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Early history[ edit ] The early history of the Lucchese crime family can be traced to members of the Morello gang based in East Harlem and the Bronx. He instead focused on controlling the home ice distribution business throughout New York City. Masseria soon became involved in the Castellammarese War , a vicious gang war with a rival Sicilian boss Salvatore Maranzano.
Furious with this betrayal, Gagliano and Tommy Lucchese secretly defected to Maranzano. In September , Lucchese lured Pinzolo to a Manhattan office building, where Pinzolo was murdered. Gagliano was awarded the old Reina organization, with Lucchese as his underboss. However, Luciano and other mob members did not want another top leader. However, in September 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. During the s and s, Gagliano and Lucchese led their family into profitable areas of the trucking and clothing industries. The alliance of Mangano, Bonanno, Buffalo crime family boss Stefano Magaddino , and Profaci used their power to control organized crime in America.
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. Throughout his regime, Lucchese kept a low profile and saw to it that his men were well taken care of. On May 2, Costello survived an assassination attempt and immediately decided to retire as boss in favor of Genovese.
Then on October 25, , the Gallo brothers from the Colombo family murdered Anastasia, allowing Gambino to become boss. Lucchese and Gambino started conspiring to remove their former ally Genovese. After the disastrous Apalachin meeting of mob leaders in Upstate New York , Genovese lost a great deal of respect in the Commission. Gambino and Lucchese assumed full control of the Mafia Commission. In , they backed the Gallo brothers in their rebellion against Profaci family boss Joe Profaci.
After uncovering a plot by Joseph 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. At the time of his death, he had not spent a day in jail in 44 years. The Lucchese family had a stronghold in East Harlem, the Bronx and consisted of about made members. Gribbs" Tramunti was in ill health. 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. 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. Corallo came from the Queens faction of the family.
Corallo had been heavily involved in labor racketeering and worked closely with Jimmy Hoffa , the Teamsters president, during the s and s.
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. Corallo never discussed business during sit-downs, fearing that the FBI was monitoring the conversations. Instead, he used the car phone in the Jaguar owned by his bodyguard and chauffeurs.
Corallo was driven around New York while on the phone discussing business.
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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. On December 16, , Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano was murdered without Commission approval. As the trial wore on, Corallo realized that the entire Lucchese hierarchy was about to be decimated.
Not only was it all but certain that he, Santoro and Furnari would be convicted, but they faced sentences that, at their ages, would all but assure they would die in prison.
In the fall of , Corallo chose Anthony "Buddy" Luongo as acting boss. However, Luongo disappeared in Evidence suggests that Corallo wanted Casso, but Casso convinced him to select Amuso instead. Amuso officially became boss in January , when Corallo, Santoro and Furnari were sentenced to years in prison. Amuso made Casso his underboss in , allowing him to exert great influence over family decisions.
Corallo and Santoro died in prison in , while Furnari was released in During the late s, the Lucchese family underwent a period of great turmoil. Both men were heavily involved in labor racketeering, extortion, drug trafficking and committed many murders. They made their reputations earlier in Corallo gave the contract to Amuso and Casso. In retaliation, Amuso and Casso ordered the entire Jersey Crew killed—the now-infamous "whack Jersey" order. He summoned them to a meeting in Brooklyn.
Fearful for their lives, all the Jersey crew members skipped the meeting and went into hiding. 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.
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Ironically, these hits caused several family members to actually turn informer. He was shot 12 times, but still survived. As Amuso also sanctioned the hit on Anthony Accetturo, who was on trial in , he also cooperated with the government. He was the first boss of a New York crime family, acting or otherwise, to become an informant.
But due to massive indictments, none of the plots were committed. He was convicted on all charges in and sentenced to life in prison.
Casso related how Eppolito and Caracappa, on Christmas Day , murdered an innocent Brooklyn man who had the same name as a suspected government informant.
Throughout the mids Amuso continued to control the family from prison. 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 DeFede pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. On September 6, , 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 Truscello and Joseph Civitello.
After his release from the prison, the scared DeFede became a government witness and helped the government convict Daidone of murder and conspiracy.
Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa In , Casso revealed that two respected New York City police detectives worked as hitmen and informants for Casso during the s and early s 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.
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. 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.
They were sentenced to life imprisonment. Perna, soldier Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. The FBI also allege Crea gave his approval in October to murder an informant the murder was never carried out. Crea was personally charged with mail and wire fraud in connection of his skimming involvement with the construction of a New York City hospital.