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NYPD Secrets: Bugging the Ravenite – Bonus

Retired Intelligence Detective Gary Jenkins brings you the best in mob history with his unique perception of the mafia. In this bonus episode, Gary tells five short stories about the New York City Police Intelligence Unit and their efforts to plant hidden microphones on John Gotti and Neil Dellacroce in and around the Ravenite Social Club. Gary found these first-person accounts in a book titled Cop Talk : True Detective Stories From the NYPD by E. W. Counts.

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Hey all you Wiretappers out there back here in the studio of Gangland Wire, this is kind of a shorty want to take care of you guys in the especially the audio. I started working on a book written by some New York City policemen or they like collaborated with another author and they told a lot of stories about being in New York City policeman and in particular they got a bunch of guys from the Intelligence Unit to tell stories and so I was going through them and they were great stories about trying to bug the Ravenite Social Club which was Gotti’s social club and Dellacroce social club also, before then before that, you know, it’s this social club the Raven night on 477 I think Mulberry Street and he has in Mulberry Street down there little it lay in Manhattan. It goes all the way back to Albert Anastasia. And then Carlo Gambino took it over and then Carlo Gambino, you know if you know anything about him at all, he likes to keep a low profile. And by the time he took it over and been there for a while there was so much heat on it and so much police and agents, FBI agents attention that he left there, and he gave it to Neil Dellacroce. So he took it over and then God he will eventually take it over. So it’s got a long and storied history, it’s a shoe store. Now by the way, I’ll put some pictures up here on the YouTube channel. But the NYPD we’re working on it big time because like Gambino noted noted there’s a lot of attention paid to it and they got what what the FBI was called a plant or an observation point. And that would be a upper floor apartment with a window and where you could see the front of the social club but we did it down here in Kansas City boy and we were in what we call Little Italy or Columbus Park down here for our social club and it was really hard to get matter of fact we the FBI talked about buying a whole house but that house was not for sale and it was right across the street but there was nothing else really speak up we had a spot there was a buy at a community center there was almost a block away now with with binoculars you could pick out tags and then after a while you knew guys cars so didn’t have to actually see the tag and note that so it’s okay but you couldn’t really exactly see the front you could only see the cars as they pulled along Troost and then took a left and parked somewhere around the club or if they went east and west on Fifth Street and if they came from the east and parked on the east side you didn’t you couldn’t see him from that particular plant we had it was kind of a temporary deal anyhow I want spent Super Bowl Sunday up there watching to see who was coming and going and and if we’d see one of the name targets on the FBI wiretap affidavit column that the wire room and say so and so is there and then they could turn on the bug that was inside, they didn’t really pick up anything didn’t really work very well. And getting a bug in one of those places is you know, it’s just not as easy as it sounds. And you’re gonna you’re gonna hear a lot of stories here about guys trying to get something going in the rain tonight. In failing again. And again. I think it’s important that we talk a lot about how mob guys work. You know, I’m a copper, I like to talk about how the cops were to we throw just keep throwing shit up against the wall to see what sticks and, you know, sometimes it sticks sometimes it doesn’t, you know, I remember we went through a pin register on a drug dealer, a connected guy named Michael Caldarello. He had a biker bar and he was connected with some bikers when the biker gangs, the El foresteros, I believe. And we put a pin register on him and we got a lot of kind of calls to people who were supposedly drug dealers and then but it wasn’t really going anywhere. But we were you know, slowly but surely building the probable cause. And, and then he died, he died of an overdose one night and we quickly got a search warrant for his house because the girlfriend who was there when he died, said, you know he was shooting cocaine. And then he had some kind of a heart thing and he died and we found a kilo inside of his house and a lot of others things things we seized a bunch of stuff from him. But it’s just really hard to do this stuff. But you know, a lot of their stories are in the trial may not be successful, but the stories are in the trial. So I apologize up front that the audio is a little bit different I did a couple of them with my phone, but just for shorts on YouTube, and then I looked at these other stories and I thought well, I’m gonna continue doing shorts. I’ll just do them here on the computer with a better microphone. I’ll just cut them up. And then put them there. But I wanted to give you guys on the audio podcast because you’re my guys. Oops, my phone’s ringing over there. I gotta check that out. Anyhow guys enjoy. Hey guys, I found this book cop talk. It’s got some really interesting stories that are from NYPD and one of them was, they were honest surveillance at the Ravenite and they saw a wooden bench sitting down in front that delet coach would sit down and talk to people. So they stole it late one night and replaced one of the boards that had a bug inside of it. But a neighborhood lady saw them stealing it. So she told somebody in the Ravenite about it. And they returned started taking the boards apart. And they found this hollowed out board with a bug inside there was $1,000 Bug by the way. So they set it aside, just set it up against the wall and called Gottti because they didn’t know what to do with it. And Gotti finally time got there and Dellacroce got there. There had been some time elapsed and the cops saw this was going on. So they sent one of their guys walking down the street. And he just picked up the board and kept on going. Gotti gets there and he says, You stupid bastards, you had it and you let him steal it back from you. Another little story out of this Cop Talk book. It was great. They’re again, they’re trying to get a listening device in the Ravenite Social Club. They’re on Mulberry Street. So they try it one night and they spent the whole night trying to pick the lock they can’t get in. They try it again, they take a whole big crew, they have two guys in Con-Ed truck out in front. They have two detectives and radio car cruising around, they have a couple of more looked like bums walking around the neighborhood and a couple of guys acted like they’re drunk and they’re trying to pick the lock. Well, there’s a dog on the inside. So while they’re trying to pick the lock. Every time they get the pins on the tumblers up a little bit. The dog will jump up against the door to knock them back down. Finally, neighborhood lady, hears this racket calls the club manager who comes running out. And then he runs up the Con Ed truck and because he sees these guys out by the front door and he says hey officers, he said arrest those two men theey are burglars, and of course they run off then so it was a hard place. After a couple of tries of breaking into the Ravenite club or putting a microphone in the bench out front. The NYPD cops tried another outside bug. They had noticed that Gotti and Dellacroce would often walk outside past the Ross trucking company and into a chicken market. The NYPD electronic genius Phil Ross made six small sensitive microphones. Then they strung from the top of the Ross trucking company, they strung some wire and hung those microphones down over the path where God a and other people in Dellacroce in particular might walk. All they heard was the sounds of chickens and other ambient sound while they could sit up on that roof and actually hear they claimed they actually heard got a telling Dellacroce that I want to kill Paul Castellano so you know who knows, they finally abandon that effort. After the failure of breaking into the Ravenite and the microphone on the bench. And the mic suspended up in the air over a walk and talk place, the NYPD tried going into the basement under the Ravenite, they used what’s known as a spike mic. This is a microphone attached to a thin spike that they then drill up through the floorboards have been joined the joist in the basement. And so just the very little point of the microphone sticks out well that picks up vibrations and room and then there’s actual kind of a receiver on the end of that spike mic and then that’s hardwired and then it goes they hide the wire up along the floor joists and rafters in the basement ceiling until they can get it outside then they rent it to another buildings. So what they did they ran it to a firehouse nearby. Well there was a fireman in that firehouse that was a gambler you can’t trust those firemen and you know you can’t trust cops either. And they he saw what was happening so he goes over to the club he’s a gambler he goes over to the club or catches this Mickey Cirelli who’s a bookie in the club manager somewhere and says hey you know he’s cops are running some wire for more by your guys club and it wasn’t really working anyhow, those things are dicey at best and they couldn’t hear anything then all sudden they started hearing voices talking about well what’s this in somebody’s like touching this bike Mike? Where did these wires go? They quickly cut their wires and snuck away with the recording equipment which was in their their plan or their observation point. The NYPD maintained an apartment is an observation point close to the Raven night one night they were sitting in in the dark and they heard voices under the window. Then they heard a ladder being placed up against the wall that led up To the windows they kind of sneaked a peek and they saw somebody coming up toward their observation window and then this is the same window that they used to film this these Gambino guys congratulating Bruno Whack Whack Indelicato who was in the Bonanno family and this was like an hour or so after Carmine Galante was killed like it was you know that the word really didn’t have time to get around unless you’re in the know and they’re clapping on the back and kissing and everything that film will later be used in the Commission Trial when they convict Whack Whack have that murder of taking part in that murder, but they hear down below they hear off this ladder Buddy Dellacroce yelling up to somebody said, you know, take the screen off and look in and they hear this guy say, well, there’s nobody in here but he yells back up I’ve got some gasoline just burn the place because the cops are like readying their guns pulling their guns out of the holsters, getting ready. The guy said we can’t do that we’ll burn down the whole building and there are people in there they go. Buddy and this guy go back and forth about whether he gets to burn this building or not. And the cops are like, you know, ready to start what happens is you know, hey, we’re just gonna have to shoot him off that ladder if he comes up here with some fire. But he keeps you on I don’t care the FBI is in there burn it, the guy there would do it and they walk back down the ladder and the cop three holstered their guns and you know, they continue to use that observation point for a while you’ve seen a lot of video and things like that out it was a pretty good spot. It’s hard to get guys. So I hope you liked my little contribution to how the cops work on the mob. Now intelligence units work on the mob, I can verify every one of those stories about trying to pick locks or trying to get in, you know, set up a whole big operation where you get a couple of guys in uniform crews in the area. And you got a couple of guys in a powered light truck. We’re here in Kansas City. I remember one night we were trying to put a camera in up over a guy’s computer. This was later on in my career. And they had computers by then. And we had a couple of guys with a powered light truck just blocking off the streets all the way around. And we even had a K died cop come up and just came up to the barricades. And one of my guys that wasn’t very well known on the police department. He’s been a technical guy, and always kind of been in the background. And when he’s in patrol, he was probably you know, somewhere on Dogwatch I don’t know. And so the canine cop comes up and starts asking what’s going on old cars out over here and it carries this whole conversation in the canine officer just goes ahead and leaves. He didn’t know what was going on. So I hope you liked these stories. I loved him, you know, this. This was a great book was a fun book. It’s got a lot more stories in it. i You see the images of what the book looks like if you’re on YouTube. The title of the book is kept up to Detective Stories from the NYPD by E. W. Count COUNT. So I appreciate y’all listening in. And don’t forget, if you’ve got a problem with PTSD and you’ve been in the service, go to the VA website and get that hotline. If you got a problem with drugs or alcohol, go visit our friend Anthony Ruggiano He’s got a hotline number you if you’re gonna want to go down to Florida and go to treatment and then I’ll get ahold of that him on that hotline and they could be your counselor. So that would be great, wouldn’t it if you do that, give me a story. Come back and tell me about it in some manner. I just want to know it out. Don’t forget I forgot to say this before I like to ride motorcycles. So watch out for motorcycles when you’re out there. Thanks a lot guys. A lot guys, too.

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