The DiMeo Crime Family is the most powerful and feared criminal organization in New Jersey, and the DiMeo Crime Family rules and controls north New Jersey with an iron fist.
The DiMeo crime family consists of an administration and five crews.
The DiMeo crime family is believed to have been formed in Northern New Jersey in the 1950s. Dominic DiMeo is believed to have been the first official boss. Key members from the 1960s include brothers John Francis "Johnny Boy" Soprano and Corrado "Junior" Soprano, as well as Michele "Feech" La Manna. The Sopranos were a key faction in the DiMeo crime family, running two separate crews led by Johnny Boy and Junior, and also had longstanding ties with the five New York Families (particularly the Lupertazzi crime family led by Carmine Lupertazzi). Despite DiMeo's reign as Boss, it is implied throughout the series and stated in the finale by Tony Soprano that the two Soprano brothers unofficially ran North Jersey. The DiMeo crew is derived after the namesake of real-life Gambino crime family capo Roy DeMeo whose Brooklyn, New York-based crew operated from the 1970s to 1982.
During the early 1980s many DiMeo crime family members and associates were arrested, causing the biggest blow to the family since its formation. Amongst those arrested were Michele 'Feech' La Manna, sentenced to 20 years.
It was during the Unrest of '83 that Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero, a cat burglar and associate in the Johnny Boy Soprano crew, stood up for Johnny Boy Soprano. Johnny Boy's son, Tony Soprano would make his bones by killing a small time bookie and become a made man shortly thereafter.
Johnny Boy Soprano died of emphysema in 1986. Before his death, he requested that his son become the capo of the Soprano crew. Tony, one of the fastest rising stars in the Family after holding up Feech La Manna's card game with Aprile crew chief Giacomo Aprile, was a relatively young man to be a capo at the age of 27. Tony's transition into captain was aided by the loyalty of Bonpensiero, longtime Johnny Boy Soprano soldier Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri, and childhood friend Silvio Dante. Tony would also avoid a long stint in prison when he missed a failed hijacking involving his cousin, Tony Blundetto. Caught by the police, Tony B. ended up spending 17 years in jail, while Tony became one of the top earners in the DiMeo Family.
Dominic DiMeo was convicted and given a life sentence in prison in 1995. Jackie Aprile was named Acting Boss of the family by DiMeo, much to the chagrin of Junior Soprano. It was assumed that a Soprano would take over the reins when DiMeo died or went to prison, but DiMeo was impressed by Jackie Aprile's leadership abilities (the Aprile crew had been the top earner and best-run crew of the family for years).
When Jackie Aprile was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, Tony Soprano, his closest friend and Junior's nephew, took over Jackie's responsibilities, again to Junior's displeasure. Uncle Junior and Tony were, at that point, at each other's throats because Junior plotted to have a rival, Little Pussy Malanga, killed in Malanga's favorite restaurant, Vesuvio, a restaurant owned by Tony's childhood friend Artie Bucco. Tony foiled Junior's plans by ordering Silvio Dante to set Artie's restaurant on fire. Also, Tony's nephew, Christopher Moltisanti and his associate Brendan Filone, were hijacking trucks from Comley Trucking, a business that paid protection to Junior. Junior's enforcer, Mikey Palmice, killed Brendan, and Russian associates performed a mock execution on Christopher under Junior's orders. When Jackie Aprile died in 1999, and tensions between Junior and Tony were at an all-time high, it was assumed that the two would go to war over the top position. Tony instead deferred to Junior, giving him the title as Boss. This was effectively in name only, as Tony still controlled the capos in the family and was the main conduit to the Lupertazzi Family, represented by underboss John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni.
Tensions flared up between Junior and Tony after Tony's mother, Livia Soprano, revealed that Tony was seeing a psychiatrist and had been meeting secretly with Junior's capos. An assassination attempt on Tony was made, but Tony managed to escape with just an injury to the ear, leaving one hitman dead. After the FBI showed Tony that the failed attempt was a plan concocted by Junior, Tony ordered the deaths of key members of Junior's crew: soldier Chucky Signore, consigliere Mikey Palmice, and capo Philly Parisi. Junior Soprano was spared when he was indicted by the federal government (along with underboss Joey Sasso and capo Larry Boy Barese), and because Tony wished to keep him as the lightning rod that took the hits for the Family. Tony then took over virtually all of Junior's business and became the Boss of the now renamed Soprano Crime Family. Former Junior Soprano soldiers Gigi Cestone and Pasquale "Patsy" Parisi defected over to different crews. Patsy Parisi went to the Soprano crew. Gigi Cestone went to the Aprile crew. Tony named Silvio Dante as his consigliere, and promoted soldier Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri to captain of his old crew, renamed the Gualtieri crew.
Although Junior had been usurped of nearly all power and was under house arrest awaiting trial, he still retained the title of Boss and acted as a mentor and advisor to Tony. Two of the factors that brought the two closer together was when Junior informed Tony of Richie Aprile's assassination plot, and when Junior was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2001. However, Tony continued to punish Junior through business arrangements. Junior managed to beat the disease before the RICO trial against him started.
After years of investigating Tony Soprano (at one point trying to turn him into an informant) and failing to connect him to anything (the closest they came was pinning him to the murder of associate Matthew Bevilaqua, which was tossed out when an eyewitness retracted his statement after finding out one of the shooters may have been Tony Soprano), the FBI arrested Tony in 2000 when it was discovered that he had been extorting Davey Scatino. While busting out Scatino's sporting goods store, Tony had been receiving stolen airline tickets, which was discovered due to information given by turncoat Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero and when Tony gave one of the stolen tickets to his mother, Livia. The case fell through when Big Pussy "disappeared" and when Livia died of a stroke. The FBI continued to build a case against Tony, but fell on difficult times when a wiretapping of his basement was compromised (when Tony's daughter Meadow Soprano took the lamp they had bugged) and because of the deaths of several FBI informants.
In 2002, the RICO trial against Junior Soprano ended in a hung jury, but the government moved to schedule a re-trial, meaning Junior had to stay under house arrest. Due to his diminished position in the family because of the house arrest, longtime Junior Soprano loyalist Robert "Bobby Bacala" Baccalieri was named acting Capo of the Junior Soprano crew.
In the meantime, the Soprano Family continued to stay in a period of transition, with Richie Aprile, older brother of Jackie Aprile, taking over the previously defunct (due to the death of Jackie Sr.) Aprile crew after his release from prison in 2000. Richie became a threat to Tony's power, crippling associate Beansie Gaeta and disobeying Tony repeatedly when it came to selling cocaine on garbage routes. Richie also came to Junior about overthrowing Tony, but Junior decided that he would be better off with his nephew. Tony caught wind of Richie's plot and set the wheels in motion to have him killed, but he was spared the trouble when Richie was murdered by his fiancée, who coincidentally happened to be Tony's sister Janice Soprano.
When Gigi Cestone, a Soprano crew soldier set to take over and spy on the Aprile crew, died of a heart attack, Tony had no choice but to install rival Ralph Cifaretto as captain. Tony had longtime problems with Ralph, despite the fact that the two grew up together with Jackie Aprile and Silvio Dante. Tony, in a fit of rage, once hit Ralph after he murdered a Bada Bing dancer named Tracee. Ralph also took under his wing, Jackie Aprile, Jr., even though Tony and Jackie Sr. both wanted to keep Jackie Jr. out of the family business. When Jackie Jr. held up one of Ralph's poker games and shot at made men Furio Giunta and Christopher Moltisanti in an attempt to emulate his father, Ralph had no choice but to order Jackie's death at the hands of Vito Spatafore.
Despite disagreements with Tony, Ralph became the top earner in the family, running lucrative construction deals such as the Esplanade Construction site and HUD scams in Newark. Ralph also owned a racehorse named Pie-O-My that died due to a stable fire. Convinced that Ralph killed the horse in order to pay for his disabled son's medical bills, Tony attacked and killed Ralph. He blamed the disappearance of Ralph on the New York family, particularly Johnny Sack, who had a problem with Ralph due to a joke that was made about his wife, Ginny. Vito Spatafore was named captain of the Aprile crew in 2002.
During that time, Tony Soprano began to groom his cousin/nephew, Christopher Moltisanti, into a leadership role. Christopher, already a young made man, was named acting Capo of the Gualtieri crew when Paulie Walnuts was jailed on a gun charge (which was later dropped). Patsy Parisi was dissatisfied with this choice, as was Silvio Dante who wanted to see Patsy as Capo. Christopher was also named by Tony as his successor, but that was compromised when Christopher was found out to have a serious heroin addiction and was sent to rehab. Christopher temporarily cleaned up and proved his loyalty to Tony by giving up his fiancée, Adriana La Cerva, for execution when it was discovered that she had been cooperating with the FBI. As a reward for putting the Family above his own fiancée, Chris was made captain of the Gualtieri crew (with Paulie Gualtieri being promoted to Underboss.
It was also during this period that the working relationship between the Lupertazzi Crime Family and the Sopranos reached a rocky point in 2002, when the two families joined together to control the Esplanade construction site in Newark, New Jersey. Disagreements over the split of the money of the Esplanade, plus the HUD projects that Tony was keeping secret from Lupertazzi and the displeasure of Johnny Sack with Ralph Cifaretto, nearly caused the two families to go to war. Both Johnny Sack and boss Carmine Lupertazzi blamed one another for the conflict, and reached out to Tony to whack the other as a means of ending the conflict. In both cases, cooler heads prevailed and the two families worked out a deal.
The prison release of "The Class of 2004" (Phil Leotardo, Angelo Garepe, Michele "Feech" La Manna, and Tony Blundetto) along with the death of Carmine Lupertazzi set off another series of conflicts. "Little" Carmine Lupertazzi and Johnny Sack went to war over the position of Boss in New York, and Tony had to deal with the insubordination of Feech La Manna and his cousin, Tony Blundetto. One problem in his family was solved when Feech La Manna was sent back to prison after stolen flat-screen televisions were found in his garage by a probation officer called on the orders of Tony Soprano. The other problem was complicated when Tony B. killed Lupertazzi associate Joe Peeps on the orders of Lupertazzi Capo Rusty Millio and consigliere Angelo Garepe. When Angelo was killed in retaliation, Tony B. went after Phil Leotardo and killed his brother, Billy Leotardo, in an unsanctioned hit. Faced with threats of war and torture from Johnny Sack and Phil Leotardo plus unease in his own family, Tony Soprano was left with no choice but to kill Tony B. himself.
The relationship between New York and New Jersey families was further complicated when Johnny Sack was busted by the FBI and sent to prison to await trial, and Phil Leotardo, still nursing hard feelings about Blundetto, was named Acting Boss of the Lupertazzi Family.
During his house arrest and trials/re-trials, Junior would develop signs of dementia due to a head injury sustained after being hit with a boom microphone and knocked down the courthouse steps, as well as several mini-strokes over the years. Junior's increasingly diminished capacity led him to shoot Tony in the abdomen, mistakenly thinking that Tony was his already deceased nemesis "Little Pussy" Malanga.
The shooting of Tony Soprano set off a media frenzy, with reporters stalking the Soprano house and outside the hospital where Tony lay in a coma. Junior Soprano was arrested and questioned about the shooting, which he insisted must have been a self-inflicted gunshot by Tony, whom he labeled as a "depression case". The captains of the Family agreed to cut all ties to Junior and allow Tony to decide what happens to him. Junior was judged to be mentally unstable and was sent to a mental rehabilitation facility.
With Tony incapacitated, his consigliere Silvio Dante took over as Acting Boss of the Soprano Crime Family; however, Silvio was unable to handle the pressure of being boss, and suffered an asthma attack that put him in the hospital. Tony, after a near-death experience, would awake from his coma soon after, just in time to settle a dispute over the future of Barone Sanitation with Johnny Sack and Phil Leotardo.
While in jail, Johnny Sack reached out to Tony through Phil Leotardo to whack his insubordinate capo, Rusty Millio. Tony refused at first, but had a change of heart after talking to Johnny Sack at his daughter's wedding. Tony conducted the execution of Millio with caution, bringing in two men from Naples to carry out the hit on Rusty and his soldier, Eddie Pietro. Johnny Sack later plead guilty in his RICO trial to lessen his sentence, thus making Phil Leotardo the boss in all but title.
More complications occurred in the organization when Vito Spatafore, the top earning captain of the Aprile crew and cousin-in-law to Phil Leotardo, fled New Jersey after his homosexuality was revealed. Carlo Gervasi was named by Tony as the replacement point man for the Family's construction interests. After hiding in New Hampshire for months, Vito returned to New Jersey, approaching Tony about starting up a separate operation in Atlantic City involving prostitution. Tony considered the request, but ultimately decided that Vito needed to be taken out in order to placate Phil Leotardo, who was incensed about Vito's lifestyle. However, Phil got to Vito first, breaking into his hotel room and watched while soldiers Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello and Gerry Torciano beat his cousin-in-law to death. Tony, realizing that Phil was sending the message that New York can do whatever they want, decided to hurt Phil financially as payback for Vito. Tony reasoned that a war with New York would prevent his family from earning. However, when Fat Dom went to Satriale's on a delivery stop and made jokes about Vito's death and implied Carlo was a homosexual, Silvio and Carlo killed the New York soldier.
Tony's response to Vito's murder was to blow up a wire room held by Phil in Sheepshead Bay — Benny Fazio was on the scene for the explosion. After a sit-down between the New Jersey and New York Families, a truce was nearly reached before a reference from Little Carmine to the death of Billy Leotardo resulted in Phil Leotardo storming out. At a conference with Gerry Torciano, Albie Cianfiore, and Butch DeConcini, a decision was reached to take out a high ranking member of the Soprano crime family. Butch was particularly vocal in his desire to kill Tony, but Phil had more sense than that, and decided against it. Phil suffered a massive coronary soon afterwards and FBI Agent Harris informed Tony that someone on his crew could be in danger. In an attempt to clear the air between them, Tony paid a visit to Phil's hospital bed, telling him of his own near-death experience. During his disagreement with Phil about an asbestos removal project, Tony reminds him of their discussion in the hospital but Phil snubs him. Tony retaliates by taking two members of Phil's crew off a project payroll and then, after which, one of them threatens Tony's daughter Meadow. Tony retaliates by nearly beating him to death. Phil refuses to meet with Tony after this incident and war between the two families seems imminent.
It becomes clear that there is no compromise available between NY and NJ, and as a result the wheels begin to move. New York convinces Burt Gervasi to switch sides, and he approaches Silvio Dante to join in on a coup d'etat attempt on Soprano. The likely idea is that if Tony is killed, Silvio will take over and make peace, and Gervasi will be rewarded. Silvio responds by betraying Burt Gervasi, and strangles him to death in his home with a garotte. Soprano knew what had to be done, and arranged for Phil Leotardo to be executed. At the same time, Phil had a war-room discussion where he arranged for New Jersey to be wiped out. He put contracts on Tony Soprano, Silvio Dante and Bobby Bacala. The hit on Phil went awry however, as Phil's Ukrainian mistress and her father who was mistaken for Phil were killed.
The hits on New Jersey took place with more finesse, however. Bobby Bacala is killed at a model train shop when two assassins ambush him. Word comes down that Leotardo has vanished, and the Soprano Family decides to do the same. However, as Patsy Parisi and Silvio Dante attempt to go on the lam, they are ambushed by a pair of New York hitmen outside the Bada Bing. In the ensuing carnage, Silvio Dante is shot multiple times but Parisi escapes. Silvio is rushed to a hospital where he is left in a coma. Tony and some soldiers head to a safe house to hide, as the search for Phil continued, and Tony attempts to sleep while holding the AR-10 rifle in his arms, which Bobby gave to him on his 47th birthday, surrounded by bodyguards.
Tony came out of hiding shortly after and arranged a sit down with Butch DeConcini and Albie Cianflone through "Little" Carmine Lupertazzi and retired Five Families Boss, George Paglieri. During this meeting the New York Family agreed that Phil Leotardo's decision to go to war with North Jersey was a bad one; and had gone too far with killing Bobby and that they would back off. Tony also demanded that they give him a location on Phil to pay back for killing Bobby. Butch refused to tell of Phil's whereabouts, but was willing to give some kind of payment in retribution for Bobby's death. After Tony had given FBI Agent Harris information on two Pakistani men that had been hanging around The Bada Bing he eventually told Tony that Phil had been making calls from a pay-phone at a gas station. The Soprano Family began patrolling the area's gas stations looking for Phil. It wasn't long before Walden Belfiore, a Soprano Soldier, caught up with Phil at the gas station. Phil was shot in the head in front of his wife and grandchildren thus ending the New York/New Jersey War bringing the HBO series to its final conclusion.
The DeMeo Crime Family OrganizationAdministration
Tony Soprano — Boss (2004–present, Acting Boss 2000-2004, Tony was shot in 2006 and was comatose, at that time, Silvio Dante became Acting Boss)
Silvio "Sil" Dante — Consigliere to Tony Soprano (2000–?, critically injured during an assassination attempt, comatose, prospects for recovery uncertain.)
Domenico Ercoli "Eckley" DiMeo — Boss (unknown–1995, imprisoned for life)
Giacomo "Jackie" Aprile — Acting Boss (1995–1999, deceased)
Corrado "Junior" Soprano — Boss (1999–2004, sent to a state mental hospital in 2006)
Silvio "Sil" Dante — Acting Boss (2006, acting boss during Soprano's comatose state)
Joseph Sasso — Underboss to Junior Soprano (1999, awaiting re-trial)
Mikey "Grab Bag" Palmice — Consigliere to Junior Soprano (1999, deceased)
Junior Soprano / Baccalieri crew
Anthony Maffei — Soldier (2007 - present)
Thomas "Tommy" Di Palma — Soldier (unknown - present)
Murf Lupo — Soldier (unknown–2000, 2002–present, semi-retired)
Giuseppe "Beppy" Scerbo — Soldier (unknown - present)
Robert Baccalieri Sr. — Soldier (unknown–2001, deceased)
Gigi Cestone — Soldier (pre-1995–2000, defected to the Gualtieri Crew , deceased)
Mikey Palmice — Soldier (unknown–1999, promoted to Consigliere, deceased)
Pasquale "Patsy" Parisi — Soldier (unknown–2000, defected to the Gualtieri Crew; 2007, appointed Capo of the Gualtieri Crew)
Charles "Chucky" Signore— Soldier (unknown–1999, deceased)
Salvatore "Mustang Sally" Intile — Associate (unknown–2000, deceased)
Donnie Paduana — Associate (unknown–1999, deceased)
Junior Soprano's interests included loansharking, control of the Paving and Jointfitting Unions, protection money from Comley Trucking, and sports books in Roseville and Bloomfield Ave. He gave control over Bloomfield and the Paving Union to Tony upon becoming Boss, and surrendered all businesses, aside from shylocking and the Jointfitter's Union, as punishment for taking out a hit on Tony. What is left of the Junior Soprano crew was run by Bobby Bacala. The crew's sports book in Roseville was run by Eugene Pontecorvo for several years until his death. With the death of Vito Spatafore, Bobby Bacala had resumed ownership of the sports book. The Junior Soprano Crew conducted business at the Sit Tite Luncheonette until Junior's arrest in 1999. Had an interest along with Richie Aprile in cocaine distribution. In 1999, the crew were also partnered working with the Bareses in modern enterprises such as calling card and stock scams, but since the war and FBI indictments of the same year, control of the operations were assumed by Tony Soprano and the Gualtieri crew, along with most of Junior's business. The crew had rebounded as of late under Bobby Bacala. They have been importing prescription narcotics from Canada, and in 2007 Bobby was given a lucrative construction contract to replace windows in the housing projects.
Pasquale Parisi — Soldier 2000-present, unknown-2000 Soldier with Junior Soprano Crew)
Benny Fazio — Soldier (2007-present, associate 2001 - 2007))
Frankie Cortese — Soldier (2004–present)
Perry Annunziata — Associate (2006–present)
Corky Caporale — Associate (2006–present)
Peter "Bissell" LaRosa — Associate (2002–present)
Paul Germani — Associate (2001–present)
Cary DiBartolo — Associate (2006–present)
Corky Ianucci — Associate (1999–present)
The traditional and primary income of the crew stems from bookmaking, loansharking, and extortion, as well as truck hijacking. Under the leadership of Tony Soprano, more diverse and modern criminal enterprises were pursued. These include an HMO scam with Hesh Rabkin, the "pump and dump" Webistics stock scam, buying calling cards on credit through front companies and selling them at discount, and selling stolen credit card numbers. The Soprano Crew are the main proprietors of the Bada Bing strip club on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey. Silvio Dante officially owns and manages the club. Business has also been established through Satriale's Pork Store, a meat market in the North Ward that was left to "Johnny Boy" Soprano when "Old Man" Satriale, a compulsive gambler and debtor, committed suicide. Tony also owned the building that housed Caputo's Poultry Store in the North Ward, before selling the property to Jamba Juice in 2006. Garbage routes were also considered "bread and butter" for the crew. Up until its sale in 2006, Barone Sanitation acted as a front business and handled their garbage hauling routes, which included Triborough Towers. Tony Soprano was a longtime consultant of Barone Sanitation until Jason Barone sold the company after his father, Dick Barone's death. Tony still receives a salary from the company and netted 12% of the sale price. Tony and Silvio also run the Executive Card Game, a high-stakes poker game once run by Johnny and Junior Soprano. Christopher Moltisanti was the silent partner of the Crazy Horse nightclub, once run by his fiancée Adriana La Cerva. Furio Giunta was a partner until he fled to Italy. The crew's relationship with the Vittorio/Zucca Camorra family in Naples allowed for the smuggling of stolen cars to Italy in return for money and free use of Neapolitan enforcers, notably Furio Giunta. Bonpensiero also ran an auto body shop before his death, now operated by his widow Angie and brother Duke. After becoming a made man in 2001, Christopher was given a betting shop, managed by Warren Dupree, to run with a minimum $6,000/week kick up to Paulie. The crew had an interest in Massarone Construction until 2004 when its owner, Jack Massarone, became a government informant & subsequently killed. The crew has run the Feast of St. Elisario (a three-day festival with rides, vendors and a procession) for profit since Johnny Boy Soprano's day. Paulie Gualtieri took this part of the crew's business with him when he was promoted.
The Cifaretto crew, formerly the Aprile crew, was known as the most profitable crew in the Soprano/DiMeo family. The Gervasi crew was formerly the Altieri crew. After the death of capos Ralph Cifaretto and Vito Spatafore, the two crews were combined. In the series finale, Paulie Walnuts was re-assigned as Capo of this crew. Leadership of this crew, in recent years, has come to be seen as a "cursed" position, due to the ill fortune that has befallen most of its capos.
Eugene Pontecorvo — Soldier (2001–2006, FBI Informant, deceased)
Jackie Aprile Jr. — Associate (2000–2001, deceased)
Peter Gaeta — Associate (retired due to paralysis) "Donny K" — Associate (retired due to nerve damage)
Carlo Renzi — Associate (deceased)
Sunshine — Associate (deceased)
Dino Zerilli — Associate (deceased)
Territory and businesses (Cifaretto) Since at least the leadership of Jackie Aprile, Sr., the crew has had the biggest interests in construction, via illicit control of unions and projects in co-operation with the Lupertazzi Family; this became most lucrative under the leadership of Ralph Cifaretto, who supervised the New Jersey Front Esplanade construction project and the HUD scam, and his successor Vito Spatafore. This had made them the most consistently profitable crew of the whole family. However, since Vito's disappearance and subsequent death in 2006, the Gervasi crew had been granted control of all future construction interests. Ownership and operation of Spatafore Construction, Fernandez Paving, and Aprile Roofing. Significant income also came from various garbage routes throughout New Jersey, operated by Zanone Bros. Trucking. Richie Aprile at one point used them for cocaine distribution. The Cifaretto Crew also has business in some minor pizza joints throughout New Jersey. Richie Aprile and Ralph Cifaretto both sponsored mid-level poker games. Eugene Pontecervo also ran a poker game which was robbed by Jackie Jr. in 2001. Until the death of Eugene Pontecervo in late 2005, the Cifaretto crew ran a sports book in Roseville. This had since been given to Bobby Bacala.
Territory and businesses (Gervasi) The Gervasi crew runs all operations around the New Jersey ports, controlling overseas shipments and business. With the death of Aprile Crew Capo Vito Spatafore in 2006, Carlo Gervasi was given control of the Aprile's construction interests. The Gervasi crew owns the casino on Bloomfield Avenue, once run by associate Tony Blundetto until his death.