Papagni reportedly operated out of the Brooklyn faction of the family, and has been working with longtime Capos George Zappola and Frank Gioia, Jr. in the Bensonhurst crew. He became a capo in the late 1980's and according to US law enforcement, Papagni was involved in illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion and drug trafficking during the early 1990s, but became soon involved in a conspiracy, involving the top members of the family.
Murder & Conspiracy
In 1993 Papagni began a plot to murder John A. "Junior" Gotti, the son of the imprisoned boss John Gotti, on orders from the Lucchese crime family Underboss, Anthony Casso. It was supposedly in retaliation for the killing of Patrick Testa. Papagni was studying the daily routine of John A. "Junior" Gotti while talking to gambino crime family made man Gregory DePalma, who was related to him through marriage, and was an acting Capo in the Gambino crime family.
Indictment & trial
On January 14th 1993, the Underboss of the Lucchese crime family, Anthony Casso who had been a fugitive since 1991 due to indictments, was finally captured by the US law enforcement, and immediately turned state's evidence, providing the entire murder conspiracy on both John A. "Junior" Gotti and Nicholas Corozzo a Caporegime in the Gambino crime family, who was also Gotti's rival. Papagni, along with Lucchese capos George Zappola and Frank Gioia, Jr., including then Consigliere, Frank Lastorino, were put on trial for conspiracy to attempt murder, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling and fraud charges, where they all were convicted, without the testimony of Anthony Casso, who's testimony wasn't credible enough, and received life sentence in 1994. That same year, Papagni was convicted of his racketeering charges in the Brooklyn, New York area, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In 1996, Papagni was indicted along with George Zappola, George Conte and Frank Giacobbe on murder charges. He was charged with two 1992 murders: the first was the murder of Gambino crime family associate Frank Mariconda and the second was the murder of Richard Taglianetti.