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Joseph Siragusa would be seen as a top crime leader from 1929 to September 13, 1931, on which date he was murdered. John Bazzano would be the first boss to represent Pittsburgh under the flag of Cosa Nostra.
John LaRocca would emerge as the most memorable and most successful mob bosses in Pittsburgh. John Sebastian LaRocca, known by some as "Lester La Rock" and "Big John", would die in December 1984. Born in 1915, Gabriel "Kelly" Mannarino would rise to the number two spot in the Pittsburgh underworld. Following the Castro takeover of the southern island, Mannarino found himself back in Pittsburgh on a full time basis. Mike Genovese, legendary and long time crime figure in the Steel City was elevated to the rank of underboss following the death of Kelly Mannarino.
In 1990, Porter along with Louis Raucci, Geno Chiarelli, Anthony Durish, Irwin Levie, Ramone Sosa, Michael Rosenfeld, John Carrabba and the underboss's brother William Porter, were indicted under wide RICO charges. It was said that due to Porter's knowledge several known informants in syndicate crews operating in Boston, Philadelphia and Youngstown, OH had their lives spared. The oddest element to Porter's life is what did he expect to gain from his cooperation and what was actually gained. Long time Pitt syndicate member, Antonio Ripepi was the chief overseer for gambling rackets in Washington and Fayette counties. Geno Chiarelli reported directly to underboss Charles "Chuckie" Porter in the mid 1980s early 1990s.
The brother of crime syndicate leader Michael Genovese, Fio was shot to death April 1, 1971 by Nicholas Gelormini a 27 year old small time numbers operater.
As a soldier operating under the umbrella of the Pittsburgh family, Verilla controlled a sub-group headquartered in Altoona.
But he did want the bike to go through the awards line and, despite the very high quality of its condition, he figured the tube was already shot and not much else bad could happen in the couple hundred yards the bike was run.
Although his time at the top would be brief he would be the architect of the modern day Pittsburgh crime family. By the time Prohibition had swept across America, Amato was closely associated with the black hand as a bootlegger. Outside of the Pittsburgh underworld, Amato was said to have close ties to the neighboring Philadelphia syndicate and Jimmy Lanza, longtime boss of the San Francisco crime family. Taking over the helm in 1956, LaRocca, syndicate members Gabriel Mannarino and Michael Genovese were all nabbed in November 1957 at the police raid mob summit held in Apalachin, New York. Later a nephew, Steve "Rocky" LaRocca would maintain ties with biker gangs and provide another avenue for tribute. He left the crime family behind to his underboss and long time Pittsburgh syndicate member Michael Genovese. By 1957 his stature had risen when it was noted he was picked up at the doomed mob summit held in Apalachin, NY in November 1957.
During this time Genovese used his illegal profits to purchase numerous commercial properties surrounding the city.
The trio were charged with labor racketeering and controlling the labor unions of LIUNA Local 1058, Teamsters Locals 1053 and 211. The crime family had had a presence there since the 1950s but ultimately became of the most visible influence over the historically corrupt city's underworld. However in 1987 with the death of Joe Pecora and the 1990 conviction of Charles Porter, Bazzano was elevated to the role as underboss on behalf of Michael Genovese. He became affiliated with the Pittsburgh mob through his mother who moonlighted as a craps dealer in a gambling pit controlled by Gabriel Mannarino.
The cases were rolled together where he was fined $25,000 and placed on two years of probation. By now and possibly before Ciancutti had become a made member of the Pittsburgh crime family.
He is best remembered for being the co-owner of the Sans Souci Hotel and Casino based in pre-Castro Havana, Cuba. Folllowing the death of LaRocca, Genovese assumed the top spot and overseer of the Pittsburgh rackets.
Porter, a former mailman, was promoted to underboss following the death of Joseph Pecora in 1987.


Porter then testified about his knowledge regarding a large scale Bonanno crime family controlled loanshark book operating in New York and the New Jersey DelCavalcante Family's interest in an illegal landfill.
The days of the old dons from the Black Hand regime was over and now it would be known as Cosa Nostra. Bazzano's corpse was found stabbed and shot, left stuffed in a burlap sack, which was sewed shut. Pittsburgh, at the time, was experiencing a population boom and Capizzi had been publicly identified as kingpin.
Although never arrested for bootlegging, Amato saw himself in handcuffs twice for murder and murder conspiracy.
However Amato may be best remembered for his failed attempt at infiltrating the Steelworkers' Union.
Amato was not completely out of the game as his interests were looked after by the Mannarino brothers and his son Frank Jr., who became a made soldier under the crew led by Charles Porter was a noted bookmaker who never suffered an arrest.
He was represented in Cuba with Mannarino, who along with Tampa mob boss and Havanna overlord Santo Trafficante, owned the Sans Souci casino. When not in the Steel City, LaRocca maintained a second residence in Pompano Beach, Florida, which is north of Miami. When sitting before a grand jury Genovese refused to give anything and like most who were nabbed by the local cops the case fizzled. By the early 1970s, with LaRocca's health in question, Genovese, Joe Pecora and Gabriel Mannarino were calling the shots.
This left Genovese the most capable, connected and likely choice to succeed the ailing LaRocca.
Genovese was known to have conducted at least one ceremony to make or recognized proposed members. Pittsburgh mob soldier Lennie Strollo was assigned to oversee the crime family's Youngstown branch. While Genovese had been married for over 50 years beginning in the 1960s he also had a girlfriend on the side.
Following high school graduation Ciancutti enrolled in the US Army but was later discharged due to nervous tick he had developed.
In 1972 both he and mob soldier Robert Iannelli were charged with running a multi-million dollar bookmaking racket. In 1980 with the death of Mannarino, Ciancutti grabbed a windfall of ill gotten profits when he took over the latter's operations. It wasn't until 2000 that he and 14 others were indicted for operating a bookmaking racket in Allegheny and Fayette counties. In 1979 Pecora and the prosecuting attorney for Hancock County, WV were found guilty for illegal gambling and tampering with evidence.
Porter, despite having only been button twelve months prior, was thought to have been given the spot due to his youth-middle aged as opposed to majority of Pittsburgh Syndicate members, the majority being well into their 70s.
In 1991 Raucci and Porter were slammed with the most signifcant sentences 27-28 years each. The last significant information provided by Porter was Pittsburgh's involvement with shaking down a Native American Rincon tribal casino near San Diego. In that year he was accused of chasing out competition and would form Keystone Music Company, which was described as a "multi-million dollar coin vending company".
Three brothers-Arthur, James and John Volpe-made attempts at disposing Bazzano and his leadership. In his years of retirement Amato's counsel was often sought and he died of natural causes in February 1973.
LaRocca maintained close ties with New York crime boss Carlo Gambino, Russel Buffalino of Scranton and Angelo Bruno of Philadelphia. While sunning on the beach 'Big John" would be seen in the company of Chicago racketeer Joe Sonken, Buffalino Florida representative Anthony Guarneri, Mannarino and LaRocca's Florida point man Joseph "Little Joe" Regino. In 1974 Genovese was granted immunity from prosecution during a federal probe into the crime family's activities. Following LaRocca's death in December 1984 and with the recently released Pecora as his underboss, Genovese assumed the title of crime boss.
In 1987 Pecora passed away and Genovese installed newly made member Charles Porter, formerly a mail carrier, as his underboss. In all actuality it wasn't the Bazzano surname that brought him to power but rather his marriage.


In 1974 Bazzano found himself indicted along with a host of odd defendants that represented a who's who in the Pittsburgh suburb of Clairton, which borders the Monongahela River. Federal authorities presented evidence that during the NFL season the racket brought in $500,000 and $300,000 during the college basketball season on a weekly basis. Mannarino was said to be close with other Havana based mobsters such as Charlie Tourine of the Genovese LCN Family and Meyer Lanksy. Indicted with LaRocca for their alledged involvement in receiving kickbacks from the Teamsters Central States Pension, he was severed due to illness.
In 1992 Porter threw in the towel, contacted the Department of Justice and the FBI, telling them plenty.
Oddly enough he wasn't, placed in a low security prison and allowed many freedoms, never allowed to completely walk out. While the chamber-of-commerce weather surely didn’t hurt, it was the enthusiasm of those who participated (and the quality of the cars they brought to display) that made this a truly exceptional event. Davenport, Wilmerding chief of police was slain as he approached his home in December 1926.
It has never been fully confirmed but law enforcement speculated that Regino and LaRocca may have been brothers.
However in 1999, after being charged with one murder and the attempted murder of a local prosecutor, Strollo began cooperating with the Justice Department. Bazzano would marry Frances Ripepi daughter of the powerful Pittsburgh capo Antonio Ripepi who had been a close associate to the elder Bazzano.
The defendants included an alderman, a deputy, a former police chief and the town's then current chief of police. At the time Mannarino divided his time between Pittsburgh and the Sans Souci Hotel and Casino located in then pre Castro Havana, Cuba. Although never proven it was suspected that the duo was using the office of S&S Distribution, a vending machine company controlled by Mannarino, as a base of operations.
Due to the size and scope of the dollar amounts this was a pretty good indication that the Pittsburgh mob was in control of the majority of illegal betting and were far from out of the picture.
On December 18, 2000 Chuckie Porter was released from prison after serving nearly nine years. The Volpe brothers were thought to have been related to Santo Volpe of the mob family surrounding the cities of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. However Strollo's cooperation amounted to successful prosecution of local crooks and not the big fish Genovese.
The federal case stemmed around Bazzano's control of a bookmaking operation that was said to have grossed between $2-3 million annually. By 1969 it was known to federal law enforcement that Ciancutti's role and status had been elevated when he accompanied John LaRocca and Mannarino to a meeting in Manhattan that determined the successor to Vito Genovese. Other evidence that the crime family was still active came in 2002 when mob associate John Scalzitti was convicted of running a narcotics ring that covered an area ranging from Pittsburgh to South Florida. Prior to his illness and ultimate death, the FBI and local law enforcement identified Mannarino as one of the most "active" members of the Pittsburgh syndicate. In 1975 he was convicted for operating a large scale bookmaking operation, he served time from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Porter took a common road and began cooperating with federal authorities but ultimately spent nine years behind bars before being released in 2000.
At his trial Bazzano denied allegations he was involved in bookmaking and numbers and cited his combat Army service during World War II.
Ciancutti pled no contest to the federal charges, receiving 90 days of house arrest and twenty months of probation. Bazzano is thought to be running the remnants of the Pittsburgh crew along with Sonny Ciancutti. Several years were knocked off from his original sentence, resulting in his projected release date to be 2008.



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