“Kenji” Gallo, the self-styled “Ronin of the Underworld”, is
the most famous Asian-American gangster in the world and one of the most
controversial and unique characters in the history of the American Mafia.
After risking his life for eight years as an undercover FBI operative
against organized crime across America, Gallo has turned his life around
and is a successful legitimate businessman and humanitarian who lives
under an assumed name as a federally relocated witness. He hopes to use
his incredible redemption story to reach out to ex-cons and troubled
teenagers and promote tolerance of alternative lifestyles in American
society. He lives without fear of reprisal for his undercover work or any
regrets for turning his back on a life of crime.
Born to mixed-race
Asian-American family in Orange County, California, Gallo began his
criminal career in high school as a cocaine smuggler allied to Joey Avila,
the boss of the Tahitian Connection cocaine cartel, and Michael “Big Mike”
Marvich, the California viceroy of Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel. As the
leader of his own narcotrafficking crew in his late teenage years and
early twenties, Gallo grossed millions in the cocaine trade, led his own
narcotrafficking crew, owned his own dance club, and was (falsely)
arrested for everything from murdering his best friend to running over
another teenager with his car — all before he could legally drink.
As an adult, Kenji left the drug trade behind to become a racketeer in the
American Mafia and San Fernando Valley porn industry. As a trusted
enforcer under legendary Colombo Mafia Family underboss John “Sonny”
Franzese, L.A. Mafia Family capo Vincent “Jimmy" Caci, and storied Jewish
gangster Jerry Zimmerman, Gallo made a fortune as a white collar criminal
and porn producer. During his time in the San Fernando Valley, Gallo
married porn star and Howard Stern regular Tabitha Stevens and was
romantically linked to numerous other porn icons, including Jill Kelly,
Savannah, and Amber Lynn.
After the murder of Las Vegas mob legend and Casino character “Fat Herbie”
Blitzstein, Gallo became an undercover FBI operative against Mafia
families across America. In late 2001, Gallo risked his life to move to
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he risked his life by wearing a wire into the
innermost sanctums of the murderous Colombo Mafia Family and Lucchese
Mafia Family. Numerous dangerous criminals were jailed by Gallo’s daring
undercover work, including Theodore “Teddy” Persico, Jr., the current
street boss of the Colombo Mafia Family; John “Johnny Goggles” Baudanza,
the youngest capo in the Lucchese Mafia Family; and Michelle Braun and
Elena Trochtchenkova, the two most successful madams in modern American
history. Shortly before leaving the streets under FBI protection, Gallo
narrowly escaped an order to participate in a Mafia murder and, soon
afterwards, a Mafia attempt to kill him.
New Orleans native
Matthew "MRV" Randazzo V is an
investigative journalist and popular historian who seeks to discover
extraordinary untold stories from America's underworld and unexamined
subcultures. MRV has written for The New York Daily News and
appeared as an expert authority on the American underworld on E!
Entertainment Television and over 100 radio programs around the world.
MRV is the author of four books, including 2010's
Godfather Knows Best: How To Live Like A Wiseguy
Without Ever Breaking the Law with Johnny Fratto, the first
book signed to Igniter, the HarperCollins imprint of superstar authors
Neil Strauss and Anthony Bozza. In 2009, Phoenix Books will release two
groundbreaking exposés of the American Mafia co-written by MRV with
legendary gangsters. In August of 2009, Phoenix Books will release
hardcover and audiobook editions of
Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia,
the incredible true story of Kenny “Kenji” Gallo, the Japanese-American
criminal mastermind who became the most controversial gangster in the
history of the modern American Mafia. In February 2010, Phoenix Books will release
Mr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Underworld
Legend, the memoir of the "Keith Richards of the Mafia",
iconic New Orleans gangster Frenchy Brouillette.