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An aggressive and extremely violent gangster, Galante had risen rapidly through the ranks of the Bonanno family to become a crucial cog in the syndicate’s narcotics dealings.

Serving as manager and go-between for the family’s business in Italy and Canada, Galante was an early proponent of importing Sicilian “Zips” to help manage the family’s heroin operation in America.

* * * John Dereszewski has fond memories of Joe and Mary’s Italian Restaurant.

A longtime community activist, Dereszewski served as district manager of the local community board tasked with helping a neighborhood afflicted with many wounds.

Just fifty feet away from his house in Glendale, Favia was killed instantly, as the assassin leapt into a car idling nearby.

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Heroin and other drugs had become a key source of revenue for Cosa Nostra activities, but its volatility and scrutiny required a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy within the Mafia’s ranks. This awkward but essential relationship with heroin was, according to Raab and a 1968 investigation by the , codified at a 1957 meeting at the Grand Hotel Et De Palmes in Palermo, attended by key figures from both the American and Sicilian Mafias, including “Lucky” Luciano, Joe Bonanno and an up-and-coming underboss in the latter’s family named Carmine Galante.

Commonly referred to as “Zips” by their fellow Mafiosi — likely for their flashy dress, their lightning-quick Sicilian prosody or possibly something more derisive.

The Zips were embedded in Sicilian strongholds all across the country during the ’60s and ’70s.

Once a working-class community of German beer brewers and Italian factory workers, Bushwick had transitioned to a predominantly black and Latino neighborhood that was poor and struggling.

Amid the burned-out and boarded-up buildings on Knickerbocker Avenue remained a small enclave of Sicilian markets and cappuccino houses.

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