Thomas Petrizzo (Born 1933) is a soldier in the Colombo Crime Family.
Petrizzo was once a vital force in fashioning the skyline of New York. Major contractors and developers lionized him for his acumen in shaping and delivering the steel frames for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Battery Park City, and numerous Manhattan skyscrapers.
He grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, and dropped out of school when he was 16 to work on a private garbage collection crew. Later, he was a truck driver and manager for freight companies. In 1969, at age 36, he began a steel hauling business, but the company failed in 1974.
In 1975, despite his previous business reverses, he formed a new company, A. J. Ross Logistics Inc. The company's main business was making steel reinforcing bars and trucking steel columns and girders. Federal investigators claim that Petrizzo's prominence in the Colombo family rose with his business successes.
In the late 1970's or early 1980's Petrizzo was inducted as a member of a unit in the Colombo family led by Alphonse Persico. By 1987, he was a capo.
At the height of his criminal career, Petrizzo was a capo in the family. He was involved with plotting murders and rigging multimillion-dollar construction deals for New York's Mafia bosses. He was also the Colombo representative on a Mafia council that controlled labor unions and divided the spoils from the construction industry.
It was believed that he was promoted to the rank of capo because he was the liaison for the Colombo family on the organized-crime construction panel that has a stranglehold on the New York City-area construction industry.
During the third Colombo war, Petrizzo sided with the Vittorio Orena faction. Federal prosecutors claimed that Petrizzo rode in convoys of Colombo gangsters in 1991 and 1992 hunting for rivals during the family war.
In December 1993, Petrizzo and five other suspected Colombo family members were arrested and accused of participating in a mob war for control of the Colombo family. They are charged with conspiracy to murder and firearms possession. At the time of his arrest, he became the target of other mob-related investigations. The FBI claimed that he was suspected of extorting $1.3 million from a Swiss engineering company and camouflaging the payoffs as consulting fees. Search warrants also indicated that the F.B.I. had evidence that Petrizzo's companies were used to launder illegal payoffs. Petrizzo would be acquitted in June of conspiring to murder members of the Persico faction, despite evidence of fingerprints on confidential telephone records the feds claimed were used to track down opponents and kill them.
On September 8, 1995 Petrizzo and four other people, including reputed Colombo soldier John Orena, were indicted for allegedly swindling a Long Island Teamsters local out of more than $1. Orena and Petrizzo faced up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on the most serious charge, racketeering conspiracy, if convicted.
In May 2010, Petrizzo and several other associates, including his former son-in-law/ Colombo associate Michael Persico, were arrested in a vending machine scam. Vending machines were allegedly part of a secret business deal that they had involving mob-run car dealerships. He was also charged with shaking down debris haulers at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorists attack. He faced a maximum of 8 months in prison.
Petrizzo would eventually be demoted from capo to soldier due to his increasing age and loss of influence in the labor unions.