Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apalachin forced FBI to act against mob

The discovery of a meeting of Italian and Sicilian racketeers from around the U.S. 50 years ago today pushed the FBI into a fight against organized crime.
Many of the nation's reputed crime bosses attended the mid-November 1957 convention at Joseph Barbara's home in rural Apalachin, NY (above right). When police, alerted by State Police Sergeant Edgar Croswell, crashed the party, they found mob bigshots like Vito Genovese, Carlo Gambino, Joe Profaci, Santo Trafficante and Russell Bufalino.
Though there were insufficient grounds to hold any of the more than 60 mobsters rounded up, the documented presence of so many underworld characters from so many U.S. regions made the existence of a nationwide network of crime undeniable. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, who had repeatedly insisted that there was no such network, was compelled address the problem.

Italy arrests LoPiccolo lieutenants

Italian police reported the arrest yesterday of five high-ranking lieutenants of supreme Palermo Mafia boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo, according to a story published by the Reuters news agency. Lo Piccolo was arrested last week after a quarter century as a fugitive.

The police characterized the suspects as "military commanders" of the Mafia. The five were charged with drug trafficking, arms trafficking and extortion.

A story in the International Herald Tribune indicated that four men - not five - were arrested. It identified the suspects as brothers Nunzio and Domenico Serio, 29 and 28 respectively, Vincenzo Mangione, 28, and Andrea Gioe, 40.

At the same time, the police moved against the Bottaro-Attanasio crime family in Syracuse. Arrest warrants were obtained for 70 suspected members of that criminal organization.

CT legislator resigns over mob link

Connecticut State Senator Louis DeLuca (above) resigned from the legislature yesterday, just hours before a Senate panel was to acquire subpoena power in its investigation of DeLuca's relationship with an indicted trash hauler, according to a story by Mark Pazniokas and Christopher Keating of the Hartford Courant.

The panel sought subpoena power in order to acquire FBI surveillance tapes of a meeting between DeLuca, 74, and an undercover agent posing as an associate of western Connecticut trash czar James Galante. Galante has been charged with overseeing a monopolistic property rights scheme in the hauling industry. He maintains his innocence.
The undercover agent failed in an attempt to bribe DeLuca, but reportedly won his agreement to protect Galante's interests in the legislature. DeLuca has insisted that he agreed with the request in order to end the meeting.
DeLuca received the FBI tapes of the conversations as he reached a plea bargain with federal investigators. He refused to turn them over to the state.

A Republican from the town of Woodbury, DeLuca served in the state senate for 17 years. He pleaded guilty in June to asking Galante to threaten his granddaughter's husband, Mark Colella. DeLuca said he believed Colella was abusing his granddaughter. Colella has denied the charge.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; author of Wrongly Executed?; coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime; contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime; writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.