DeFilippo became a made man sometime in the 1970s, though his involvement with the family dates back much farther. His father Vito was a high-ranking Sicilian-born member of the family and a close associate of Joe Bonanno. During the war of the 1960s, Patty served as a driver and bodyguard to Joe's son, Salvatore Bonanno. During this time, the younger Bonanno was detained in Montreal, Canada along with both Patty and Vito DeFilippo and several other associates. The group was alleged to have met with the family's powerful Canadian faction and attended the wedding of Vito Rizzuto. In the 1980s, Patty was promoted to caporegime under reputed family leaders Philip "Rusty" Rastelli and Joseph "Big Joe" Massino. DeFilippo's early criminal activities included labor and construction racketeering, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, and bookmaking.
Reportedly a Bronx faction leader of the Bonanno crime family since the 1980s, DeFilippo was also an associate of capo Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano, whom he supported during the Bonanno internal rivalries. In 1981, Napolitano and Massino gained control of the family by murdering renegade capos Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato, Philip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera. During this turmoil, DeFilippo maintained good relations with both Napolitano and Massino.
While in the 1990s operating illegal poker machines in the Bronx faction along with reputed soldier Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, Massino became the absolute powerhouse in the Bonanno crime family and reportedly brought the family back in the Commission.
In 1999, DeFilippo murdered Bonanno capo Gerlando Sciascia. Over the past few years, Massino had grown tired of Sciascia's constant complaints about Massino's leadership and about capo Anthony "T.G." Graziano, a close associate. Massino finally ordered DeFilippo and soldier John Joseph Spirito to kill Sciascia. In March 1999, Massino ordered Sciascia to meet with DeFilippo in the Bronx to discuss Graziano. When Sciascia arrived at the meeting, DeFilippo and Spirito shot and killed him. On March 18, 1999, Sciascia's body was found in the Bronx. Police immediately considered DeFilippo to be the prime suspect.
Indictments and prison
In 2000, New York Police Department (NYPD) agents infiltrated DeFilippo's crew and started gathering evidence on its illegal gambling and loansharking operations as part of a two-year investigation. On November 12, 2002, DeFilippo and 20 crew members were arrested on numerous state charges. One of those arrested was Margaret Mascone, the legally blind 83-year-old mother of Bonanno soldier Anthony "The Hat" Mascone and DeFilippo's godmother. She was charged with a misdemeanor for helping the crew collect gambling profits.
On August 14, 2003, Massino, underboss Salvatore Vitale, and many other Bonanno members were indicted on charges ranging from labor and construction racketeering, to extortion and loansharking, to murder and conspiracy. DeFilippo was charged with conspiracy in ordering the 1999 Sciascia murder, racketeering, extortion, loansharking, and illegal gambling. Soon, both Massino's and Vitale agreed to become government witnesses.
On one occasion while in prison, Massino received a visit from mob lawyer Thomas Lee with a message from acting boss Basciano. According to Lee, Basciano wanted permission to "jocko", or kill, DeFilippo. However, neither Lee or Basciano knew that Massino was recording the conversation for the government. Basciano was later indicted on charges of murder and conspiracy, and Lee with conspiracy to commit murder. Acting capo Salvatore "Sal the Ironworker" Montagna became the new acting boss of the Bonanno crime family.
In 2005, DeFilippo was convicted of racketeering, but exonerated of murder. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
DeFilppo died on November 24, 2013, at age 74.
- Man Linked to Bonanno Crime Family Shot Dead on Staten Island New York Times
- USA v. Massino et al.
- "IT'S 'THE GODMOTHER' DA: 83-yr.-old in mob racket" New York Daily News November 13, 2002
- "Mob Boss's Lawyer Charged With Aiding Murder Plot" New York Times June 25, 2005
- "Former Salon Owner Is Convicted of Racketeering, but Not Murder" New York Times May 10, 2006
- Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
- Bonanno Crime Family by Anthony M. DeStefano