John DiGilio, Genovese Family Mafia soldier from Bayonne

La Cosa Nostra – State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report

The territories once controlled by John DiGilio, a late Genovese soldier, were divided among high level operatives within that family, but some of his rackets on the New Jersey waterfront have been lost to the Gambino/Gotti organization. DiGilio once ran a large northern New Jersey operation active in gambling, loansharking, labor racketeering and extortion. After DiGilio’s death, the leadership of his faction passed briefly to Louis Auricchio of Holmdel, who is believed to have been assigned earlier by the Genovese/Gigante hierarchy to monitor DiGilio’s activities in anticipation of the need to replace him. Auricchio assumed leadership of the faction immediately after DiGilio’s disappearance and is considered a suspect in his murder. Since his conviction in July, 1989, on federal income tax evasion charges, responsibility for this crew has been split between Angelo Prisco of the Bronx and Salvatore Lombardo of Brooklyn.

For several years, DiGilio had been under considerable pressure from the family leadership and had also been the subject of much unwanted law enforcement and media attention. In order to avoid both state and federal prosecutions, for instance, DiGilio over the years called attention to himself with various incidents of bizarre conduct including feigning mental incompetence. He also defied family bosses by not retaining an attorney to represent him. Eventually, a federal racketeering case against DiGilio and three of his associates, Anthony Gallagher of Bayonne, longshoremen’s boss Donald Carson of Scotch Plains and John Barbato of Staten Island, was tried in Newark in 1988. DiGilio, who chose to defend himself in the case, was the only defendant acquitted. Carson and Gallagher were convicted; Barbato’s case was severed from the others. DiGilio’s failure to comply with orders from group leaders, coupled with the convictions of Gallagher and Carson, infuriated the Genovese family hierarchy, who blamed DiGilio for the convictions.

The Carson conviction was especially damaging because federal law required that Carson forfeit his position as secretary-treasurer of Local 1587-88 of the International Longshoreman’s Association, a 1,200-member union of dock workers and warehousemen in Bayonne. Carson had also been executive vice president of the ILA, making him the second most powerful leader of that international union. This position had given the Genovese family significant influence in every port in the United States. However, Carson was replaced not by another Genovese man but by Gambino soldier Anthony Pimpinella of Brooklyn. The loss to the Gambino family of these influential labor posts and the lucrative rackets they controlled was perhaps the death knell for DiGilio. He disappeared shortly after the trial was over, and his body was eventually found May 26, 1988, floating in a body bag in the Hackensack River

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La Cosa Nostra – State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report – The Genovese/Gigante Family – DiGilio

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