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Scarpa Assaults Vic Amuso

Retired intelligence detective Gary Jenkins interviews Robert McNeese, a man who served many years in two different federal prisons and was the cellmate of Lucchese Boss Vic Amuso. He was nearby when Colombo mobster Greg Scarpa Jr. attacked and injured Vic Amuso. Robert tells precisely how this fight started and what resulted. Robert McNeese tells how Danny Marino introduced him to the federal prison Mafia society. Marino suggested that Vic Amuso take him in as a cellie. Robert McNeese became good friends with Amuso, which gave him credibility with every other Mafia nab he met in the Federal prison system. He tells about Mafia prison life, prison guard corruption, and how he received a life sentence while in prison for a much shorter bank robbery sentence. The most exciting story is how he befriended a female inmate and learned information that assisted authorities in finding the bodies of two dead children and earned an early out.
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GARY JENKINS, Robert McNeese

The one day that was had open court on handball, Greg Scarpa, Jr. and his friend approached Vic and his friend aspect that they wanted to play doubles. And Vic said no, because you know dudes old man’s a snitch, and I don’t know if if he’s tainted, you know, he might be one two, I don’t know. So later that day or that evening, we had all had some pasta not to pick was Washington’s bowl out in my closet. He was bent over that. And Greg Scarborough Jr. You’re walked in there with a pipe and cracked him in the back of the head with a Game Over 170 stitches. They locked down the hole. Actually, they lock down the entire Bureau of Prisons when it happened. And then they ship colonial was out of there, and I went to Atlanta, and then about two weeks later, Vic showed up in Atlanta. But welcome

Welcome all you Wiretappers out there back here in the studio Gangland Wire, got a show for you today with a man named Robert McNeese. I got onto him. I can’t remember he was on another podcast I think and I listened to his stories and and he was great update you I was impressed and and we have Robert McNeese here Welcome, Robert. Thank you. I’m really happy to have you on the show we you know, we’ve had a couple three conversations and you know, I understand you live up in Cedar Rapids Iowa right now and there’s about five feet of snow or something

there’s enough there’s a lot of snow today and I’m Blizzard blizzard conditions today.

Let’s start off with you met a lot of mob guys in prison and and you got a lot of great stories, you also got noticed by Paramount Pictures. And they want to tell your life story even though you’ve never written a book and and I’m not sure how they got ahold of you exactly, but somebody told them about your story. And they were impressed enough with with your life experiences that they want to do a whole series on you. And I believe it’s gonna be called The Honorable Man. Is that correct?

Yeah they got onto me from Bill Staxx. Okay.

Just tell us a little bit. I think everybody’s curious about that. How does that go down when they just like call you or did Bill introduce you? Or whatever? How does that work?

Well, I got a call. Bill Staxxs reached out to me. He had interviewed a guy that I was incarcerated with, and he gave him my information. So he got a hold of me those tracks did ask if I wanted to do a podcast and you know, something news to me. So I said, Yeah, I’ll do one. And so we did the pod task. A week later, I got a phone call from from Bill again, one introduced me to a guy out in California that’s interested in doing a TV movie or mini mini series or something like that. And I said, Okay, well, that’s cool. So he gave my information and called me and just started talking and ended up he’s going to, they’re going to do eight episodes, season one and they’re hoping that it’ll carry over to Season Two. Interesting and it’s just like my life in incarcerated and I think every week it’s going to have like a different person that you know, that I’ve met that you know, they have a little story behind it. And I guess that would be intriguing to the population. I guess. I don’t know.

I will be I’ve seen the list of people and we’re going to talk about them and and your interactions with them and really kind of tell people you know, a little bit about what this series is gonna be like when it finally gets done. Yeah, I mean, you were met people like Christie the Tic Furnari with Fat Tony Salerno, Tony Ducks, Carolla. I mean, you met Danny Marino, you met some of the big people. How did you end up in the federal penitentiary?

Well, I robbed a bank. I did a bank robbery in Cedar Rapids when and as a young kid, young and dumb, I went to the bank and I had known some some bank robbers. Some you know, real life bank robbers, and I was like, fascinated by him, but I got to be friends with one of them. And he kind of like taught me how to rob banks on the way they did it. I wouldn’t did it and I don’t know got caught. Got caught like a couple weeks later, I actually turned myself in, you know, y’all know what I was doing.

They had they pick your picture out there on the news from the cameras or something or somebody right? Yeah.

Yeah. Someone told on the date. Okay. The spider man mask I was wearing a full mask with little holes on it. It was a spider man mask, okay. And I throw it thrown it off the over the bridge. And they found it and my hair particles wrote it. No hair sample and whatever. Hair and then someone had told him that. Yeah, that was my mask. You know, I bought a

yeah, this begins your tour of the federal penitentiary system. And usually you’re never in just one. Right? What was the first one you went into?

The first one was in Wisconsin. I can’t remember the

name. Okay, so. Oh, Oxford. I’m

sorry, Oxford.

Okay. Now, did you is that where you start? First start hooking up with some of these mob guys or

I was fortunate when I was a young younger guy. I had worked for a wax museum of Elvis Presley’s Wax Museum, the wax museum would go on to like, carnival grounds that was owned by, you know, different people. And one of them was Danny Marino. Gambino Oh, God, that I didn’t even know anything. I didn’t even know what Gambino is. We’re back then. So yeah, but it was me and my sister worked for this museum, I’m selling tickets and selling pictures, albums, things like that at the stores, Danny Marino was, what would come and, you know, he buy us lunch or dinner. And, you know, just, you know, just looking out for us, you know, a nice guy. And, and that was it. That was that was my only interaction with so, I mean, I get to Oxford, Wisconsin, I get off the bus. And I go to receiving and discharge and you go through the whole routine of you know, seeing an nurse and make sure you’re healthy enough to go on the yard. See a investigative officer to make sure that you know, you’re not going to have any problems. And so when they finally release you, they give you a bed roll with two sheets, pillowcase and a blanket and some shampoo and soap. And they point open up a door and a point in this prison yard. You know, you’re waiting on your unit is down here on the right. So you know, you gotta walk about two blocks. So you’re doing that you’re you’re you’re wearing bus pants, which are brown wrinkled pants and white t shirt, and everyone’s looking at you. I’m nervous wreck talking, they’re all by myself walking with them. You know? And I’m like, Man, this is hell. And I’m looking and just guys are just, you know, they all want to be tough guys. So they’re all staring down and like, Oh, my God, all sudden I hear Bobby Bobby and, and I didn’t recognize him. He came up gave me a big hug. You don’t remember me any? And then? Also, I’ve never been happy in my life. Yeah, so yeah, Danny Marino was the first one I had seen in the prison.

Interesting Danny Morino he was a real mob guy, for sure. In the Gambino family. I looked a little bit up about him when he is early arrest was was assault on an FBI agent outside of a Catholic church at a mass for another old time mafia. So it’s so he was able to pretty tough guy himself when when he was a kid. He was indicted in 93 on conspiracy to commit murder on a guy who was going to testify in Grand Jury hearing in New York about the trash hauling industry and, and he was connected to Gaspipe Casso. And, you know, he was, I mean, he was a pretty bad guy himself, but not really to you as sounds like,

yeah, most of them are real nice, guys. You know, the gentleman. Yeah. So I’m sure he found that out through your career, but oh, yeah, right then and there goes ask where I was going to when I said I was going down to one, one unit, that was the orientation unit. For one side, the other side was they had, you know, inmates. And he goes, let me go, I asked my friend, he’s looking for Cellie, I’m gonna tell him see what he says, Well, this friend of his was Chris Furnari. You know, Christy Tic. So I go down, and, you know, Danny Marino says, come on, he wants to talk to you. So I go around and meet him. And, you know, we teach sighs You know, I could be his roommate. So that was my, that’s where I got moved to guard moved me right into a cell. And that was it. You know, I didn’t know anything about him. I didn’t know. You know, I didn’t know who he was, or anything like that. And it wasn’t till like, probably a month after I was in there that I that I kind of, like, figured out, you know, that, you know, this guy is pretty important. I mean, people are showing them a lot of respect and opening doors and bringing them all sorts of things. And it’s just like, you know, I was like, you know, first I thought it was the Oh, a prison is pretty cool as well and get all this stuff, you know, but then it was just him. So I kind of figured it out.

Now, there isn’t one…

I used to ask him all the time. Just dumb questions, because I didn’t know any better. You know, Hey, did you really do this? I’d read something about them. You can ask me that. You know, and just know what to do. You know.

He had a social club called the 19th hole in New York and you know, crews there and the Bensonhurst. He was he was like, no real deal mob guy made guide. He had people like Victor Amuso and Gaspipe Casso working for him. They were great earners. They had a burglar gang called the Bypass gang. Stole millions of dollars. They did he talk about any of that kind of stuff? Probably not.

No, actually, no, he didn’t. He never did. He talked about the trial that he had. And he eventually won his case and or, I don’t know if he won the case, but he eventually got out. And he lived, I think, five more years. Have you got out or something, I really think there’s like 97 or 98, when he passed away, he kind of

took me under his wing, if I had, my understanding is right. And so kind of showed you the ways of the prison, not maybe particularly the ways the mafia, but the ways of Mafia dude in the penitentiary system and how that worked, that was getting examples of kind of some of the lessons he taught you on how to navigate in that system,

I guess, because of who he was, he had like, connections, you know, people in the laundry room and in the commissary and in the kitchen, you know, you’d get some, you know, get a couple of green peppers and a couple of tomatoes, you know, end up on the desk and in the cell, you know, someone from food service to bring it to him. So, go basically, out of it out of respect for him. I seen how he moved, you know, I seen how he operated, you know, I mean, people respected him, and they knew who he was, and, you know, so they just, he just was able to do whatever he wanted, you know, most of the guys were like that. And lucky for me, after I’d been in for several years, I was able to do those kinds of things, you know, just because I was, you know, around all the guys, and, you know, they accepted me and, and I used it sometimes to my advantage. You know, I mean, not be a fool not to you know, yeah. But yeah, it was it made made my prison stay a whole lot better. Yeah,

I can imagine. So you were able to get connections in the in with the cooks, for example, to get some extra food. Yeah. Right. That and maybe some some phone time that that other people didn’t get? Did they have any of those smuggling in those cell phones? And that you noticed? Yeah, we were getting?

We were getting 10 of them a month for $10,000 they were selling them 1000 apiece. Wow. And that’s what a flip phone was 100 hours and you know, down the garden would be you know, making quite a bit of money.

Really. Guys like that they sell time on that if you had one of those phones and you go to him and and get some money put on his books or something. And oh, no, no, no. They just used it themselves.

Yeah, just no one else ever was able to use them. Okay, I was just curious. I know what you’re talking about. But yeah, they didn’t do that

the commerce and that. So what did you use for money in the penitentiary? Did you was there used to be though story was it used cigarettes were commerce. So but you gums saying no canceling?

Well, when I first went in, there was still money on the yard. Okay, you could buy $25 worth of change, you know, every week. So they’re the guys with 1000s of dollars a quarter rolls of quarters, you know, okay. And then after they got rid of the money, and all like, you know, they had like the vending machines, they got rid of all that. Prison money became stamps, books of stamps.

So if you like five hours a book, you help somebody out, you get them some stamps, or you want to trade some off you can you trade them off,

right? Like, a piece of chicken was, you know, 10 stamps, okay, you know, like that. So you food service guy would come and give you a piece of chicken or 10 stamps.

The tick that he liked have meetings that were you know, you were excluded from did they How did they conduct this mafia business and I’m sure they conducted some

Christie, he didn’t have meetings he he he just kind of like, played low and they would do you know, guys would you know, want to see him and they go out to the, to the yard and do you know, walk around the track and just talk you know, talk and walk? That’d be about the only time

did y’all get together I think of the scene from Goodfellas where they all got together and you were kind of like they’re Henry Hill you are they’re peckerwood they’re not a tie in they had a lot of connections throughout the penitentiary center throughout that prison that could run and get things and bring it back and then they cook big joint meals Did you see any that did they do that like in the movie?

My first pasta dish was with Christie and he made it out of a garbage can with with boiling water the stringer and I never seen what before so it was like all new to me. But no Christie and I would just like cook in the cell in Atlanta though it was a different story.

Did you ever make jailhouse nachos or prison nachos? Yeah. YouTube video out there with my friend Steve St. John. That made jailhouse nachos for me and then we ate up on his back deck. So how were they ever good. So tell the guys how you make jailhouse nachos?

I don’t know what kind you have. We used to get you know was 24 pack of can pop the coming up. Cardboard box. Yeah, we put a garbage bag we line that up with the garbage bags and said you know flat. Then we put the chips on the bottom but we’d cook like the chili badger chili we’d open up we pour the chili Jana, we have summer sausage Chop, chop that up. onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and we get a bunch of cheese and Velveeta cheese and squeezed cheese. Jalapenos just put in the microwave

in a garbage bag. Again together and they are in a garbage bag. Yeah, yeah. And then

The used to make soup like that

l rally. So then you also then you had these little containers that you could then put it out into. Right? Yeah, that’s what the yes,

that’s just a different version. Yeah, yeah.

We used we took our soup. So the same way that Oh, really? How do you make the soup then?

Yeah, they just don’t have soups in a bay, crush them up, throw them in a bag, total cheese, their meat, you know the vegetables all together, put the hot water in there and just shake it, shake it up and try not to let it sit and cook for about 510 minutes. And then then it’d be dropping out into a big bowl and serving.

You ended up going to another penitentiary. Is that right from there? Yeah. And who do you meet there? Did you were you able to take this relationship with this mob guy and then parlay that to other relationships with other mob guys?

Yeah. Well, I ended up in Atlanta penitentiary. Well, no, I’m sorry. I ended up in. I think it was Leavenworth I went to first. I went to Leavenworth and from them more than went to Terre Haute and then Terre Haute to Atlanta but yeah, I’m, I was able to meet, you know, all sorts of different guys. Joy testing was in Terre Haute with us. Lemoore throws a lot of like Midwest guys. Chicago. St. Louis, Kansas City. Yeah. I didn’t really know him. I had a problem with one of them and just you know, otherwise. I’d say Atlanta was probably where I met, you know, interacted there in Springfield. I met Fat Tony Salerno. Yeah. Like Tony ducks that was interacted with him a lot.

Yeah. Lets talk about Vic Amuso? Was that where he was at Atlanta where he met Vic Amuso?

No, we met in Terre Haute, and okay, then he was assaulted. And so they transferred all of his closest associates.

So it was ended up in Atlanta. Tell us about that assault

Viv vic Amuso an older gentleman, but was the best number number one in the whole prison system for handball. I mean, just very physically fit. And so everyone wanted to play him. So one day a guy approached him asked if he could do partners with him, and he said, No, because the guy’s partner was Greg Scarpa, Jr. told the guy you know, you know, as fathers and foreman, I don’t know if he has to so I don’t want to deal with him. Right. Greg Scarpa Jr. got into his feelings over it. And that night, Vic was after dinner was washing his bowl out in a mop closet, and the dude came up behind him and him a pipe in 170 stitches.

Wow. That’s, that’s when they locked down and

locked down the hole. Yeah, they lock down everything and Greg Scarpa was out of that prison in two hours.

But they think there was a Mob war on or something. There wold be a bunch of people killed?

Well, I mean, they never let Greg Scarpa walk the yard ever again. On the federal prison system. Yeah, I mean, he can never go anywhere. So they took him locked him down. Yeah, they locked his all down. And I ended up in Atlanta. And a couple weeks later, Vic showed up. That’s when we, you know, we were roommates became pretty close. You know? That’s where, you know, for years. You know, I was with him. And yeah, I mean, I became pretty close with him. So

tell us what that was like. I’m curious. I mean, is he? Like his personality? First of all, maybe what was his personality? Like, the friendly he was?

Yes. Very outgoing, friendly. He never discussed my business with anyone. He would get upset sometimes to say things, you know, that he probably shouldn’t have. But, but he but he all along. He’s, you know, he’d helped. He gives a shirt off the back, you know, his back for somebody if he liked him. He’s always you know, looking out for guys and just just a good guy always on the move. Real athletic. Yeah, real physically fit. But yeah, we started I mean, you know, Atlanta. Atlanta prison was, was hellhole. There was a time when I think it was like 95-96 Maybe. What was that right after the Cuban riots. So it’s like 90, or when they opened it back up. So like 95-96 The guards they had all hired by the from Atlanta they put up posters in I’m in the ghettos. And we’re looking for inner city employees to come, you know, to come work at the penitentiary. And I kid, you know, I walked in there and, and there was the guards were a big thick rope chains around their necks and, and so you know, you’d walk down the hall and they have metal detectors and be like six of them or five lined up, you know, want a wall and all the guards are gonna like this with their arms crossed while you walk through. And, you know, if a black guy from Atlanta would walk through and go beep beep beep, the guard and just go like this and start throwing gang signs and the guy would take you know, walk off. If it was me walk to their Beep, Beeep, Beep they’d snatch me up, pull me against the wall, make me take my shoes off, you know. But that was the difference there, and at that time, there was not one not not one Warden, Captain Associate Warden or guard there that was white. Every single one of them was black or Hispanic. And we’ve got, I mean, it didn’t bother me. I didn’t care. But they were crooked as hell. I mean, they get liquor, a pint of liquor in a gallon baggie for $25. Or there’s a chicken shop, if you got to the penitentiary in Atlanta is in the heart of the ghetto in in Atlanta. So it’s some Micano Boulevard. And you can see the chicken shop right there from the window and in the liquor store, and so $25 A bag. And then you could get a two piece of chicken and a little bun and potatoes and gravy for $25. And we had one guard this, you know, before there was an incident in a prison of the guards to the unit, they couldn’t be searched. And they would come in with duffel bags like this on their shoulders, you know, every day from work, you know, when they come in and go to work. And they wouldn’t I mean, it was just insane. But, yeah, one guy that the whole time I was in there and the Lana, this guy, he would bring, probably, I’d say 10 things and liquor and 10 things that chicken every everyday work. That’s a lot of money. And I figured out if he’s, you know, been doing it for 10 years or something, you know,

it’s a pretty good supplement, or salary. Yeah, it was crazy. So we had so now how did Vic get in Atlanta in Atlanta? Did you have a little group of Italians that all kind of hung together and sat at a table together and kind of stuck together?

You know, like in the school cafeteria, only there were tables, not too long guns, but just round tables. You could sit for guys, there would be like an Atlanta there was like five tables. That was that was ours and everyone knew in the whole prison. You know, if we didn’t come to eat, they wouldn’t be empty for the whole meal. No one would sit in them. And same with you know, like the Hispanics or the blacks. You know, they’d have their own no investment. And that’s just the way it is, you know, and so yeah, we got our own tables

Did you have the Aryan Brotherhood, the AB, The Brand there?

No, they had the Brand in Leavenworth. I don’t think they really want the Brand in Atlanta

Atlanta here I can see why. I had a whole prison-wide federal prison-wide war between blacks and the A B went for one short period of timeYeah. When I first went in it was the DC blacks. They see blacks. Yeah, that’s who it was, I remember that now. Yeah, that’s so I’ll tell

you the A B is they got a lot of power. They’re pretty powerful. Even though there’s only I mean, there’s none on the prison yards that are real, you know, AB that none of them they are they’re all locked down. But but one of them could go to a penitentiary and run the whole place. Because, you know, every white gang member that’s their, you know, you Dirty White Boys and you know, things like that. They they all strive to become Aryan Brotherhood, you know? And so, the Aryan Brotherhood could tell them to do something, and they’re all gonna do it, you know? So

if you think that is that, because they have a lot of connections outside, they got a lot of people outside, that’s a real strong entity outside the penitentiary system, so they can get a lot of stuff done or is it just, people just want to be an A, B?

I think they just want to be an A, B, the, the A B isn’t what people portray it to be. And as far as in prison, I mean, they’re all about making money. They’re not about you know, we hate blacks. We hate Spanish. They don’t they don’t, you know, I mean, they do business with blacks and Spanish and it’s not for them. It’s, it’s more about, you know, you guys sell the heroin we bring in, you know, we bring it in and you sell it and whatever, you know, and, and that’s what they’re about, you know, in prison it’s so it’s a it’s not really a racial thing.

Let’s go back to the Italians that at Atlanta now. Do you remember it? Who were some of the other guys or is anybody that we know? Oh, he was there too?

Vic Arena. Patti Amato, Vic Arena, Patti Amato, Nicky Scarfo, Patsy Ianella , Mike Tucetta, Bobby Gallagher knows just about I mean, there’s a whole bunch of them that came through there. But those are those guys were like there for years.

So that was, that was quite a little society that you guys had that you were hooked up with. What did you all be like? Find hook up with different guys and play cards. And in that group, did you all stick within your group and play cards or maybe play handball with each other basketball or something?

Yeah, there’s, yeah, there’s about 25 of us total, and we would, you know, some of us, like, like me, one thing that Chris Christie Tic instilled in me was that, you know, I needed to go to school. So, I did a lot of schooling. And I kept it up, you know, the whole time. But I got a degree in culinary arts and, you know, just just kept kept busy. When I wasn’t doing that I would be you know, out walk in the yard and me and Vic would usually walk the track for you know, a couple of hours every day. But they would go like in the daytime, they go played handball or an evening they played pinnacle. Or cook you know, there’s a couple of them like Mike just said, he cooked a lot, you know, for us, you know, we get a lot of stuff out of the kitchen. And just, you know, you’d make some good good pasta dinners.

And that was back in this was described the where the sales were you guys were were you all kind of in the same sales. I know like in Atlanta or not in Leavenworth they had the Cuban section the Cuban unit, which is a hell for a buddy gets put in there. And so what was your living arrangements like there

Right? Well, the the Cuban unit is it was just a five story tears, you know, five stories of just those, like a giant birdcage in the middle of a floor you know, they remodeled everything is the same with with Atlanta, there know that, you know, there’s not sell bars anymore. It’s regular doors, and they’ve, you know, made the rooms a lot cleaner. So you know, you’ve got so I mean, it’s pretty nice. It’s kind of a prison. I don’t want to glorify, it’s not nice, but it’s a lot better than what they portray on TV, you know, but it’s just a two man cell bunk beds, no small desk. All in sync, of course, and mirror, and a little chair that comes in a little plastic chair that you put up under the desk. And that’s about it. So, yeah, just just a typical cell. Yeah, everyone would Cell up together and we’d get on the same tier. Okay, you know, so it’d be young and I was Vic’s Cellie, so look pretty good for being in prison.

So then you get sent to Springfield. Now my friend Steve got sent to Springfield as kind of a punishment. He didn’t really want to go down there because he’s the new there was less freedom to get around the penitentiary system, but the pin that he had up and running was Rochester where he was so you got sent to Springfield, was that? Some health problems or were they?

I had glaucoma and they really couldn’t figure out what the what was what was going on with my eye and I was going blind, which I mentioned I, I didn’t go blind in my left eye. It ended up being glaucoma. So I had to go down there. And as a result of the glaucoma, cataract started, and so he did a surgery on me there. When I was there, many years ago, it was before the different hospitals and he’d go out to the hospital for surgery in your local city. Back then everyone went to Srpingfield, they didn’t care who it was, or Rochester. You had to be someone special to get to Rochester, you know?

Yeah. Steve did not like leaving there and going to Springfield. I know that.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They say Rochester was was really sweet. So, but yeah, I was down there. Just for a short period of time. And I met with a, there’s a guy Ernie boy, I had met him years before. And so he had sent word down to these guys that I was coming in, like Ernie Boy, he was, a I didn’t know anything about him, except that he was a heroin dealer in New York, but and now it comes out and now he’s the alleged bossof the Genovese. So

all right, already, but what’s his full name?

Oreste Abbamonte! Christie Funari told Vicky Amuso, you know, that, that, you know, I was, you know, coming here and, you know, look out for me. They can told me, you know, like, six months later, you know, it goes, you know, when he got off that bus, he goes, You know, I would have done anything in the world for you, because Chris Funari, you know, he’s like, you know, we’re Blood Brothers, you know, and, and he goes, you’re the only person in all the years that I’ve known, Chris, that he’s ever recommended somebody to me. He’s never done that before. And so, you know, I, you know, so that’s, that was a pretty big deal. Yeah. I said, Well, that’s cool. You know, so that was nice and Christie’s do that. But

yeah, when you get down to Springfield and then you know they sent word ahead. You’re okay and you start meeting these other guys Tony ducks and Fat Tony and I have a question was was lefty Ruggerio from New York there at that point in time do you remember? I don’t remember. Okay, what about it? Was there a guy there that had both of his legs cut off? He was in a wheelchair named Paul Hankish from West Virginia.

I there was a guy there. Yeah, that had his legs cut off.

Okay. So he was my friend Steve had relationship, had a relationship with lefty Ruggerio, who was the Al Pacino character in that movie, Donnie Brasco. And he served his last few years in the Pen down there. And this Paul Hankish was there at the same time, and he was the Pittsburgh mob.

Did that Paul Hankish lose his legs in a bombing or bombing?

Yes when he was young man. Yeah. Okay. Yeah,

yeah, I don’t know. Yeah, he was there when I was there.

But his story is Lefty told Steve was standing there and Lefty told Paul as they were, you know, sitting around talking he said you know, he said I don’t know if I’d want to commit any crime with you. He said I don’t know if you’re a stand up guy. He said, I told Lefty, man you have gone too far this time. I thought it was funny. So what was that like with those guys got Tony Salerno and Tony Ducks Carollo. They were getting pretty old by then.

They were all Oh, yeah. They were all I mean, yeah, they were all day. They, you know, they’d come outside for you know, maybe 30 minutes. Yeah. You know, and want to get wheeled back in and but Tony ducks was a character are not totally Fat Tony Salerno. He was a character. He was funny. You know, he was he was a cantankerous old fella, but he was funny. Yeah, you know, at the same time, you know, it’s just like, he couldn’t, you know, he’s like, a, you know, a big kid that was mad, but you couldn’t get mad at him for it? Because it’s just funny, you know? But yeah, he’s, he was a good guy always wanted to use the phone. You know, just would be bitching about not having a phone to use.

But, yeah. Did you have cell phones down there? Were they smuggling in cell phones?

I didn’t know. No, they didn’t have down there.

They must have had a little tighter seyup. They didn’t have those Atlanta guards down in Springfield.

Right. Well, I don’t even think I don’t know if cell phones route. Well, maybe they were. Were out back then. I don’t know. I mean, it wasn’t until like 97-98 We got so far. It’s probably like Springfield. I mean, you go from you know, like, a nice place to you know, place where, you know, it’s hard to you know, yet like you said the guards you can’t get nothing in there, you know? Yeah. So it was kind of, you know, different. You have two man cells down there. Yes. Did you have a Cellie down there and um, yes, I did. I’m trying to remember what his name was. You couldn’t move Cells freely down there. I had a guy that had a one of the bags on the side, you know, and I didn’t like

you know that Tony, he was he was a really wealthy guy. He was not he was involved he fell with that commission try case and he had been part of the call it they call the concrete club. And he was who was the windows Gigante and the windows case? Yeah. Where they had like a $200 million scam?

That was Chris Funari and Christie Tic and Vic Amuso Oh,

okay. And that was FatTony got some of that, too. Got that. And he was like, he was supposedly like the Genovese boss, but really, the Chin was really the boss, because you could just see the evidence of it’s kind of hard to I’m not sure how to put this that they were they were able to spread that money around and and buy favors.

But I don’t know about like, counselors or anything like that, or, you know, social wardens or wardens? Or, I mean, I know that there was a captain and that there was a si es person that would you know, give up things and whatnot for no profit.

So they had it had pretty good connection. So we say inside the in the penitentiary system, with the other inmates because of their kind of criminal position in life, but because of the money they had and the power they had on the outside, right, they were able to get things done. Sure. And yeah, then you were able to take advantage of that because you were with them. That’s when it’s back being with somebody then you can take advantage of of their power and what they’ve got because you’re right them

basically, you know, I had the You know, the boss’s ear? Yeah. And so and because of that, you know, people would come to me and ask me things to, you know, to, you know, victim and talk to the wall, let alone anybody else, you know, he’s pretty quiet guy. So, you know, in a lot of guys wouldn’t even approach him. So that date approached me and this was, you know, after years of knowing him and so, Vic was well respected. I mean, most of the guys are well respected. I mean, I never had a problem with any of them. Yeah, I had one problem, one guy, and that was it, but otherwise, never with any guys. Um, they’re always very respectful. And gentlemen.

So you left and out of Springfield, where do you go back to then after that?

To Atlanta

Did you spend the rest of your time there?

Um, no, I, I, I didn’t. I got in trouble and got a sentence while incarcerated. So I, my bank robbery was 105 months. I was getting to the end of it actually had I think, four months left. And I was indicted by the US government and Middle District of Florida for importation of heroin. Oh, and I received a life sentence. Oh, wow. At that time,

was that was that some you had gone before you went in that you were part of? Or is that part of?

No, it was something that I started while incarcerated on cars I was having. I was having drugs sent from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. On a ship brought over to port Tampa, offloaded in Port Tampa then taken to the East Coast.

Wow. As a guy like you make those kinds of connections from inside the penitentiary. I don’t expect you to tell me but it’s crazy. I have to point it out. You’re connected really close to all these mob guys in the guy like you then can set up that kind of international bank. You know, I got said I don’t expect you to tell me anything. But I see your face.

Yeah. So I went to trial and was convicted, received the license. And three years after that, four years after that. I was not indicted, but I was pulled out of the prison and taken back to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and put in front of a grand jury. They wanted to know about my connections with alleged drug activities and money laundering in the area. I told them to go screw themselves. And, you know, they threatened to put me in jail. And I said, Okay, took me back to prison. And then I’d say a year, not even 10 months later that they brought me back again. And put me in a they were trying to build a case on me. And there was nothing to build. But they had all these people and like five or six guys in the county jail in Cedar Rapids. And they didn’t want to put me in the county jail with them because they fear for their safety. So they put me in a jail. That was the thing, it housed at the most 10 people at two psi, you know, when it was just a hallway, and one side of the hallway was was guys, and the other side was girls. And so they put me there, again, want me to go in front of a grand jury? And I said no. And they kept me in the cell there. And I’m talking to a girl across the hall. And I could and the food slots were open, and I could actually see her, you know?

After all those years, I’ve

been down 17 1617 years. And, you know, what do you expect? You know, hey, there are you know, you start talking but and so we talked for a couple of weeks getting getting notes back and forth. Then one morning, like four in the morning, 430 the morning, guards rush me in the cell and drag me into a conference room. And there’s, I don’t know, eight different people there. The US attorney, the head of the FBI, and all in Tom Miller, the Iowa Attorney General, I mean, just, you know, all these big shots in there. And this guy is my face start saying, we know you got letters from her, we need them now. You know, and was pointing his finger at me and I wouldn’t saw you know, I mean, I’ve been in jail for a long time you’re not supposed to do and so I just went went off and you know, they knocked me down tied me up to me. And so I called the lawyer that afternoon I told him what happened because you don’t know that and I said no, I don’t even know her name. And, and then he tells me and then she has been involved in the murder of five people. And two of them were kids six and a nine year old. And I was like, Man, that’s crazy. So that’s what’s the reason was they was thinking that she was given the information, you know, on that. So she did give me information eventually, you know, after a couple more days, because I started asking her questions. And I, she had ended up giving me maps to the bodies of where the kids were buried. And so I turned them over to the government and got a reduction of sentence for that.

That’s why you’re sitting here today. Is that what you’re telling me? Yeah,

yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s the reason. Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s that’s the that’s the reason.

That was an opportune.

Yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, I mean, there’s, I’ve never testified on anybody at any trial ever, you know. And so it was like, different for me is weird. But I did you know, and, you know, I mean, it is what it is, you know, I mean, I cooperated. And, and so, I’m a cooperating witness. And, you know, some people can deal with it. Some can’t, you know, you know, I respect you know, everyone’s opinion. And, you know,

yeah, well, you’re, you’re not the, the usual rat or snitch by any stretch of the imagination. So, yeah. But some people have a certain code that that I’ve noticed, at least for people that come in on Facebook, they have a certain code that that guards they’ve never been positioned. You know, you’re sitting there looking at the rest of your life in the penitentiary. I don’t know when they were threatening you with or worked out forever, but they didn’t it. Yeah, yeah, I did. One last person or situation you’d like to tell us about? Where we wind this up? Anybody famous else that you had? A story you got a story about? Well, like those prison stories about the famous people?

Oh, Sammy the bull. Oh, really?

Oh really, Yeah. Tell us about Sammy the bull.

Sammy the Bull. And you know, I really don’t I try not to talk disparagingly about anyone but Sammy the Bull is a piece of shit. I mean, he’s a legitimate piece of shit. Yeah. I mean, he’s, he takes advantage of anything that he can out of anyone. And he like now on his. And I didn’t know anything about podcasts were like that, you know, I mean, I work seven days a week, I don’t watch TV or watch the computers on so. But they were telling me about artwork that it Sammy the bull was doing. And so I go down to the computer and go to any cell and you know, all these different, you know, charcoals and acrylics that he had said that he allegedly claimed that he did. And I’m thinking, well, he didn’t do them. He didn’t do not want to Sammy can’t draw a straight line. But then I find out that he’s selling them for $200 apiece, and it’s sold tons of Yeah. So then, you know, he’s not trying to help the actual artists, you know, you know, one guy is a real close friend of mine. The guy that did all of his tattoo work, everyone can get on these podcasts. And, you know, why don’t why lie? Why don’t just tell the truth. You know, I mean, like, the paintings in artwork, you know, I don’t care if he sells I mean, my buddy doesn’t care, but break them off. You know, I mean, hey, I know, you know, more drawn up, you know, you know, so yeah, he didn’t, he doesn’t like to share. And so, you know, that, you know, that’s, that shows you the character, that guy you know, I mean, you got guys that are doing, you know, triple life sentences that could use $100 a month in here, he’s made, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, you know, and he’s in he, you know, he doesn’t want to help nobody out. And just like, you know, as always tattoos. My buddy, he was, my friend was a leader, they AB and he’s the one that did Sammys tattoos. And they’re all like, like, just different things. And a lot of them are AB related, you know, different women with, you know, things like that. And, but he goes on his little podcast and tells everybody that, you know, there’s a meaning behind this one, you know, I did this and then I remember, you know, I’m like, Come on, man. You know, I just don’t like that shit.

Cool, but you got your own business now and you’re working seven days a week and making your way sounds like

yeah, I’m trying. Yeah, I’m trying. I remove dead ash trees. Okay, interesting.

Yeah, there’s

50 million. Oh,

yeah, there’s Ash borers destroyed our Ash trees here in the Midwest.

I got a job. Two days after I got out. Uh, you know, and just kept working sense, you know? Yeah,

you got a good work ethic and you’re willing to put in the time guy can make it you know, you may not, you’re not gonna be driving a limo and you’re not gonna be flying on a private jet, but you can make it. That’s what I did all my life I can make it just got to have half have some common sense and a little bit of intelligence and a good work ethic. And that’s all you really need. This guy in this country has me.

Yeah, I was trying to learn that many years ago.

You tried some shortcuts? Yeah, exactly. You were you were trying to grab that brass ring, or that gold ring with that arrow and thing, and that I understand the lure of easy money has a mighty strong appeal, but there’s a price to pay. All right. That’s Robert make nice. I really appreciate you coming on the show. Robert. I wish you luck. Oh, my pleasure. So thanks a lot, guys. You know, I like to ride motorcycles. And you better look out for motorcycles when you’re out there. And if you have a problem with PTSD, as I always say, go to the VA website and get that hotline and our friend former mobster Anthony Ruggiano at reformed And he also has his own YouTube show. He has a hotline if you have problem with drugs or alcohol, he’s happy to help you can get ahold of him. He works at a treatment center has some kind of a treatment facility down in Florida I believe. So you want to detach we want to leave her own playgrounds and playmates go down to Florida and go into treatment if you think you got a problem with drugs or alcohol with Anthony. So thanks a lot guys.

2 thoughts on “Scarpa Assaults Vic Amuso”

  1. Casey Harris Sr

    This is fascinating to read ya’ll’s words and your interview questions. Questions I do not think to ask until the person has left for home. You build a gr8 mental picture for me like I was in the room. Unrelated question, please and it can be answered to my email address you have (ada…). What is the microphone you use and what connection device is needed to make it work with a computer? I have a laptop not a computer tower. Thank you so much, Casey

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