The Utica New York Crime Family

March 16, 2020

Cam and I discuss a little known mafia family in upstate New York. From 1970 to 1992, Salvatore and Joseph Falcone led organized crime in Utica, NY. This family went back to the late 1930s. They were a powerful crew of the Buffalo, NY Maggadino Family, also known as The Arm. The New York State troopers arrested both men at the Apalachin Meeting in 1957. This crew was made up of approximately 15-20 “made” members.  the famous witness, Joseph Valachi, claimed they were a separate family but it is more likely they were a powerful autonomous crew under Stefano Magaddino.
In 1972 the older brother Salvatore Falcone died in Miami and in 1974 Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino died. The younger Falcone brother, Joseph is aging and to outsiders there appeared to be a leadership vacuum. Carmine Persico ordered members of the Colombo Family to move into the area. Tony Falange, a top lieutenant of Falcone begins making moves, showing disrespect to Falcone. For example, he often failed to attend meetings or ask permission to expand the business. Someone robbed Falcone’s safe of $54,000.

By September of 1976 Albert Marrone, a young Turk, was released from prison after using violence to collect on a loan. He immediately began making threats against everyone and expressed his intention to take over Utica’s rackets. Marrone had a history of violence and had been implicated in two murders in the early 1970s.

By October 1076, things got crazy. Albert Marrone and his girlfriend were at dinner with local mob attorney Louis Brindisi and his wife. Brindisi excused himself, after which, Marrone became very nervous. Later that evening, Marrone walked toward his apartment when he was shot. He shielded his girlfriend, but he was killed. There are conflicting reports as to who was responsible. But it is believed that Donato “Danny” Nappi and Jack “Jake” Minicone were two of the shooters. They were working for the Colombo Family. Marrone is known to have threatened Colombo Family representatives. On the other hand, a Falange Lieutenant named Angelo Conte was reported to have wanted Marrone dead. The strongest supposition was that the Colombo family members acted without permission, despite being advised that Marrone’s actions could be dealt with in a sit-down. This unilateral action by the Colombo family—a sign of disrespect—is believed to have sparked further conflict in Utica.

This all sets the scene for a long and protracted bloody mob war for the Utica New York rackets. The Colombos move in and start to extract a street tax on the bookies and they are met with much resistance.

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10 comments on “The Utica New York Crime Family

  1. Rachel Noel May 15, 2020

    There were three shooters, and two others listening to police scanners a few blocks away. The paper dubbed them as the “not so straight shooters” because at least 20 rounds hit the garage and neighboring houses. Joseph Falcone signed off on the hit.

    • Gary Jenkins May 19, 2020

      Thank you for your comments, great information for the podcast followers.

      • Justin Salce Feb 15, 2021

        Ever, been in a shootout? I have,, most guys aren’t professional marksmen. And in a spur of the moment ambush, you aren’t taking a wide 2 foot stance youre running shooting ducking shooting… Bullets fly esp. with 3 guns.

        • Gary Jenkins Feb 17, 2021

          Thanks for the comment. No I have not but I had several friends who were and you are exactly right. Bullets everywhere as they tried to find cover.

    • My uncle is Dick Bretti what do you know about him. Not what’s in the news paper but the truth?

  2. Anthony Jun 14, 2021

    I come from Utica, NY.
    I remember Dominick Bretti, he came for secret meetings at Padula’s Market off of Bleeker Street back in late 70’s.

    Utica is a very economic depressed area, weather bad seven months of the year.
    Nothing to do, why not join a crime circle?

    Family oriented town with family businesses, very cliquy, i was in the circle With Falcone.

    I never got caught, the organized crime chapter continues. Very low key, if you only knew whats happening still!

    Anyhow, good gossip session on your part for your ratings.

    Good luck.

    Anthony Gambino

  3. I grew up in Utica was born at st Elizabeth’s in 64
    My Father was Joe ( sonny ) Aquilo
    He worked possibly ran to bars there
    Peperadas and the canteen in the late 60’s
    Not sure if I spelled peperades correctly.
    He was there since the 40’s
    He was married to a lady who’s family owned the gellotti cheese factory ( I don’t know if I spelled that right either. Just wondering
    I moved from there in 75

  4. Tim Curley Oct 15, 2021

    My Dad and I went to Utica in the late 60’s to have lunch with this guy and his wife. The wife couldn’t speak english very well. She made spaghettis and meatballs for us. I had never seen it served the way she did. After the meal, we went out on this mans front porch and just my Dad and him talked. I remember a few guys standing across the street watching all around plus a car that had a few guys just sitting in there. When we left, I remember my Dad telling me that this guy was a really big deal and that if I ever needed anything, to just go to this guy and he would help. I never went back but always wondered who this guy was. I think I was scared. My Dad told me to never talk about our day in Utica to anyone. This is the first time ever to do so. I have no idea who the guy was…..I’m sure you won’t be able to help with this but I found it interesting.

    • Gary Jenkins Oct 18, 2021

      Thank you for your story. You are right we have no idea, but it is a good story for sure.

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