Anthony Comello maga

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Suspect in mob boss murder flashes 'MAGA Forever' at court hearing

March 18, 2019 - 3:28 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – The suspect in the murder of a New York mobster waived extradition back to New York during a court appearance in which he flashed his hand -- scrawled with the phrase "MAGA Forever" and other scribbles.

His hand also read "United We Stand MAGA" and "Patriots In Charge." In the center of his palm he had drawn a large circle.

It's unclear why 24-year-old Anthony Comello scribbled the phrases, but they are clearly visible in a photo by the Associated Press.

Anthony Comello maga
Associated Press

RELATED: Anthony Comello, Frank Cali shooting - mob hit or something else? | NYPD: Shooter in custody, will be charged with the murder of mob boss Frank Cali | Gunman may have staged car accident to lure mob boss from his home: NYPD | A look into 'Franky Boy' Cali — the alleged mob boss assassinated in New York

Comello has been at the Ocean County Jail since Saturday, when he was arrested in the death of Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali. He waived extradition at the Ocean County Courthouse in Toms River and will head back to New York to face murder charges.

Comello's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said: "The people who know him best, his family and friends, cannot believe what they are hearing." 

"There is something very wrong here, and we will get to the bottom of it," Gottlieb said, according to ABC7.

The unanswered question is why Comello allegedly pumped Cali with 10 bullets in front of his Staten Island home Wednesday night. 

Reports say Comello may have believed that "Franky boy" stood in the way of his romance with the boss's niece. One source told the Daily News that Comello was misunderstood and a little mentally disfigured but that he loved the girl a lot.

The Daily News also reports Comello told police he smoked marijuana before the killing and claimed self-defense, saying Cali came at him with a gun. Authorities say they didn't find a gun on Cali. 

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters Saturday that the investigation into the motive would continue.

"There are multiple, multiple angles that we are exploring," Shea said at a news conference at police headquarters. "Was the person paid to do it? Were others conspiring to do this crime?"

Asked about Comello's arrest record, Shea said he "crossed paths in some limited circumstances with the NYPD," including getting a parking ticket on Staten Island the day Cali was killed.

Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Mafia's Gambino family, once one of the most powerful crime organizations in the country. News accounts since 2015 said he had ascended to the top spot.

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