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December 21, 1946|
New York City
|Penalty||Imprisonment until 2030 in FCI Schuylkill (Pennsylvania)|
James Coonan was born in 1946 in the Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan area of New York City. When Coonan was a young man, Mickey Spillane, a well-known mobster, kidnapped his father John, a local accountant.Spillane frequently did this to merchants in the area, and would ransom them back to their families. John Coonan was pistol-whipped and severely beaten. After that event, Coonan formed a more powerful crew and took the neighborhood over from Spillane. Spillane eventually went into hiding and was killed by the Gambino crime family (rumored to have been at the hands of Roy DeMeo) as a favor to Coonan.
In 1971, Coonan was approached by Mickey Featherstone. Featherstone asked to borrow a gun from Coonan. Coonan only knew Featherstone casually, but he gave him his handgun without question. Featherstone would later fatally shoot Linwood Willis in a bar.
In 1979, Coonan was tried and acquitted for the murder of Harold Whitehead, but convicted on weapons charges and sentenced to four years in federal prison. After his release he resumed power, but in 1988 was convicted of racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and sentenced to 75 years in prison without any possibility for parole.