Former Gambino underboss Frank LoCascio dead in prison at 89

A Gambino crime family underboss famed for professing his loyalty to John Gotti as they were convicted at a murder and racketeering trial has finished his life prison sentence.

Frank LoCascio, who was 89, died Friday at FMC Devens in Massachusetts, which houses federal prisoners with health issues.

“I am guilty of being a good friend of John Gotti,” the defiant underboss famously said in court in 1992 after he was found guilty of racketeering. “If there was more men like John Gotti, we would have a better country.”

Former Gambino underboss Frank LoCascio.

Frankie Loc” LoCascio and the Dapper Don were nabbed in 1991 and charged in a sprawling racketeering case in which they were caught on tape discussing criminal activity — including murder — in the apartment of an old widow who lived above Gotti’s Ravenite Social Club on Mulberry Street in Manhattan.

Gotti was convicted of murder and racketeering at the same trial as LoCascio. Gotti was nicknamed the Teflon Don for beating the rap in several criminal cases during the 1980s, but his conviction with LoCascio was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

LoCascio’s daughter, Lisa LoCascio, told the Daily News that her father never complained during his 31 years in prison — and that he never snitched.

“That means something,” she said. “I won’t explain it to you.”

She said her dad was a favorite among the staff at Devens and that he called her last Monday to say his goodbyes to the family.

“He said the things you say to your daughter when you choose your daughter to be the last phone call you’re going to make,” LoCascio said.

FILE – In this Feb. 9, 1990 file photo, John Gotti, right, arrives at court in New York. (David Cantor/AP)

She rushed to the Massachusetts prison and held her father in her arms singing him Frank Sinatra as he took his final breaths.

A made guy for 35 years when he was busted by the feds, LoCascio was a consummate gangster, and took his life sentence without testifying for the government. He was Gotti’s underboss from 1987 to his arrest in 1991.

LoCascio helped Gotti carry out the murder of Gambino family member Louis “Jelly Belly” DiBono in 1990, who was shot in the head with three .25 caliber bullets in his Cadillac in the parking garage of the Twin Towers.

Gotti wanted DiBono dead because the Gambino soldier once refused to come meet with him when he called.

“He didn’t do nothing else wrong,” Gotti said on the wiretap with LoCascio in the room. “He’s gonna get killed because he, he disobeyed coming.”

Frank Locascio, center, once the underboss of the Gambino crime family under John Gotti, is pictured with Richard Martin, left, and Gambino family captain Andrew Campos.

LoCascio also bribed an NYPD detective for confidential information, hatched an ultimately unsuccessful plan to kill someone the Gambino family thought might snitch, and obstructed the investigation into the 1985 murder of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano.

While he remained silent on the tapes about the DiBono killing, prosecutors argued that his mere presence in the room when Gotti hatched the rubout plans made him him guilty, since his job as underboss was to advise Gotti and, where necessary, correct him.

Gotti and LoCascio’s fates were sealed by turncoat mobster Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, who was initially indicted with them, but turned rat in the weeks leading up to the 1992 trial.

Fast forward 27 years, however, and Gravano changed his story, arguing that LoCascio had not wanted DiBono killed.

Gambino turncoat Gravano, who admitted to a role in 19 gangland killings, provided a declaration in Nov. 2018 asserting LoCascio “had no role in the planning of, nor did he participate in any way in the murder.”

But Brooklyn Federal Court Judge I. Leo Glasser, who presided over the 1992 trial, had none of it and rejected LoCascio’s late-in-life bid for freedom.

“LoCascio’s utter silence upon that stark pronouncement bespeaks a wordless assent,” wrote Glasser, affirming the conviction. “That wordless assent was to a death sentence on DiBono, not because he committed a crime but worse — only because he did not come in when called by John Gotti.”

Gotti died of throat cancer behind bars in 2002 and the Daily News reported his death on the front page with the headline “DEADFELLAS.”

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