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Hey Wiretappers, don’t forget t but me a cup of coffee on your venmo app. in this episode of our ongoing examination of the new England crime families, Camilius Robinson and I take a look at the far western Massachusetts city of Springfield. In the earliest days, this city was organized by members of New York’s Genovese family. The first known boss was “Big Nose Sam” Cufari. He was born around the turn of the 19th Century in Bianco, Reggio di Calabria. Historically this was the home base for the Ndrangheta, two organizations similar to the Sicilian Mafia and the Neapolitan Camorra. Another early Springfield associate with ties to pre-Castro Cuba is Carlo Mastrototaro, who would later occupy positions in both the Patriarca and Genovese families. As Raymond Patriarca rose to power he made arrangements for tribute from this Genovese crew operating inside what Patriarca believed to be his territory because it was part of New England. Over the years, this crew participated in the usual mob activities of sports gambling, loan sharking, truck hijacking and all of the other vices.
Sam Cufari died in 1983 and Francesco “Skyball” Scibelli took control of this longtime outpost of the Genovese crime family. he was born and raised in Springfield’s South End neighborhood. He
focused on the lucrative sports and illegal casino gambling business. He would get two convictions for those activities in the early 196os and the judge ordered him out of organized crime activities and sentenced Scibelli to 19 months in jail. The papers at the time hailed this sentence as the “end of organized crime in Springfield.” He ignored the judge’s admonition and eventually went on to run “Springfield” for the New York-based Genovese crime family from the early 1980s until 1998, two years before his death in 2000 at the ripe age of 87 of natural causes.
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