Castellano's death led to the rise of John "Dapper Don" Gotti, who then took over as Gambino family boss, running criminal enterprises ranging from gambling to money laundering to prostitution. Comello was allegedly upset by Cali's family standing in the way of that.
The 53-year-old Cali, a native of Sicily, was shot to death by a gunman who may have crashed his truck into Cali's vehicle to lure him outside.
Comello was being held Saturday at the Ocean County Jail in New Jersey, after being picked up in the early hours of Saturday by federal marshals at a house in Brick.
Sources said a murder warrant is expected to be drawn up by the Richmond County District Attorney's office in Staten Island, and Comello will likely be transported to NY after an extradition hearing is held in New Jersey.
Cali, who was known as "Franky Boy", was shot six times and died later at Staten Island University Hospital.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea announced Comello's arrest, but said such issues as motive and possible accomplices were still under investigation.
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Wednesday's slaying of Cali sent shock waves through the neighborhood, which is considered one of the most exclusive areas of Staten Island.
Asked about Comello's arrest record, Shea said he "crossed paths in some limited circumstances with the NYPD" including getting a parking ticket on Staten Island the day Cali was killed. He is listed as single and a high school graduate. His wife is the niece of purported mobster John Gambino.
Angel Gotti was referring to early speculation that her uncle Gene Gotti, just released from prison past year, was somehow behind the hit, in some kind of power struggle.
The last crime family boss to be shot in New York City was Paul Castellano.
But they now believe a personal dispute was to blame - over a woman in Cali's family, according to multiple law enforcement sources. Without making further presumptions over the case, it might be worth reporting the details which have come to light since Frank Cali's death. I can't wait to see ALL the apologies to my Uncle and his Grandchildren!