||New Jersey| Family - Decavalcante
Throughout criminal history New Jersey has always been devided territory, mainly between the five New York families and the Philladelphia Family. However, one crew stays attached to New Jersey like no other, the DeCavalcante Family. Throughout the years it maintained strong relations with much of New York's Five Families, but being less powerfull and smaller oftenly gave them discredit and disregarding as "the farmers". In either case the DeCavalcante family grew wealthy and violent, even giving inspiration to HBO's successfull serie The Sopranos, which is widely inspired on this old Jersey mob.
In 1969 he was eventually arrested and jailed for extortion to 15 years, being released again in 1976. During his abscence John Riggi became the acting boss, overseeing the family business while DeCavalcante was jailed. After he was released from prison, he retired to a high-rise condo and largely stayed out of mafia business, though the FBI believed he was still 'advising' the family into the early 1990s.
Following the death of Frank D'Amato a new acting boss was to be appointed, Jake Amari. In 1994 Amari learned he had stomach cancer and together with John Riggi appointed a ruling panel to look after the family. The panel consisted out of Vincent Palermo, Jimmy Palermo and Charles Majuri, the son of former underboss Frank Majuri. Charles Majuri had been a hardworking member of the family since his early teens. Through his father he became the head of the Newark faction of New Jersey's mafia, which during the days of his father had a fallback with the Elizabeth faction. Although he was elevated as a head of the family he wasn't that excited. Therefore he began to conspire against the Elizabeth faction of which both Vincent and Jimmy Palermo (not related) were leaders of. The panel, meant to bring both factions together, was badly falling appart again. The plot Majuri orchestrated was revealed and as revenge Vincent Palermo ordered his death. The killers assigned to murder Majuri however failed to do the job and the plot was eventually shoved away.
The Fred Weiss Murder
Fred Wiess was a former journalist and real-estate developer who longed to be a 'wiseguy' and began to associate with mobsters from the Gambino and DeCavalcante families. In November 1989 Weiss was murdered in orders off John Gotti, who believed Weiss was cooperating with authorities. Gotti explained to the DeCavalcante's that Weiss was more their associate than anyone else's and so it was their job to murder him. Riggi saw this as an opportunity to please his New York superiors and agreed upon the murder. Together with then Gambino capo John D'Amico he planned the murder which was eventually committed by DeCavalcante gunmen. Riggi later confessed he did it as a favor to Gotti.
Ralph Guarino, The Informant
In 1997 DeCavalcante associate Ralph Guarino and his friend, Salvatore Calciano, who had worked at the World Trade Centers for over 20 years, started to make plans to rob the Bank of America. The Bank of America brought millions to the WTC on a daily base. On January 14, 1998, the van carrying the money was ambushed by three drug-addicted thieves, Richard Gillette, Melvin Folk and Michael Reed. They made off with $1.6 million. In the aftermath of the Bank of America Robbery all 3 of the robbers were caught and gave up Guarino who decided to become an FBI informant instead of spending 20 years in prison. The family's foundations began to brake when Guarino became an FBI informant and told them about all sorts of crimes ranging from murder to racketeering. Joe Masella, a DeCavalcante member who was involved in the robbery, was murdered in 1998, very few
There was a plan to murder Frank D'Amato which was taped by Ralph Guarino. The FBI could pounce and implicate most of the DeCavalcante family in one or two offences. On December 2nd 1999 there was a massive attack, launched by the FBI, in which they aimed to arrest 40 members of the DeCavalcante family, which had an estimated 70 active members and associates by that point. They arrested Vinny Palermo, in connection with the attempted murder of Frank D'Amato, Charles Majuri and a whole host of other offences. Facing serious offences of murder and conspiracy of murder, Vincent Palermo descided to become a government witness. He talked about everything and every crime committed by a DeCavalcante member or associate since he became a made-man in 1965. His family entered the witness protection program. He neglected, however, to tell prosecutors about $1 million in brown paper bag money that he had given his son, Michael Palermo. The family crumbled and the FBI arrested and convicted many of the families members.
Now with most of the families leadership behind bars, a new acting boss had to be appointed. This was found in Francesco "Frank" Guarraci. Riggi kept his position of boss until 2008. Guarraci is now regarded as the new official head of the family. The elder Joseph Miranda is regarded as the underboss. The Family is believed to have up to 40 or 50 active members in and round New Jersey.
Leadership throughout history
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