The B & C Meat Co. was owned by Al Brandemeyer and the Civella family. I remember it was located just east of Paseo about 8th or 9th St. They sold a lot of meat to restaurants. The Outfit has always owned companies that supplied bars and restaurants. Cigarette machine and other vending machines were often owned by mob dominated businesses. I believe this is because many mob associates as well as people who gamble and drink are involved in these endeavors. You might notice the names of the two guys that did the arson on the Hereford House. Mr. Pisciotta and Mr. Sorrentino may be what we call, “connected guys”. When the Mob does business with restaurant and bar owners, they keep a constant source of information coming in about who is doing good and bad. That information lets them know who is vulnerable and susceptible to illegal help.
Gangland Wire documents the war between the Spero Brothers and the Civella Family. Carl Spero wanted to put pressure on the Civella family in an attempt to “take over” the La Cosa Nostra family in Kansas City. Part of this was the robbery of Al Brandemeyer of proceeds from B & C Meats.
Carl Spero helped a guy named Leonard Crego get out of the Missouri State Penitentiary by giving him a job (at least on paper). Crego was a very dangerous man. He was known as “the Arab” and was the head of all illegal activities among Caucasian prisoners in the pen. His criminal specialty was armed robbery. He was in the pen for robbing a supermarket. During this supermarket robbery, The Arab carried 2 handguns.
Spero sent Crego to B & C and he robbed Al Brandemeyer of over $10,000.00 in cash. This money was probably Civella money from the sports book. After the actual robbery, he forced Brandemeyer into the trunk of his own car. Once inside, Crego, who was carrying 2 hand guns, emptied both guns into the trunk. By some miracle, none of the bullets struck Brandemeyer. While he was shooting, Brandemeyer reported the suspect yelled, “Tell that fucking Nick Civella the Arab is in town.” Shortly after, a suspect was arrested during the robbery of a drug dealer (a family member slipped out and called the cops during the home invasion robbery). This suspect had 2 handguns and was named Leonard Crego. He was on parole and the parole was violated. Bob Arnold and I went to the Jackson County jail and interviewed him about the Spero connection. He refused to talk. The Arab was one of the scariest individuals I have ever interviewed. I was relieved to exit that interview room. We heard that even the Spero brothers were relieved to get the Arab out of circulation because he was hard to control and so dangerous.
Leonard Crego goes back to Jefferson City, behind the walls, to maximum security. He has aged and lost something because he cannot regain his power and dies from a heart attack shortly after his return. This is not before he has to make a spear from a shank wired to a broom handle and fight off 4 or 5 young prisoners. This guy was one bad dude. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the Arab.
Nick Civella and his gang learned the identity of the B & C Meat Co. robbery suspect and his connection to Carl Spero. They would soon strike back in a horrible gruesome manner.