Raymond Patriarca and the Genovese and Gambino Families

September 30, 2019

PatriarcaWelcome Wiretappers, don’t forget to hit me up on Venmo and buy us a shot and a beer. In this episode host Gary Jenkins and his main contributor Camulius Robinson take a look at Raymond L.S. Patriarca and New England Crime Family or the “Office” and their relationships with New York’s Genevose and Gambino families in connection with the pornography business.  The office is concentrated in Providence, RI, and Boston, MA. The Patriarca family had interests in the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, as well as all of the standard mafia income-generating methods. Raymond L.S. Patriarca was well-connected politically, and headed the family for 30 years, from 1954 until his death in 1984. We find the Patriarca family “Office” is especially interesting, because like New York and Chicago, they stood alone. Angelo Bruno in Philadelphia basically answered to Carlo Gambino, and Cleveland belonged to the Genovese family and deferred to them, likewise with Kansas City and Milwaukee leaned on Chicago. The Patriarca family though is unique. They weren’t isolated like the Marcellos or the Trafficantes, where they didn’t need to answer to anyone. Raymond Patrarca ran two cities, Boston and Providence, and later with Grasso’s help, they took Connecticut from New York in the 1970s, about the same time Philadelphia was losing Atlantic City to New York.

Law enforcement really shut them down by the early 90s. When Raymond died in 1984 and tried to make his son the next boss, historically, that always leads to a problems (e.g. Bonannos, Columbos, Gambinos), then the FBI recorded an Office making ceremony in 1989 in Medford, MA, followed by all of the RICO cases in 1991, they were basically done. There have been a few recent arrests, but like other Cosa Nostra families, they are all brainless thugs nowadays.

The Genoveses were a Manhattan-based crime family and have historically created wide-ranging partnerships with other crime families across the country, most notable Chicago, Cleveland, and New England. These relationships can be traced to Lucky Luciano’s philosophy of partnership. Vito Genovese had very close ties to Boston-based faction of Patriarca family

The Gambinos were a very powerful New York family, and they had vast interests in pornography, and closer ties to the Patriarcas in Providence, RI.

Jerry Angiulo was Patriarca’s Boston area crime boss and he shared interests in certain money-making ventures with the Genovese Family under Sam Cufari as previously agreed to by Raymond PatriarcaPatriarca earlier Genovese leadership. In 1980, Carlo Mastrototaro and Jerry Angiulo were co-owners of a United Books porn shop in. Joe Palladino, the manager of the store, owed Angiulo $200,000, and the weekly vig was $2000. The weekly gross of a porn shop in 1981 was between $2500-$3500. United Books was the only porn shop in Worcester…until November of 1980.

In November 1980, Carlo Mastrototaro, looking to expand, seeks permission from New York to open a second porn shop—Green, Street News & Smoke Shop. He is put in touch with Kenneth Guarino of the Gambino family.  Genovese soldier, Carlo Mastrototaro supplied this store with pornography from Guarino, the Gambino soldier. The Boston suburb of Worcester, MA now has two porn shops. Joe Palladino who owned the original porn shop was worried about the competition, and his loss of revenue which cuts down his ability to pay his cut to Jerry Angiulo. He goes to see Mastrototaro who tells him he has permission from New York. Palladino returns to Angiulo and Jerry Angiulo is furious. He does not want to share any porn business and feels like both the Genevose and Gambino families are showing his disrespect. FBI wiretaps record much of his rants on this subject and they are already building a case on the new England pron business. .

While we don’t know exactly what happened as a result of Angiulo’s escalation, we know what happened to everyone involved. In April 1981, Ken Guarino was sentenced to 2 years in prison for his part in a $3 million a year porn ring in Rhode Island. In November 1981: Carlo Mastrotaro is prosecuted as part of “Operation Big League,” targeting organized crime in Worcester, MA, and he is imprisoned for 18 months. In December 1981 the Green Street News & Smoke Shop is closed but Mastrotaro remained the capo of Worcester for Genovese. The second porn shop was closed as a concession made between families.
On September 19, 1983,  Jerry Angiulo was arrested and held without bail during his trial for murder, extortion, and loan-sharking after evidence given by Whitey Bulger was used to plant a bug at his headquarters and in February 1986, Jerry Angiulo was sentenced to 45 years. In June 1986: Robert DiBernardo is killed by Sammy Gravano on orders of John Gotti. His death benefited numerous people, and as DiBernardo had no crew of his own, and was not a violent man, he was an easy target for machinations.
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