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What Happened to the French Connection Dope?

Retired Intelligence Detective Gary Jenkins brings you the best in mob history with his unique perception of the mafia. In this episode, I delve into a fascinating tale involving corrupt individuals like Gaspipe Casso, a New York police cop named Vinny Albano, and a drug dealer named Herbie Pate. Albano, engaged in taking down the French Connection, conspires with Pate to steal French Connection heroin from the police property room. The duo starts selling the stolen heroin on the streets, making millions of dollars, with Gaspipe Casso taking a cut. However, tensions rise between Albano and Pate over money, leading to a lethal confrontation where Pate shoots and kills Albano in self-defense.

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[0:00] Hey, all you wiretappers out there, I got a fun little story here about Gas Pipe Casso, a corrupt New York police cop named Vinny Albano, not one of the two mafia cops, Caracapa and Esposito, and another Lucchese associate drug dealer named Herbie Potte.
That’s P-A-T-E, I believe.
Yeah, P-A-T-E, Herbie Potte or Potte.

[0:29] Albano was part of the crew he worked narcotics and was part of the crew that helped take down the French connection so he knew about the dope and they knew about it being in the property room there was like what uh 70 some kilos in the property room at one time and so he got this Herbie Pott they both had been involved in a lot of crooked stuff and and with Gas Pipe Castle So he instructed Herbie Pate just how to to put on a police uniform and got some forged papers and access the property room.
Well, well, this Herbie Pate goes in, he’s cracking jokes and he’s making the property room clerk laugh and that kind of thing.
And he goes in and he walks out with all this French Connection heroin.
Well, he and Vinnie, Vinnie Albano, they start selling it on the streets over the next.

[1:17] Few weeks and months, and they’re making a lot of money. I mean, this was millions of dollars worth of heroin.
Millions in Heroin and Betrayal

[1:23] I mean, millions of dollars worth. And Gaspipe Castle was getting a piece of that action all along because they were associates in the Lucchese family, and he helped facilitate all this. So he always gets the action.
Well, Albano was kind of a, he had a bad temper, shall we say, and he was suspicious.
And Pate, he was like, you know, know he was a crook he no there’s no honor among thieves in this world and so they get arguing about money and albano is accusing pate of stealing from him albano drives to pate’s work and tries to run him down the car one evening and i don’t know what the work was but there must not have been anybody around he avoids him they albano gets out and he’s a tough guy but so So says Pate.
Pate had gone to gas pipe and said, you know, I’ve got this problem with this crazy ass cop.

[2:16] I need a gun. So gas pipe had given him a little 38, a little, I think it was a little chief air weight, I believe.
And they’d given him a gun. So he’s got a gun stuck down his back pocket while they’re wrestling around.
Pate was able to reach around and get that gun out and start shooting.
Deadly Confrontation on the Street

[2:32] And he shoots and he kills Albano right there on the street.
Well, he’s not really that guy particularly. you know he’s a heroin dealer and a drug dealer and an associate but he’s not really that guy and and so he calls gas pipe casso who is that guy and casso said okay just wait right there i’ll be there casso runs over to where they are together they take albano’s car and they put his body in it and one of them drives it down to by the ronzos underneath the veronzo bridge and leaves it down there with his body in the car knowing it’ll be found probably later that night or the next day and takes him back home and and they say caspo we know a lot of this because casso if you remember, He came in for a period of time, then he went back out. I’d have to do a whole story on that whole ending of Gas Pipe Castle career.
But he did talk about this to the law enforcement and explained this story out.
And so he said when he got back home, he said he felt really bad because Albano had really been a big help to him.

[3:38] Albano, this former, I think he’s a lieutenant or something, he had even taken a big magnet into the courtroom.
A courthouse where they had some tapes stored that were going to be incriminating for Casso and ran this magnet over these stored tapes and you know that straightens out all the little little electrons in a digital tape or whatever kind of analog tape either one I think a big heavy magnet will ruin those tapes and he’d done that for him but you know he I mean, Casso was like he kind of could disassociate himself from any real personal feelings about this.
He felt like he was kind of a CEO or a boss of a big organization.
And whatever they did and whatever they needed to do to survive and to make money and to prosper was okay.
Not unlike a lot of big corporations today. The tobacco corporations, think about that. They stand up there live like hell in front of the national media, in front of some Senate investigating committee.
So, you know, not much difference, you know, two sides of the same coin there, I would say.
So thanks a lot. Just a little story I happened to run across and I thought you guys would be interested in.

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