FBI on The Sopranos

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A major plotline on the fictional HBO drama The Sopranos has been the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's ongoing pursuit of the DiMeo (New Jersey) and Lupertazzi (Brooklyn) crime families. The Bureau's investigations have met with varying degrees of success.[1] This article lists both characters who have acted as F.B.I. informants and F.B.I. agent characters and as such is an expansion of the main article List of The Sopranos characters.

F.B.I. informants[edit]

Being an F.B.I. informant on The Sopranos is a risky proposition, often ending in death. Lupertazzi crime family consigliere, James Petrille, and Soprano family capo, Carlo Gervasi, are the only known F.B.I. informants to survive until the series' end. Raymond Curto deserves notice for being a longtime informer before dying of natural causes without ever being suspected. Listed below are characters who are known to have been F.B.I. informants and their respective fates. Note that Albie Cianflone was likely an informant, but he should not be included on the list because his cooperation (if any) is debatable, unconfirmed and unknown.

Informant Position Status Cause
Fabian "Febby" Petrulio aka Fred Peters Former soldier, turned State's Witness, kicked out of witness protection Deceased Executed by Tony Soprano in the first season episode "College".
Jimmy Altieri Capo, Soprano family Deceased Executed by Silvio Dante in the first season episode "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano".
Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero Soldier, Soprano family Deceased Executed by Tony Soprano, Silvio Dante, and Paulie Gualtieri in the second season episode, "Funhouse".
Adriana La Cerva Fiancée of Christopher Moltisanti and Crazy Horse club manager in Long Branch, New Jersey Deceased Executed by Silvio Dante in the fifth season episode, "Long Term Parking".
Raymond Curto Capo, Soprano family Deceased Died as a result of a stroke in the sixth season episode, "Members Only".
Jack Massarone Business associate, Massarone Construction Corp. founder and CEO, Deceased Executed on orders from Tony Soprano in the fifth season episode, "Rat Pack".
Jimmy Petrille Consigliere, Lupertazzi family Unknown, presumably Petrille has since entered the Witness Protection Program (although this has not been mentioned). N/A
Eugene Pontecorvo Soldier, Soprano family, no-show carpenter Deceased Committed suicide by hanging in the sixth season episode, "Members Only". The amount of information that he contributed, if any, is highly questionable.
Carlo Gervasi Capo, Soprano family, Unknown. Turned informant on the series finale "Made in America". His future and the ramifications of his testimony against Tony are unknown. Became informant due to son, wannabe mobster Jason being arrested for drug dealing.

F.B.I. agents[edit]

Chief Frank Cubitoso[edit]

F.B.I. chief of New Jersey division who is constantly looking for new insight on the ongoing Soprano/DiMeo case. He successfully coordinates a mission to put the Soprano residence under surveillance by the use of an old lamp in their basement. The operation ends when Meadow takes the old lamp to college. When Tony is arrested for the stolen airline tickets he tells Frank "to not expect any more deli trays coming your way", alluding to a deli tray sent to Cubitoso on his birthday, which Cubitoso donated to a local charity. He also pressures Adriana La Cerva into wearing a wire which leads to her confession and death. When Agent Sanseverino worries after Adriana disappears, Cubitoso decides it is time to move on. He also was the agent whose idea it was to bug Green Grove Retirement Community when Tony Soprano and several other DiMeo family capos move in their mothers, despite other agents skepticism.

Agent Ron Goddard[edit]

Agent Harris' new partner in the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Along with Harris, approached Tony at his home, requesting that Tony inform them should he come across any terror-related information in his line of work. When asked by Tony about how the war on terrorism goes, Ron mentions that he didn't mind working on the task force other than not sleeping and that he missed his wife and children. Harris would often bring Goddard to Satriale's to ostensibly show him that the store makes the best pulled pork sandwiches in the state.

Agent Ron Gosling[edit]

An agent who handled Eugene Pontecervo before his suicide. He hints to Eugene about Ray Curto being an informant.

Agent Frank Grasso[edit]

An F.B.I. agent who handled mob capo Raymond Curto. During a raid on the Soprano residence, Grasso broke a bowl from the kitchen refrigerator. Immediately after, he and Tony developed a grudge when Tony noted his last name and insulted him in Italian. He is an homage to famous New York City Detective Sonny Grosso who helped reveal the French Connection.

Agent Dwight Harris[edit]

Main article: Dwight Harris

Agent Skip Lipari[edit]

An F.B.I. agent who handled Big Pussy Bonpensiero. When Pussy begins to confide more and more to Skip as a friend, Skip tries to tell him that he is not his friend and he is there to help the federal government. Chief Cubitoso warns Lipari that he could be risking getting too close to Bonpensiero himself. Lipari may have suspected that Bonpensiero was involved in the Matthew Bevilaqua murder, but apparently did not report it. Skip says that his father was a plumber.

Agent Joe Marquez[edit]

Agent Harris' partner from 2000 to 2001 while working on the DiMeo crime family investigation. Tony makes fun of his Hispanic heritage by asking him "Weren't there any jobs down at the Post Office?" He is a fan of the New York Mets along with Dwight Harris and Tony.

Agent Robyn Sanseverino[edit]

An F.B.I. agent who handled Adriana La Cerva after she became very resentful against Agent Ciccerone. Agent Sanseverino explains to Adriana that she became an F.B.I. agent because her sister was paralyzed by her boyfriend's reckless use of a gun. In order to take a stand against men like him, she became an agent. She has a daughter which was unknown to Adriana. She also handled capo Raymond Curto just before his death from natural causes. Adriana blames her uclerative colitis on the pressure being placed on her by Robyn and the FBI. She confides to Robyn that when Chris was in drug rehab Vito Spatafore kept calling her asking if she needed anything and was okay, and she didn't tell Chris because he would kill him. She put Adriana on a mailing list for brochures from a drug rehabilitation clinic in Hazelton, New Jersey that gets Christopher mad at Adriana. She hints to Adriana that Richie Aprile and Pussy Bompensiero are not in the Witness Protection Program, despite what Tony Soprano and the others say. She wishes her luck at the fertilization clinic in having a baby.

Agent Smyj[edit]

It is never revealed his first name. The last name is pronounced Smy. Agent sometimes present at meetings about the Soprano/DiMeo crime family investigation. Brian Smyj in real life is a Hollywood stuntman and stunt coordinator.

Agent Deborah Ciccerone-Waldrup[edit]

Deborah is a special agent who went undercover as "Danielle Ciccolella from Whippany, New Jersey" to befriend Adriana and to find out information about Christopher Moltisanti's relationship with Tony Soprano. She is married to F.B.I. Special Agent Mike Waldrup and has a child with him. She poses as a wealthy, potential trophy-wife, girlfriend or mistress interested in the gangster world. She wore a wire and recorded conversations with Adriana, some of which she once said were very private. Her usefulness as an undercover agent ended after Christopher made a pass at her causing Adriana to break off their friendship after Christopher lied and said Danielle initiated it. However, she continued to work on the Soprano task force. She told Adriana that she had a sister and offered to get her an OBGYN appointment, as her sister worked in the city with one. Paulie Germani reportedly was interested in Danielle. Christopher thinks that Danielle is a lesbian because she turned down his advances. Tony once asked Adriana about her friend Danielle, as he was attracted to her, she awkwardly tells Tony that she drowned while on a picnic, hence her disappearance. In the episode "Long Term Parking," Adrianna finally tells Christopher about Deborah's true identity, after revealing her own involvement with the F.B.I. to him.

Agent Mike Waldrup[edit]

Husband and fellow F.B.I. agent of Deborah Ciccerone-Waldrup. He does not like his wife's dog. Takes care of their baby when Deborah talks to Adriana on a special phone line hooked up in their bedroom to act as the phone for "Lilac Personal Shopping". He worries about their baby being colicky from it coughing so much while lying in its crib.

F.B.I. Technician[edit]

Instrumental in placing a listening device in Tony Soprano's basement hidden inside a lamp. Later involved in monitoring this device until it was unwittingly neutralized by Meadow Soprano as she removed it from the house. Throughout the show he usually dons disguises as a plumber, air conditioning repair man, hydro department employee or gardener.

F.B.I. investigations & indictments[edit]

Junior Soprano[edit]

Corrado "Junior" Soprano has been a major target of the F.B.I. throughout the series. At the end of the first season, the titular head of the DiMeo/Soprano family was indicted on federal racketeering charges, partly on information derived from snitch Jimmy Altieri. The Bureau attempted to flip Junior and get him to testify that his nephew, Tony Soprano, was the street boss and, in fact, the de facto head of the family. However, being both "old school" and loath to admit that his nephew held the real power, Junior refused. Junior's trial unfolded over the ensuing three seasons of the series.

In the fourth season, the F.B.I. inserted an agent into Junior's physician's office as a nurse - Junior used the office to conduct meetings while under house arrest. Junior learned of this from his attorney and ended his practice of meeting there. After unsuccessfully arguing that he lacked capacity to stand trial as a result of a fall he suffered on the courthouse steps, Junior was able to obtain a mistrial in the fourth season finale thanks to a hung jury which was tampered with by Junior's lieutenant, Bobby Baccalieri. The government quickly announced its intention to retry Junior. However, Junior's mental condition has taken a turn for the worse and he was rendered unfit to stand trial.

John Sacrimoni[edit]

At the end of the fifth season, the F.B.I. conducted a raid on the home of John Sacrimoni, the boss of the Lupertazzi crime family (Brooklyn), while Sacrimoni was having a meeting with Tony Soprano. Soprano was not a target of the raid and was able to escape unscathed. It was revealed that Jimmy Petrille, the Lupertazzi family Consigliere, had been an F.B.I. informant for some time. On the strength of his information, the government undertook major indictments against the Lupertazzi family that would have reached the former boss, Carmine Lupertazzi, himself if he had still been alive. Sacrimoni, the new boss, was held in federal custody awaiting a major Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act trial. His lawyer negotiated a 15-year sentence in exchange for asset seizures and an allocution.

Tony Soprano[edit]

The F.B.I. searches Tony Soprano's home

The Organized Crime Division of the F.B.I.'s New Jersey office has had Tony Soprano in its crosshairs since the show's inception, yet has been unable to make anything stick against the New Jersey boss.

In the first season, after Tony survives an assassination attempt, the Bureau attempts to flip Tony by revealing to him that it was his uncle and his mother who had orchestrated the foiled hit. Tony, however, refuses to break omerta and seeks his own kind of revenge.

In the second season, Tony and soldier Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero murder mob associate Matthew Bevilaqua in an abandoned shack in Hacklebarney State Park after Bevilaqua attempted a hit on Christopher Moltisanti. Unbeknownst to Tony, a civic-minded civilian was at the park that night, heard the gunshots, and saw Tony drive away, and reported what he saw to the local police. However, the witness recanted when he learned that Tony was in the mob, and Tony was able to evade any charges.

It is also revealed in the second season, that Big Pussy, perhaps Tony's best friend, had been an F.B.I. informant for several years. A major plot point during the season involves Tony's suppressed awareness that his friend is a rat and his reluctance to face that unsavory fact. For his part, Bonpensiero's feelings oscillate from extreme guilt over betraying his close friend to bitterness towards Tony over being passed over for promotion (which, ironically, was because of Tony's suspicions that Pussy was a rat) to touches of Stockholm Syndrome, resulting in delusions of one day having a career in law enforcement. Ultimately, in the second season finale ("Funhouse"), Tony lures his friend out to sea under the pretense that he needs his opinion on a boat he's considering buying. There, Bonpensiero is confronted and executed by the three men who once considered him a "brother": Tony, Silvio Dante, and Paulie Gaultieri.

Tony, however, ran into trouble when his mother was detained at airport security for using tickets he gave her from the Scatino bust out. The F.B.I. acquired a search warrant for the Soprano home and found the rest of the tickets from the bust out in Tony's Chevy Suburban. On the eve of his daughter's high school graduation, Tony was taken into federal custody. Tony made bail and, ultimately, was able to beat the charges (although this is never explicitly shown).

With their major asset within the DiMeo family, Pussy Bonpenseiro, eliminated, the feds took a new approach in the third season in their efforts to build a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case against Tony Soprano. After getting a warrant to wire the Soprano home, agents broke in while the family was out and place a bugged lamp in the basement, where Tony would often discuss business. However, the plan was derailed when Meadow Soprano, during an argument with her parents, took the lamp to use in her dorm room at Columbia University.

The Bureau then targeted Adriana La Cerva as a possible conduit through which it could ensnare and flip her fianceé, Christopher Moltisanti, to testify against Tony. Special Agent Debora Ciccerone was sent in undercover to get close to Adriana in hopes of gaining information that could be used to turn Christopher. However, the operation came to an abrupt end when Adriana broke off her friendship with Ciccerone, whom she believed had attempted to seduce Christopher. The feds, however, brought Adriana in and presented her with an ultimatum: either turn informant or be sent to prison on drug charges.

Adriana selected the former option. For the most part, Adriana avoided giving up any serious information to the Bureau, primarily because Christopher didn't share the details of his work with her. Nevertheless, the situation proved to be a tremendous strain for Adriana, who would develop irritable bowel syndrome because of her duplicity. In the next-to-last episode of the fifth Season, Adriana was caught on tape (the F.B.I. had her club under surveillance) disposing of evidence in a drug-related homicide that occurred at her club. The Bureau brought her in and threatened to give her up to the Long Branch Police Department as an accessory to murder unless she gave the F.B.I. full cooperation in its investigation of Tony Soprano, including a requirement that she wears a wire. Adriana offered a counter proposal: she claimed Christopher was unhappy with his place within the family and that she could get him to flip if they were given immunity and relocated to another part of the country. The government agreed.

Adriana revealed to Christopher that she had been working as a government informant, and Christopher, awash in anger and shock, responded by strangling and nearly killing his fianceé. Christopher then broke down sobbing and apologized to Adriana. After discussing their possible future in the witness protection program all night, Christopher left his apartment to get some fresh air, leaving Adriana under the impression that he would cooperate. Ultimately, Christopher's loyalty to the family won out over his love for Adriana. Christopher informed Tony of Adriana's status as a rat, and Tony then telephoned Adriana and told her that Christopher had attempted suicide. Tony sent Silvio Dante to pick her up under the pretense Silvio would take her to Christopher. Instead, Silvio drove Adriana out to the woods and executed her.

In the sixth season's first episode ("Members Only"), longtime rat Raymond Curto died of a stroke in the front seat of F.B.I. Agent Robyn Sanseverino's car. Curto is known to have been an informant since at least the beginning of the third season ("Proshai, Livushka"). His final act was to pass on a recording of Tony discussing the Angelo Giacalone murders that may have needed some explanation by Curto himself to be of any use.

In that same sixth season episode, it was revealed that DiMeo soldier Eugene Pontecorvo was an F.B.I. informant. However, Pontecorvo committed suicide at the end of the episode after both Tony and the Bureau refused his requests to retire with his family to Florida. It is not known how long Pontecorvo was an informant or what information he gave the F.B.I.

In the final episode of The Sopranos, "Made in America", it is revealed that Carlo Gervasi (cousin to the late Burt Gervasi) agreed to testify against Tony Soprano. It remains unclear if Carlo Gervasi had been an informant for some time or rather he had been pressured by the F.B.I. using his son's recent legal troubles as a bargaining tool. The ramifications of his testimony and the futures of both him and Tony were left a mystery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Howard, "Tasting Brylcreem: Law, Disorder and the FBI in The Sopranos", Reading the Sopranos