New York Daily News: Took Mob of G-men to Tail Gioeli

April 4, 2012 in News Thomas Gioeli

By John Marzulli

Tailing Tommy Shots was a challenging assignment for an elite FBI surveillance squad.  Five weeks after Colombo crime boss Thomas Gioeli allegedly passed the order to murder an off-duty NYPD cop, the gangster proved a handful for four agents in separate undercover vehicles, retired FBI supervisor Gerald Ryan testified Wednesday.

The mobster vigilantly scanned the area for possible law enforcement, the ex-G man recalled.  “I radioed the team, ‘He’s looking hard, give him room,'” Ryan told Assistant U.S. Attorney James Gatta.

The agents stationed themselves at “strategic locations” in the vicinity of Gioeli’s home in Farmingdale, L.I., on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 1997, Ryan said.

The first day, Gioeli departed at the leisurely hour of 10:40 a.m. and drove to a Mobil station on Route 110 where he gassed-up his SUV and made a call from a pay phone, rode around the area then went home, Ryan said.

The second day, Gioeli switched vehicles with an unidentified man at the Riviera Diner, then drove the other man’s Lincoln to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in North Massapequa, where he remained in the car for two minutes.

“Do you know if he was praying in his car?” defense lawyer Adam Perlmutter asked.

Two cooperating witnesses have testified that Gioeli frequently prayed in the Rosary Walk garden, and was speaking to a hit man there when he allegedly passed the order to kill Colombo capo William Cutolo in 1999.

The surveillance ended later that afternoon after Gioeli drove to the parking lot of a Grand Union supermarket. Ryan dashed inside the store so he would not be observed.