Carmine Stanzione committed a mobster's cardinal sin: he testified against the number two man in the Gambino crime family during a Florida murder trial.

The federal witness protection program came next and a soft landing in Texas where his son, Carmine Jr. joined him.

Carmine Jr. also joined the family business, beginning a decades-long life of crime -- a string of heists that stretched from Texas to New York, authorities say, doing nearly 20 years in a New Jersey prison for a 1989 robbery.

He couldn't resist one more.

On Oct. 17, a Harrison police officer on the lookout for a trio of suspects in a series of home invasions in Westchester County pulled over a Chevy TrailBlazer on Exit 10 of Interstate 287 in Harrison.

Inside was 57-year-old Carmine Stanzione -- now known as Paul DiBiase, according to authorities -- and his brother, Daniel DiBiase, 55. Daniel DiBiase was hit by one of two bullets fired by a Harrison officer.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Inside the TrailBlazer cops say they found the tools of the career thieves' trade -- burglary tools, replica guns and a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun stolen from a police officer's home in Dutchess County in July 2011.

The DiBiase brothers, along with alleged accomplice Jason Foskey, 34, were ordered held without bail in federal court in White Plains Tuesday on federal weapons and robbery charges for home invasions in Westchester and Connecticut.

The Dutchess County trio still face state charges of burglary and attempted burglary in a Sept. 3 break-in at a Harrison home that netted some $500,000 in jewelry, police say.


"The allegations that these three defendants targeted several Westchester communities in a calculated and premeditated fashion, violently entering their homes and systematically ransacking them, taking cash and jewelry is nothing short of frightening," said Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

Police departments stretching from the tony Connecticut towns of Greenwich and New Canaan to Bedford and North Castle in New York had been on the lookout for the trio as suspects in a series of gunpoint robberies and burglaries, prosecutors say.

"Today, their alleged brazen campaign of violence and fear has been ended," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. "Communities in multiple states are safer as a result of the work that led to the bringing of these charges."

During a December 2011 robbery of a Bedford home, Foskey attacked a housekeeper when she knocked a gun out of his hand and tried to dial 911, according to the complaint. Foskey eventually subdued the housekeeper by tying up her hands and feet with cord and locking her in a powder room, prosecutors say.

Meanwhile, Paul DiBiase rifled through the house for silverware before the two drove off in a getaway car driven by Daniel DiBiase, the complaint says.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A surveillance camera outside the home captured two masked men believed to be Foskey and Paul DiBiase exiting the house with a suitcase stuffed with jewelry, the complaint says.

During an Oct. 18 sit-down with the FBI, Foskey confessed to his role and the role of the DiBiase brothers in robberies and burglaries carried out in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, FBI Special Agent Brendan Kenney wrote in the complaint.

The three were also charged in an August 2012 robbery in New Canaan, Conn., during which Foskey forced a homeowner to show him and Paul DiBiase where he kept his safe, the federal complaint says. While inside, police arrived, prompting Foskey and Paul DiBiase to scurry out a back door, the complaint adds.

Both men managed to elude police, with Foskey spending the night hiding out near the New Canaan home, where the FBI says he discarded the mask worn during the robbery, prosecutors say.

Afterward he was picked up at a nearby store where he made a call to the DiBiase brothers, the complaint says.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Foskey was linked to the Bedford and New Cannaan robberies by cell phone calls he made from the crime scene, the complaint says. The Chevy TrailBlazer was seen driving away from the scene of the New Canaan robbery, it adds.

In some thefts, the trio carried BB guns, while in others they toted the real thing, Kenney claims. Recovered during an Oct. 18 search of the DiBiases' Poughquag home were BB guns, jewelry, $21,000 in cash and a safe, the complaint says. Ski masks, a handgun and $57,000 in cash was found at Foskey's Stormville home, it adds.

"From New Canaan to North Castle, these alleged crooks held victims at gunpoint before tying them up in their own homes," said Mary Galligan, the FBI's acting assistant director of the New York field office. "Armed with firearms and body armor, these men conducted thorough surveillance before violating the sanctity of victims' homes and ransacking their valuables with extreme violence. Today, their reign of terror and violence is over."

The complaint alludes to the DiBiase brothers' lengthy criminal past. It says Paul DiBiase has been convicted of numerous crimes including a 1993 conviction for a burglary in Morris County, N.J.

His brother has also been convicted of several crimes including a 1981 assault conviction in the Bronx, prosecutors say.

Law enforcement sources say it's unclear whether the family name was changed by their father.

In 1980, Carmine Stanzione testified against Aniello Dellacroce, then the right-hand man of the Gambino crime family's namesake Carlo Gambino.

Dellacroce was a mentor to a young John Gotti during his formative years in the murderous crime family. His 1985 death reportedly opened the way for Gotti to call for the assassination of Gambino crime boss Paul Castellano. Castellano was gunned down by a hit team sent by Gotti outside Sparks Steakhouse in 1985.