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It was assumed that Junior would take over when Di Meo died or went to prison since he was one of the oldest and senior mobsters in the Di Meo family.
Di Meo was impressed with Jackie Aprile's leadership abilities, the Aprile crew had been the top earner and best-run crew of the family for years.
The tapes revealed that the assassination attempt was concocted by Junior and made it sound like his mother was in on it, too.
In retaliation, Tony ordered the deaths of key members of Junior's crew: soldier Chucky Signore, consigliere Mikey "Grab Bag" Palmice, and acting capo (after Junior's arrest) Phillip "Philly Spoons" Parisi.
When Jackie Aprile died in the summer of 1999, and tensions between Junior and Tony were at an all-time high, it was assumed that the two would go to war over the top position.
Tony instead deferred to Junior, giving him the official title as Boss of the renamed Soprano crime family.
Jackie Aprile was named Acting Boss of the family by Di Meo, much to the chagrin of Junior Soprano.
Also, Tony's nephew, Christopher Moltisanti and his associate Brendan Filone, were hijacking trucks from Comley Trucking, a business that paid protection to Junior.
Junior's enforcer, Mikey Palmice, killed Brendan, and hired Russian hitmen to perform a mock execution on Christopher under Junior's orders.
It might be related to the convictions of various New Jersey mobsters during the time period and the instability it caused.
Many Di Meo crime family members and associates were arrested, causing the biggest blow to the family since its formation.