||New Jersey| Anthony Provenzano
Death: December 12, 1988
Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano was a capo in the Genovese family, a vice president of the Teamsters union and a labor racketeer.
Tony Provenzano was involved with theft and robbery since a young age, but during daytime he worked as an honest New Jersey truckdriver. All of the truckdrivers were backed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) labor union led by Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa had been affiliated with the Detroit Mafia since the start of his career and often granted them favors as gratitude for their help earlier on. After Hoffa had become the president of the Teamsters he was asked to name several mob henchmen as heads of important IBT branches or so called Locals. Since Tony Provenzano was the brother-in-law of Detroit mobster Anthony Giacalone and had worked as a truckdriver himself, he was granted a leading position in Jersey's Local 560, which had about 13.000 members.
As a new emissary of the Teamsters Provenzano was free to use the union to extort several logistic companies in his district by demanding payoffs, if not he would cause a strike amongst their truck drivers and thus freeze their businesses. He also used this tactic to force corporations into signing business contracts in favor of other Mafia ventures. Anyone opposing him was taken care of. In 1961 Provenzano ordered a hit on Anthony Castellito, which was carried out by Mafia hitman Salvatore Briguglio. His body was never recovered and no one was arrested for the crime. In 1963 Provenzano however did get convicted for extortion and was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
During the 1960's Hoffa got troubled with legal issues and frequently had to appear in court. A committee led by Robert Kennedy investigated all criminal involvements with the Teamsters and openly accused Hoffa of corruption. In 1962 eventually Hoffa was trialed and sentenced for jury tampering and was sent to prison, but was still allowed to stay head of the Teamsters until next elections. As coincidence Provenzano was also imprisoned at Lewisburg Penitentiary. Hoffa wasn't adapting well behind bars. After hearing that his temporary successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, was going to compete against him in the next run to become head of the Teamsters he was worried. To make matters worse he learned that his competitor now had full support from the Mafia. He was angered about this an partially blamed fellow inmate Provenzano, which caused a fuss between them, ending their friendship.
After both men were released from prison they didn't speak to each other no more. In terms of his release Hoffa was ordered by the government to stay out of the labor union and was sent on an early retirement. However, instead of leaving it all behind Hoffa announced a comeback. He even announced an upcoming biography where he would explain several things concerning his involvement with the Mafia and accusations of corruption. By doing that, he had signed his death warrant.
On July 30, 1975, Hoffa was summoned for a fraternization meeting between him and Provenzano. Hoffa agreed and went to the meeting point, from which he never returned. Since then his disappearance remains a mystery. When investigators interrogated Provenzano he claimed to have no knowledge of a meeting and had a clean alibi. At the time of the disappearance he was simply at his summer residence in Miami. Police however had strong believes that Provenzano hitman Salvatore Briguglio was somehow involved and therefore Provenzano had to know more. Unfortunately for the investigators Briguglio himself was whacked a couple of years later.
In 1978 Provenzano however did get arrested again, but not for killing Hoffa. It was Anthony Castellito, whom he had killed 17 years earlier, who came haunting back. He was sentenced to a lengthy prison term and eventually died behind bars in 1988 after suffering a heart attack.
(Source: hudsoncountyfacts.com, nytimes.com, "The Hoffa Wars: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa" by Dan E. Moldea)
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