Angelo Lonardo – Cleveland Mob – Part 2

In the Cleveland mob war the Danny Greene gang (Danny was backed by mob associate and teamster John Nardi who had been

mad because he thought he should be boss over Licavoli) the city experienced almost 40 car bombings. Nardi was killed on May 17, 1977 by a car bomb in the parking lot of the Teamster Hall in Cleveland. After eight failed attempts to kill Greene, the Cleveland mob boss, Jack Licavoli contracted Ray Ferritto to assassinate him. First Ferritto killed Bill McDuffee, Greene’s right hand man.

The next try was for Greene. While Greene was inside a building with his car in the parking lot, Ferritto and Ronald Carrabbia planted a box bomb inside a bomb car, they parked the car next to Greene’s. When Greene came out was entering his car, Carabbia set off the bomb, killing Greene. Ferritto later heard that the Cleveland crime family wanted him dead, so he flipped and made a deal with the authorities. The building where this all took place is called “Brainard Place” and still stands today. It can be easily seen as you enter/exit the Interstate-271 Exit 32 ramps.

In the aftermath of the conflict, many Cleveland Mafiosi, including the boss, Licavoli, were convicted of various crimes. After Licavoli was sent to prison for the murder of Danny Greene in 1982, Angelo Lonardo, the son of Prohibition mob boss Joseph Lonardo, took control of the Cleveland crime family. He led the family until 1984 when he was convicted of running a drug ring and was sentenced to life in prison. He then became an informant, making him the highest-ranking Mafia turncoat up to that time.

During these turbulent times, the FBI in Kansas City was tapping phones and building a case against the Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Cleveland mobs for skimming from Las Vegas casinos. In the subsequent trials, Angelo “Big Ange” Lonardo confirmed what the wiretaps had demonstrated, and Maishe Rockman had told him. It must have been extra tough to testify against his brother-in-law, Mashie Rockman.


He will testify that a man named Allen Glick went to Frank Peter Balistrieri, a mob boss in Milwaukee, and asked for his influence to get a 62 million dollar Teamster pension fund loan. Balistrieri asked Nick Civella in Kansas City to get the cooperation of Kansas City Teamster boss Roy Lee Williams and for Milton Rockman to use his relationship with Cleveland Teamster president Jackie Presser and Chicago influenced Allen Dorman of the Teamsters to get loan approval. The loan was approved, and Glick bought the Stardust, The Hacienda, the Frontier and the Marina casinos. Soon, Chicago installed lefty Rosenthal inside the Stardust, and at least 100,000 a month started flowing to these four mob families. Big Ange testified that Rockman was the pickup man for the Cleveland share. This share was as much as $40,000 monthly, with Lonardo getting $10,000 monthly. Teamsters Jackie Presser and Roy Williams received about $1,500.00 a month. Lonardo alleges that Milwaukee and Kansas City mobs align with the Chicago Outfit. Cleveland is aligned with the Genevose Family in New York City.

Big Ange will get out of prison and return to live openly his last years in Cleveland.

After leaving the witness protection program, Angelo Lonardo lived quietly in northeast Ohio until his death in March of 2006 at the age of 95. He remains one of the most significant figures in the history of the American Mafia.

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