Joseph Iannuzzi (born 1931) also known as "Joe Dogs" and "Joe Diner", was a Gambino crime family associate and government witness whose co-operation played an indirect, but valuable role in the 1985 Mafia Commission Trial. He is the author of the books "Cooking on the Lam" and "Joe Dogs: The Life and Crimes of a Mobster".
Born Joseph Iannuzzi II in Port Chester, New York. He was the son of prominent Westchester County bookmaker and policy numbers racket, Joe Iannuzzi, Sr. His parents were originally from Palermo, Sicily. At a young age, Joe's father would take him along to make his collections for the numbers game, horse and sports bets.
Iannuzzi's first arrest came at the young age of 14. He belonged to a gang called the Night Raiders. Iannuzzi's parents divorced in 1945. Iannuzzi left home at 14 and hitch hiked to Hollywood, California where he painted mailboxes for the wealthy. He slept in parked cars and on park benches until he was found by a Police officer and picked up and flown home to New York where he was greeted by his Mother, who had filed a missing persons report. Iannuzzi stayed home for almost a year and then forged both of his Parents signatures on a U.S. Army application.
Iannuzzi enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1948 and served in the Korean War, was wounded twice and decorated for bravery, receiving two Purple Hearts. It was tough for him as he had to learn discipline. He was interested in boxing and joined the boxing team to get out of doing K.P. and other duties. While being involved in boxing, he became an exceptional good fighter that got him promoted to Corporal. This was at Fort Benning, Georgia. Iannuzzi was busted down to recruit again shortly after being promoted because he was caught forging his name on a boxing license in Columbus, Georgia. The Military Police arrested Iannuzzi while he was boxing his third fight. The Military Police escorted Iannuzzi out of the ring at the end of the second or third round of the fight. Iannuzzi was discharged honorably in October, 1951 after serving over three years in the Army. Once discharged, he resumed his criminal activities.
Back on the Streets
Iannuzzi was married three times. He had 7 children. Iannuzzi moved from Long Island, New York to Florida in 1967 and found work as a drywall installer. Iannuzzi's wife Bunny was happy that he (Joe) was finally employed legitimately. His legitimate employment did not last long as Iannuzzi became friends with a Nicholas "Jiggs" Forlano, a Colombo crime family capo in Florida.
In 1975, Iannuzzi became a member of Gambino crime family soldier, Thomas Agro's South Florida crew along with another Gambino associate Robert "Skinny Bobby" Desimone. He also became a top enforcer for Agro superior and Gambino family consigliere Joseph N. Gallo in West Palm Beach, Florida. By the mid 1970's, Iannuzzi was running the operations for the Gambino family in South Florida. Iannuzzi was involved in loansharking, rigging horse races, labor racketeering, drug dealing, extortion and robbery. He earned a living into the deep eight figures for his mentor Thomas Agro. Around this time, Iannuzzi suddenly had a heart attack that sent him to the Emergency room. His wife and daughter were called. During his hospital visit, he gained the attention of the FBI. Iannuzzi left Florida and fled to Chicago to hide from the FBI with girlfriend Nena who worked as a flight attendant for an airline that he frequently traveled on. When he returned to Florida, Tommy Agro was furious because Iannuzzi was out of touch and had $22,000 of Agro's that was shylocked out on the streets. Once Agro learned the reason why Iannuzzi was out of touch all was fin
Booty Cheek eater
After nearly being beaten to death with a baseball bat and a tire iron by Thomas Agro and two of his crew, Iannuzzi became an informant for the FBI, who initiated "Operation Home Run" and started a gambling night club in Riviera Beach Florida as part of a sting operation. Joe Dogs was welcomed back by his mafia friends. The FBI ok'd the money for the club as long as there was an undercover agent named Jack Bonino (going by the name John Marino) brought into operate the club with Iannuzzi. yas
Iannuzzi convinced the Mafia that John Marino was his partner the drug trade and would furnish the money for the club. The Mobsters wound up putting their arm around John Marino and welcomed him into their organization. Mobsters were photographed videotaped and recorded in thectments and convictions against about a dozen mobsters, including a chief of police, William Boone Darden. Operation Home Run was closed down after there was an alleged leak in the FBI organization. Iannuzzi later went onto to testify against mobsters in both Florida and New York and was responsible for six convictions there.
Iannuzzi later went into the witness protection program. His current status and whereabouts are unknown.