Joseph Massino, the imprisoned boss of the Bonanno crime family, is cooperating with federal authorities and has talked about another top Mafia member’s proposal to kill a prosecutor, the New York Times reports. The Times describes Massino, 62, as “the last don, an Old World stalwart who clung to the fading values of honor and omertà, the Mafia’s code of silence.” Massino was convicted on federal murder and racketeering charges. He reportedly recorded prison conversations secretly with another mob figure about the idea of killing the prosecutor. The threat led authorities to provide the prosecutor with a 24-hour security detail.
Conversations between Massino and the and the Bonanno family’s acting boss, Vincent Basciano, were outlined in a murder and racketeering indictment unsealed yesterday against Basciano, a beauty salon owner known as Vinny Gorgeous. The Times quoted one ex-Mafia member as saying about Massino: “I’m shocked. He seemed like an old-time guy. I never would have thought.”