Legendary New York Mafia turncoat 'Little Al' D'Arco dies at 86

D'Arco dies in witness protection

Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco (FBI Surveillance Photo)

Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco has died in witness protection at age 86, the New York Post reports.

D'Arco was a New York mobster who was at one point the boss of the Lucchese crime family. He became the first New York family crime boss to cooperate with the government as a witness.

That was back in 1991. D'Arco's cooperation sparked a movement of other Mafia insiders turning to help the government take down the New York Cosa Nostra.

In the 2005 New York Times best seller by author Selwyn Raab, "Five Families: The Rise Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires," D'Arco is credited with giving notorious consigliere Mariano "Mac" Macaluso the ultimatum of "mandatory retirement or death." At the time D'Arco was working as a courier for mob partners Vittorio "Little Vic" Amuso and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso. D'Arco later helped the feds take down both Amuso and Casso in a racketeering case.

Part of D'Arco's willingness to testify against the duo was his belief that Casso had planned to have him killed after a failed plot to murder capo Peter Chiodo.

“He was the best,” Michael Campi, a former FBI supervisor, told the New York Post for the book “Mob Boss,” a biography of D’Arco. "Al D’Arco was the most significant made member to cooperate. He really built that bridge for others to cross."

The following excerpt is from a New York state attorney's court filing in October 1994. In the document, D'Arco gives up names including Peter "Butch" Vario, Dominick Truscello, Joey Giampa and Peter "Rugsy" Vario.

In 1982, I was made a member of the Luchese Organized Crime Family (the "Luchese Family"). On September 21, 1991, I voluntarily began cooperating with the Federal Government. At that time, I was the Acting Boss of the Luchese Family. From approximately 1988 until January 1991, I was a capo of the Luchese Family. As a made member, a capo and Acting Boss of the Luchese Family, I often spoke with members of the other organized crime families known as ''La Cosa Nostra" ("LCN"), or the Mafia.

Through my associations with members of the LCN, I knew that the Genovese, Luchese and Gambino Organized Crime Families exercised considerable influence over the affairs of the Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York ("District Council") and several of its constituent Locals (the "Locals"). The District Council and its constituent Locals are affiliated with the Laborers' International Union of North America ("LIUNA").

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