Patriarca crime family
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2012)|
The family is named after Raymond Patriarca who was boss from 1954–1984
|Founding location||Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island|
|Years active||c. 1916–present|
|Territory||New England: Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts, Eastern Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine|
|Ethnicity||"Made members" are Italian and Italian-American, and other ethnicities as "associates"|
|Membership||30+ made members, more than 100 associates|
|Criminal activities||Racketeering, gambling, murder, prostitution, narcotics, waste management, robbery, fencing, loan sharking, extortion, bookmaking, money laundering, smuggling and fraud|
|Allies||Five Families, Chicago Outfit, DeCavalcante and Philadelphia crime families|
|Rivals||Winter Hill Gang, Charlestown Mob, Gustin Gang, Mullen Gang|
The Patriarca crime family is also known as the New England crime family, the Providence crime family, the Boston crime family, or The Office. It is an Italian-American Mafia crime family based in New England. The crime family has two distinct factions: one active in Providence, Rhode Island and the other in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 1 History
- 2 Current family members
- 3 Historical leadership
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Two separate Mafia families emerged in New England before prohibition began, one based in Boston, Massachusetts and the other based in Providence, Rhode Island. The Boston crime family was founded in 1916 by Gaspare Messina. In 1917, Frank Morelli formed the Providence crime family. Morelli went on to control bootlegging and gambling operations in Providence, Rhode Island, Maine, and Connecticut. In 1924, Gaspare Messina stepped down as Boston's Mafia boss, assuming a businessman's role while working with Frank Cucchiara and Paolo Pagnotta from a grocery store on Prince Street in Boston's North End. During this time, a Mafia power struggle ensued in Boston, as rival gangs fought for loan sharking, illegal gambling, and bootlegging rackets. Filippo Buccola, a mobster from East Boston, became the boss of the Boston crime family. In December 1930 or early 1931, a Mafia meeting was held and Gaspare Messina was elected the temporary capo dei capi of the American Mafia. Messina retired from Mafia affairs in the early 1930s, and died in June 1957 in his Somerville, Massachusetts home.
During the early 1930s, Buccola battled other ethnic gangs for territory, along with his underboss Joseph Lombardo, a mobster from Boston's North End. In December 1931, Lombardo had Frank Wallace murdered, the boss of South Boston's Irish Gustin Gang. Then in 1932, Frank Morelli merged his Providence family with Buccola's Boston family, forming the New England crime family. Buccola ruled as boss of the New England crime family from East Boston as he continued to have his competition murdered. He then had the boss of Boston's Jewish mob Charles Solomon murdered, leaving himself as the most powerful gangster in Boston. On April 27, 1952, Buccola held a party in Johnston, Rhode Island celebrating his retirement and Raymond Patriarca's ascension to boss of the New England crime family. Buccola retired to Sicily in 1954 and ran a chicken farm; he died in 1987 of natural causes at the age of 101.
In 1954, Raymond Patriarca made drastic changes in the family, the biggest being to move the family's base of operations to Providence, Rhode Island. He ran his family from the National Cigarette Service Company and Coin-O-Matic Distributors, a vending machine and pinball business on Atwells Avenue in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence. The business was known to family members as "The Office."
During his reign as boss, Patriarca formed strong relationships with the New York Genovese and Colombo crime families. Patriarca worked with the Genovese family and decided that the Connecticut River would be the dividing line between the New York families and his family. The New England crime family would control organized crime in Worcester (where Genovese capo Carlo Mastrototaro reigned as local boss for half-a-century) and Boston, as well as the state of Maine; while the Genovese family would control organized crime in Hartford, Springfield, and Albany.
Patriarca's long-time underboss Enrico Tameleo was even a member of New York's Bonanno crime family. In addition to having close ties to the powerful New York Mafia, Patriarca was also on the Mafia's ruling commission and had investments in two Las Vegas casinos. Another of Patriarca's underbosses was Gennaro "Jerry" Angiulo. Angiulo was involved in the numbers racket in Boston, and was being shaken down by rival mobsters because he was not a "made" member. Angiulo solved this problem by paying Patriarca $50,000 and agreeing to pay him $100,000 a year to become a made member of the family. Angiulo was based in Boston and gained complete control of gambling in the city.
The Apalachin Meeting and aftermath
In 1957, more than 60 of the country's most powerful crime bosses met in Apalachin, a hamlet in upstate New York. The meeting was attended by well-known organized crime figures, such as Joe Bonanno, Carlo Gambino, and Vito Genovese. Raymond Patriarca was also in attendance, and was subsequently arrested. The Apalachin Meeting drew a lot of attention to Patriarca from the press, the public, and law enforcement.
The situation became worse for Patriarca and his family in 1961, when Robert F. Kennedy became Attorney General and began an assault on organized crime. Law enforcement agencies worked to develop informers within the mob and finally succeeded in 1966 when Joe Barboza was arrested on a concealed weapons charge, a hit man for the Patriarca family who claimed to have killed 26 people. Barboza became concerned when Patriarca did not raise his bail and two of his friends were killed for trying to do so. Barboza became an informant not long after, and Patriarca and Enrico Tameleo were indicted in 1967 for the murder of Providence bookmaker Willie Marfeo. Patriarca was convicted and began serving time in 1969. While Patriarca was in prison, Angiulo served as acting boss. Patriarca was released in 1974 and resumed control of the family.
Patriarca was plagued by law enforcement for the rest of his life, and was charged numerous times for a variety of crimes until his death in 1984. In 1978, Vinnie Teresa testified that Patriarca had participated in a 1960 attempt by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Fidel Castro that was never carried out. In 1983, Patriarca was charged with the murder of Raymond Curcio, and in 1984, he was arrested for the murder of Robert Candos, whom Patriarca believed was an informant. Raymond "Il Patrone" Patriarca died of a heart attack, aged 76, on July 11, 1984.
After Patriarca's death, the New England Mafia began a long period of decline, resulting from both legal prosecution and internal violence. Jerry Angiulo attempted to take over as boss, despite being in jail. However, Larry Zannino, the family's top lieutenant, backed Patriarca's son Raymond Patriarca, Jr. for the position. The National Commission approved Patriarca, Jr.'s ascendancy to leadership and his position was confirmed. Zannino was made consigliere, but he was sentenced to thirty years in prison in 1987. Gennaro Angiulo was sentenced to 45 years in prison for racketeering charges, along with Charles Tashjian. Other senior members died or were imprisoned, such as Henry Tameleo and Francesco Intiso. William "The Wild Man" Grasso, an East Hartford, Connecticut-based gangster, became underboss because of the younger Patriarca's weak leadership. Some law enforcers believed that Grasso was actually in charge, but these rumors ended when Grasso was found dead in June 1989, slain by a gangster from Springfield as factions of the family began fighting each other for dominance.
The death of Grasso weakened Patriarca, Jr.'s position. Nicholas Bianco was eventually indicted for Grasso's murder, but he became acting underboss before taking over the family's Providence operations.
On March 26, 1990, Raymond Patriarca, Jr. and 20 other family members and associates were indicted on numerous racketeering, extortion, narcotics, gambling, and murder charges, including underboss Bianco, consigliere Joseph Russo, and lieutenants Biagio DiGiacomo, Vincent Ferrara, Matthew Guglielmetti, Joseph A. Tiberi, Sr., Dennis Lepore, Gaetano J. Milano, Jack Johns, John "Sonny" Castagna, Louis Fallia, Frank and Louis Pugliono, Frank Colontoni and Robert Carrozza. The arrests were described as "the most sweeping attack ever launched on a single organized crime family." One of the most damaging pieces of evidence was a tape recording of a Mafia induction ceremony, at which 13 Mafiosi were present. Because of this embarrassment, Patriarca was replaced as boss by Bianco, who maintained a very low profile. However, in 1991, Bianco was sentenced to 11 years in prison, while eight other family members were convicted of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. Bianco died in prison in 1994. Patriarca was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 1992 after pleading guilty to racketeering charges. On January 6, 1992, all of the defendants in the RICO trial pled guilty and received lengthy sentences and large fines. In 1993, 26 others were indicted and convicted for running a bookmaking operation.
Frank Salemme took over the family after the trials and moved the family's base back to Boston. Salemme's ascension to the position of boss, however, sparked tensions among family factions. In 1991 and 1992, six mob-related killings resulted from internal family violence. The war between Salemme and a crew of renegade mobsters continued for several years, with murders of more mob associates piling up all over Massachusetts until 1996. In January 1995, Salemme was indicted along with Stephen Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulger on extortion and racketeering charges. Salemme discovered through court documents that his close allies Flemmi and Bulger were longtime FBI informants. Bulger's friend Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent John Connolly let him run his criminal operations with impunity for informing on the Patriarca family.
After Frank Salemme was imprisoned, a renegade faction led by Robert F. Carrozza, Anthony Ciampi, and Michael P. Romano, Sr. waged war on the Salemme loyalists. In April 1997, the FBI indicted 15 members of the renegade faction, including Robert F. Carrozza, Anthony Ciampi, Michael P. Romano, Sr., Paul A. DeCologero, Anthony Allan Diaz, Vincent Michael Marino, John J. Patti III, Enrico M. Ponzo, Christopher Puopolo, Eugene A. Rida, Jr., Nazzaro Ralph Scarpa, John M. Arciero, Leo M. Boffoli, Todd Mitchell, Sean Thomas Cote, and Mark F. Spisak. The grand jury testimony that resulted in the indictments was dominated by Sean Thomas Cote, who was the first of four indicted members to turn government witness. When the verdict for the trial returned, the jury acquitted the defendants of most charges and was deadlocked on murder and racketeering charges. While a second trial was underway, several of the defendants, including Anthony Ciampi and Eugene Rida, changed their pleas to guilty.
On December 9, 1999, Salemme pled guilty to racketeering charges and was sentenced to eleven years in prison on February 23, 2000. In early 2001, Salemme agreed to testify against Flemmi and Bulger.
The New England crime family is estimated to have about 40 made members controlling influence in the New England area, especially in the cities of Boston and Providence. In recent years, the family has been hit with several FBI RICO indictments, and two captains (Mark Rossetti and Robert DeLuca) have become government informants.
The current boss of the family is Peter "Chief Crazy Horse" Limone, who took over in 2009. Limone was arrested in 2009 and charged with racketeering. He was given a suspended sentence on July 1, 2010.
Retired boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 19, 2011, and was charged with extortion and conspiracy. Manocchio had stepped down as boss in 2009, after the FBI began investigating two strip clubs (the "Cadillac Lounge" and the "Satin Doll") in late 2008. In February 2012, Manocchio agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for extortion on May 11, 2012.
In late 2009, Anthony DiNunzio became the "acting boss", after boss Peter Limone was arrested. DiNunzio operates from Boston's North End and is the younger brother to Carmen DiNunzio. In 2010, DiNunzio extorted Rhode Island strip clubs with members of the Gambino crime family. On April 25, 2012 "acting boss" Anthony L. DiNunzio was arrested and charged with racketeering and extortion. On September 13, 2012, DiNunzio pleaded guilty to shaking down Rhode Island strip clubs, and was sentenced to six years on November 14, 2012.
On October 2, 2014 "acting boss" Antonio L. “Spucky” Spagnolo, 72, and reputed "made man" Pryce "Stretch" Quintina, 74, were arrested for allegedly extorting thousands of dollars in protection payments from a video poker machine company which installed machines for illegal gambling in bars and social clubs. Spagnolo took over as acting boss after Anthony DiNunzio was arrested back in 2009. Both Spagnolo and Quintina are reputedly old members of the Patriarca crime family's Boston faction.
Current family members
- Boss – Peter J. "Chief Crazy Horse" Limone: the current boss. In 2001, Limone was released from prison after serving 33 years for a murder that he didn't commit. Limone later won a $26 million judgment for his wrongful conviction. Limone operated from Boston and served as the family's consigliere before 2009, after which he was promoted to boss. He was arrested on gambling charges in 2009; in 2010, he was given a suspended sentence.
- Acting boss – Antonio L. “Spucky” Spagnolo: the current acting boss since 2012. Spagnolo is an old time Boston mobster who used to work with Bobby Carrozza and Bobby’s stepbrother J.R. Russo. In 1990, he participated in a Mafia induction ceremony where they burned the card of a saint at a house in Medford, and he was arrested afterwards. Spagnolo and Pryce Quintina were arrested on October 2, 2014 for allegedly extorting thousands of dollars in protection payments from a video poker machine company.
- Underboss – Carmen S. "the Cheese Man" DiNunzio: the current underboss. DiNunzio is a Boston mobster, indicted in 2008 on corruption charges stemming from an undercover operation. In 2009, he pled guilty to bribery charges and was sentenced to six years in prison on September 24, 2009.
- Consigliere – Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo
Boss (official and acting)
(excluding Frank Morelli 1)
- 1916-1924: Gaspare Messina — stepped down, died in 1957 Boston
- 1924-1954: Filippo "Phil" Buccola — united both families in 1932, retired, died in 1987 Boston
- 1954-1984: Raymond L.S. Patriarca, Sr. — died on July 11, 1984 Providence
- 1984-1991: Raymond "Junior" Patriarca, Jr. — took over after his father's death, stepped down in 1991 Providence
- 1991-1991: Nicholas "Nicky" Bianco — imprisoned on December 28, 1991 and died on December 14, 1994 Providence
- 1991-1996: Frank "Cadillac Frank" Salemme — jailed in 1995, defected Boston
- Acting 1995-1996: John "Jackie" Salemme — brother to Frank Salemme; jailed Boston
- 1996-2009: Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio — stepped down, imprisoned Providence
- 2009–present: Peter "Chief Crazy Horse" Limone — imprisoned Boston
Notes 1. Frank Morelli was the first boss of the Providence crime family from 1917 to 1932 when he stepped down becoming underboss to Buccola
Underboss (official and acting)
- c. 1920-1932: Joseph "J.L." Lombardo — Boston family underboss, became consigliere
- 1932-1947: Frank "Butsey" Morelli — Providence faction, retired
- 1947-1954: Raymond L.S. Patriarca, Sr. — Providence faction, promoted to boss
- 1954-1968: Enrico "Henry the Referee" Tameleo — Boston faction, imprisoned, died 1985
- 1968-1984: Gennaro "Jerry" Anguilo — Boston faction, imprisoned 1983, died 2009
- 1984-1985: Francesco "Paul" Intiso — died
- 1985-1989: William "The Wild Man" Grasso — Connecticut mobster, murdered
- 1989-1991: Nicholas "Nicky" Bianco — Providence faction, promoted to boss
- 1991-1991: Frank "Cadillac Frank" Salemme — Boston faction, promoted to boss
- 1991-1996: Robert Deluca — Providence faction, imprisoned
- Acting 1996: Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio — Providence faction, promoted to boss
- 1996-2004: Alexander Santoro "Sonny Boy" Rizzo — Boston faction, imprisoned 1995– June 12, 1998
- 2004–present: Carmen S. "the Cheese Man" DiNunzio — Boston faction. Released in early 2015.
- Acting 2008-2009: Peter "Chief Crazy Horse" Limone — Boston faction, promoted to boss
- Acting 2009-2013: Robert "Bobby The Cigar" Deluca — Providence faction, Joined witness protection program
- 1932-1954: Joseph "J.L." Lombardo — Boston faction, retired, died on July 17, 1969
- 1954-1976: Frank "the Cheeseman" Cucchiara — Boston faction, committed suicide on January 23, 1976
- 1976-1984: Nicolo "Nicky" Angiulo — Boston faction, demoted, died 1987
- 1984-1987: Ilario "Larry Baiona" Zannino — Boston faction, imprisoned, died 1996
- 1987-1992: Joseph "J.R." Russo — Boston faction, imprisoned 1990, died 1998
- 1992-1998: Charles "Cue Ball" Quintana — Boston faction, imprisoned
- 1998-2002: Rocco "Shaky" Argenti — Providence faction, died
- 2003-2009: Peter "chief crazy horse" Limone — Boston faction, promoted to acting underboss
- 2009-present: Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo — Providence faction
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- The American Mafia – New England Crime Bosses
- Americanmafia.com – Providence Mafia
- Americanmafia.com – Boston Mafia
- American Gangland:Patriarca Crime Family