Profile of Russian crime boss Evsei Agron

By David Amoruso
Posted in 2001

Evsei Agron arrived in the U.S. on October 8th 1975. Arriving at Kennedy Airport he was one of the 5200 Sovjet jews who fled Russia and arrived in the U.S. in that year. Many of these jewish immigrants were tough Russian gangsters who were deported by the K.G.B. When he arrived Agron had already served seven years in a Russian workcamp (the gulag) for murder. When he got out of that prison he left as a full fledged member of the Vory V Zakone (the official Russian Mafia). Before coming to the US. Argon already had some experience with the free western world. When he first left Russia in 1971 he went to Hamburg, Germany, there he ran a huge prostitution and gambling operation. When he arrived in Brighton Beach, New York the people knew who he was. His reputation and him being part of the Vory V Zakone made Agron the most feared man in Brighton Beach and if there were any non believers he was gonna make them believe.

Agron didn't attract much attention at first. He had an office inside the El Caribe Country Club, from there he ran a ruthless organization which by 1980 made tens of thousands of dollars a week extorting the Russian community. Agron's group extorted all Russians, from doctors and lawyers to store owners. One time Agron threatened to kill a Russian's daughter on her wedding day if her father didn't pay $15.000 dollars immediately. Everybody paid, they knew what would happen if they didn't. If people didn't pay one of Agron's guys would pay them a visit, and Agron's guys had the same reputation as Agron himself. Two of Agron's guys were the Nayfeld brothers, they were gangsters who came from Gomel, Russia. One brother, Benjamin, was a former member of the Russian Olympic weight lifting team. One time he killed a jewish guy in the presence of a crowd of law abiding Russians on a parking lot in Brighton Beach. He killed him by grabbing him with one hand lifting him up in the air and stabbing a knife through his heart with the other. The jewish guy was said to have insulted Benjamin's girlfriend. After the murder at the trial 18 people testified that Benjamin was correct when he said he had been attacked by the jewish guy, and he walked out a free man. The other brother, Boris, was even more terrifying. Many Russians say that his eyes are completely white which is a sign that he has no soul and is posessed by the devil. These were just two of Agrons employees. And of these three the Russians still hated Agron the most. Agron was known to carry an electric stick, which was used to control cows, he used this stick to torture his victims. In contrast with most Russian VORs Agron found being feared more important than being respected. That would be a big mistake.

One night in 1980 Agron was walking through Coney Island when he got shot in the stomach. He was brought to the Coney Island hospital where he was guarded by a Genovese Family hired ex police man, the Genovese Crime Family guarded Agron because by the 1980s he was connected to them. When the cops came by and asked Agron if he knew who shot him he answered: "Yes", the cop then asked him who, so they could get the guy. Agron answered: "No, I'll take care of it". Agron had loads of people who would like to see him dead, maybe someone he had ripped off in the past came back and tried to take him out, maybe someone in his organization wanted to step up, whatever the reason and whoever the guy behind the hit Agron resumed his life as if nothing had happened. His guys went back to the streets and ran rampant, truck hijacking became a favorite. Agron even bought himself a Russian newspaper company that provided the Brighton Beach Russians with the daily news, now they would read what he wanted them to read. By this time Agron was getting to the top of his game, his position among his group of ruthless Russian mobsters was unquestioned and had even expanded to six other major U.S. cities.

Agron was supported by two very powerful allies: The Genovese Family and Ronald Greenwald. In turn for their friendship the Italians got Russian manpower and expanded their operations to the Russian neighborhoods. The friendship with the Italians was very important for Agron, they had an enormous army of soldiers and the political connections to get them out of trouble. And eventhough they made lots of money together there was some friction between the Russian gangsters and the Italian mobsters. Most of the Italians lived modest and would try not to attract any attention, the Russians on the other hand loved the attention and loved to show their wealth. The Russians also don't have the same codes as the Italians, the Italians don't kill civilians not even the family members of mobsters who flipped, the Russians don't have these rules. The other friend that was of importance to Agron's expanding power was Ronald Greenwald. Greenwald was a jewish rabbi who was active in politics.

By the mid 1980s Agron was at the top of his game. He was feared and his power had seriously grown. He was doing bigger heists and making more money than ever before. But eventhough Agron was sort of a godfather and he was working with professional crime groups the Russian groups in his neighborhood were still running rampant and out of control. Eventhough he was the power in Brighton Beach, he still could get killed any moment because there was just no structure and control. In January 1984 while he was walking towards his front door, Agron was shot again. A hitman shot him two times, once in the face and once in the neck, both from close range. Agron was brought to the Coney Island hospital for a second time and survived. But his face would be damaged for the rest of his lifetime, it would look like he was smiling, a weird grin would stay on his face. Again he told the police that he would handle business himself. Agron had a few ideas about who might be behind the attack. The prime suspect was Boris Goldberg, an Israelian ex army officer from Russia. Goldberg ran a group of crminals along with David "Napoleon" Shuster, a crminal mastermind. The Goldberg group had enormous firepower stashed away safely, among the weapons were: guns with silencers, boxes of grenades and plastic explosives with detonators. The group sold cocaine to streetdealers. Goldberg was living together with the daughter of Bob Guccione, the man behind Penthouse Magazine.

Because of their criminal interests it was inevitable that Agron and Goldberg would meet. One of the things that had caused friction between the two had been the extortion areas. They had had several meetings discussing which area would belong to who and every time things went wrong. After the botched hit on Agron in May 1984 Agron himself called Goldberg for a sitdown at Agron's Country Club. When Goldberg and a trusted soldier arrived they were welcomed by 50 silent, heavily armed Russians who sat at a round table. After a heated discussion in which Agron asked Goldberg if he was behind the hit things started getting out of hand. Agron didn't believe Goldberg and wanted to kill him, Goldberg then said: "If you want trouble.....I'm ready" Agron told one of his guys to look outside and see if Goldberg was bluffing, he wasn't. The parking lot in front of the Country Club was filled with armed men running around. Agron decided to leave it at that and the sitdown ended without bloodshed. Agron felt he had located his attacker and felt safe, the guy now knew not to try again. Agron forgot however that Goldberg wasn't the only enemy who wanted him dead.

On May 4, 1985, Agron was getting himself ready to go out on the town and relax in a nice Turkish bath in Manhattan. While he was relaxing Agron felt he could also discuss some business there. He got dressed and stepped outside his appartement. At 8.35 in the morning Agron pressed the elevator button. Out of nowhere a guy wearing sunglasses stepped out of the shadows and shot Agron from close range. Agron was shot in the head twice, he fell to the floor and at the age of 53 the Little Don died. Agron was probably the first Russian Godfather who set up an organization in the U.S. he sure wouldn't be the last.

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