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In the late 1970s, Santora took over as caporegime of Antonio "Buckaloo" Ferro's powerful 116th Street crew in the East Harlem section of Manhattan. Santora quickly became one of the most powerful captains in the family. The crew was involved in illegal gambling, bookmaking, loan sharking, heroin trafficking, and labor racketeering within the Carpenters' Union.
In 1981, longtime Genovese boss Philip Lombardo went into semi-retirement. Vincent "Chin" Gigante and Santora were the prime candidates to succeed Lombardo as boss, being two of the most respected and influential members of the family. Lombardo made Gigante the boss and Santora the underboss. Santora continued as underboss of the family until his death in 1987.
Acting boss Liborio Bellomo was considered a protegeé of Santora.
Vincent "Chin" Gigante
|Genovese crime family
Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano
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