Tony Galeota: From Running Porky's, Miami's Most Notorious Strip Joint, to Rotting in a Panamanian Jail

"Anthony has been in jail for more than 15 months, and a judge hasn't even heard his case yet!" she scoffs. "Last week we were supposed to have a hearing, but there was no running water in Panama City. So the translator said she couldn't take a shower, didn't show up, and the case was delayed."

McDonald has succeeded, however, in chipping away at the case, persuading a judge three weeks ago to drop the trafficking charge on a technicality. (Panama passed harsher penalties for human trafficking during Galeota's incarceration, but Galeota can't be prosecuted under laws that weren't in place when he was arrested.)

The narcotics charge, however, still stands despite little evidence linking Galeota to the drugs. McDonald expects those will be dismissed as well, but not for months. "No one can tell us how long he will be in there," she says. "That's the problem."

Anthony Galeota (right) poses with Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg inside the Doll House weeks before their arrest.
Photo courtesy of Josh Weiss
Anthony Galeota (right) poses with Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg inside the Doll House weeks before their arrest.
Surrounded by Colombian strippers, Galeota gives a toast during a party at the Doll House.
Photo courtesy of Josh Weiss
Surrounded by Colombian strippers, Galeota gives a toast during a party at the Doll House.

If Galeota is freed, it will be a major blow for Panama's prostitution crackdown. New laws effectively outlaw brothels such as the Doll House, permit or not — but if Galeota walks with no convictions, it will surely embarrass officials trying to make it look like they're cleaning up the industry.

"The investigation was so poorly handled and rushed," says Otero, the journalist. "They had what seemed like a dynamite case, but it has ended up in pieces."

Galeota believes that his arrest has little to do with a renewed commitment to the law in Panama. Instead, he says competitors pulled government strings to screw him.

"Their connections were bigger than ours," he says.

Indeed, Havana Club has already reopened. But the Doll House and Moulin Rouge remain closed. A sign on the latter reads, "District Attorney for Drugs: Do Not Enter." Inside, the bar is still littered with half-empty bottles of Chivas Regal. A poster on the wall advertises "Lesby Show: 2 Girls per Person" for $350.

Back in South Florida, Kristy Galeota vacillates between outrage and empathy for her husband. By now, she knows of his many infidelities, including that he lived and slept with some of the girls at the Doll House.

"I don't care how strong you are; that's going to affect your marriage," she says. But she insists that her husband's imprisonment has brought them closer. "I wouldn't leave a dog in that prison, let alone my husband."

Galeota is not exactly repentant. Although he admits that "running around whoring and casinoing wasn't worth it," he can't promise to be faithful to the woman who has stood beside him. "That's the goal," is all he'll offer.

"My wife can say she has regrets, but that's bullshit," he says. "She hasn't worked for 15 years. We had a $500,000 house, cars, and motorcycles. We traveled all the time. I gave each of my kids a Rolex when they were 5 years old. This business has been very good to me."

Has a stint in Panamanian prison reformed Miami's most notorious strip club manager? As he contemplates the question, Galeota watches his fellow inmates kick a soccer ball across La Joya's putrid playground.

Galeota may not be a good man, but he is brutally honest.

"There is no rehabilitation here," he says. "My wife is never going to completely trust me. We both understand that."

As for his career, his only oath is that he won't let his sons follow his example.

"I want to go legit when I get out, but if the economy is bad, I might go back to the industry," he says. "I've been in this business my whole life. I'm kind of stuck with it."

See also: "From Porky's to Panamanian Prison: Web Extra."

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25 comments
sampaiolaw
sampaiolaw

@MikeMillerMiami another great article.

NotRollergirl
NotRollergirl

@AndrewMaleMojo @pleasedonteatjo Ooooooh! I really could spend all day reading about glamorous gangster dodginess.

pleasedonteatjo
pleasedonteatjo

@AndrewMaleMojo Woah. Those two would get on like a house on fire. Or cocaine and a bank note.

hiwrecker
hiwrecker

What does "Manhattan's infamous West End" refer to? Is it the West End bar that used to be near Columbia University? Or West End Ave.? Anyway , it can hardly be "infamous" if I can't seem to find anything about it.

 

TararaBoumdier
TararaBoumdier

Trying to stamp out prostitution is even sillier than trying to stamp out drugs.

kutepi4791
kutepi4791

Ha ha, you get what you deal out, I'm glad you're going through this. You people talking about the place are just as disgusting as this fat pig and belong there with him. Selling human flesh and drugs, we all know what kind of a filthy life that is. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

mobstersuck
mobstersuck

Boo-hoo, the ruthless mobster lost it all. He's right where he belongs, hope he rots in there.

Pianoman
Pianoman

Tony G.is my friend.I used to bring my guitar down to Porkys and play and sing "Ruby Baby" for the dancers in the back room.They had a cute midget (little person) working there I used to like.Great ass!!

thebulldog
thebulldog

and what about the neon guy, he was awesome too!

jcalvo2378
jcalvo2378

Porkay's was our Cheers...it wasn't a stripclub, it wad a hangout. A place where everyone knew each other n just hung out. Tony n Jimmy where staples there...such as big Carl, Santi n Carlos. Those where the good ol'days!

mjorizondo
mjorizondo

Who doesn't love a fat guy in a rabbit coat?

DavidOvalle305
DavidOvalle305

@DavidOvalle305 El Centro Espanol might have been a close second in terms of notoriety

AndrewMaleMojo
AndrewMaleMojo

@NotRollergirl @pleasedonteatjo Grot-glamour. It's the proximity to shoddiness and crap taste that I love. The Kim Dotcom aesthetic.

AndrewMaleMojo
AndrewMaleMojo

@pleasedonteatjo They have just both rolled up my Instapaper icon and are attempting to snort Shazam.

freetonyg
freetonyg

@unclelukereal1 check out the @miaminewtimes article. Its crazy. Could use ur help in spreading the word on this innocent American in jail.

freetonyg
freetonyg

@unclelukereal1 it is a strip club in Hialeah..right near the airport...google it...google ludwig Fainberg and tony galeota

freetonyg
freetonyg

@DavidOvalle305 Centro was quite notorious..however they came & went very quickly. That can't be denied. #Porkys thrived for a long time.

MikeMillerMiami
MikeMillerMiami

@DavidOvalle305 You have a point, but only Porky's had a Russian-Colombian cocaine submarine plot. What a place! More to come tomorrow, too.

NotRollergirl
NotRollergirl

@AndrewMaleMojo It's that amazing idea that everyone will take you at your own estimation for a bit, no matter how demented your lies are.

NotRollergirl
NotRollergirl

@AndrewMaleMojo @pleasedonteatjo YES! Have you seen Damsels In Distress with the chick who pretends to be British?

NotRollergirl
NotRollergirl

@AndrewMaleMojo @pleasedonteatjo HAR. It took me a little while, but I was Sambola-ing in my seat at the end.

AndrewMaleMojo
AndrewMaleMojo

@NotRollergirl @pleasedonteatjo As a typical playboy-operator type I gave that film the swerve.

 
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