Where is Joe Pistone now? | The FBI agent known as Donnie Brasco

Joe Pistone

What did Joe Pistone do?

Joe Pistone is an American ex-FBI agent who is better known by the undercover name Donnie Brasco. The mafia was wreaking havoc on America back in the 1970s, and something had to be done about it. The FBI came up with an idea to put one of their agents undercover in the Bonanno crime family in 1976. Pistone stepped forward to infiltrate 1 of New York’s five families. He would end up remaining undercover until July 1981. 

Pistone worked his way up, initially in the Colombo crime family before shifting to the Bonanno family and befriending Benjamin Lefty Ruggiero, who was a long-time soldier in the crime family. 

What happened after the undercover operation was ended? 

Pistone was so convincing in the role of Donnie Brasco that he was due to be offered the chance of becoming a ‘made man.’ However, The FBI ordered the end of the operation, as they feared it was becoming too dangerous. Pistone received an insulting $500 bonus at the end of the operation. 

The undercover operation led to over 200 indictments and over 100 convictions of members of the Mafia. When the Mafia found out about Donnie Brasco being an FBI agent, they were incensed, and a contract was taken out on his life. 

Pistone was an FBI agent for 17 years in total from 1969 until his resignation in 1986.

Where is Joe Pistone now?

The Mafia never did catch up to Joe Pistone, and he is still very much alive and well. He is 84 years old now. Pistone lives in an undisclosed location for obvious reasons. He resides with his wife, Maggie, and they have 3 daughters. 

Pistone wrote a book about his undercover exploits in 1988 called Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia. This book was the basis of the 1997 film about his crazy life called Donnie Brasco, which starred Johnny Depp as the undercover agent.

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