Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall of the Rhode Island mob and the new boss of the Patriarca family

Not all that long ago, a visitor could casually stroll down Atwells Avenue in Providence, known as "Federal Hill," and take in the sites, sounds and delicious aromas of this well-known Italian-heritage neighborhood, that is lined with bakeries, fine Italian restaurants, delicatessens and street corners that double as social clubs where neighbors take in the sun, sip cappuccinos and share the latest gossip.There was Louie "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, the one-time boss of the powerful Patriarca crime family, talking with friends on the sidewalk in front of his apartment, an unassuming place above a laundromat.
And a few blocks north on Atwells Avenue, the visitor could see made Mafia members Edward "Eddie" Lato, and Alfred "Chippy" Schivola, sitting on a bench just outside of their favorite deli, talking about the beautiful weather, or concocting a mob-backed scheme to make some illegal dough.
Another few blocks north, and there's Robert "Bobby" Deluca, a real life Capo, having lunch at a popular Italian eatery.
But today, this same visitor would be hard pressed to see a "made guy." They're gone. Most likely for good, according to federal, state and local law enforcement officials.
The headquarters of the New England La Cosa Nostra, locally known as the Patriarca crime Family was, for decades located in Providence, Rhode Island.
But with the federal indictment this year of the last remaining former boss of the Patriarca Family, Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, and the disappearance of Robert "Bobby" Deluca, a capo who is rumored to be cooperating with law enforcement, the executive branch of the New England Mafia has re-located its offices to Boston, according to an NBC 10 I-Team investigation.
In fact, there are only eight "made" members of La Cosa Nostra residing in Rhode Island, according to law enforcement sources.
The "made" guys on the street are Joseph Ruggiero, who's never been arrested, Raymond "Junior" Patriarca, the son of the late boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca, Rudolf "Rudy" Sciarra, in his 80s and in poor health, Pasquale Galea, Vito DeLuca , William "Blackjack" Delsanto, Joseph Achille and Robert "Bobby" Deluca.
Among the remaining mafia crew, only one or two are thought to be actively engaged in making money the old Mafia way; stealing it.
"It's pretty decimated," said Col. Steven O'Donnell, superintendent of Rhode Island State Police. "The really intriguing part of it now is the boss and underboss, we allege, are both out of Boston."
The Rhode Island State Police, Providence police and the FBI, conducted a large-scale investigation over the past few years using wiretaps and informants, into the alleged extortion of the owners of several popular strip clubs in Providence.
For more than 10 years, the former boss of the Patriarca family and other "made" guys allegedly collected extortion payments from the Foxy Lady strip club, the Satin Doll Gentlemen's Club, the Cadillac Lounge and Club Desire. In its heyday, the payments amounted to a "protection racket" - money paid to the mob in exchange for operating their businesses without fear of getting their places ransacked, or customers roughed up.
But the old school bosses like Anthony "The Saint" St. Laurent, Frank "Bo Bo" Marrapese are in prison. And the cases pending against Manacchio, Schivola and Edward Lato are presumably strong with much of the evidence captured on secret audio recordings.
In fact, over the past 20 years, federal and local law enforcement agencies in New York and New England have put dozens of mafia members behind bars.
In the past, old school Mafiosi lead their lives of crime by the iron-clad promise of Omerta - basically keeping one's mafia membership secret. But ever since the assassination of Gambino Boss Paul "Big Paul" Costellano in front of Sparks Steak House in New York City, the concept of Omerta has become almost meaningless. Dozens of "made guys" have entered the federal witness protection program where they willingly testified against their bosses and let the public in on their secret lives of murder, mayhem and the mob.
The new boss of the Patriarca crime family is, according to law enforcement authorities, Anthony DiNunzio of Boston. He's the brother of the former boss, who took over from Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manacchio of Providence, Carmine "The Big Cheese" DiNunzio, who is in prison.
And the new boss, is being tracked carefully by Rhode Island State Police, Providence police and the Providence office of the FBI.
"I don't think it's a stretch to believe that Boston or perhaps New York could send in a boss and work with younger associates in Providence that are left from the Patriarca family," said Michael Correa, who heads up the intelligence bureau of the Providence Police Department.
O'Donnell said whatever is left of the Patriarca Family in Rhode Island, it's without any leadership.
"For the Rhode Island guys, it's just a message that they don't have a big structure anymore," he said.
Law enforcement officials in Rhode Island feel there is now a void, an opportunity for Mafia families in Boston and New York to move into Rhode Island, and take up where the jailed or indicted Rhode Island La Cosa Nostra members left off.
Providence has more strip clubs, and adult entertainment venues than any other capital city in New England.
Strip clubs, adult bookstores and prostitution creates fertile ground for illegal money making, a mob specialty.
Rhode Island's Attorney General agrees that the traditional Patriarca Crime Family in Rhode Island is close to being out of business. But Peter Kilmartin, a former cop in Pawtucket, says investigators have to remain vigilant.
"I would never count them out only because the center of the Patriarca Family moved from Rhode Island to Boston," Kilmartin said. "If they saw an opportunity here, there's no doubt in my mind they would take it."
Just last week, lawyers for Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manacchio asked a federal judge to let their client out on bail, pending his trial on extortion charges. It's doubtful the request, Manacchio's second since his indictment, will be granted.



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