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Ercole Di Meo was convicted and given a life sentence in prison in 1995.Jackie Aprile was named Acting Boss of the family by Di Meo, much to the chagrin of Junior Soprano.Junior Soprano was spared when he was indicted by the federal government, along with underboss Joseph "Beppy" Sasso and capo Lawrence "Larry Boy" Barese, and because Tony wished to keep him as the lightning rod that took the hits for the Family.
Tony was a relatively young man to be a capo at the age of 27.
Tony's transition into captain was aided by the loyalty of Bonpensiero, longtime Johnny Boy Soprano soldier Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri, and childhood friend Silvio Dante.
Tony would also avoid a long stint in prison when he missed a failed hijacking involving his cousin, Tony Blundetto. ended up getting charged under the RICO law and spending 15 years in prison, while Tony would go on to become one of the top earners in the Di Meo Family.
At first, Tony said he was robbed by two black men, but he later admitted to Dr. that he had a panic attack after arguing with his mother and passed out, missing the hijack.
An assassination attempt on Tony was made, but Tony luckily escaped with just an injury to the ear, leaving one hitman dead when the other accidentally shoots him while aiming at Tony.
The FBI revealed to Tony that his mother's retirement home was bugged and let Tony listen to the tapes in a failed attempt to get him to flip.
In 1990, longtime Capo Richie Aprile was sentenced to ten years in prison.
He gave control of his crew over to his younger brother, Jackie Aprile, who is Tony Soprano's friend and ally.
Uncle Junior and Tony were, at that point, at each other's throats because Junior plotted to have a rival, Gennaro "Little Pussy" Malanga, killed in Malanga's favorite restaurant, Vesuvio, a restaurant owned by Tony's childhood friend Artie Bucco.