Leave the ankle monitor, take the cannoli

By Tim Nelson
February 27, 2018

For one mobster nicknamed Porky, life on house arrest without access to his local pizzeria and bakery proved to be no piece of cake.

Out on house arrest as he awaits trial for racketeering, John “Porky” Zancocchio was granted a furlough specifically to attend the wake, funeral and burial of his aunt earlier this month. But along the way, he took some detours took to Italian restaurant Bella Mama Rose, Denino’s Pizzeria and an unnamed bakery. Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein considered those meals a violation of his bail program, and Zanocchio’s now headed back behind bars at Metropolitan Correctional Center.

The issue wasn’t just that Porky was craving some thin-crust pizza and a tiramisu, but that he dined at an alleged mob hangout. Zanocchio co-owns Bella Mama Rose with Gambino family capo Frank Camuso, where the prosecution alleges “he was seen both behind and in front of the bar, and speaking with restaurant customers.”

John Meringolo, Zanocchio’s lawyer, chafed at the idea that he was up to anything other than chowing down. “The FBI surveillance team uncovered my client having dinner with his 80-year-old cousins. It’s customary for catholics to have a meal with their family in between the wake,” Meringolo told The New York Post. “He wasn’t with any felons or anyone alleged with organized crime.”

Zanocchio is no ordinary catholic, however. He was one of ten mobsters arrested last month on racketeering charges, seven of whom he shared ties with through the Bonnano crime family. As legend has it, he was once the bookie for baseball legend Pete Rose, whose gambling habits effectively barred him from the sport’s hall of fame. To even get on house arrest, Zannochio had to put up $1 million for bail.

Given that Denino’s and the unspecified bakery were located within walking distance of Porky’s home in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Staten Island, maybe the cannolis were simply calling his name. But Zanocchio staring down the possibility of a 20 year federal sentence, that might’ve been the last pastry Porky will enjoy for some time.