“Little Danny Cigars”

So who is “little Danny cigars”? That’s my dad. That’s what they called him, friends anyway. There are others who called him other things, according to an article in The Chief on October 4th 1985 my father was portrayed by Mr.Haesloop as, “people who know mr.corrente describe him as volatile – Mr. Haesloop remarks, “his nickname was mad dog”. And Mr. Koslov says, Mr.Corrente told him, “if you get me transferred out of here, I’m gonna do everything in my power to get you transferred out. Once your transferred out, I’m gonna send people to your house to break your legs, and I’ll personally drink your blood.” Subsequently, Mr.Koslov was shot.
It was Easter Sunday; my mom was cooking enough for an army, as usual. A ham, lasagna, Easter bread, love mom’s Easter bread! A girl that I was going out with at the time was coming over for Easter dinner, (lets call her Jinny) she had heard my father was somehow “connected”, so I wanted to show her he was a regular guy and we were a normal family. Now how I was going to pull this off, I’ll never know. Maybe she will not notice the FBI sitting across the street, after all, that could be anyone? So we sit down to eat, everyone having a good time.  About 30 minutes later the bell rings, I thought it was terry,my sister, then I hear it, “FBI we have a warrant for the arrest of Daniel G.Corrente Jr.” they come in the house and me and my dad are standing there, not surprised that they were here to arrest him, but on Easter Sunday? I thought the Easter bunny came that day, not the FBI! So they say to my dad, “mr.Corrente we have a warrant for your arrest, if you have any thing you need to put away, you can do that quickly.” As a matter of fact he was always packing that 32.cal and went in his room put it away got dressed, and came back out. These two agents were pretty nice guys as FBI agents go. Then they cuffed my dad and took him away. So much for convincing Jinny my dad was a regular guy!
April 16th 1985 New York Times reads: “21 in city charged with corruption at housing agency” my father’s name in the paper charged with, extortion, mail fraud, racketeering.
That was Easter Sunday at my house.  Well me and my brother drove into the city the next morning to be at the arraignment in the federal court-house in Manhattan. That was a drive i will never forget. My brother made his own lanes the whole way there. We waited, finally they brought my father out, shackled feet, and hands to his waist.

The district attorney was standing there reading all the charges, all i could think was, ” I’ll never see my father again without bars in between us”. His bail was high but we posted it. Then the job to get a lawyer was at hand. My father got the best, Bruce Cutler, the same lawyer John Gotti had. there were a team of lawyers involved in this case. The feds offered a plea deal if my father would give up names of others that were involved. He rejected that deal with out even a thought, my dad was no “RAT”! Even though he was facing 14  charges that carried 10 years each,that was 140 years in prison. They decided to fight the feds. Months of perpetration, tens of thousands of dollars, and his day in court was finely here. It did not look good, but my father was a fighter. The feds had tape recordings, pictures, testimony from those rats that gave up my father. As trials go it was’nt that long, as jurys go, it was even shorter.  As the jury formen read the verdict my heart droped, “Guilty on all counts”.  The good news was he was sent to Loretto Federal correctional instution, located in Loretto, PA.  It was a 7 hour drive from staten island but we did it every few weeks.  I remember sitting across from my dad in this place, i cried. He told me, “never cry, im fine, we won.” that was hard to imagine taking into account where we were sitting. But in his mind, he was thinking, he kept his mouth shut and only got a few years, so i guess thats a win.  I remember the day we went to pick him up, a big white strech limo showed up at our house, complaments of “the boys”, that was the best 7 hour drive we ever took. When we pulled up and went inside to get dad one of the prision guards remarked, ” you can always tell when one of the New York crew is leaving, they alway leave in a limo”. it was so good to have my father back, the world was right again.

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