Eduardo Ravelo has recently been anointed to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He is wanted on federal racketeering charges, and the FBI believes he is responsible for dozens of murders in the bloodbath that has recently taken place between rival gangs near the Texas-Mexico border.
Ravelo has also been linked to drug trafficking, extortion, weapons offenses, and money laundering. He is considered to be a very powerful figure in the Barrio Aztecas cartel in Juarez. Yet, while Ravelo’s criminal actions have put him on the FBI radar, he has been able to successfully elude capture for quite some time.
His secret — plastic surgery. Ravelo has shaved his head, undergone extensive facial plastic surgery, and even manipulated his fingerprints to avoid capture.
I have never thought about the idea of getting plastic surgery to elude the authorities, but it actually seems like a very smart idea. After all, Ravelo can now move freely in airports, avoid being detected on surveillance cameras, and even be stopped by the police for speeding without registering on their radar. Even if he was stupid enough to antagonize police, his fingerprints wouldn’t match up with the ones they have on file for him. Absolutely brilliant.
However, I’m wondering about the moral code of his plastic surgeon. Do you think this doctor knew he was aiding and abetting one of the most dangerous criminals in the world? If so, did he perform the surgery out of fear or because Ravelo was one of the rare customers who actually paid for his procedure in cash?
Most likely, this plastic surgeon would have been too frightened to turn down Ravelo as a patient. After all, such an action would most likely lead to the surgeon getting “whacked” by one of Ravelo’s goons. Personally, I’d be afraid to take him on as a patient. If the procedure didn’t accomplish a radical enough transformation in his appearance, I’d most likely be staring down a death sentence. I’ve seen Analyze This. It’s best to just say no to gangsters as patients, no matter what your medical specialty may be.
But this is a very intriguing subject. I’ve always had this mental image of gangsters as people who are very rugged and tough. In many ways, plastic surgery seems to be against the mobster code. Could you see Tony Soprano getting plastic surgery? Fuhgeddaboudit! It took him 3 or 4 seasons to admit to seeing a psychiatrist. Plastic surgery? He’d be killed for sure.
So I did a little digging on the subject, and I found out that some mobsters have actually opted for plastic surgery out of necessity, just like Ravelo. More often than not, it seems mobsters will alter their appearance after testifying against their former cronies. Apparently, the fear of death at the hands of one’s fellow mobster is a stronger motivator than fear of capture by the FBI. Shocking.
Here are some other notable cases of mobsters who have been faced with the choice of plastic surgery:
- Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, a former member of the Gambino crime family, went into the witness protection program after testifying against former mob boss John Gotti. He opted for a facelift
to help him blend in better in his new Arizona zip code. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay out of trouble, and his new identity was compromised when he was busted by Arizona police for running an ecstasy ring in 2000.
- Joseph “Joe Campy” Campanella, a member of the rival Colombo crime family, testified against his boss after the Colombo family killed his mentor and failed in an attempt to kill him. However, Joe Campy is not afraid of dying. Not only did he refuse to enter the witness protection program, he still uses his own name, resides in Brooklyn near all of the mobsters who want to kill him, and will not get plastic surgery. Amazingly, he is still alive.
- Joey Calco, a former hit man for New York’s Bonanno crime family, testified against his fellow mobsters. He relocated to Florida, changed his name to Joseph Milano, and opened a successful pizza place called Goomba’s Pizzeria (not the most inconspicuous of names, I might add). Things were going great for Calco until one night earlier this year, when he was arrested for assaulting two customers with a deadly weapon. The customers were angry about their botched calzone order and wanted a refund. Calco apparently overreacted. Now he is desperately in need of some plastic surgery to avoid turning up dead in a local river.
- Lorenzo Giordano, a Montreal mobster working for the Rizzuto crime family, was recently apprehended while running on the treadmill at his gym in Toronto. Authorities have been looking for the high-ranking Montreal mobster for more than six months, but have been unable to locate him due to his hair plugs and facial plastic surgery. It is uncertain how Canadian authorities finally caught up with Giordano, but it seems that he should have gone to a better plastic surgeon.
I’m sure there are many other tales of mobster plastic surgery, but since the players involved are seeking anonymity, their stories are kept secret. It seems that only after these mobsters do something stupid to blow their new identity do we find out about their plastic surgery.
I would like to note that I was unable to find any mention of high profile mobsters opting for treatments such as BOTOX or liposuction to help attract a more beautiful “gumah.” I suppose no self-respecting mobster would ever admit to going under the knife for a prettier face or more toned body. I’m sure it’s against the mobster code.