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The family is named after Raymond Patriarca who was boss from 1954 to 1984
|Founded by||Gaspare Messina|
|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 (est.)||45-55 made members, 100+ Associates|
|Criminal activities||Racketeering, gambling, murder, narcotics, waste management, robbery, fencing, loan sharking, extortion, bookmaking, money laundering, smuggling and fraud|
|Allies||Five Families, Chicago Outfit, DeCavalcante and Philadelphia crime families, Bufalino Crime family|
|Rivals||Winter Hill Gang, Charlestown Mob|
The Patriarca crime family (pronounced [pa'trjarka]) is also known as the New England crime family, the Providence crime family, the Boston crime family, the Boston Mafia, the Providence Mafia, the New England Mafia, or The Office and 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.
The family is currently led by Carmen Dinunzio in the Boston faction and by Matthew Guglielmetti in the Providence faction.
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 as well as in 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 arranged the murder of Frank Wallace, 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 1956, 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." Patriarca was a strict and ruthless leader. He successfully ran his crime family for decades. He made it clear that other crime families were not permitted to operate in New England, and was also skilled at warding off police and maintaining a low profile and thus received little hindrance from law enforcement. The family ventured into new rackets such as pornography and narcotics, though mob informer Vincent Teresa insisted that Patriarca forbade the family to deal in drugs.
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.
In 1957, more than 60 of the country's most powerful crime bosses met in Apalachin, a hamlet in upstate New York. The Apalachin 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, a hit man for the Patriarca family who claimed to have killed 26 people, was arrested on a concealed weapons charge. 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. For his testimony, Barboza was given a one-year prison term, including time served. He was paroled in March 1969 and told to leave Massachusetts forever. In 1971, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in California and sentenced to five years at Folsom Prison. Less than three months after his release he was murdered in San Francisco by Joseph "J. R." Russo on February 11, 1976.
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 pleaded 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, Stephen Foye, 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 pleaded 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 60 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 power structure was said to have moved back to Boston entering the 2010s.
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, 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 2012. Both Spagnolo and Quintina are reputedly old members of the Patriarca crime family's Boston faction.
Following the death of syndicate boss Peter Limone, Carmen "The Big Cheese" Dinunzio, the former acting boss, has allegedly taken the spot of official boss, continuing to run the family from the North End of Boston. With syndicate consigliere Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo just starting a five-year prison term for felony assault, it is said that Matthew Guglielmetti undisputedly runs the Providence faction of the family and has been in regular contact with both the Philadelphia and Decavalcante Crime Families. Some sources in law enforcement believe that imprisoned Providence-based wiseguy, Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parilo is actually poised to become the official boss upon his release & that Guglielmetti & Carmen Dinunzio are just acting street bosses in their respective factions.
Anthony "The Little Cheese" Dinunzio, the one-time acting boss and younger brother of Carmen, was recently[when?] released from prison to a halfway house following a 5+-year prison stint after taking control of Luigi Manocchio's scheme to shake down Rhode Island strip clubs. It is unclear how Dinunzio's leadership experience will play into his role once released from the halfway house considering the administration seems to be fully intact and his former crew seems to be lead sufficiently under Greg Costa.
With Dinunzio, Pryce Quintina, and Spucky Spagnolo all back on the streets alongside powerful North Shore based Captain Freddie Simone, the family's Boston faction looks to be in pretty good shape from a leadership perspective heading into 2018. Rhode Island on the other hand has lost significant leadership players in recent years. Dangerous Captains Anthony St. Laurent & Frank "BoBo" Marappesse as well as longtime Acorn Social Club Crew soldier, Alfred "Chippy" Scivola have all passed away in recent months.[when?] Luigi Manocchio & Billy "BlackJack" DelSanto are both, for the most part, retired, & appear to be avoiding anything that could get them jammed up with the law again. Convicted murderer, Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo & high ranking Captain, Eddie Lato all have a substantial amount of time left in their respective prison terms, leaving Matthew Guglielmetti, Joseph Achille, and newly appointed Captain Joseph Ruggiero in the top positions to help rebound the Rhode Island faction of the family.
(excluding Frank Morelli 1)
Notes 1. Frank Morelli was the first boss of the Providence crime family from 1917 to 1932 when he stepped down becoming under boss to Buccola
|Name||Rank and Year|
|Angelo "Sonny" Mercurio||Soldier (1987/1988)|
|John "Sonny" Castagna||Soldier (1991)|
|Gaetano Milano||Soldier (1991)|
|Antonino "Nino" Cucinotta||Soldier (1995)|
|Frank "Cadillac Frank" Salemme||Boss (1999)|
|Mark Rossetti||Capo (2010)|
|Robert "Bobby" DeLuca||Capo (2011)|