Born A Gangster: Beannca “Bebe” Catherine

Bebe Catherine was born & raised in Saint Catherine Parish. Also known as “Spanish Town”, St Catherine is a town located in the south east of Jamaica.

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Born to a family of powerful gangsters, Bebe was introduced to the street lifestyle before she was born. Her mother, “Sandy” was 6 months pregnant with Bebe when she was sentenced to 6 years in Riker’s Island, New York city’s most dangerous prison on drug charges due to her alleged affiliation to Jamaica’s most feared criminal organization, The Shower Posse. Sandy’s charges were later overturned and she was extradited back to her homeland of Jamaica as a condition of her release.

Bebe grew up a privileged child due to her family’s power and wealth. She was raised with the most elite & influential and attended some of the best schools the island had to offer. Though Jamaica is known for its tropical blue skies and waters, beyond the breathtaking tourist attractions brews deadly street wars in which gangs battle to control the country’s drug trades. When she was a teenager, her mother sent her to the Untied States to live with family members in hopes of protecting her from  the extreme violence and dangerous conditions on the island.

As Bebe grew into adulthood the very same vices that her mother had hoped to protect her from, captivated her. She too began dating (and eventually married) an alleged high ranking member of The Shower Posse and had 2 children. Her story would be anything but a fairytale as her husband was later indicted on drug and gun charges in the much publicized raids of the international organization, then ran by Jamaican druglord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. Bebe’s husband was sentenced to 14 years for his alleged involvement with the “Posse” which left her to fend for herself and her children. As many wives and girlfriends of gangsters often find themselves abandoned due to the repercussions of the streets, Bebe began making her rounds by collecting on debts owed to her husband. She eventually found herself knee-deep in the game, a choice that would cost her drastically.

Eventually she was indicted on her own charges and found herself back on Riker’s Island, this time as a mother herself. After spending almost 2 years in jail she was released on one condition, that she return to Jamaica –and never return to the United States.

Since arriving back in Jamaica, Bebe has made a choice not only change her lifestyle but to shield her children from the same pitfalls both she and her mother suffered from the streets. She now works with various charitable organizations such as The Prettie Committee, which supplies women of the island with trendy clothes, shoes, accessories, food, and household items. She also spends her spare pursing what she calls her “first tru love”, writing.

Check out the blog dedicated to Christopher Coke: www.thejamaicandon.blog.com.

Follow Bebe on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/bebefashion859

Written By: Bailey Manhattan

The daughter of American Gangster Frank Lucas speaks

 Francine Lucas-Sinclair spent part of her childhood being raised by her grandparents, while her parents served time in prison. She is the daughter of Frank Lucas, the drug lord depicted in the 2007 film American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

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AMBLER — Francine Lucas-Sinclair spent part of her childhood being raised by her grandparents, while her parents served time in prison. She is the daughter of Frank Lucas, the drug lord depicted in the 2007 film American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Through her experiences as a child with an incarcerated parent, Sinclair was led to establish Yellow Brick Roads, a program that helps children with parents in prison. On Feb. 19 at the Ambler Campus, Lucas-Sinclair presented, “My Father: The American Gangster,” an insight into her life as a child and how it led up to the birth of a new organization for children like herself.

“My father built a heroin pipeline from Southeast Asia to New York and paid soldiers in Asia to smuggle drugs over here and sold it for cheap. My dad looked at this as a business opportunity at the time,” Lucas-Sinclair said.

During the era of the Vietnam War, soldiers used drugs in Vietnam and eventually became addicted to it, Sinclair said. Lucas made $1 million a day from his business.

“We lived in New Jersey where [there] are beautiful houses, picket fences, [and] manicured lawns, but we lived a normal life,” Lucas-Sinclair said. “We took exotic trips, but it wasn’t like people think that he spent enormous amounts of money on extravagant things. Our house was always cheerful – it had lots of friends and family.”

Even with her enjoyable childhood, Lucas-Sinclair was too young to understand what he father did for a living. “As a little girl, I had a loving father and loving mother, all the toys I could ever want, but what I didn’t know what my dad was doing,” she said. “When you’re living on borrowed time, sooner or later it’s going to catch up to you. We were living at the expense of others.“

In 1975, Lucas went down with his business at the end of the war. Lucas-Sinclair was three years old when her father was arrested for drugs.

“The federal authorities came charging into our house,” she said. “I do remember that it was like a stampede of people coming through the door. I remember just screaming, and there was a lot of screaming in our house. I remember being thrown on the floor. It was traumatizing.”

After the arrest, life for Lucas-Sinclair was different.

She visited her dad every day in jail but didn’t understand where he was. Sometimes she believed he was in a fish tank when she talked to him through glass, she said. For her, it was a very confusing time. Her father was sentenced to 70 years in prison, and his family was placed in the witness protection program and moved to Albuquerque, N.M.

After living in New Mexico for three years and not growing accustomed to the lifestyle, they got out of the witness protection program and moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Lucas-Sinclair’s grandparents.

Frank Lucas was released from prison within six years and had a difficult time obtaining work. Lucas went back to the drug business and was caught a second time, but this time, his wife was also involved. He went back for eight years, while his wife went for five years. Lucas-Sinclair went back to San Juan to live with her grandparents.

“They taught me that I have to determine what my life would be,” Lucas-Sinclair said.

When released, her mother enrolled Lucas-Sinclair in the girl scouts.

“I had to take responsibility for my actions. I couldn’t act up,” Lucas-Sinclair said.

Her parents taught Lucas-Sinclair that their choices did not have to determine her choices. From her experiences as a child with incarcerated parents, she decided to start Yellow Brick Roads, formed to help children who, like herself, who have incarcerated parents.

“I think it’s an excellent program,” said Michelle Darby, Kensington Annex Head Start teacher. “Having a support system like this makes them [feel] accepted. It’s more prevalent because there are just so much more parents [being incarcerated] because of drug offenses.”

Sophomore Nick Prince also saw the benefits of the program.

“I felt good to witness the beginnings of a foundation that will eventually benefit a lot of people,” Prince said. “I see it taking more kids away from the streets. I think there needs to be a program recognizing a program where they can relate to.” Sarada Jailal can be reached at

Written By: sjailal@temple.edu.

Dorothy Fiorenza: The Things We Do For Love

The New York Daily News called her a “brainy beautician” when Dorothy Fiorenza took the stand in 1999 as the key witness against her former lover, Colombo family boss Andrew Russo, but the cosmetologist-turned-lawyer-turned-government informant sure didn’t act too smart by getting romantically involved with Russo, angering the boss by marrying a dying Colombo family soldier, and helping to obstruct justice along the way. Fiorenza helped turn a hum-drum mob trial into a soap opera after she agreed to cooperate with the government in order to get a lighter sentence for her husband, Lawrence “Larry Tattoo” Fiorenza, who at the time of the Russo trial was serving a life sentence and was terminally ill with AIDS and cirrhosis of the liver.

Appearing on the witness stand with newly dyed platinum tresses, Fiorenza told the federal court how she had used her lawyer status to pass communiqus between Russo and his son, Joseph “Jo Jo” Russo. It was an alternate juror in Jo Jo’s trial that had been recognized by another Russo mistress. The Colombo family then hired a private investigator to track down the alternate, but Jo Jo ended up taking the fall anyway. The juror reported the attempt to the judge in Jo Jo’s case, who referred it to the Justice Department. The FBI began an investigation and eventually was able to build a case against Russo.

Andrew Russo
Andrew Russo

Over three days of testimony, with a different exotic hairstyle each day that garnered as much press as her devastating testimony, Fiorenza recalled how she met Russo while working at a New York barbershop and was invited to the mob boss’s Christmas party in 1995 while her first marriage was collapsing.

The next day, according to court records, Russo’s nephew told Fiorenza his uncle thought she “was the best thing since sliced bread.” The 32-year-old law student and the 60-something mobster hit it off immediately and began an affair.

Russo took Fiorenza to dinner at Elaine’s and to see “Phantom of the Opera.” She told the court how he often complained about the “heat” he was under from police who wanted to see that he was sent back to prison where he had just finished serving an eight-year stretch. Swept up in the romantic notion of being a mafia goumada, or girlfriend, Fiorenza became even more valuable to Russo after she passed the New York State Bar Exam and was able to pass almost unobstructed through security at the�MetropolitanCorrectionsCenter, where Jo Jo was being held.

Speaking with Jo Jo in carefully scripted conversations that prosecutors alleged were filled with secret messages, Dorothy later claimed she had no idea that her discussions were actually bits of coded advice from father to son.

The relationship soured when Dorothy realized that Russo was interested in a monogamous relationship  on her part  while he played the field and remained strangely loyal to his wife. Along the way, Fiorenza met Teresa Castronova, the “other” other woman who had ID’d the alternate juror in Jo Jo’s trial. Teresa was hiding out at an upstate New York horse farm while the FBI tried to find her so she could explain the jury tampering attempt. In the elder Russo’s trial, Fiorenza admitted that she knew she was obstructing justice by not going to authorities with Teresa’s location.

“He wanted to be with me but not exclusively,” a weeping Fiorenza testified. “He was obligated to other people — to his wife as well.”

“And you wanted him exclusively for you?” Russo’s lawyer asked.

“Yes,” she replied. “There were other people around who he was involved with and it was getting crazy.”

The one-way monogamy requirement was troubling to the self-described “mob groupie” who had met Larry Tattoo while visiting Jo Jo in the MCC. When she announced to Andrew Russo that she was ending the relationship to marry Larry, the boss was furious, she testified.

Russo was infuriated that she was involved with a lower-ranking mobster, she testified, adding that a friend of Russo’s told her that many members of the�Colombo family feared both she and Larry Tattoo would “sing and fly.”

In the end, that’s almost what happened. When the appeals she filed on Larry’s behalf went nowhere, afraid for her life and concerned that her new husband was going to die behind bars, Dorothy went to federal prosecutors and spilled her guts.

“We went to the government for assistance, security, for our safety,” she said.

Prior to taking the stand in the elder Russo’s trial, Fiorenza pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for her role in the scheme.

Like so many other women who are suckered by the romance of the mob, Dorothy paid a very high price for her blind love. She lost her license to practice law and was portrayed by the defense in Russo’s case as a mentally unbalanced and “troubled” woman whose life went downhill when she married a convicted murderer.

Shortly after Russo was convicted, Larry Tattoos and Dorothy Fiorenza entered the federal witness relocation program. By 2001, they had separated and Dorothy had applied for reinstatement to the New York Bar, claiming she had been mentally ill with bipolar disorder when she pleaded guilty to obstruction. The court turned down her request.

The Mob and Mistresses

Image and reputation are everything to mobsters. Wiseguys carefully cultivate the media-driven images of Robin Hood-like gentleman bandits who carefully separate business and pleasure. Over time, they have learned that the perception of being violent is just as effective as violence itself. The public was also sold a bill of goods by Hollywood (an industry thoroughly infiltrated by the mob) that mobsters resorted to violence on a limited scale, operated under a “code of honor” that demanded loyalty, and expected members to treat women with respect. A man who crossed the mob could expect retribution, but his woman was off-limits.

But perception and reality as far as the mob is concerned are light-years apart. Tough legal sanctions and increased backstabbing have pushed the code aside in favor of an “every man for himself” mentality, and a wiseguy knows that his friends in the rackets are just as likely as his enemies to be the ones who take him down. The same applies to the way women of the mob are treated. The hands-off policy is gone and a woman who is perceived as a threat because of what she knows is just as likely as her lover to end up dead.

It’s true that there were and still are a number of prudish men in organized crime. Some old-timers are more interested in the rackets than they are in the idea of mistresses and nightclubs. Others take their marriage vows seriously and don’t need to look outside the home for female companionship. Still others view promiscuous women with contempt and want nothing to do with them. In the early days of Prohibition and organized crime, men like Johnny Torrio and Dion O’Banion were known for their disdain of the molls who have always been attracted to mobsters. Torrio ran the prostitution racket in�Chicago for years, but was widely known not to partake of the fare himself. O’Banion was a one-woman man whose flower shop and home life were just as important as his bootlegging business.

Other mobsters took the opposite view. Both Willie Moretti and Al Capone were rendered near imbeciles by the ravages of untreated syphilis, caught from the myriad prostitutes who serviced them. Lucky Luciano, whose connection to the New York prostitution racket was widely overblown by Thomas Dewey in his no-holds-barred prosecution of the capo di tutti capi, claimed he deliberately caught (and received treatment for) a venereal disease from a hooker to get out of the draft for World War I.

Still others lived privately one way and acted differently in public. Sam Giancana carried on with Judith Campbell Exner and Phyllis Maguire, but killed a man for dishonoring his daughter. Moretti sent a telegram to his friend, Frank Sinatra, when he learned the singer was dating Ava Gardner and planning a divorce from his wife. Moretti’s message to Frank was that he was saddened to learn of Sinatra’s philandering and he urged him to remember his “darling wife and children.”

But even these old-fashioned types know that sometimes a mob wife or girlfriend is dangerous and needs to be permanently silenced. It’s always been that way and as long as there is organized crime, it always will be that way.

One of the most blatant examples of the way women are treated by mobsters is the story of 19-year-old Cherie Golden, a�New York woman who made the mistake of working a little too closely with her car thief boyfriend, John Quinn. They both ended up dead after crossing the bloodthirsty and ruthless Roy DeMeo and Nino Gaggi, who objected to Quinn’s success in competing with their own stolen car ring. In Gaggi’s 1985 murder and racketeering trial, star prosecution witness Dominick Montiglio and seven other witnesses testified about how Quinn was marked for death by the Gaggi faction of the Gambino family after he was summoned before a Long Island grand jury.

Convicted car thief Joseph Bennett testified that he was contacted about a week before July 20, 1977, the day Quinn’s body was found in a desolate part of Staten Island. The Gaggi crew wanted Bennett to help them take out his cousin.

The price for setting up Quinn would be $20,000, he testified that he was told, if he could lure Golden as well. When asked by prosecutors why the pair had to die, Bennett explained in a matter-of-fact way that there was reason to suspect Quinn was cooperating with authorities.

“John had gone before a Nassau�County grand jury and wasn’t in jail,” said Bennett. “The rule of thumb is that if you weren’t in jail you had talked.”

Quinn and Golden were shot dead and while Quinn was found dumped near the Fresh Kills landfill, dressed in pajamas with his hands tied behind his back, Golden’s half-nude body was found jammed underneath the dashboard of a stolen Lincoln Continental near Coney Island�in Brooklyn. She had not been sexually assaulted, but testimony revealed that she had been stripped after death to make police think it had been a sexual homicide and thus not likely to be mob connected.

Montiglio testified that Golden’s murder had disturbed Gambino family boss Paul Castellano.

“My uncle [Nino Gaggi] was a little perturbed about the girl getting killed,” Montiglio said. “Mr. Castellano asked my uncle why this girl Cherie was killed. My uncle told him she was part of the operation with Quinn and something about him going to the law and he had to be taken care of.”

Written By: Mark Gribben

Brandy Cavalli-Coke in talks to star in network based docu-series

Gangster Girls screenplay writer Brandy Cavalli-Coke, respectively known as just— “Bee” — recently took to her brand new YouTube channel and hinted that we could get an inside view of what its like to be one of the underworld’s most elite women.

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According to entertainment manager Kelli Kamellai, Brandy is in talks with a Hollywood based media group to star in an upcoming docu-series that centers on women that are married or engaged to incarcerated men.

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Brandy Cavalli casting for new docu-series centered around crime world

Brandy, aka “IL Capitana”, allegedly has deep ties to the Shower Posse organization, and is currently rumored to be married to YBM Entertainment’s HNIC, “Big Dave” a captain in the Black Mafia Organization, (also known by the 3 letters)… BMF.

Cavalli-Coke owns her own networking company based in Atlanta GA called “The Social Mob LLC” and also coordinates fundraising and clothing drives for her charity called The Prettie Committee.

An up and coming writer and journalist, Brandy writes various crime based independent movie scripts and screenplays.

Her latest project, a memoir style short story entitled “From a Socialite to the Mob”, will chronicle the life of a young sheltered girl’s plight into womanhood, from a ‘street’ perspective.

Miss Coke is known throughout the underworld for her sexy looks, hot girl attitude, and loyalty to her loved ones. Not one for letting people into her personal space, she is reportedly a little “nervous, but ready” to begin filming for the new docu-series.

A widow since her early 20’s, she has survived the many pitfalls of the streets and has still managed to become somewhat of a positive example for young women that find themselves in similar positions.

We can’t wait to see what new projects Brandy has in store— but in the meantime, check out this freestyle that’s all over Twitter by the rap artist –Hyphy

DA VENT by Hyphy – YBM Entertainment

Around the 1:27 mark, you will hear the “Coke Brandy” plug!

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Follow Brandy’s Official Street Team “Cavalli Coke Online” on Twitter

Written by Bailey Manhattan

Emma Aispuro: Sinaloa Cartel

Emma Coronel Aispuro  gave birth to twins. Beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro, la esposa de Joaquin Guzman Loera aka El Chapo or Shorty, visited Southern California, gave birth to El Chapo’s kids, and then returned to Mexico. Officials tell news that the whole process was completely legal.

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For years, El Chapo has been at the top of Mexico’s most wanted list. But Shorty, as head of the Sinaloa cartel, made a unusual list in 2009: Forbes’ Rich List. As of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the U.S. for two decades, El Chapo was named by Forbes as one of the richest persons in the world.

Forbes told news at the time “In 2008 Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered between $18 billion and $39 billion in proceeds from wholesale shipments to the U.S. ” It added “Shorty, an alleged tunnels expert, is believed to have directed anywhere from a third to half of that during the past 8 years”.

 Los Angeles investigators reveal that El Chapo’s wife came to Lancaster in July, gave birth to twins, and returned to Mexico thereafter. They add her movement was legal since she is not a wanted person and has dual citizenships.

In 2001, Guzman escaped from a Mexican prison (in a laundry cart no less) just before extradition to the U.S. El Chapo changes his cellphone every day. Standing at 5 feet tall, El Chapo lists his occupation as “shipping”. In 2007, he married the now 22 year old beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro.

Posters around Acapulco featured El Chapo’s warning to law enforcement. “To all citizens, extortion will no longer occur. Sincerely, Shorty Guzman. This will happen to anyone who tries to come into this turf”. That week, fifteen beheaded males were found across the town. The victims were ages 25 to 30.

Alleged Daughter of Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Freed in US

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A woman reported to be the daughter of an infamous Mexican drug lord was deported back to Mexico after pleading guilty for presenting false papers when she entered the country in October 2012.

Alejandrina Guzmán Salazar, 31, was arrested after she tried crossing the border on foot at San Diego’s San Ysidro port of entry. In return for her guilty plea, five other charges, including lying to federal officer and identity theft, were dropped.

According to Reuters, she told U.S. officials her father was Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, at her arrest. Her attorneys, however, would not confirm any relationship to the cartel leader.

Guzmán Salazar, who is seven to eight months pregnant, told authorities she planned to give birth to her child in Los Angeles, according to reports.

“She’s happy to be back in Mexico and out of custody to have her baby,” her attorney, Guadalupe Valencia, said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “She’s a doctor and will go back to her life before she was arrested.”

El Chapo, Spanish for “shorty,” escaped from a Mexican prison in a laundry basket in 2001 and has become one of the country’s highest-profile traffickers. In 2011, Forbes magazine listed the billionaire as one of the world’s most powerful people.