Lucchese crime family
In New York City, USA
Founded by Gaetano "Tommy" Reina and named after Tommy Lucchese
Years active 1920s-present
Territory Various neighborhoods in New York City and New Jersey
Ethnicity Made men (full members) are Italian or Italian-American. Other ethnicities are employed as "associates."
Membership 115-140 made members,[1] 1,100+ associates.
Criminal activities Racketeering, Assault, Bookmaking, Burglary, Cargo theft, conspiracy, Contract killing, counterfeiting, Cigarette smuggling, Credit card fraud, drug trafficking, extortion, fencing, fraud, illegal gambling, hotel robbery, hijacking, jewelry heist, Labour Racketeering, Point shaving, loansharking, money laundering, murder and Robbery
Allies Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno and Colombo Crime Families
Rivals Various gangs in New York City and their allies


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Lucchese crime family

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The Lucchese crime family is one of the "Five Families" that controls organized crime activities in New York City, U.S., within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia (or Cosa Nostra). Originally put together by Gaetano "Tommy" Reina in the early 1920s up until his murder in 1930, their illicit activities include profiting from labor and construction racketeering, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, hijacking, fraud, fencing and murder for hire. The family was taken over by Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano during the Castellammarese War until his death in 1951. The family under Gagliano was peaceful and low key, concentrating their criminal actives in the Bronx, Manhattan and New Jersey. The next boss was Tommy "Three-Finger Brown" Lucchese who turned the family around and became one of the most powerful Commission members. Lucchese teamed up with Gambino family boss Carlo Gambino to control organized crime in New York City together. When Lucchese died of natural causes in 1967, Carmine Tramunti controlled the family for a brief time; he was arrested in 1973. With his release from prison, Lucchese’s successor Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo gained control of the family. Corallo was very secretive and soon became one of the most powerful members of the Commission. Corallo was arrested and tried in the famous Commission case of 1986.Corallo decided to put Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and Anthony Casso in charge of the family. Casso was soon promoted to underboss and the family barely survived the reign. Casso, fearing arrest in the early 1990s, kept ordering those he felt unloyal to be murdered. The former street boss for Casso Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco feared for his own life and turned informant. This led to the arrest of the entire Lucchese family hierarchy and Casso was finally caught. He quickly turned informant, trying to save his own life. The family lost power, respect and honor in the underworld. The family is still controlled by Amuso who is serving life and today is controlled by a three man panel of capos.


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Steven "Wonderboy" Crea in a FBI photo

The Reina Gang
The early history of the Reina crime family can be traced to members of the Morello gang based in East Harlem and the Bronx. Gaetano "Tommy" Reina would leave the Morello's around the time of World War I and created his own family based in East Harlem and the Bronx. As the family's leader, Reina avoided the Mafia-Cammora War for control over New York City. He instead focused on controlling the home ice distribution business throughout New York City. During the early 1920s, Reina became a powerful prohibition era boss and aligned himself with Joseph Masseria, the most powerful Italian-American crime boss in New York. Masseria soon became involved in the Castellammarese War, a vicious gang war with rival Sicilian boss Salvatore Maranzano. At this point, Masseria started demanding a share of Reina's criminal profits, prompting Reina to consider changing allegiance to Maranzano. When Masseria learned of Reina's possible betrayal, he plotted with Reina lieutenant Tommy Gagliano to kill him. On February 26, 1930, gunman Vito Genovese murdered Reina outside his aunt's apartment. With Reina dead, Messeria bypassed Gagliano, who expected to take control of the Reina gang, and installed his underling Joseph "Fat Joe" Pinzolo as boss. Furious with this betrayal, Gagliano and Tommy Lucchese secretly defected to Maranzano. In September 1930, Lucchese lured Pinzolo to a Manhattan office building, where Pinzolo was murdered.

The Two Tommies
With Masseria's murder in early 1931, Maranzano won the Castellammarese War. He then outlined a peace plan to all the Sicilian and Italian Mafia leaders in the United States. There would be 24 organizations (to be known as "families") throughout the country who would elect their own bosses. Maranzano also reorganized all the Italian-American gangs in New York City into five New York families to be headed by Maranzano, Lucky Luciano, Vincent Mangano, Tommy Gagliano and Joseph Profaci. Gagliano became the boss of the old Reina gang, to be later known as the Lucchese family, with Lucchese as his underboss and Stefano Rondelli as his consigliere. The final element of Maranzano's peace plan was that he would become the supreme leader of all the families, the Boss of all Bosses. However, Luciano and other mob members did not want another top leader. When Maranzano learned about Luciano's disaffection, he hired a gunman to kill him. However, in September 1931 Luciano struck first. Several Jewish assassins provided by Luciano associate Meyer Lansky murdered Maranzano in his office. Luciano now became the most powerful mobster in New York.

Luciano kept the family structure as created by Maranzano, but removed the Boss of Bosses in favor of a ruling body, The Commission. The Commission's responsibility was to regulate the families' affairs and resolve all differences between the families. The first Commission members included Luciano family boss Luciano as head of the Commission, Mangano family boss Vincent Mangano, Gagliano family boss Tommy Gagliano, Profaci family boss Joseph Profaci, Chicago Outfit boss Al "Scarface" Capone, and Maranzano family boss Joseph Bonanno. Although the Commission was technically a democratic institution, it was actually controlled by Luciano and his allies.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano and Lucchese led their family into profitable areas of the trucking and clothing industries. When Luciano was sent to prison for pandering in 1936, a rival alliance took control of the Commission. The alliance of Mangano, Bonanno, Buffalo crime family boss Stefano Magaddino, and Profaci used their power to control organized crime in America. Understanding his vulnerability, Gagliano was careful to avoid opposing this new alliance. Gagliano was a quiet man who avoided the media and stayed off the streets. He preferred to pass his orders to the family though Lucchese and a few other close allies. In contrast, Lucchese was the public face of the family who carried out Gagliano's orders. In 1946, Lucchese attended the Cosa Nostra Havana Conference in Cuba on behalf of Gagliano. Gagliano remained the hidden boss of the family until his death in 1951 or 1953.

The Lucchese era

After Gagliano's death in 1951 or 1953, Lucchese became family boss and appointed Vincenzo "Vincent" Rao as his Consigliere and Stefano LaSalle as his Underboss. Lucchese continued with Gagliano's policies, making the now Lucchese family one of the most profitable in New York. Lucchese established control over Teamsters union locals, workers' co-operatives and trade associations, and rackets at the new Idlewild Airport. Lucchese also expanded family rackets in Manhattan's Garment District and in related trucking industry around New York City. Lucchese built close relations with many powerful New York politicians, including Mayors William O'Dwyer and Vincent Impellitteri and members of the judiciary, who aided the family on numerous occasions. Throughout his regime, Lucchese kept a low profile for which he became lauded in Mafia circles. Remembering how the Mustache Petes treated their soldati like mere commodities, he saw to it that his men were well taken care of.

When Lucchese became boss, he helped Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino in their fights to take control of their families. By 1962, Lucchese and Gambino controlled the Commission. Together they backed the Gallo crew from the rival Profaci family in its war with their boss Joe Profaci. Gambino and Lucchese saw the war as a way to take over rackets from the distracted Profaci's. After uncovering a plot by Joe Bonanno to assassinate them, Lucchese and Gambino used the Commission to strip Bonanno of his role as boss. This power play started a war within the Bonanno family and served to strengthen both the Lucchese and Gambino families.

Lucchese led a quiet, stable life until his death from a brain tumor on July 13, 1967. At the time of his death, he had not spent a day in jail in 44 years. Lucchese left his family in a very powerful position in New York City. The Lucchese family had a stronghold in East Harlem, the Bronx and consisted of about 200 made members. After Lucchese's death, the Commission made Carmine Tramunti acting boss until Lucchese's chosen successor, Anthony Corallo, was released from prison.

Tramunti and the French Connection

At the time of his appointment as temporary boss, Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti was almost 70 years old and in ill health. With boss-in-waiting Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo in prison, Tramunti was expected to hold power until Corallo's release. Tramunti faced a number of criminal charges during his time as acting boss and was eventually convicted of financing a large heroin smuggling operation, the infamous French Connection. This scheme was responsible for distributing millions of dollars in heroin along the East Coast during the early seventies.

Before the French Connection trail, the seized heroin was stored in the NYPD property/evidence storage room pending trial. In a brazen scheme, criminals stole hundreds of kilograms of heroin worth $70 million from the room and replaced them with bags of flour. Officers discovered the theft when they noticed insects eating the so-called heroin. The scope and depth of this scheme is still unknown, but officials suspect the thieves had assistance from corrupt NYPD officers Certain plotters received jail sentences, including Papa (he was later assassinated in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia). In 1974, after Tramunti's incarceration, Corallo finally took charge of the family.

Tony Ducks and the Jaguar

After Tramunti's incarceration in 1974, Anthony Corallo finally took control of the Lucchese family. Corallo came from the Queens faction of the family. Known as "Tony Ducks" from his ease at 'ducking' criminal convictions, Corallo was a Boss squarely in the Tommy Lucchese mold. Corallo had been heavily involved in labor racketeering and worked closely with Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters president, during the 1940s and 1950s. Corallo also enjoyed close ties to the Painters and Decorators Union', the Conduit Workers Union, and the United Textile Workers. Corrallo appointed Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro as the Underboss and supervisor of all labor and construction racketeering operations in New York, and Christopher "Christie Tick" Furnari as the reputed Consigliere. The family prospered under Corallo's leadership, particularly in the narcotics trafficking, labor racketeering, and major illegal gambling operations. As Corallo never discussed business during sit-downs, fearing U.S. government were monitoring the conversations, he discussed business in his bodyguard and chauffeur's Jaguar which had a phone in it, and reportedly drove around New York while on the phone discussing business. Salvatore "Sal" Avellino and Aniello "Neil" Migliore shifted as Corallo's chauffeurs during the 1970s and 1980s.

Corallo, a huge fan of the New Jersey faction of the family, reputedly inducted and promoted Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo and Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta into the organization and put them in charge of the Jersey Crew, which reportedly controlled most of the loansharking and illegal gambling operations in Newark, New Jersey at the time.

In the early 1980s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) finally managed to plant a bug in the Jaguar. The FBI recorded Corallo speaking at great length about mob affairs, including illegal gambling, labor racketeering, drug trafficking, and murder. Corallo was arrested and put on trial along with all the heads of the Five Families at the time. This trial became legendary as the Mafia Commission Trial. Corallo was convicted on numerous charges and January 13, 1987 was sentenced to 100 years in prison, where he died in 2000.

To succeed him as boss, Corallo originally chose acting boss Anthony "Buddy" Luongo. However, Luongo disappeared in 1986. Corallo's ultimate choice was Vittorio "Vic" Amuso. Allegedly both Amuso and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso were candidates for the job. Evidence suggests that Corallo wanted Casso, but Casso convinced him to select Amuso instead. After becoming boss, Amuso made Casso his underboss, allowing him to exert great influence over family decisions.

The iron fists of Amuso and Casso

During the late 1980s, the Lucchese family underwent a period of great turmoil. Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and his fierce underboss, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, instituted one of the most violent reigns in American Mafia history. Both men were heavily involved in labor racketeering, extortion, drug trafficking and committed many murders. Amuso and Casso were strong rivals of Gambino crime family boss John Gotti and strong allies of Genovese crime family boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante. Angry over Gotti's unauthorized murder of Gambino boss Paul Castellano, Amuso, Casso, and Gigante conspired to murder Gotti. On April 13, 1986 a car-bombing killed Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco, but missed Gotti. This assassination attempt sparked a long and confusing 'tension' between these three crime families with many deaths reported on all sides.

During the late 1980s, Amuso began demanding 50% of the profits generated by the Jersey Crew. New Jersey leaders Anthony Accetturo and Michael Taccetta refused Amuso's demand. In retaliation, Amuso issued the "Whack Jersey" order, demanding that the entire Jersey Crew be killed. He summoned them to a meeting in Brooklyn. Fearful for their lives, all the Jersey crew members skipped the meeting and went into hiding.

Taccetta and Accetturo were later put on trial in 1990, as both Amuso and Casso were implicated in a case involving the fitting of thousands of windows in New York at over-inflated prices, and the pair went into hiding of that same year, naming Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco as acting boss. For the next few years, Amuso and Casso ruled the family from afar and ordered the execution of anyone they deemed troublesome, either they were considered rivals or potential informants. All of this convinced many Lucchese wiseguys that Amuso and Casso were no longer acting or thinking rationally.

What followed next was a series of botched hits on family members suspected of being informants. Ironically, these hits caused several family members to actually turn informer. Amuso ordered the slaying of capo Peter "Fat Pete" Chiodo, who along with Casso was in charge of the Windows Case operation. He was shot 12 times, but still survived. After Amuso ordered hits on Chiodo's wife and sister in violation of longstanding rules against women being harmed, Chiodo turned state's evidence and provided the entire windows operation that eventually controlled $150 million in window replacements, sold in New York City. As Amuso also sanctioned the hit on Anthony Accetturo, who was on trial in 1990, he also cooperated with the government.

The planned executions went as high as acting boss D'Arco. Furious over the failed hit on Chiodo, Amuso set up D'Arco to be killed at a Manhattan hotel. However, this hit also came undone after D'Arco saw a man hide a gun in his shirt, then slip it into the bathroom. D'Arco fled for his life and turned himself over to the authorities to spare him and his family from Amuso and Casso and their increasingly erratic demands. He was the first Mafia boss, acting or otherwise, to break his blood oath.

Law enforcement eventually caught up with the two fugitives. On July 29, 1991, the FBI captured Amuso in Pennsylvania, and in 1993 Casso was caught in Greenwood, New York. Amuso steadfastly refused all offers from the government to make a deal and become a government witness. In contrast, Casso quickly agreed to a deal and started revealing family secrets. One of the biggest secrets was that Casso had been paying two New York Police Department detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to provide Casso with sensitive police information and even perform to contract murders. Casso related how Eppolito and Caracappa, on Christmas Day 1986, murdered an innocent Brooklyn man who had the same name as a suspected government informant. Casso told the government that in 1992 Lucchese hit men tried to kill the sister of another suspected informant, violating the alleged Mafia “rule” barring violence against family members. Unfortunately for Casso, his testimony proved so inconsistent that prosecutors accused him of breaking the terms of his deal with them. As a result, the court ordered no leniency for Casso at his sentencing.

In 1991, Amuso was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1994, Casso also received a life sentence. Casso had reportedly conspired with reputed consigliere Frank Lastorino and Brooklyn faction leaders George Zappola, George Conte, Frank "Bones" Papagni and Frank Gioia, Jr. into murdering Steven "Wonderboy" Crea, Amuso's acting underboss of the Bronx, as well as Gambino crime family acting boss John "Junior" Gotti, son of the imprisoned John Gotti, along with members of the Genovese crime family once again. But due to massive indictments, none of the plots were committed.

Acting bosses

When Amuso went to prison, he chose Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede to be his acting boss. Throughout the mid 1990s Amuso continued to control the family from prison. DeFede, who supervised the powerful Garment District racket, reportedly earned more than $40,000 to $60,000 a month. DeFede placed Steven Crea in charge of the family's labor and construction racketeering operations. Crea increased the Lucchese family earnings from these rackets between $300,000 and $500,000 every year. But as US law enforcement kept pressuring the organized crime activities in New York, DeFede was arrested and indicted on nine counts of racketeering in 1998. DeFede pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. Angry at DeFede's guilty plea, Amuso promoted Crea as the new acting boss.

Steven Crea success with the labor and construction rackets convinced Amuso that DeFede had been previously skimming off these profits. In late 1999, Amuso placed a contract on DeFede's life. On September 6, 2000, Crea and seven other Lucchese members were arrested and jailed on extortion charges, mostly to the supervising of the construction sites with various capos Dominic "Crazy Dom" Truscello and Joseph "Joey Flowers" Tangorra. Crea was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to five years in prison.

After Crea's conviction in 2001, consigliere Louis "Lou Bagels" Daidone, a prominent Lucchese family member from Queens, took control of the family. However, Daidone's tenure was short lived. After his release from the prison, the scared DeFede became a government witness and helped the government convict Daidone of murder and conspiracy. Daidone's conviction was also helped by the testimony from Alphonse D'Arco in September 2004.

Mafia cops

In April 2006, Casso revealed that two respected New York City police detectives worked as hitmen and informants for Casso during the 1980s and early 1990s before their retirement. They were Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, who spent much of their combined 44 years with the NYPD committing murders and leaking confidential information to the Lucchese family. Between 1986 and 1990, Eppolito and Caracappa participated in eight murders and received $375,000 from Casso in bribes and payments for murder 'contracts'. Casso used Caracappa and Eppolito to pressure the Gambino crime family by murdering several of their members. This is because Casso, along with the imprisoned Amuso and Genovese crime family boss Vincent Gigante, wanted their rival John Gotti out of the way. Caracappa and Eppolito are now seen as the main source of 'tension' between these three families during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

For one contract, Eppolito and Caracappa kidnapped mobster James Hydell, forced him into their car trunk, and delivered him to Casso for torture and murder. Hydell's body was never found. The two detectives also shot Bruno Facciolo, who was found in Brooklyn in the trunk of a car with a canary in his mouth. After pulling Gambino crime family captain Edward "Eddie" Lino for a routine traffic check, the detectives murdered him on the expressway in his Mercedes-Benz. In 2006, Eppolito and Caracappa were convicted of murdering Hydell, Nicholas Guido, John "Otto" Heidel, John Doe, Anthony DiLapi, Facciolo, Lino, and Bartholomew Boriello on the orders of Casso and the Lucchese family. They were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Three-man ruling panel
With the arrest of acting boss Louis Daidone in 2003 imprisoned boss Vic Amuso created a three-man ruling panel to run the family. The panel consisting of three senior Bronx faction capos Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna brought the power back into the Bronx's, while staying out of the media. According to a February 2004, New York Post article, the Lucchese family consisted of about 9 capos and 82 soldiers making the family the fourth largest in New York City. In 2006, the former acting boss Steven Crea was released from prison after serving five years, under restrictive parole conditions that expired in 2009. The three man panel jointly continued to maintain the power over the family, acting as street bosses. On November 28, 2009, consigliere Joseph Caridi was released from prison after serving almost six years for extortion and loansharking.

On December 18, 2007, two members of the ruling panel Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna were indicted along with top New Jersey faction capos Ralph V. Perna and Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr.. In the New Jersey indictment a total of thirty-two members and associates of the New Jersey faction were arrested. Information obtained from New Jersey law enforcement agencies investigation "Operation Heat" revealed that the New Jersey faction controlled a $2.2 billion dollar illegal gambling, money laundering and racketeering ring from New Jersey to Costa Rica.

On October 1, 2009, the Lucchese family was hit with two separate indictments charging 49 members and associates with bribery and racketeering. In the first indictment 29, members and associates of the Lucchese family were arrested. The indicted charged Joseph DiNapoli, Matthew Madonna and acting capo Anthony Croce with running operations that nearly grossed $400 million from illegal gambling, loansharking, gun trafficking, bribery and extortion. In the second indictment obtained from investigation "Operation Open House" 12 more Lucchese mobsters were charged with bribery. Acting capo Andrew Disimone and others mobsters were charged with bribing New York Police Department (NYPD) detective and sergeant posing as crooked cops to protect illegal poker parlors.

Current position and leadership
Although in prison for life, Victor Amuso remains the official boss of the Lucchese family. Although Amuso has led the family for almost a quarter-century, it is unclear how much influence he now has over its day-to-day affairs. In the last few years, a three-man ruling panel consisting of Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli, Aniello "Neil" Migliore, and Matthew Madonna has been running the family. All three men are long time capos in the family, but Migliore is believed to be the most powerful. Migliore has been a major player in the family for more than 30 years and is said to have huge respect on the street. Arguably, Migliore, DiNapoli and Madonna brought stability to the Lucchese family during the 2000s. The family's presence remains strong in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and New Jersey. In 2009 the Lucchese family was handed three federal indictments showing that the family continues to be very active in organized crime, especially in labor racketeering, illegal gambling, and extortion. In one of the indicitments ruling panel members Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna were charged with controlling an ring that extorted and bribed businesses and construction sites in Manhattan and the Bronx.

A March 2009 article in the New York Post stated that the Lucchese family consists of approximately 100 "made" members, possibly making it the smallest of the Five Families, although not the weakest. It is probably the third most powerful family (behind the Gambino and Genovese families). The Bonanno family has had to deal with their boss turning government informant and his successor being deported to Canada. Meanwhile, the Colombo family has been damaged ever since the family wars of the 1990s and a rash of indictments in the 2000s.

Historical leadership of the Lucchese crime family

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Boss (official and acting)
The boss is the head of the family and the top decision maker. Only the boss,underboss or consigliere can initiate an associate into the family, allowing them to become a made man. The boss can promote or demote family members at will. The Acting Boss is responsible for running the crime family while the boss is incarcerated or incapacitated. If the boss dies, the acting boss may become the new boss, or be stepped over and lose his position as Acting Boss.

  • 1922–1930 — Gaetano "Tommy" Reina — murdered on February 26, 1930
  • 1930 — Bonaventura "Joseph/Fat Joe" Pinzolo — murdered on September 5, 1930
  • 1930–1951 — Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano — retired in 1951; died on February 16, 1953
  • 1951–1967 — Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese — became sick in 1966, died on July 13, 1967 from a brain tumor.
    • Acting 1966–1967 — Carmine Tramunti — stepped down
    • Acting 1967 — Ettore "Eddie" Coco — stepped down
  • 1967–1973 — Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti — apponited by The Commission; imprisoned in October 1973
  • 1973–1986 — Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo — On February 15, 1985, Corallo was indicted in the Mafia commission case, was convicted on November 19, 1986 and on January 13, 1987 was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
  • 1986–present — Vittorio "Vic" Amuso — former Brooklyn faction leader and consigliere Chris Furnari convinced Corallo to make Furnari's protégés Amuso and Casso the new bosses in early 1987. Former Bronx faction leader and underboss Tom Santoro advised against it, knowing the succession of Amuso and Casso would be the biggest mistake in the crime family's history. In 1990, Amuso became a fugitive until his capture by the FBI on July 29, 1991 in Pennsylvania. In 1991, Amuso was sentenced to life imprisonment.
    • Acting 1990–1991 — Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco — demoted, became a member of a ruling panel
    • Acting 1994–1998 — Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede — imprisoned in 1998. Became a government witness after his release in early 2002, fearing that Amuso had sanctioned his murder.
    • Acting 1999–2001 — Steven "Wonderboy" Crea — official underboss was promoted by Amuso. Crea was indicted and jailed on September 6, 2000 on extortion charges and convicted in 2001 was sentenced to five years in prison.
    • Acting 2001–2003 — Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone — imprisoned March 2003, received life in prison in January 2004

Street Boss
The Street Boss position was created in the early 1990s by Genovese family boss Vincent Gigante. The main purpose was to distance the official boss from federal surveillance and enforce his orders to the other members of the administration. The street boss helps divide up the responsibility of the boss ensuring the official boss can devote more time to upper management. The street boss is considered the go-to-guy for the boss, by passing on his orders to lower ranking members.

  • 1990–1991 — Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco – promoted to Acting Boss

Underboss (official and acting)
The underboss is the number two position in the family (after Don, Godfather, Boss). Also known as the "capo bastone" in some criminal organizations, this individual is responsible for ensuring that profits from criminal enterprises flow up to the boss and generally oversees the selection of the caporegime(s) and soldier(s) to carry out murders and other criminal activities. The underboss takes control of the crime family after the boss's death. Keeping this power until a new boss is chosen, which in some cases was the Underboss.

  • 1920–1930 — Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano – promoted to boss
  • 1930–1951 — Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese – promoted to acting boss
  • 1951–1972 — Stefano "Steve" LaSalle – retired
  • 1973–1978 — Aniello "Neil" Migliore – resigned
  • 1978–1986 — Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro Sr. – imprisoned in the Commission Case
  • 1986–1989 — Mariano "Mac" Macaluso – retired in 1989
  • 1989–1993 — Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso – imprisoned, became government witness in 1993
    • Acting 1990–1992 — Anthony "Bowat" Baratta – imprisoned
  • 1993–present — Steven "Wonderboy" Crea – promoted to acting boss in 1998
    • Acting 1998–2001 — Eugene "Boopsie" Castelle – imprisoned
    • Acting 2001–2003 — Joseph "Joe C. Caridi – promoted to Consigliere

Consigliere (official and acting)
Consigliere is an advisor to the boss and usually the number three person in a crime family.

  • 1931–1953 — Stefano "Steve" Rondelli – retired
  • 1953–1973 — Vincenzo "Vinny" Rao – imprisoned from 1965 to 1970, retired
    • Acting 1965–1967 — Mariano "Mac" Macaluso
    • Acting 1967–1973 — Paul "Paulie" Vario – imprisoned 1974 to 1976
  • 1973–1981 — Vincent "Vinnie Beans" Foceri – retired
  • 1981–1986 — Christopher "Christie Trick" Furnari – imprisoned in 1986
  • 1986–1987 — Ettore "Eddie" Coco – retired
  • 1987–1989 — Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso – promoted to underboss
  • 1989–1993 — Frank "Big Frank" Lastorino – imprisoned in April 1993
  • 1993–1996 — Frank Papagni – imprisoned in September 1996
  • 1996–2003 — Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone – promoted to Acting Boss in 2001
  • 2003–present — Joseph "Joe C." Caridi – imprisoned 2003 to 2009

Administrative capos
The boss has assembled a ruling panel of capo's instead of an acting boss on occasions. The panel equally controls the decision making of the crime family.

  • 1991 — Anthony Baratta, Alphonse D'Arco, Salvatore Avellino and Frank Lastorino – on September 21, 1991, D'Arco became a government witness.
  • 1991–1993 — Anthony Baratta, Salvatore Avellino, Steven Crea (made Underboss 1993) and Domenico Cutaia
  • 2003–present — Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna

Current family members

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FBI mugshot of Joseph Lubrano.

Current administration

  • Boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso – boss since the 1987 conviction of Anthony Corallo. One of the most feared mobsters from the old Brooklyn faction of the family. Jailed in 1992, Amuso is currently serving a life sentence
  • Ruling Panel – Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna. All three men are holding the power of Acting boss/Street boss and are running the day-to-day activities of the family. Migliore is the most powerful member of the three man panel and has the final say in all decisions.
  • Underboss Steven "Wonderboy" Crea – Current Underboss, and former acting boss was released from prison in 2006. He is a Bronx faction leader and longtime construction racketeer. Crea is a longtime ally of imprisoned boss Vic Amuso.
  • Consigliere Joseph "Joe C." Caridi – operates out of the Long Island and Queens factions in extortion and labor racketeering. A former Amuso ally, Caridi was imprisoned on extortion and loansharking charges. Released from prison on November 27, 2009.
  • New Jersey faction boss Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta – leader of Jersey Crew and boss of the entire New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family. Currently imprisoned.

Capo (Crew boss/captain/lieutenant/caporegime): a capo is appointed by the family boss to run his own borgata (regime, or crew) of sgarrista (soldiers). Each capo reports directly to the underboss, who gives the capo permission to perform criminal activities. If the family needs to murder someone, the underboss normally asks a capo to carry out the order. The capo runs the day-to-day operations of his crew. The capo's soldiers give part of their earnings to the capo, and the capo gives a share to the underboss. A capo can recommend to the underboss or boss that a recruit be allowed to join his crew as a mob associate.

Bronx faction

  • Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli – Capo operating in the Bronx. DiNapoli is a member of a Ruling panel along with Migliore and Madonna running the family. He has two younger brothers in the Genovese crime family, Vincent and Louis.

  • Matthew "Matt" Madonna – Capo operating in the Bronx. Madonna served 20 years in prison for narcotics trafficking. He is a member of the Ruling panel along with Migliore and DiNapoli running the family.

  • John "Johnny Hooks" Capra – Capo operating in the Bronx, Westchester and Manhattan. In 2005, Capra was indicted and charged with extortion along with members of the Gambino crime family. Capra received a eighteen month sentence and released from federal prison on September 10, 2008.

  • Joseph "Big Joe" Lubrano – Capo active on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Lubrano is 40-years-old and is considered a rising member in the family. In 1994, he was wrongfully sent to prison for beating a police officer and was released four years later. In May 2010, Lubrano was listed on the FBI Most Wanted List for several armed robberies, he was arrested on September 11, 2010.

  • (Acting) Andrew DiSimone – an acting capo operating in the Bronx, Westchester and Manhattan. DiSimone was arrested on October 1, 2009 for bribery and illegal gambling operations. He was convinced that he was paying off corrupt NYPD officers for protection on loansharking, sports bookmaking and illegal gambling activities. The two officers were actually undercover agents for two years the officers in a sting named Operation Open House receiving $222,000 in bribes.

Manhattan & Long Island

  • Aniello "Neil" Migliore – Capo operating in Manhattan, Long Island and Florida. Migliore is a former rival of Amuso, he was shot in 1992 on orders from Amuso. He is a member of a Ruling panel along with DiNapoli and Madonna running the family.

  • Dominic "Crazy Dom" Truscello – Capo of the Prince Street Crew, members are active in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. Truscello operated in construction racketeering along with Steven Crea.

  • (Acting) Anthony Croce – an acting Capo active in Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island. Croce was arrested in November 2008 for running a sport gambling ring operating in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. He was charged in two separate indictments in 2009; the first was in October for bribery, loansharking, gun trafficking, extortion, gambling and racketeering and the second in November for running a sports betting ring from his bar "Night Gallery" in New Dorp, Staten Island.

Brooklyn faction

  • Eugene Castelle – Capo of the Bensonhurst Crew, operating from Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. He was imprisoned in 2001 on racketeering and was released in 2008.

  • (In prison) Domenico "Danny" Cutaia – Capo of the Brownsville Crew. Cutaia is a former messenger between the imprisoned Amuso and the crime family. On October 25, 2009, Cutaia was sentenced to three years in prison for bank fraud. He is reportedly suffering from multiple sclerosis.

  • (Acting) Carlo Profeta – acting Capo of the Brownsville Crew. On February 24, 2010, Profeta was indicted along with Lucchese soldier Salvatore Cutaia, associates Joseph Cutaia and Eric Maione, Bonanno capo Anthony Mannone and associate Jerome Carameilli on racketeering and extortion charges. In February 2011, Profeta and associate Eric Maione pleaded guilty to extortion charges.

  • Anthony "Blue Eyes" Santorelli – Capo operating in Brooklyn. Santorelli formerly led the The Tanglewood Boys, a recruitment gang for the Lucchese family.

The Lucchese family's Jersey Crew, is a faction that consists of three crews that operate in Newark's Down Neck section and Northern Jersey counties of Essex, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Bergen, Passaic and Sussex. In the 1970s into the 1980s, rackets were set up in Florida, South Jersey and Philadelphia.

  • (In prison) Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta - Capo of the Jersey Crew and boss of the entire Lucchese's New Jersey faction. Longtime rival of Victor Amuso. Taccetta is currently serving life in prison for conspiracy and drug trafficking convictions. His younger brother Martin Taccetta was reportedly the acting boss of the Jersey Crew until he was sent back to prison.

  • Ralph Vito Perna - Capo in the Jersey crew. Was arrested in December 2007 with Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna. The Jersey crew ran an illegal gambling operation that earned approximately $2.2 billion overa 15-month period. The crew also worked with New Jersey correction officers and members of Nine Trey Gangster, a set, or subgroup, of the Bloods street gang. The Jersey crew used Bloods members to smuggle illegal drugs and prepaid cell phones into the New Jersey state prisons.

  • Joseph "Joey" Giampa - Capo operating in New Jersey. Giampa has a stepson named Gennaro Vittorio, a.k.a. Gerry Giampa who is also involved in organized crime.

A soldier, also known as sgarrista, soldato, wiseguy, button, buttonman or goodfella, is a made man and has already proven himself to the family. He becomes a made guy after the voting of the captains, who then pass the message up to the boss or underboss. When he is made he takes an oath to honor the family. A soldier is one of the lowest ranks in the crime family but still has much power over associates and friends. The soldier is then assigned into a crew and given a capodecine (Captain). The caporegime gives orders and jobs from collecting money to hits.

  • Thomas "Tommy Red" Anzellotto – soldier in Lucchese family replaced legendary Lucchese soldier Samuel Cavalieri in 1988.

  • Salvatore "Sal" Avellino Jr. - a soldier and former Capo in the Lucchese family in the 1980s. Longtime Amuso supporter and used to sit at the family’s Ruling Panel in the early 1990s. Currently operates under the Queens and Long Island factions in racketeering and extortion activities. Avellino is also the family’s current waste management executive in New York. Avellino is best known for being boss Anthony Corallo’s bodyguard and chauffeur in the 1980s.

  • Carmine Avellino – soldier involved in illegal gambling, waste management racketeering, and extortion. Carmine’s older brother Salvatore "Sal" Avellino Jr. was a capo in the Lucchese family.

  • Robert "Bucky the Boss" Caravaggio - a soldier in the Jersey Crew. Caravaggio is operating Morris County and Northern New Jersey.

  • Michael "Mikey Bones" Carcione - soldier and former acting capo for Domenico Cutaia’s crew, formerly known as The Vario Crew. The crew operates around Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In 2008 Carcione was arrested along with capo Domenico "Danny" Cutaia, soldiers John Baudanza (a son-in-law to Cutaia), Salvatore Cutaia (son of Domenico Cutaia), associates Steven Lapella, Victor Sperber, Louis Colello, and John Rodopolous for loansharking, illegal gambling among other illegal criminal activities.

  • Alfonso T. "Tic" Cataldo - a soldier in the Lucchese family that is running the illegal gambling operations in northern New Jersey working with Eurasian organized crime groups. Cataldo was arrested in December 2007 on charges of promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering charges along with two members of the Lucchese ruling panel Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna.

  • John "Sideburns" Cerrella - soldier, former acting capo in the 1990s. Formerly a Genovese family associate operating in Broward County, Cerrella later became a made man in the Lucchese family. He is a Long Island faction leader who conducts racketeering, fraud, stocks and wire fraud in Queens and Long Island. The 69 year-old Cerrella was released from prison on November 27, 2009.

  • Joseph "Joey Blue Eyes" Cosentino – soldier in the Lucchese family involved with murdering a man connected to drug dealer Constable Farace along with Lucchese soldier Anthony Mangano in 1997.

  • Ralph Cuomo - soldier and owner of Ray's Pizza in Little Italy. In 1969, Cuomo was convicted of narcotics trafficking after being found with 50 pounds of high quality heroin. In 1998, Cuomo confessed to discussing heroin drug sales in the pizzeria with Lucchese soldier Frank Gioia, Jr. (In 1998 Gioia became a government witness and testified against Lucchese Capos and soldiers)

  • Salavatore Cutaia – soldier whose father, Domenico Cutaia, is a high-ranking Lucchese capo. Salavtore’s son Joseph Cutaia is considered to be an associate in the family. His son Joseph was charged on December 24, 2009 for an attempted robbery and stick up of a Bensonhurst, Brooklyn couple along with Nicholas Bernardo.

  • Santo Giampapa – soldier, he and his brother Joseph were acquitted in the 1992 killing of Lucchese Capo Michael Salerno.

  • Frank "Big Frank" Lastorino - soldier in the Bensonhurst, Brooklyn Crew. A former Capo and Consigliere, Lasterino hatched the plot to kill both John A. Gotti and captain Steven Crea to take over the Lucchese family in the early 1990s. Lastorino was released from federal prison on December 23, 2008 after serving 14 years on racketeering, extortion and conspiracy to commit murder.

  • Vincent "Vinny Casablanca" Mancione - soldier and former Acting Capo of a Queens and Long Island Crew. Mancione is a close ally of Joseph Caridi. On December 12, 2002 Macione, Consigliere Joseph Caridi, and Capo John Cerrella and soldier Carmelo Profeta were arrested for extorting restaurants in Long Island. The 49 year-old Mancione was released from prison in August 2006 and continues to operate with the long Island faction.

  • Anthony Mangano - soldier in the Lucchese family involved with murdering a man connected to drug dealer Constable Farace along with Lucchese soldier Joseph Cosentino in 1997.

  • Frank Manzo - soldier with the Vario Crew.

  • Anthony Pezzullo - soldier, former member of the "Lucchese Construction Group" involved in bid rigging, extorting construction companies, and corrupting union locals. The group consisted of (acting boss) Steven Crea, (capos) Dominic Truscello and Joseph Tangorra, (soldiers) Phillip Desimone, Joseph Datello (Truscello crew member), Joseph Zambardi and associate Andrew Reynolds.

  • Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. - son of former Philadelphia crime family boss Nicodemo Scarfo. He served as a soldier up until his fathers arrest in mid 1990s; he then joined the Lucchese crime family with his fathers help. Today he is a soldier with The Jersey Crew operating in South Jersey and Philadelphia. There are rumors that Scarfo is trying to take over the Philadelphia family.

  • Ray Argentina – soldier in the Lucchese family. In 2001 Argentina was charged along with Louis Gampero for illegal mortgage fraud activities in Brooklyn, up state New York and Long Island. He was also running an illegal cocaine ring in Long Island with Ken Cardona. Argentina is currently incarcerated and projected release date is October 4, 2024.

  • Anthony "Bowat" Baratta - soldier and former capo in the Bronx. Ran large drug trafficking operations in the 1990s and sat on the family's Ruling Panel. He is currently imprisoned on narcotics and racketeering charges with a projected release-date of September 25, 2012.

  • John Baudanza - a soldier, operating in his father-in-law Domenico Cutaia's crew. His father Carmine and uncle Joseph are both members of the Colombo crime family. In 1997, John and his cousin Joseph M. Baudanza were involved in stock crimes. On April 17, 2007, John, along with his father and uncle pleaded guilty to racketeering charges related to operating a "pump and dump" stock scam. He is currently serving his sentence in the Allenwood prison with a projected release date of August 2, 2015.

  • George "Goggles" Conte - a soldier, and former capo. In 1991, Conte along with other capos inducted five new members into the crime family. In January 1995, Conte and George Zappola were indicted and convicted of murder and racketeering. Conte is currently imprisoned, with a projected release date of March 10, 2014.

  • Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone - soldier a former acting boss, Consigliere and capo. He was convicted to life in prison in 2003.

  • Christopher "Christie Trick" Furnari Sr. - soldier a former Consigliere in the Lucchese family, convicted in the 1980s Mafia Commission case. He is currently imprisoned with a projected release date is November 24, 2044.

  • James "Jimmy Frogs" Galione – a soldier replaced late Lucchese soldier Pete DePalermo position. In 1997 he and Mario Gallo plead guilty to the murder of an associate to the Bonanno/Colombo families Constable "Gus" Farace in 1989. Farace was a drug dealer responsible for killing an undercover federal agent. He was also charged with running a crack ring that operated in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn since 1992. He is currently imprisoned due out on December 24, 2015.

  • Joseph "Joey Bang Bang" Massaro - a soldier in the Harlem Crew reported to Capo Anthony Baratta. He was operating in Long Island forcing topless bar owners to book his strippers from Entertainment Plus Agency. Massaro would use threats of intimidations and arson to get his way. In summer of 1989 helped cover up a murder of Joseph Fiorito with Patrick Esposito he was arrested in 1993. At his trail FBI agent Joe Pistone discussed what he learned about a Bonanno-Lucchese family sit-down over the topless bars in Long Island. Former Lucchese family acting boss Alphonse D'Arco also testified against him, Massaro received a life sentenced.

  • Frank "Bones" Papagni - soldier and former capo in the early 1990s, with racketeering, illegal gambling and loansharking operations in the Brooklyn section. He is serving 20 years for the attempted murder conspiracy on John A. Gotti in 1993. Papagni's projected release-date is November 24, 2015.

  • Michael J. Perna - soldier and former Capo in the Jersey faction; he began working for the Lucchese families Jersey faction sometime in 1976; by the 1980s was serving as the Underboss of the Jersey Faction for Michael Taccetta; acquitted in the 21 month trail along with other Jersey faction members on August 26, 1988; in 1993 was convicted of gambling and extortion along with Michael and Martin Taccetta with the testimony of Thomas Ricciardi and Anthony Accetturo; relatives include his father Joseph Perna, younger brother Ralph; The 67 year-old is currently imprisoned at the Federal Correction Institution at Fairton, New Jersey his projected release date is August 2, 2015.

  • Martin Taccetta - soldier and former Capo in the Jersey Crew was released from prison in 2005 due to lack of evidence in his trial, and wrongfully being accused of murder charges in his older brother Michael Taccetta's trial in 1993. On July 30, 2009 the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed lower court decision that granted Taccetta release and reinstated Martin life sentence for racketeering and extortion.

  • Joseph "Joey Flowers" Tangorra - soldier and former capo whose crew was based in Bensonhurst Brooklyn and was involved in extortion and racketeering activities. Tangorra is currently incarcerated and reportedly suffers from mental illness. His projected release date is December 9, 2014.

  • George "Georgie Neck" Zappola - soldier and former capo under the regime of Amuso and Casso in the 1980s. He operated out of the Brooklyn wing with racketeering, extortion activities. Zappola is currently imprisoned on murder-conspiracy charges in aid of racketeering with Frank Papagni. His projected release date is March 3, 2014

Family crews
A crew is a group of soldiers and associates who operate in a specific area. The capo runs the crew and reports to the underboss. The soldiers run illegal activities such as illegal gambling, loansharking, bookmaking, extortion, and fencing of stolen goods. The soldiers pay tribute to the capo and the capo sends a portion of this tribute money to the boss and underboss. The soldiers are "made men", or full family members, and have associates (who are not made men) working for them. An associate works for a crew in hopes of proving his worth to the family and becoming a made man. To be eligible to become a made man, an associate must be of Italian ancestry on both sides of his family.

  • The Vario Crew – active in Brooklyn and Queens
  • The Jersey crew – a faction in the Lucchese crime family. The leader of the Jersey crew/faction is imprisoned Michael Taccetta, the acting boss/capo is Ralph Perna.

Recruitment gangs

  • The Tanglewood Boys – a recruitment gang made up of young Italian men trying to prove themselves as associates. In the early 1990s, the crew was under the control of Anthony "Blue Eyes" Santorelli. The gang operates Westchester, the Bronx and Manhattan.
  • East Harlem Purple Gang – was a group of Italian American hit-men and heroin dealers. The group was consider a semi-independent gang operating in East Harlem and the Bronx during the late 1970s. Members would join the Lucchese and Genovese families.

Controlled unions

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The Lucchese family has taken over unions across United States. The crime family has extorted money from the unions in blackmail, strong-arming, violence and other matters to keep their control over the market. Similar to the other four crime families of New York City they worked on controlling entire unions. With the mob having control over the union they control the entire market. Bid-rigging allows the mob to get a percentage of the income on the construction deal only allowing certain companies to bid on jobs who pay them first. The mob also allows companies to use non-union workers to work on jobs the companies must give a kickback to the mob. Unions give mob members jobs on the books to show a legitimate source of income. The mafia members get into high union position and began embezzling money from the job and workers.

  • Clothes manufacturing - In the Garment District of Manhattan, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees Locals 10, 23, 24, and 25 were controlled by members of the Lucchese family. Lucchese Associates would extort the businesses and organize strikes. Today some unions still are working for the family.
  • Kosher meat companies - In the early 1960s Giovanni "Johnny Dio" Dioguardi merged Consumer Kosher Provisions Company and American Kosher Provisions Inc. together. Dio was able to control a large portion of the Kosher food market, forcing supermarkets to buy from his companies at his prices.
  • Food distribution - At the Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, the Lucchese family controlled unions involved in the food distribution industry.
  • Airport services and freight handling - At John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty, the unions were controlled by the Lucchese family.
  • Construction - Teamsters unions in New York City and New Jersey have been under Lucchese control; Mason Tenders Locals 46, 48, and 66 were controlled by the old Vario Crew.
  • Newspaper production and delivery - In November 2009, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau sent search warrants to investigate the Newspaper Mail Deliverers Union. This union controlled circulation, production and delivery offices at The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News and El Diario La Prensa. When the Cosa Nostra took control over the union, the price and costs for newspapers increased. Charges were put against many union members as well as the former union President Douglas LaChance. LaChance is accused as being Lucchese crime family associate. In the 1980s LaChance was convicted on labor racketeering charges and served five years in prison. He was also involved in the Manhattan 1990s case were New York Post was being strong-armed in to switching their delivery companies, but was acquitted in the case.

Allied and Rival criminal groups

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Mafia allies

  • The Lucchese-Gambino-Genovese alliance (1953–1985) between Tommy Lucchese, Carlo Gambino and Vito Genovese began with a plot to take over the Mafia Commission by murdering family bosses Frank Costello and Albert Anastasia. At that time, Gambino was Anastasia's new underboss and Genovese was the underboss for Costello. The first target of the conspiracy was Costello. On May 2, 1957 gunmen attempted to kill Costello on a New York street. Costello survived the assassination attempt, but immediately decided to retire as boss in favor of Genovese. The conspirators' second target was Anastasia. On October 25, 1957, the Gallo brothers (from the Colombo family) murdered Anastasia in a Manhattan barber shop, allowing Gambino to become boss of Anastasia's family. After he assumed power, Gambino started conspiring with Lucchese to remove their former ally Genovese. After the disastrous 1957 Apalachin meeting of mob leaders in Upstate New York, Genovese lost a great deal of respect in the Commission. In 1959, with the assistance of Luciano, Costello, and Meyer Lansky, Genovese was arrested. Gambino and Lucchese assumed full control of the Mafia Commission. Under Gambino and Lucchese, the Commission pushed rival Bonanno boss Joseph Bonanno out of power, triggering an internal war in that family. In the 1960s, the Commission backed the Gallo brothers in their rebellion against Profaci family boss Joe Profaci. In 1962, Gambino's oldest son Thomas married Lucchese's daughter Frances, strengthening the Gambino-Lucchese alliance. Lucchese gave Gambino access into the rackets at the New York airports rackets he controlled and Garment District rackets, Gambino allowed Lucchese into some of their rackets. After Lucchese death in July 1967, Gambino used his power over the Commission to make Carmine Tramunti the boss of the Lucchese family. Gambino continued the alliance with Tramunti's successor, Anthony Corallo. After Gambino's death, the new Gambino boss Paul Castellano continued the alliance with Corallo. In 1985, the Gambino-Lucchese alliance finally dissolved after Gambino capo John Gotti ordered Castellano's assassination without Commission approval.

  • The Lucchese-Genovese alliance (1986–present) The new alliance started in 1986 with Vincent Gigante and Victor Amuso the bosses of the two families teaming up against John Gotti. Gotti had ordered the murder of Gambino family Boss Paul Castellano who was the head of the Commission (or Boss of Bosses). This started a three family war; the Genovese and Lucchese families versus the Gambino family. The alliance tried to get revenge for the murder of Castellano and order the killing of Gambino family underboss Frank DeCicco. The alliance is still strong today and the two families operate on deals around New York City. Joseph DiNapoli a member of the family's three man ruling panel has two brothers in the Genovese crime family; Vincent "Vinny" DiNapoli, a captain, and Louis DiNapoli, a soldier in Vincent's crew.

  • The Lucchese-Gambino alliance (1999–present) The new alliance between the two families was started by acting Boss Steven Crea teaming up with Gambino family capos in 1999. They would extort the construction industry and would make millions in bid-rigging together. In early 2002 Lucchese Capo John Capra worked with Gambino family member acting Boss Arnold Squitieri, acting underboss Anthony Megale and Bronx based acting Capo Gregory DePalma. The group was involved in illegal gambling and extortion activities in Westchester. The members were arrested in 2005 leaving to reveal that Gambino acting Capo DePalma had allowed an FBI agent Joaquin Garcia (known as Jack Falcone) work undercover with his crew since 2002. In late 2008 Gambino family New Jersey based acting Capo Andrew Merola teamed with Lucchese’s Jersey faction acting Boss Martin Taccetta in an illegal gambling ring, shaking down Unions, and extorting car dealerships. Merola was indicted in 2008 and Taccetta was sent back to prison in 2009.

  • The Lucchese-Bonanno sitdown (2010) Lucchese family acting Capo Carlo Profeta and Bonanno family Capo Anthony Mannone had a sitdown over a Lucchese soldier owing Mannone $213,000. On February 24, 2010, acting capo Carlo Profeta, soldier Salvatore Cutaia and associates Joseph Cutaia and Eric Maione, with Bonanno family Capo Anthony Mannone and associate Jerome Carameilli were indicted on racketeering and extortion charges.

Other allies
  • The Lucchese-Lepke alliance (1920s-1944) started with Tommy Lucchese and Louis "Lepke" Buchalter extorting payments from garment makers in New York's Garment District. During the 1930s, Lepke was one of the most powerful Jewish gangsters in New York City. With his allies Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, Lepke fought for control over Jewish neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn and together formed Murder, Inc. Lepke would fall when his trusted Brownsville crew leader, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, became a government witness and testified against Lepke in a murder trial. On March 4, 1944, Lepke was executed by electrocution. After the Lepke execution, Lucchese gained control over the Garment District and took over Lepke's rackets in Brownsville.

  • The Lucchese-Greek mafia alliance (1980s-present) started in the early 1980s. The Velentzas Family, a Greek-American criminal organization led by Spiros Velentzas, operated in Astoria, Queens and other Greek communities in the city. The Lucchese family offered Velentzas protection in return for a percentage of his family's illegal gambling profits.

  • The Lucchese-Russian mafia alliance took place in the late 1980s. Marat Balagula was a Russian criminal boss whose organization controlled Brighton Beach and other Russian-American communities in New York. When the Colombo crime family tried to extort payments from Balagula's lucrative gasoline business, he met with Lucchese consigliere Christopher Furnari. Funari offered Balaqula an alliance to protect him from the other New York Cosa Nostra families

  • The Lucchese-Nicky Barnes alliance took place from the early 1970s into the 1980s. Leroy "Nicky" Barnes was an African-American drug dealer based in Harlem who was supplied with heroin by Lucchese associate Matthew Madonna and Colombo capo "Crazy Joe" Gallo. Barnes created a criminal organization known as The Council that dealt large amounts of heroin in Harlem.

  • The Cuban mafia called La Coporacion (or the Corporation) and was led by Jose Miguel Battle, Sr. a Cuban born male who set up an organization in Miami, Florida to Union City, New Jersey. He worked from Union City, New Jersey with help from Bonanno family Capo Joseph "Bayonne Joe" Zicarelli up into the 1980s. He then began to work with another mafia family Genovese Capo James Napoli. In 1985 his Corporation battled with Lucchese family members for control over number rackets.

  • The Albanian mafia called the Rudaj Organization was led by Boss Alex Rudaj, Nikolla Dedaj and Italian Nardino Colotti were operating in Yorktown New York, Bronx, and Queens. The group started in 1993 and it leadership and power has now been shut down by the Italian Mafia and criminal prosecution in 2004. The Rudja Organization had a brief fight for control of gambling rackets in Astoria, Queens with the Lucchese family. The Albanian muscle attacked two Greek associates of the Lucchese family on August 3, 2001.

Former members

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  • James Burke – an associate who may have organized the 1978 Lufthansa heist. Died April 13, 1996 from lung cancer.
  • Thomas DeSimone – an associate who was murdered January 14, 1979.
  • Anthony DiLapi – a Teamsters union leader in New York City's Garment District and a Lucchese soldier. Murdered February 4, 1990.
  • Bruno Facciolo – a soldier who is a brother to Gambino family associate Louis Facciolo. Died in 1990's.
  • Richard "Toupe" Pagliarulo – a soldier in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1991, Pagliarulo became the capo of Peter Chiodo's Bensonhurst, Brooklyn crew. Died of natural causes in prison.
  • Patrick Testa – a made member of Gambino's DeMeo crew. Transferred later to the Lucchese family. Murdered December 2, 1992.

Government informants and witnesses

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  • Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco – acting boss from 1990 to 1991, then demoted. Became government witness on September 21, 1991.
  • Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede – acting boss from 1993 to 1998, then demoted to capo when imprisoned. Became government witness in early 2002 after his release.
  • Anthony Casso – underboss from 1986 to 1993. Became government witness in 1992.
  • Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo – capo of the Jersey crew from 1970s to 1988. Became government witness in 1993.
  • Peter Chiodo – capo. Became a government witness after being shot 12 times on May 8, 1991.
  • Frank Gioia, Jr. – soldier. Became government witness in 1998.
  • Frank Gioia, Sr. – soldier. Did not testify against the family but entered Witness Protection Program with son Frank Gioia Jr. in 1998.
  • Vincent Salanardi – soldier. Became government witness in 2002.
  • Frank Suppa – soldier. Member of the Jersey faction seen as a Capo in Florida; became informant in late 1997.
  • Henry Hill – associate. His life was the basis for the book Wiseguy and the film Goodfellas. He and his wife Karen, became government witnesses.

Family events

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The Gaetano Lucchese Family Chart - from the 1963 Valachi hearings
Boss: Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese
Underboss: Stefano "Steve" LaSalle
Consiglieri: Vincenzo "Nunzio" Rao
Caporegimes: Ettore "Eddie" Coco, Joseph "Joey Narrow" LaRatro, Giovanni "Big John" Ormento, Joseph "Joe Palisades" Rosato, Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, Joseph "Joe Brown" Lucchese, James "Jimmy Doyle" Plumeri, Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro Sr., Natale "Joe Diamonds" Evola
Soldiers-Buttons: Frank Arra, Joseph Bendenelli, Nicholas Bonina, Frank Callace, Frank Campanello, Paul John Carbo, Frank Cintrano, Sam Cavalieri, Paul Correale, Dominick Bianco, Donato Laietta, Edward D’Argenio, John DiCarlo, Thomas Dioguardi, Johnny "Johnny Dio" Dioguardi, Charles DiPalermo, Vincent Corrao, Joseph DiPalermo, Salvatore Granello, Joe Emanuel, Anthony Lisi, Salvatore LoProfo, Salvatore Maneri, Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Vic Panica, Andinno Pappadia, Dominick Petrillo, Anthony LoPinto, Vincent Potenza, Calogero Rao, Charles Sooperto, Salvatore Shillitani Joseph Silesi, Nicholas Tocentino, Angelo Tuminaro, Joseph Vento, Anthony Vadala, Sam Valente, Tom Valente, James Vintaloro

  • Mafia Commission Trial - boss Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, underboss Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro, and Consigliere Christopher "Christy Tick" Furnari received 100-year sentences.
  • Window Case - 1978 to 1990 - four of the five New York City crime families (Lucchese, Genovese, Gambino and Colombo) formed a cartel that controlled the sale and installation of thousands of energy-efficient windows in New York City housing projects.

Famous heists
  • Air France Robbery (In 1967 Lucchese associates stole $420,000 from Air France cargo at JFK Airport)
  • Pierre Hotel Robbery (In 1972 Lucchese family associates stole hundred of thousands in Jewels)
  • Lufthansa Heist (On December 11, 1978 Lucchese family members and associates stole 5 million in cash and Jewels from JFK Airport.)

  • Mafia related events in timeline

In popular culture

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  • The 1981 film Gangster Wars Lucchese family's future boss Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese was played by actor Jon Polito.
  • The 1990 film Goodfellas was based on Lucchese mob associate Henry Hill and The Vario Crew of the Lucchese family.
  • The 1991 film Mobsters Lucchese family boss Gaetano "Tommy" Reina was played by actor Christopher Penn.
  • In the 1991 film Out for Justice, the William Forsythe character "Richard Madano" was based on Lucchese mobster Matthew Madonna.
  • The 1999-2007 HBO TV-show The Sopranos, the Lucchese family's New Jersey faction was the main inspiration for the DiMeo crime family according Crime Library. Main character Anthony "Tony" Soprano was based on Lucchese mobster Michael Taccetta.
  • The 2006 film Find Me Guilty was based on the 1980s trial of 20 members of the Lucchese Jersey Crew.
  • The 2006 Electronic Arts video game The Godfather: The Game, the Stracci Family could be based on the Lucchese crime family. In the game, the family is based in New Jersey; the Lucchese family has a large power base in New Jersey.
  • In the 2007 film American Gangster, the Armand Assante character Dominic Cattano was based on Lucchese mobster Carmine Tramunti.
  • In the 2008 Rockstar North's video game GTA IV, the fictional Lupisella family could loosely be based on the Lucchese family. The Lupisella family is mainly based in Bohan, the GTA 4 version of the Bronx, and is operating in Liberty City, the game's version of New York City.

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