Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Operation Mobbed Up' nets 17 in RI

Rhode Island state police arrested 17 people yesterday morning as part of Operation Mobbed Up, according to a story by Mike Stanton and W. Zachary Malinowsky of the Providence Journal. An 18th suspect was already in custody on unrelated charges.

Among those arrested were Nicholas S. "Nicky" Pari, 71, and Gerald M. "Gerry" Tillinghast, 62 (image at left shows police information from a 1976 Tillinghast arrest). Pari is charged with racketeering, firearms and drug violations. Tillinghast is charged with drug and gambling offenses. Authorities consider those two men longtime members of Rhode Island's underworld and former underlings of the late Raymond L.S. Patriarca. Pari faces charges of overseeing "a large-scale criminal operation" at the Valley Street Flea Market in Providence. Also arrested was Lloyd Morse, 50, owner of the flea market.

Investigators say two criminal rings were based at the flea market. Those rings are believed to have engaged in fencing stolen goods, dealing in guns and drugs, gambling, counterfeiting, theft and insurance fraud.

Pari was previously imprisoned for the 1978 mob killing of Joseph "Joe Onions" Scanlon, though Scanlon's body was never found. Pari was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years.

As he was taken into custody yesterday, Pari reportedly provided state police with the location of the remains. A police dig began almost immediately at a lot in East Providence, according to a story by Hilary Russ of the Associated Press. The police would not confirm that they were searching for Scanlon's remains.

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US Mafia was born in New Orleans

book cover


Deep Water:
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia

Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.

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About Me

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I am the editor and publisher of a quarterly true crime journal, Informer: The History of American Crime and Law Enforcement. On the web, I publish the American Mafia history website and I moderate a Yahoo discussion group on Mafia topics.With Martha Macheca Sheldon, I coauthored "Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia." With Michael A. Tona, I coauthored "DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime." I contributed a history of the American Mafia to the Australian-published "Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime." I have written and co-written articles on organized crime for Informer and the On the Spot Journal.  I previously edited organized crime and crime books and authors categories for the Open Directory Project ( dmoz.org ).