Donnie Brasco

1370 WordsMay 20, 20056 Pages
The book "Donnie Brasco" is based on the undercover life of the author, Joseph D. Pistone, an F.B.I agent who penetrated one of New York City's five families in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Joseph D. Pistone served in the FBI for 28 years, including six years of undercover life in the New York Bonanno crime family, where he operated as a jewel thief under the name Donnie Brasco. Due to his undercover work, more than 200 members of the Mafia were put behind bars. Joseph D. Pistone was born in Pennsylvania, where he also spent his childhood. Then, he moved to New Jersey. In New Jersey, he graduated from high school and college, where he majored in social studies. Pistone always wanted to be an F. B. I agent, and he decided to join Naval…show more content…
Over a period of time, he hinted to them that he was a jewel thief. He brought them different pieces of jewelry confiscated by the FBI, so that the wiseguys could help him sell them. Later on these connected guys introduced him to "made guys" or full members of the Mafia, men who had participated in a killing for the Mafia. One of these made guys, Albert, introduced Pistone to some active members of the Colombo crime family. One of these Colombo men, Jilly, had his crew in Brooklyn. Jilly and his crew hung out at their store on 15th Avenue and 76th Street in the Bensonhust section, and agent Pistone started to hang out with them. Jilly's store was open to the public. All merchandise in the store was cheap because it was stolen. The store had a back room where Jilly's men hung out. All day they played cards and drank gin, and at the night they went out to rob warehouses, docks, and houses. It was a routine that was repeated each day. Agent Pistone hung out with Jilly's crew for several months. During this time his credibility grew among Jilly's men. Pistone became trusted among the mob, and got acquainted with many made guys. In March 1977, Pistone was introduced to the made guy known as Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggiero. He was a hit man in the Bonanno family. Gradually, Pistone began to hang out more with Lefty than with Jilly's crew because Lefty held a higher level in Mafia hierarchy and had more connections.
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