John "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico (born 1937) is a New York mobster and street boss of the Gambino crime family since 2005. "Street boss" has been the family's number one position ever since former Boss Peter Gotti started serving a life sentence in prison.
D'Amico stands 5'11" (1.80 m) and was the son of a second generation Italian American television repairman from East Village, Manhattan. D'Amico's parents were born in the village of Vietri sul Mare in the Campania region of Italy. D'Amico is not related to Bonanno crime family soldier Joseph D'Amico. D'Amico graduated from New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.
D'Amico received the nickname "Nose" because of his "Romanesque nose", one mob informant told the courts during his testimony. At the Gotti trial, mobster Michael DiLeonardo said, "[D'Amico] had his nose fixed, a (rhinoplasty). He had a big, distorted nose at one time," D'Amico was said to have been upset with prosecutors for using the nickname. Former FBI Special Agent Bruce Muow said that D'Amico was "...always broke, constantly in debt, a degenerate. John Gotti loved him because... Jackie was a fellow gambler who placed all his bets for him".
Until he went to prison, D'Amico lived in an Upper East Side, Manhattan high rise apartment and frequented the Italian eatery Fresco in that neighborhood.
Association with Big Geyser, Inc.
He is an old friend of Irving "Hal" Hershkowitz, the founder and president of the non-alcoholic beverage corporation Big Geyser, Incorporated. He worked in their Maspeth, Queens warehouse. He maintained the job until he was brought to trial and convicted of extortion. He started as a delivery truck driver with a base salary of $23,000 but later switched to working as a salesman on commission and his salary was raised to $71,000 a year. At the same warehouse where D'Amico had an office, he was a co-worker of Lucchese crime family capo Matthew Madonna who is also listed on the company payroll. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame suspected that while ostensibly on the payroll, D'Amico was given a no-show job allowing him to collect health benefits from the company, a Jaguar XJ that was leased by the company, and to claim lawful employment. Herskowitz stated to reporter Tom Robbins that he had known D'Amico for thirty years and considered him a good, long-time friend. Hershkowitz and D'Amico attended New Utrecht High School together, the same high school that Salvatore Gravano attended before dropping out.
Rise to power
By the late 1960's, D'Amico was a bookmaker and soldier in the Gambino family, then ruled by boss Carlo Gambino. In the 1970's, D'Amico became an associate of Ozone Park, Queens-based capo John Gotti. In 1976, D'Amico began operating loansharking, illegal gambling, extortion and labor racketeering activities in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. After Gambino died in 1976, his brother-in-law Paul Castellano became the new boss. During the late 1970's, D'Amico was promoted to caporegime in the Brooklyn faction. With income from loansharking, extortion, and illegal gambling operations, D'Amico gained much respect within the family
On December 16, 1985, Castellano and his underboss Thomas Bilotti were gunned down outside the Sparks Steak House on Manhattan. Gotti, who had orchestrated their assassination, now became the Gambino boss. D'Amico became one of Gotti's closest associates. In 1992, Gotti was convicted on racketeering charges and Murder he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
When John Gotti went to prison, he created a ruling panel, or "administration", to supervise the family. This panel included D'Amico, Gotti's son John A. "Junior" Gotti as acting boss, Peter Gotti, and Joseph Arcuri. The four men would meet to discuss business at Hawaiian Moonlighters Club, the new Gambino headquarters in Little Italy. Other accounts state that Nicholas Corozzo, not Arcuri, was on the panel. After federal law enforcement began focusing on Junior Gotti, who John Gotti allegedly designated as the new acting boss.
From 1994 on D'Amico ran an illegal gambling house in Brooklyn. D'Amico is also a reputed gambler himself and lived in a modest house in New Jersey with his wife Rosalie. When a reporter knocked on her door in 2006 she said: "You're not going to get any information from me, He comes and goes. That's the way it's been for the past 40 years".
In 1998, D'Amico was charged with racketeering and loansharking. On January 19, 1999, he pleading guilty to a single count of operating an illegal gambling operation in Connecticut whose profits went to John A. "Junior" Gotti. On July 8, 1999, D'Amico was sentenced to 20 months in prison. With D'Amico in prison, control of the family passed to Nicholas Corozzo and Leonard DiMaria.
Release from prison
In September 2001, D'Amico was released from prison. According to federal authorities, D'Amico became the Gambino acting boss in 2003. However, with the 2006 release of Nicholas Corozzo, a new report stated that both D'Amico and Nicholas Corozzo were running the family, with Arnold Squitieri as underboss and Joseph Corozzo as consigliere.
On February 7, 2008, D'Amico was arrested along with more than 60 affiliates of the Gambino family after Operation Old Bridge picked up an informant named Joseph Vollero. The operation went on to terminate the drug trafficking between the Gambino crime family in New York and their connections in Sicily. While D'Amico was placed at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, Nicholas Corozzo became a fugitive. On March 14, 2008, D'Amico was released on bail from the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York. Following the indictments from Operation Old Bridge, D'Amico was still on trial regarding multiple counts of racketeering charges.
In May, 2008, D'Amico pleaded guilty to extorting a cement company out of $100,000 and was sentenced on August 18 2008 to two years in prison at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City. In February 2009, the imprisoned D'Amico was charged with arranging the 1989 Weiss murder and is set to go on trial after his release.
D'Amico had been scheduled for release from prison on November 3rd, 2009. However, in February 2009, the imprisoned D'Amico was charged with arranging the September 11th 1989 Weiss murder and was kept in prison during his trial. On August 5th, 2010, D'Amico pleaded guilty to conspiring to assault Frederick Weiss with a dangerous weapon so as to prevent Weiss from cooperating against the Gambino family as a potential witness. The district attorney agreed to a lenient plea agreement because the case against D'Amico was "very, very weak". D'Amico was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City and was released on June 15th, 2012.