One call does it all.

My uncle lent Martin “Motts” Casella $5,000 to buy the bar at First and Jackson in Hoboken. Motts was at the time my uncle’s top numbers runner. Marty soon thereafter aligned himself with Brooklyn interests. My uncle remained friendly with Martin Casella, which years later proved useful.

In the ’70s, a Greenville resident stole at gunpoint $30,000 from my uncle. Presumably, the individual in question pondered the action and saw the odds in his favor. What was my uncle going to do, call the police and then have to explain the source of the money? Equally unlikely was the chance of a Caucasian in his mid-fifties arriving at an apartment house in Greenville and then to begin banging on doors in search of an armed assailant. What the would-be Urban Jesse James didn’t consider was my uncle phoning Martin Casella.

Before the day was out, my uncle regained possession of $29,998.75. (Seems the guy had stopped to buy a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes.)

Some years later, Martin “Motts” Casella went to prison for plotting to kill John Gotti.

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