Joe Armone

Joseph "Piney" Armone (September 13, 1917 - February 23, 1992) was a gangster who served as the Underboss of the Gambino crime family from 1986 to 1990.


gangster who served as the Underboss of the on the Upper East Side, Manhattan, Armone earned his nickname "Piney" in the 1930s by extorting money from Christmas tree vendors. He was the younger brother of mobster Stephen Armone, a Gambino soldier. Armone married Josephine DiQuarto and was the father of two children. A devoted family man, Joe Armone stayed away from mistresses and often took his wife out for dinner. Armone lived in Brooklyn.

Armone wore thick glasses and had an arthritic limp in his leg from an ancient gunshot wound. Armone rarely cursed; his speech, while not grammatical, had a high-flown formality once described as "Mob Shakespeareean". He believe in omerta, the Cosa Nostra code of silence, was straightforward and direct, and highly trusted in mob circles. Armone was also respectful and polite to any Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents he encountered. Armone's arrest record included robbery, felonious assault, homicide, and narcotics violations.

In 1957, when Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia was marked for execution, Armone was chosen to join Stephen Grammauta and Arnold Wittenberg in the assassination squad. However, before the hit could take place, Armone was arrested on a drug charge. His brother Stephen took his place on the squad, which murdered Anastasia in a hotel barbershop.

In 1965 Armone and Grammauta were convicted of smuggling heroin from the Netherlands and Armone served ten years in prison. Armone was later promoted to caporegime under family boss Paul Castellano. After Castellano's murder and Gotti's ascension to power, Gotti sent Armone to Florida to overlook Gotti's criminal enterprises there. In 1986, Armone became underboss of the Gambino family. However, Armone was soon arrested for racketeering in Florida and sent to prison.

In 1992, Joe Armone died in prison of natural causes.

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