Johnny Esposito

Alias: Lefty Esposito

Born: 1893

Nation­al­i­ty: American

Died: Dece­me­ber 31st 1924.

Where: New Jersey

Cause: Shot


Born in Brook­lyn, Espos­i­to grew up in New York. He used to hang­out in Harlem around 105th St with the Del Gau­dio broth­ers, occa­sion­al­ly rough­ing peo­ple up on their order. Espos­i­to left Harlem after he received a 6 month jail term for a shoot­ing. After mov­ing back to Brook­lyn he began to mix with the Navy St gang.

On June 24th 1916 a meet­ing took place at Coney Island between the Sicil­ian Morel­lo gang, the Neapoli­tan Navy Street gang and the Neapoli­tan Coney Island gang. The idea of the meet­ing was to dis­cuss the expan­sion of gam­bling dens in lower Man­hat­tan. Nick Ter­ra­no­va and Steve LaSalle explained that Joe DeMar­co would have to be killed before they could expand in the area.

On the morn­ing of July 20th, 1916, the Navy St gun­men, includ­ing Espos­i­to, made their way to the entrance of the James St gam­bling house. Nick Sassi, an employ­ee of Demarco’s but also friend of the Navy St gang, got the gun­men inside. Joe DeMar­co and Charles Lom­bar­di were inside, they were sat next to each other play­ing cards with sev­er­al other men. DeMar­co was shot dead and the gun­men escaped.

Espos­i­to was also involved in the later ambush of Nick Ter­ra­no­va and Eugene Ubri­a­co for which he received a 6 – 10 year sen­tence in June 1918.

He was later killed in 1924 while on parole in New Jersey.