I am a soon to be retired Duke Medical Center library researcher, who enjoys writing. I have been writing on Wikipedia for years and have begun to write
ebooks. My pastimes include selling books on EBay, genealogical research, baseball (Pittsburgh Pirates), collecting antique furniture and coins, and spending time with Kingsley, my cocker spaniel.
Joseph Ragone was part of an intricate narcotics/heroin operation that flourished in metropolitan New York in the mid-1950s. Ragone associates, i.e. Frank Borelli, Angelo DeGeorge, etc., continued their narcotics syndicate activities into the early 1960s. In April 1951 Ragone was also linked to a bookmaking network in Yonkers. A huge stash of drugs was discovered in a Long Island City apartment.
Salvatore Maneri was a career criminal who was heavily involved in the narcotics ring masterminded by Charles "Lucky" Luciano. The organization flourished multi-nationally in the late 1950s before it was broken up in 1960. Maneri was a soldier in the Mafia, a close associate of both Genovese and Lucchese operatives. His closest mob cronies were Vincent Mauro and Frank "Frankie the Bug" Caruso.
Angelo Loicano was a former helper in the construction industry. He was also a member of the Young Mafia or Black Hand. Eventually Loicano's East Harlem gang did as much as $2,000,000 per year in illicit drug sales. By 1946 one of its ringleaders sold as much as $140,000 in only two months time. Loicano and six associates were arrested on Long Island in 1958. It was the US' largest drug syndicate.
Andimo Pappadio was heavily involved in narcotics trafficking between the United States and Cuba. Several of the most insidious heroin rings were broken up in the 1950s and again in 1962. A Bronx gambling operation linked to Pappadio associate "Big John" Ormento, was penetrated by NYPD detectives in 1962. The syndicate was taken down by law enforcement who posed as delivery men.
In April 1959 John Big John Ormento and Nicholas Tolentino were arraigned on illegal narcotics violations in federal court in New York. Thirty-six mob associates were arrested with Ormento, who had been in hiding since June 1958. Lido Beach, New York mob boss Thomas Lucchese was called to a hearing before U.S. Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Tolentino was involved in the probe as were other Luccheses.
James Vintaloro was a Mafia soldier in the syndicate family of Gaetano Lucchese. "Jimmy the Sniff" acquired his nickname from a nervous habit of drawing breaths in short sniffs through his nostrils. Vintaloro was active as a Mafioso in the Bronx, Westchester County and Putnam, NY. He is recorded as a member of the Lucchese family as late as July 1972. In 1971 he was indicted for criminal contempt.
Vincent Potenza became one of many successful prosecutions by U.S. Attorney Robert Morgenthau. In 1967 Potenza was convicted on a charge of transporting stolen checks, a case that Morgenthau prosecuted. As late as mid-July 1972 Potenza is recorded as one of an extended list of Lucchese family soldiers. In one court case Potenza was convicted of generating competition between Mafia families.
The French Connection drug trafficking ring operated multi-nationally around mid-century. It was an extensive network originated by Charles "Lucky" Luciano from his Naples, Italy place of exile. Angelo Tuminaro was a diminutive, unattractive man who was an integral part of this criminal operation. Originally from Cherry Street in Manhattan, Tuminaro married Bella Stein, whose dad was a bootlegger.
By the 1950s Anthony Lisi was a Bonanno family associate. His criminal activities focused on supplying narcotics to New York from Montreal. In trouble from an early age, Lisi accumulated indictments for grand larceny, possession of a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct, robbery and murder. In 1972 Lisi's name appeared on a list of Lucchese family soldiers. He was a Carmine Galante associate.
In 2009 John Baby John Delutro was part of a group discussion that followed the publication of Jimmy Breslin's "The Good Rat". During a conversation Delutro remarked, "Little Italy's changed. It's all tourists." In April 2014 Delutro was sued by a former waitress who worked for him at his Caffe Palermo. The woman charged the Gambino soldier with sexual harrassment in Manhattan Federal Court.
James "Jimmy Legs" Episcopia was a regular body guard for Searingtown mobster Frank Mari. Much of my e-book discusses an era that followed the Bonanno family wars that occurred after Joseph Bonanno's 1964 abduction by his relatives. A central portion of my text looks at the entrance of Joseph Pistone/Donnie Brasco into the Bonanno family. The FBI agent was brought in by Dominick Napolitano.
The Bonannos had proven sources to acquire narcotics. Family members were heavily immersed in gambling and loansharking rackets. The syndicate was notorious for infiltrating businesses in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Arizona and California. My research is drawn from newspaper accounts that present a detailed portrait of Bonanno family members in 1969. Home addresses of the principals are given.
Newsday and the Yonkers Herald-Statesman were among the first newspapers to report the demise of a huge cigarette smuggling ring in 1969. Police, tax agents and Brooklyn District Attorney's office personnel also divulged details of the crime. In one instance a truck carrying smuggled cigarettes was pulled over in Maryland. Some of the same figures involved in this scheme were heroin traffickers.
In the late 1970s Louis Pacella secured three performances by famed singer Frank Sinatra at the Westchester Premier Theater in Greenburgh, New York. The ensuing Westchester Theater scandal involved Genovese and Gambino family crime figures. My e-book looks at court proceedings and incidents involved in a large conspiracy that bankrupted a theater corporation. Jimmy Fratianno testified in court.
Giovanni Schilacci had several aliases, i.e. "Al Brown" and "Big Dick Amato". Part of the Genovese family, he was a native Sicilian, of southern Italian descent. With a criminal record dating to 1921, Schillaci was a noted narcotics trafficker. He was deported from the U.S. in 1947 following a narcotics conviction. In Italy he worked directly for Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who ran drugs from Naples.
In the late 1970s Tobias DeMicco Jr. was a partner in an illegal Rockland County, New York landfill conspiracy. Among his associates in this criminal venture was Carmine Franco. Franco had forcibly gained control of the business in 1976 after the arson of a previous owner's home. In 1979 DeMicco and his co-conspirators were tried in the landfill case. He moved to Florida where he died in Sarasota
Originally from New Jersey, Tino Fiumara was closely linked to illegal activities carried out by the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA). One of these illicit schemes involved illegal loans made in 1979 by Sealand Terminal Corporation president Irving Held. Imprisoned for racketeering, Fiumara was previously tried on extortion charges. He died in Suffolk County, New York in 2010.
A 1972 issue of New York Magazine lists Alfred Cupola as Genovese family soldier. A former painter and mortician, Cupola's first recorded criminal offense was for forgery in 1941. Later Cupola worked as a salesman at the mob dominated Fulton Street Fish Market. His most newsworthy offense occurred in 1970. He had refused to testify before a New York grand jury investigating organized crime.
Johnny "the Bug" Stoppelli was a Genovese family soldier who worked for Greenwich Village crew caporegime Pasquale "Patsy" Eboli. In 1945 Stoppelli was indicted as part of a multinational narcotics ring. It ran primarily in the United States and Mexico. Johnny the Bug served terms in Clinton Prison in New York and the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Stoppelli and Vincent "Bruno" Mauro were cronies.
Charles Albero was a narcotics distributor for the Genovese crime family. His criminal career dates to 1927 when he was originally sentenced to a forty-year term in Ossining State Prison (Sing Sing). He was paroled the following year on a technicality. After his premature release he was indicted on two charges, i.e. burglary and violation of the Sullivan Law. His career ended in 1962.
Joseph "Joe Sweets" Paterra was a Genovese crime figure originally from Harlem. He was closely associated with Joseph Aloe, a hoodlum who dominated prison life at Welfare Island in the 1930s. Paterra and Aloe were convicted of the January 14, 1932 assault on New York Patrolman Edward F. Smith. When the presiding Judge died soon after, the two defendants appealed their convictions for years after.
Vincent Mauro is best known for his link to an international drug ring that was broken up at the outset of the 1960s. A Genovese operative, Mauro had a penchant for drastic and violent acts. Among these was an ugly incident at a Manhattan night club in the 1950s. On this occasion he tossed black singer Billy Daniels out of an upstairs window after the entertainer slapped his Caucasian wife.
My e-book looks at the criminal life of Rudolph "Scarface Rudy" Prisco. He was a Genovese family soldier originally from the Bronx. In his later life he moved to Monsey in Rockland County. Prisco accumulated twenty-two arrests between 1930 and 1962. By fhe early 1970s Rockland County was populated with multiple mobsters, including Colombo family boss Vincenzo "Vinnie" Aloi. Prisco died in 1997.
Gaetano Martino was a La Cosa Nostra soldier who was closely associated with the Vito Genovese crime family. He worked under caporegime Vincent "Blue Eyes" Alo. Martino's upper echelon LCN associates included Joe Adonis and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. On one occasion Martino traveled to Italy to give Luciano his share in racket earnings. Luciano was deported from the U.S. following World War II.
Aniello Ercole was a New York cigar maker who became heavily immersed in organized crime activities. In the 1950s he managed fighters including lightweight Pat Marcune. Headlines resulted when New Jersey Governor Harold Hoffman intervened to assist Ercole with carrying a message to an imprisoned Joe Adonis. Hoffman admitted this when he appeared before the NY Crime Commission on December 19, 1952.
In 1985 James LaRocca was convicted of the 1968 murder of Antonio Veneiro. A strange and convoluted murder case, it wasn't solved for 17 years. By then the original crime investigator had retired from Westchester and moved to Sunrise, Florida. Ironically, LaRocca also moved to the same Broward County, Florida area where Sergeant James Hollis lived. Lawrence Centore was also convicted with LaRocca.
Revelations concerning the mob deeds of Francesco Cucola were disclosed during October 1963 testimony offered by ex-mobster Joseph "Joe Cargo" Valachi. Valachi divulged gangland secrets from years before as the star witness of a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating organized crime. Valachi's revelations date to the 1920s. They continue until the November 14, 1957 Apalachin meeting, and beyond.
George "Blah Blah" Smurra was an enforcer and hit man for the Genovese crime syndicate. As late as 1972 his name appears in a New York Magazine article of prominent members of the Genovese organization. Smurra began his life in crime in 1928. His rap sheet included arrests for burglary, felonious assault, assault, robbery and murder. He originally worked for Genovese capo Rocco Pellegrino.
Cosmo "Gus" Frasca was one of the killers of Mafia swindler Ferdinand the Shadow Boccia. Boccia was murdered in a Brooklyn clubhouse/cafe' run by his uncle Benjamin. The killing was ordered by Vito Genovese after Boccia demanded his $35,000 of a swindle that took $150,000 from a rich Italian. Frasca was later associated with Gerardo Catena's New Jersey wing of the Genovese crime syndicate.
The Luciano family gambling racket was based at Mulberry and Kenmare Streets in Manhattan. Ferdinand "the Shadow" Boccia was a swindler who duped victims who lost big money in the racket. On one occasion he divested a rich Italian of $150,000. Boccia's eagerness to capture his stake in the ruse cost him his life. It was Boccia who introduced Genovese to the dupe. He was murdered in September 1934.
Ernest "Ernie the Hawk" Rupolo was distinguished by a hawk-beaked nose and an eye patch he wore constantly. Rupolo turned on the Mafia for failing to protect his safety. Over time he witnessed many important mob hits like the 1934 gangland slaying of hoodlum Ferdinand "the Shadow" Boccia. This particular murder was carried out by Vito "Don Vitone" Genovese. Rupolo's number came up in August 1964.
My e-book looks at the Mafia career of John "Sonny" Franzese, a mob star who rose out of the old Profaci-Magliocco Brooklyn crime organization. Sonny had all the makings of a Cosa Nostra star. That is until law enforcement tied him to a crew of bank robbers who were carrying out thefts for the Colombos at Sonny's behest. His criminal career was never the same thereafter. His luck soured in 1966.
As leader of the Bergin crew for the Gambino family, Carmine Fatico hijacked cargos of furs, etc., from the JFK Airport and Brooklyn waterfront areas. This earned him the nickname "Charley Wagons". The Gambinos retained Fatico as an East Side caporegime following the October 25, 1957 murder of Albert Anastasia. Eventually Fatico relocated his operations to Ozone Park. Fatico also handled gambling.
Rpbert DiBernardo was a Gambino family conduit, a man who moved market in the flourishing porn business of the 1970s and 1980s. DiBernardo was linked to Long Island executive Martin J. Hodas, of Lawrence, New York. Hodas refused to answer questions about his reputed Mafia ties to Colombo family capo Sonny Franzese a criminal whose career had spanned six decades. Hodas was indicted for tax evasion.
Ettore Zappi was originally from Caserta, Italy. Arriving in the United States as a youth in 1902, he worked as a chauffeur early in his career. A multifaceted mobster, Zappi owned the Convertible Mattress Company. As a racketeer he immersed himself in television, radio, business machines, furniture manufacturing and warehousing. He was a former official of Teamsters Union Local 854.
A May 24, 1972 New York Times article described the leader of a Nassau County, New York loansharking ring as a manager of the rock band Sly and the Family Stone. However, Columbia Records denied any association with the man whose name was Ned Vetrano. A Newsday expose' that began in March 1969 led to the arrests of eighty-three mobsters. 24, including Sebastian Biondo, were convicted in court.
Among Rocco Mazzie's Genovese family associates were Samuel "Sammy Shell" Schlitten and Joseph "Joey Z" Zingaro. In 1968 a mob kidnapping gang abducted Joey Z's brother-in-law Angelo Marino.The mobster eventually paid $5,000 for his release. Mazzie, Schlitten and John "Buster" Ardito were primary figures in a bribery plot. The Manhattan DA's office probed this illegal usage of a garbage landfill.
In 1963 Joseph Laratro appeared on an August 1963 list of New York City hoodlums. Published by a metropolitan area newspaper, the mobsters list also included Hugh Patrick Mulligan, Thomas "Three Finger Brown" Lucchese, Joseph Lucchese and Anthony Crio. Joseph Laratro's affiliation with the Lucchese crime network was exposed in 1967 when he was arrested for wiretapping by Suffolk County Police.
In August 1969 Long Branch, New Jersey mobster Robert Occhipinti refused to answer questions posed to him by members of the New Jersey State Investigation Commission. Accompanied by his lawyer Occhipinti fled the courtroom and drove speedily to the Delaware River. Followed closely by New Jersey State troopers, law enforcement abruptly stopped their pursuit at the Pennsylvania state line.
On Wednesday, February 17th William J. Lupo's body was found inside his car in a quiet northeast Rochester neighborhood. Three bullets had entered his skull from behind. Rochester Police Captain James Cavoti reported a multiplicity of motives for Lupo's murder. Lupo was associated with numerous Rochester hoodlums, among them former Magaddino boss Frank Valenti. Valenti was exiled to Pittsburgh.
Jacob Wellner is a controversial figure in the annals of Brooklyn history and the American labor movement. Of Russian Jewish ethnicity, he was born in Minsk on July 25, 1896. In December 1936 Wellner was convicted with two co-defendants on charges of extorting money. The extortion bilked a Brooklyn contractor of $300. He complained that Wellner had threatened him with labor trouble if he refused.
Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg was a lynchpin of the old Murder Inc., mob enforcement racket that controlled the garment industry in the 1930s and 1940s. Murder Inc., was based in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, functioning with a candy store as its front. Bugsy Siegel was an integral figure in this syndicate. He also took a primary role in hunting down Big Greenie who'd fled to Los Angeles.
There are few details regarding the 1932 disappearance/murder of mobster Hyman "Curly" Holtz. However, there is no doubt that he was a principal player in the murder for hire operation, Murder Inc. Murder Inc. carried out assassinations for money and kept a tight reign on the garment industry in New York City. On occasion the criminal syndicate hired out its members to unions and management.
Philip Kovolick fled New York City for Florida after a police bust at a restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Kovolick took up residence in Hallandale, Florida. His body was discovered in a steel drum there in 1972. Kovolick was active at horse racing venues and was even asked for tips about Hialeah races by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Kovolivck was a source for crime writer Hank Messick.
Danny Gasbarrini was among the mobsters who succeeded Canadian Mafia don Rocco Perri, who died in 1944. Perri was replaced by a trio of bosses, i.e. Anthony "Tony" Sylvestro, Calogero Bordanero and Santo Scibetta. These hoodlums took direct orders from Stefano Magaddino in Buffalo. Gasbarrini was also a Magaddino associate. He joined John Papalia after he returned to Hamilton from Montreal.
Gennaro Angiulo was a top aide to Mafia don Salvatore L.S. Partriarca. In March 1985 Angiulo was a key defendant in a financial sector trial involving the First National Bank of Boston. In July of '85 Angiulo was tried with six associates on gambling charges. One of Angiulo's co-defendants was Ilario "Larry" Zannino. Angiulo faced a possible forty-five year imprisonment for the banking charge.
"Big Sam" Accardi lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey. A mob enforcer, Settimo was originally from Vita, Italy. He entered the United States in 1926 from a port in France. A target of immigration officials beginning in November 1952, Accardi was deported to Italy. Before justice dept. officials in the John F. Kennedy administration sought his return, he was a narcotics trafficker for the U.S. Mafia.
Eduardo Aronica was a 20th century mobster who is closely associated with the Carlo Gambino syndicate. A soldier, he lived in a Gambino controlled area on East 9th Street in Manhattan. Reputedly, Aronica had ties to fellow Sicilian mobsters Pietro Stincone and Salvatore Curto. All three were originally from Canicatti, Sicily. Aronica was also linked to Joseph Biondo whose 1939 wedding he attended.
As a witness in Boston Federal Court in 1970 mob informant Vincent Teresa turned evidence against Gambino soldier Frank Miceli. Teresa published two books that were co-written with a writer from Newsday. Teresa believed that Miceli would hunt him down. He once wrote that Miceli would look for him for as long as he had breath in his body. The two men were part of a banking ruse involving bonds.
Anthony Granza was a Gambino soldier who lived in the Bronx. In the 1950s he was among the most wanted men being pursued by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He specialized in buying one to two ounce quantities of heroin for $600 per ounce. Granza was also most often seen in expensive clothes. His attire was embellished by expensive diamond rings and wrist watches. Busted by a fed agent on 1/22/51.