Best Selling author Joe Bruno’s “Mob Rats – Jimmy ‘The Weasel’ Fratianno” is ranked No. 1 on Amazon.com in the category “Hot New Releases – Law Enforcement Biographies & Memoirs.”
Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno got his nickname from his days as a petty pushcart thief in Cleveland, when he ran as “quick as a weasel” with an armful of fruit and vegetables while the cops chased him.
Rising quickly up the organized crime ladder in Cleveland, Fratianno, after doing a stint in the can for robbery and extortion, migrated west to Los Angeles where he hooked up with West Coast Mob boss, Jack Dragna. After doing a few “pieces of work” or murders for Dragna, Fratianno got his button and became a made man in the Mafia. Dragna soon appointed Fratianno as one of his captains, bypassing several irate mobsters who had served under Dragna for decades. Without even trying, Fratianno had made himself several serious enemies, and this would come back to haunt him.
Things began falling apart for Fratianno when, while he was in prison doing another bit for extortion, Jack Dragna died. After much infighting, Dominick Brooklier was anointed Dragna’s replacement, and one of his first acts was to bust Fratianno from captain back to a mere Mafia soldier.
Incredibly, after Brooklier got hit with a 20-month prison term for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion, he named Fratianno as the acting boss of his LA crime family. Fratianno, his proud chest bursting the buttons on his silk shirt because of his sudden promotion, didn’t realize he was being set up for the fall.
As soon as Brooklier hit the streets again, Fratianno discovered he was as good as dead. He ran to the Feds, and he offered to sing his finest tunes in return for the luxury of the Witness Protection Program. Over the next 10 years (he got only five years in jail after admitting he participated in six murders), Fratianno scammed the Feds for almost $1 million, in return for his testimony at several mob trials.
The Weasel had become a Rat, but the Federal Government was his patsy. Regrettably, it was our taxpayers’ dollars that compensated Fratianno handsomely, exhibiting once again the folly of our hard-earned tax dollars at work.