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John "Boobie" Cersani

John “Boobie” Cerasani (Born 1938-Died December 2006) was an American mobster, hitman and drug trafficker who was a feared soldier in the Bonanno Crime Family. He was a member of the Sonny Black crew that was infiltrated by undercover FBI Agent Joe Pistone who went by the alias: Donnie Brasco. Cerasani had a fearsome reputation for being a ruthless killer and a professional hitman who was highly skilled at killing people. On a wiretap by undercover FBI Agent Joe Pistone aka "Donnie Brasco" Cerasani claimed of killing at least 30 people.


He was known by many as a legendary figure in Knickerbocker Village. In "Donnie Brasco," the book about his undercover work, Mr. Pistone expressed a grudging respect for the gangster’s bravery, fearlessness and prowess. When Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano (Sonny Black) became a capo, Boobie was put in his crew and became the right-hand man, bodyguard and personal hitman to Sonny Black. Cerasani was profoundly loyal to Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano and he served him very well, He once said that he would cut his own heart out before betraying Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano. When Napolitano was murdered by a Bonanno family hit squad he fell into a deep depression and was extremely angry but knew he couldn't do anything about it. Certain even helped and cared for Napolitano's wife and children financially and check in on them from time to time by sending them thousands of dollars a week and comforting them. Within a few months after Napolitano's death Cerasani became a captain in the Bonanno crime family, and became the new leader of the Sonny Black crew. Under Cerasani's leadership the Sonny Black crew became far wealthier and far more successful, making millions of dollars a month from extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, prostitution, fraud, bank robbery, and hijacking. Certain oversaw a multi-million dollar drug empire, he created a massive heroin trafficking operation that raked in over $300 million a year. He imported and exported tonnes of heroin into the U.S. and into different countries in Europe. His drug trafficking empire was incredibly successful for over a decade. In 1981, he gave his entire drug empire and drug operations to then-Lucchese Crime Family captain Anthony Casso. Amazingly, Casso made the drug empire far wealthier and far more successful than Cerasani.

Criminal Career

During the 1970’s and early eighties, during the time when agent Pistone successfully infiltrated the Bonannos, Cerasani was involved in numerous crimes. In 1977 he beat a bank robbery rap. His criminal resume also included bank robbery, drug trafficking, extortion, illegal gambling, aircraft hijacking, stock fraud, and loan sharking.

He was also involved in the storied social club murders of three Bonanno capos, Alphonse Indelicato, Phillip Giaccone, and Dominick Trinchera, on May 5, 1981. Cerasani wasn’t one of the gunmen that killed the three capos, but was one of the conspirators and cleaning crew that disposed of the bodies.

Cerasani and other members of the Bonanno family including Benjamin Ruggiero (Lefty Guns), were indicted based on information by agent Pistone. At the trial, prosecutors played a tape recording in which wise guy "Lefty Guns" reported that Cerasani had helped dispose of the body of capo Dominick Trinchera (Big Trin), who weighed nearly 400 pounds. "I couldn't move him," Ruggiero said. "Boobie could. Trin was all cut open and bleeding. There was little pieces lying around from the shotgun [blast]. Boobie got blood all over him trying to pick him up. I couldn't believe how fuckin' strong Boobie is. He don't look it. I was amazed. Boobie could move him."

Cerasani was the only defendant to win an acquittal at the 1982 racketeering trial.

In 1985, he pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy that included conspiring to rob a bank and possessing dozens of kilos of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

In 1994, he pleaded guilty to criminal possession of narcotics in the fifth degree. At the time he was also under investigation by the FBI because they believed he was an enforcer for the Bonanno family in a scheme to take control of a corrupt stock-brokerage house.

In 1997 Cerasani pressed his luck and tried to parlay his courtroom successes into a windfall profit by filing a libel suit against a host of entities involved in adapting "Donnie Brasco" into a movie starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino. Instead of a payday, Boobie won a stinging dressing-down from the judge.


In December 2006 Cerasani died of cancer at the age of 68.

People Killed by John Cerasani

1).Alphonse Indelicato/Capo/Bonanno Crime Family/May 5th 1981/ "Sonny Red" Indelicato was murdered along with Trinchera and Giaccone to prevent them taking over the Bonanno Crime Family, his murder was part of the infamous "3 Capos Murders".

2).Dominick Trinchera/Capo/Bonanno Crime Family/May 5th 1981/ Trinchera was murdered along with Indelicato and Giaccone to prevent them taking over the Bonanno Crime Family, his murder was part of the infamous "3 Capos Murders".

3).Phillip Giaccone/Capo/Bonanno Crime Family/May 5th 1981/ Giaccone was murdered along with Indelicato and Trinchera to prevent them taking over the Bonanno Crime Family, his murder was part of the infamous "3 Capos Murders".


Made Men: The True Rise-and-fall Story of a New Jersey Mob Family, By Greg B. Smith pgs 119-122. (