginary line and like everything became about, you know, the next one, you know, how am I going to get more Coke, smoke more Coke, and I started doing a lot of crazy stuff, taking money off people. You know, my father was a prison. But you know, nobody, you know, John Gotti still always looked out for me for some reason. I don’t know why he always did. And my father, you know, felt really bad. You know, and then I don’t know. You know, I just woke up one day in and
you know, I went, I went it to my bedroom, and I was like,
140 pounds, man, I was like skin and bones. I was married. I had a five year old son at the time. And I was lost, like, I just was lost and
and I walked outside. I remember I was sitting on my bed. And I was like, and I was just going like, God, how did this happen to me, but I was talking out loud. You know, how God how this happened to me. And my wife walked in, and she got nervous. And she said to me, you know, what’s the matter? And I told her, I’m dying. And that’s how I felt. You know, I felt at that point in time that the path I was on, I was going to die and I was afraid to die. If I don’t stop using the drugs, I was going to die. And
there was a commercial on TV back then in 88 of a nose in a car went up its nose and a house went up. It says because there was no Internet, there was no smartphones. There was the TV went off at three o’clock in the morning, you know, so, so I told my wife call this phone number that was on this commercial and she called it you know, and this woman answered the phone and named Joan Davanzo. I’ll never forget her names used to save my life. And she told me I spoke to her and she told me I should go into treatment but I had no money. So I called up my father’s partner Tony Lee was another wise guy in the Gambino family and he came over and I told them
I needed to go to this treatment setting. He was Yeah, I know you do you know. And I took
But I need I have no money. So he looked at me used to call me Sunday. That was his nickname for me you on Sunday, I’m going to pay for this. But as far as I’m concerned, you’re too far gone. And I said, Well, I gotta try. And he, and he’s paid for it. And I went to this treatment center and, and they gave me some tools. I didn’t know anything about recovery. I just knew I had to stop. But you know, it’s funny because I just thought I needed to stop using chemicals, and I would have a great life. So I did, I got out of treatment. And believe it or not, I got a treatment on a Wednesday, that Saturday, I went to see John Gotti. And he bought me a car. Because I had no car and he asked me, What can I do for you? I don’t want you to get stressed out. He told me and I says, Well, I don’t have a car. And he got me a car. And he gave me $2,000 He loaned me money $2,000. So and so I went, so I got clean, and I went right back to the street. You suffer consequences behind the behavior. So I went back to the street I got recovery was all monetary stuff, you know, everything on the outside. I didn’t know it was an inside out job. So I went back to the street, I’m clean. I’m making meetings, because the treatment center showed me how to stay clean, gave me some tools. And I started using these tools and I started putting together some clean time, some sobriety, and I started making a lot of money again, and I started looking good. You know, I’m running around now with John Gotti. He’s the boss of the Gambino family. I have a great relationship with them. I’m running around, I’m making a lot of money and I was clean and sober two years and I got arrested for numbers. I went to prison I stood clean in prison. Because I refuse to use at that point. I just couldn’t use any more. I don’t want want the consequences. When I was in prison, I actually started a meeting in prison because I wanted to stay close to the fellowship I’d be want to you know what I mean? So I got out of prison in 92. And I went right back to the street again. John Gotti had gotten arrested when I was away with Sammy to vote. They were gone. I got out and you don’t I just went right back to what I know how to do you know, running around with two wise guys doing errands for my father. My father was in prison. I was meeting guys in Philly. I was running all around. I was meeting with Joey Molina bringing messages from from the Gambino family to Philadelphia. You know, everybody trusted me. I knew the game. I knew that life. You know, I was raised by my father. And the life was great. I thought it was and then I started hitting a bottom with that lifestyle, you know, like, you know, I started feeling uncomfortable again in my own skin, you know, and, and then in 95, I got arrested again on a big bookmaking case, which now is legal to bookmaking. I got arrested again, on a big bookmaking case with guys in Brooklyn and Queens. And I took a plea, I got a two to four, and I was upstate in a in a penitentiary in New York. And I got indicted in Miami, by the Feds by the FBI by the Justice Department with a lot of what this guy Nicky Carozza, who was like the street boss, and again, you know, family and a couple other people and the marshals took me to Florida and I took a plea down there, like 10 years. And that’s when I made up my mind. Like, I pretty much was done with that lifestyle, too. You know, I did eight years and three months, I stood clean, and it used in prison. You know, I started meetings in prison. I helped a lot of guys in prison with recovery, you know,
because I refuse to use I don’t want to go I know the only chance I had to change my life was to stay sober, clean and sober, you know, and I got out of prison in oh four and I went to work. I got my first legitimate job. I got my first legitimate job. And then about a year later after I got out of prison in oh five. I fortunately got arrested again by the FBI for something I did in 1988. committed, you know, I got arrested for murder, and for another federal Rico with a murder and then I just decided to end that lifestyle altogether. And I cooperated. Wow. And that was big step. judging how you raised and everything was your father’s still alive then? No,my father’s still alive. I could have never cooperated. I would have never done that. No, my father passed away when I was in prison. That’s another thing my father passed away in 1999 While I was in prison, I didn’t pick up you know, my partner died. John Gotti died. So when I got out of prison I know for all the men that I looked up to that took care of me that I loved gone. The mob was a different was a different world out there when I got out and oh four. Nobody was looking out for nobody. And you know, I just stuck it was like the drugs. I just didn’t want to live that way anymore. You know, I hit a bottom with that lifestyle. I mean, how much more time am I gonna spend in prison? I mean, you know, like, what did I get sold before to spend my life in prison? I didn’t what time clean and sober then I did when I was getting high, you know?
So I just knew that would be the best way or not the best way but that would be the final straw of me getting out of that life. There’s no going back after that. Because I was
still on the fence when I got out in oh four, they wanted to make me I was proposed. I was a proposed member. So I was on the verge of becoming a main member. So I was still on the fence. I didn’t say no. So like pet, you know, like, it was like the devil in the angel, you know, like, you know, so so that was just the final.
That finalized me getting out of that lifestyle, I guess you could say, I guess you knew if you took that other step of taking that oath, there would not would not be any turning back and you were likely would spend most of the rest of your life in the penitentiary. Was that your thought process on that? Yeah, yeah, definitely. The thought process was that I follow those pet my father was dead. Autonomy was dead. Like I said, John and said, I know if they were alive. I wouldn’t ever cooperate. I would have never gave up my father. I mean, if I had to spend the rest of my life in prison, I you know, I wouldn’t have liked it. But I wouldn’t have gave up my father. Yeah, that was my process. You know, like, I just wanted to get away from it. Nobody, you know, that just wasn’t the same anymore. I think it’s probably so enticing. It’s like the drug is high and low and high and low that you keep chasing after another high is that would that be a good analogy? Oh, yeah, great. It was great. In the beginning, it was great. Like, it’s all instant gratification. I mean, I’m making crazy money. I’m living like a king. Um, I got carte blanche in Manhattan, I’m going to the Copacabana. I’m sitting in the front row, ringside seats, you know, like, it was just like, in the movies, it was great. It was beautiful. But you know, then it wasn’t, you know, but then then, you know, then I spent 14 years in prison, I winded up with, you know, two failed marriages, you know, a drug problem, you know, broke my father doing 40 years, you know, victims, people dying people getting killed, you know, people’s mothers crying, you know, look, you know, we did a lot of damage. But you know, that was, that was the hardest, and most traumatic decision I ever made in my whole life. I mean, it took me a whole year to make that decision. I couldn’t, I couldn’t even make the phone call. And when I did, when I finally made the decision to do that, I, I couldn’t even call them I made my wife call the FBI from a job. Like not even I didn’t want to hear with do it. I told him take this cord. And when you get to work, call this number and tell whoever answers the phone to come and see me. I couldn’t I couldn’t even make the call. You know, that’s how, because of you know, every on everything I believed in, and I knew that was the end of it. You know, that was the end of the only life I have been no, you know, I was born into the my field. My My father became a made member the same year I was born in 1953. I mean, so I was literally born into the mafia, really. So that’s all I knew. Those are all the adults. I know all the adult males in my neighborhood. I started my uncles who were legitimate guys, were all mob guys. My father’s friends were all mob guys. So as they you’ve gone over what it was, like, what happened? Now? What’s it like now for you?
Now, it’s about contentment, believe it or not? All I could you know, people ask me that question a lot. And, you know, I was never contented my whole life. No matter how much money I was making, or how I was living, I was always about more, more, more now. Now, it’s, I’m content, you know, my, all my needs are being met some of my wants on it, but we all have wants that are a little extravagant, but all my needs are being met, you know, I’m content, I sit in my condo, you know, and I don’t have to worry about getting arrested, I don’t have to worry about, you know, make a gun running in the streets to make money. You know, every two weeks, I get a paycheck deposited in my checking account. And I’m contented, you know, and today I give back, you know, I feel good, you know, people want to know, my story, or, you know, people are interested in me, I help people, you know, I worked in treatment, drug treatment, I worked in treatment centers, I was a counselor, a case manager. Now, I’m a behavioral health technician, you know, I work in recovery every day. I’m working in a detox right now. So I’m helping people now that are just coming off the street at the beginning of the journey, you know, which is, which is very interesting.
In the beginning of the journey, you know, really? Yeah, you know, it’s just, I’m just content that’s the best answer I could give you. Uh, you know, and I’m involved in, you know, I have my own podcast now. We form gangsters if anybody’s interested right now, which is going really well, you know, and I think it’s, and like, there’s a lot of us out there, we’ll pocket some are really good. Some aren’t. You know, some are really truthful. Some aren’t. I think what separates me from a lot of them is like, with the stories I tell him, what the things I talk about, about my own personal relationships. Most of the people I talk about, I had relationships with even you know, like good fellows, you know, it’s things like that. So I think that sort of separates me a little bit from a lot of other ones. And, you know, I have a helpline I have a recovery helpline that people call, it’s 855-963-2113. And that’s a recovery helpline when people could call up and if they need help with addiction with alcohol
Same with drug addiction, they call that number and someone answers it 24/7. And, you know, we look to help people get to treatment or do whatever we could do for them, to get them on that journey to you know, live a better life. You’ve had one heck of a life Anthony. And I can relate to everything that you’ve been through kind of on the other side. And I have had a director, anything since 1984. And, you know, it’s it’s such a good life, that life that that seemed you think was boring is much more exciting than it ever was back in the old days. And it was less consequences, much more pleasant consequences. When you say, oh, without a doubt, you know, when I speak at a meeting, or I speak at an event or something about my recovery about my life, and some young guy or somebody walks up to me and asked me for my phone number, that’s, you know, that’s the greatest feeling in the world. You know, that’s worth more money than anything, you know, to submit. They asked me for my you want my phone number? Like, you know, I said something that touched that person, you know, that’s so gratifying. All right, Anthony, I really appreciate you coming on the show. And guys. Anthony’s YouTube is reformed gangsters. yes.com. Yep. All right. Great. And so go to that website and check him out on YouTube. He’s got a lot of great stories. He has a lot of good guests there, like personal friends of is that really get that inside story on what that life was like? Because that’s, you know, that’s what you’re on this podcast for is to, to figure out what that life’s like is fascinating. Interesting. I think, you know, Anthony, for me, what’s interesting is that in the mafia, there’s rules. There’s people have lives, they have families, they have regular lives on one hand, but yet on the other hand, they have this other life that is like this whole kind of secret society that I don’t know. They’re just some about that. That is fascinating for a lot of people and I can’t explain it. It’s like we all love Jesse James. It’s just, it’s a unique lifestyle. Not not thank God, not everybody can do it.
That’s true. I couldn’t do it.
All right, at the I really appreciate you coming on. Thank you. Have a good day. Oh, guys, that was great. I really appreciate Anthony coming on the show. And don’t forget, I ride motorcycles. So watch out for motorcycles on the road. And if you have a problem with PTSD, your friend or your relative has a problem with PTSD and you’ve been the service go to the VA website and get that hotline number if you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, why you’ll see that number that I’ve got up or Anthony’s got it on his YouTube channel all the time. And and even if you’re in another part of the United States, give that number a call, and they can probably direct you to local resources. So thanks a lot, guys. And thank you, Anthony. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you