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#614046 - 09/09/11 04:44 PM The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present
furio_from_naples Offline

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 1131

Loc: naples,italy
The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present
The Milwaukee crime family is an American Mafia crime family based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The crime family was considered a branch of the Chicago Outfit. The family’s most influential boss was Frank “Mr. Big” Balistrieri, who was greatly involved in the Las Vegas skimming casinos. Today the family is nearly extinct with the Chicago Outfit gaining the control over the illegal rackets in the area.

While the term “Mafia” is technically incorrect, I use it here because this is how the FBI repeatedly refers to the Milwaukee hoodlums, and because it is the commonly used term. More accurate terms would be “the mob”, La Cosa Nostra (LCN) or simply “organized crime”.

From Italy to America
The Italians came to America at various times on various ships and wound up in various cities, often neighborhoods of larger cities.

Giovanni “John” Alioto, a later mob boss, was born in Porticello di S. Flavia, Sicily either on August 25 or September 9, 1888 to Giuseppe Alioto and Francesca Orlando. Italian birth records do not match his American identification. He came in on the ship Liguria through the port at New York on March 20, 1904 (aged 15). He would become naturalized in Milwaukee on September 13, 1926 and marry Catarina “Catherine” Alioto (born either July 24, 1891 or November 11, 1892 in Sant Elia, Sicily) at Our Lady of Pompeii Church on July 20, 1913. Together they would have several children, including Joseph and Angelo Alioto, and Antonina — who would marry future boss Frank Balistrieri.

Vito Guardalabene: 1913-1921
In April 1913, a “Guito” Guardalabene (probably the same man) was arrested along with two other Italians regarding a shooting in the Third Ward. He was represented by attorney E. G. Wurster.

Mariano “Mario” Alioto — brother of future mob boss John Alioto — was gunned down in 1917 by the Black Hand (also known as the LaFata gang, the forerunner of the Mafia) on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco while trying to fight the extortion racket. This had been a deadly year for the family. A few months earlier, Mario married Angelina Ingrassia, daughter of Gaetano Ingrassia, a successful masonry contractor. Gaetano had been gunned down by the same gang on Thanksgiving Day, 1916.

The first known crime boss for the Milwaukee La Cosa Nostra Family was Vito Guardalabene. His criminal organization is thought to have existed as a branch of the Chicago Outfit. Guardalabene would rule as crime lord from 1918 until his death on February 6, 1921 from natural causes.

G. Peter Guardalabene: 1921-1924
The son of Vito Guardalabene.

During Peter’s reign, future mob leader Frank Balistrieri was born on July 28, 1921 to Joseph and Benedetta (nee Picciurro) Balistrieri.

Peter, known as “the Prince of Little Italy” during his father’s reign, quickly asserted himself as a cagey and cable leader in his own right. Quickly separating himself from the sideshow manager he was in the early ’20s when he served as manager for John Giaginati, a moderately built coal shoveler known for his voracious appetite. Peter moved to strengthen his position and the organization he inherited from his father by surrounding himself with loyal and trusted aides like his brother Angelo and brother-in-law Matthew Deleano. Guardalabene insulated himself from the law by shielding his illicit activities behind a facade carefully constructed around the Monte Carlo club.

The Monte Carlo was a popular prohibition era nightclub known for its extravagant shows and extensive liquor selection. The Monte Carlo was frequently listed among the most flagrant violators of the law banning the sale of intoxicating liquors. On several occasions federal prohibition agents conducted high profile raids on the Monte Carlo failing at every turn to convince Milwaukee authorities to declare the place a public nuisance thereby banning it from operation. With each raid, the influence of the Guardalabene organization grew and the brothers continued to expand there operation through the 20s on into the early 30s.

“Papa” John Alioto started Alioto’s Garden in the old Third Ward of Milwaukee in 1923.

Joseph Amato: 1924-1927
Joseph Amato succeeded Peter Guardalabene as boss of the Milwaukee crime family in 1924. Amato ruled over the city’s underworld until his death from natural causes on March 28, 1927.

Joseph Vallone: 1927-1949
It was during Vallone’s tenure that the National Commission, a governing body of La Cosa Nostra crime families, was formed. The criminal council decided that the Milwaukee LCN Family would answer directly to and remain under the influence of the Chicago Outfit.

Peter Guardalabene was raided on July 15, 1927, and accused of being the owner of the Caldron Club, a night life establishment at 67 East State Street. On July 25, he was freed by court commissioner Harry L. Kellogg. Katie Miller, a notorious night life figure known as Kittie Williams for 30 years, testified that she owned the building and leased it to Edward Grabenheimer, not Guardalabene.

John Alioto took a position with Milwaukee’s Bureau of Street Sanitation on May 4, 1931. He would work his way up from ward laborer to labor foreman over the next 25 years.

On June 13, 1932, Angelo Guardalabene posted $2000 in bond. So did Albert Tusa, Joseph Vallone, and Joe Domanik. Tusa said to the press, “I can’t understand it. I’ve never been in the racket and never been in any kind of trouble with the federal government. This whole thing is hurting my family and my business.” His business? Running a fight club.

On August 4, 1933, G. Battista “Pete” Guardalabene was raided at a farm north of Port Washington, where they had a 600-gallon still. Also arrested were Charles Giangrasso (622 East Clybourn Street), Clarence Kruke and Jake Medinger of Port Washington. Rudy McBride and Durlin Meyers of Watertown, Vieta and Angelo Aielo of 1503 North Van Buren Street, Ralph Rinaldi of 1435 North Van Buren Street, and Paul Eichbaum of 1551 North Warren Avenue.

On the early morning of Tuesday, June 8, 1937, Frank La Galbo (of 416 East Juneau Avenue) was with William Jack Dentice at the Miami Club (618 East Clybourn Street). Later, around 1:50am, Dentice was found dead, shot in the head. The body was left in Dentice’s car at the corner of North Jefferson and East Menomonee. Police immediately arrested La Galbo, and Dentice’s clothes were sent to Professor J. H. Matthews in Madison for examination. La Galbo’s hands were given wax impressions by Detective Elmer Kahn, and it was shown that gunpowder was on his hands — he had recently fired a gun. Police suspected two men were involved — one held Dentice’s hair while the other man shot him. (La Galbo was the nephew of Milwaukee “vice lord” Vince Crupi who was deported to Italy in 1932.)

What was Milwaukee’s connection to crime in New York? On June 13, 1939, Deputy Inspector Michael F. McDermott arrested four crooks in Brooklyn: Frank Sbeglia, 46, a real estate broker at 164 Kane Street; Charles Fishgold, 65, of 1849 80th Street; Mrs. Barbara Oddario, 36, of 146 Amity Street; and Josephine Sbeglia, 42, Frank’s wife.

Sbeglia had the idea to use an elderly man afflicted with cancer and heart disease, Alfredo Oddario, in a life insurance scam against Prudential Life Insurance. Oddario lived in a furnished room run by Fishgold. They had another man, who was healthy, take a physical exam for Oddario in February 1936, getting two life insurance claims for $5000 a piece. The healthy man later married Barbara McAndrews on March 9, 1938 — and she had her name changed to Oddario. When Alfredo Oddario passed on February 6, 1939, Barbara walked into the insurance company with the death certificate and claimed “her” $10,000. Sbeglia gave her $1000, but refused to give her husband a cut — leading him to report the fraud to the insurance company, and they in turn told the police.

Detectives went to the home of Frank’s brother, Mariano Sbeglia, 55, of 1658 74th Street, Brooklyn at 11:00am. There he was arrested, along with Milwaukee hoods Michael Amato and John Alioto, for violating the Sullivan law — all three men had pistols sitting on a writing desk. The Sullivan Act required licenses for New Yorkers to possess firearms small enough to be concealed. Possession of such firearms without a license was a misdemeanor, carrying them was a felony. Sbeglia had an Automatique Modele 1920 caliber 6-35, marked action #30379 fully loaded with 6-25 caliber cartridges. Alioto had a .38 caliber Colt Police Positive Special #148423 fully loaded with six .38 caliber cartridges. Amato’s pistol of choice was a fully loaded .32 Colt. What connection did Alioto and Amato have to the Sbeglias? What were hoods from Milwaukee doing crashing in the apartment of a Brooklyn man? This mystery remains unsolved.

LCN member Sam Ferrara was cited for serving alcohol after hours at his tavern at 1443 North VanBuren Street on June 29, 1942. Ferrara would soon be the next boss, and this address would be the location for at least one gang slaying. (This bar went by the name of the Peacock from 1943-1948 — it is unclear if the tavern had this name before or after these dates.)

Joseph Vallone retired from the rackets in 1949 and died of natural causes on March 18, 1952.

Sam Ferrara: 1949-1952
Sam Ferrara was alleged to have been the next boss, ruling until November or December of 1952. His reign as boss is earmarked by one particular event. Just prior to his retirement, it is believed that the rank and file membership of the Milwaukee LCN Family deposed of him by vote. All evidence suggests that members requested intervention by the Chicago Outfit to have Ferrara step down. The Chicago LCN Family assisted and Ferrara vacated his position.

The man who would soon be Ferrara’s replacement was making a name for himself in the Italian community. He approached the owner of the Ardmore Bar on the corner of 16th and Wisconsin and offered his services if he ever got in “trouble”. By August 1951, the owner came to Alioto’s tavern and said he needed help. Alioto asked, “Where’s the envelope?” “What do you mean, envelope?” “We’ve got to put the fix in and pay off a couple of guys.” The owner walked away, saying it was a minor infraction and he preferred to see his day in court.

John Alioto: 1952-1961
John Alioto was chosen to fill the position held by the ousted Ferrara. He would serve from late 1952 until 1961. The FBI was aware of Alioto’s leadership as early as December 6, 1952, knowing that Sam Ferrara had stepped down. They also believed that Frank La Galbo was now “head of the younger section” of Mafia crew. During Alioto’s reign as boss the Milwaukee rackets grew at a fierce pace. Most notably was the growing relationship with organized labor.

John DiTrapani, along with his wife Angeline and daughter Rosalind ate at Chico’s bar-B-Q (1548 North Farwell), owned by Frank La Galbo, on March 18, 1954. That evening, John was murdered, his bullet-riddled body was found behind the wheel of his Cadillac on North Van Buren Street. Attorney for DiTrapani’s estate, Fred R. Wright, suggested that Frank Balistrieri take over DiTrapani’s bar — Johnny’s Round Up at 2665 North 27th Street (Balistrieri was his nephew and worked as a bartender). The committee rejected this because of Balistrieri’s youth.

An unidentified reporter for a Milwaukee newspaper wrote a memo on November 3, 1955: “While [Frank] Balistrieri has no police record, and is a clean character, he does mix with undesirable elements.”

Small-time hoodlum Jack Enea, 46, (1506 North Jackson Street) was found in a ditch on Plainview Road two miles northwest of Sussex, Waukesha County on Tuesday, November 29, 1955. Enea had been killed between 10:00am and noon. He had seven bullets from a .38 in him, and the last person known to see him alive was cement contractor Walter “Blackie” Brocca (1668 North VanBuren Street). Enea and Brocca had previously operated a tavern at 1932 West St. Paul Avenue.

An unidentified FBI informant speculated that the killing was ordered by John Alioto at the request of Joseph Sciortino. Sciortino was Enea’s uncle, and owned a bakery on VanBuren Street adjacent to Alioto’s tavern. Allegedly, Enea burglarized the bakery and stole $1400. The informant also believed that a black Cadillac was involved and that at least two killers were used — one was identified as John Aiello. This seems questionable, because in 1947 Peter Sciortino moved the bakery from VanBuren to 1101 East Brady Street, and his father (possibly named Joseph) had returned to Italy. So, for this to be correct, the informant would have to have a) confused Sciortino’s name and b) meant to say that Sciortino used to own a bakery on VanBuren, though the one that was burglarized was on Brady.

Detective Inspector Rudolph Glaser of the Milwaukee Police Department believed that a black Cadillac picked Enea up from 1443 North VanBuren, where his Buick was parked. 1443 was previously (and possibly currently) the address of former boss Sam Ferrara’s tavern. He narrowed the car down to a 1948 or 1949 Cadillac after a witness informed him that the car had fin fenders.

Frank Balistrieri met with Milwaukee Phil and an unidentified Chinese man on May 1, 1956 at a barbecue restaurant. (Quite possibly the restaurant was the one owned by Phil’s wife.)

Miss Greta Cotier claims she began working at Club 166 (pwned by Dominic Picciurro) as a prostitute in July 1956. That summer, Picciurro asked her to have sex with Sheriff Michael Lombardi to “keep the heat off” the club. Cotier says that Lombardi, who was friends with Picciurro, was having a drink at the club when Picciurro sent her with Lombardi to the Wind Blew Inn near Mequon, where they rented a room.

Balistrieri was cited by the police on November 20, 1956 for keeping the blinds closed at his tavern. He told the police he was sick of being picked on.

The Wind Blew Inn was raided on January 18, 1957. Milwaukee man Joseph Latona (1846 North Warren Avenue) was cited for running a disorderly house.

Of all the years John Alioto lived in Milwaukee, he was only ever confronted by police once: on July 2, 1957. He was given a mere $5 citation for failing to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle while he was leaving a parking spot. Aside from this and his violation years ago in New York, Alioto would remain clean. Constant surveillance from the FBI amounted to nothing.

On November 14, 1957, Frank Balistrieri likely attended the so-called Apalachin Meeting of the Mafia in Apalachin, New York. Figures representing every crime family in America were present. While his involvement is only speculative, he was registered at a local motel. Balistrieri likely used the Apalachin Summit to introduce himself to all the Bosses from across the United States.

By December 1957, based on information from an incarcerated informant, the FBI began to believe that the Mafia operated in Milwaukee “under direct orders of” Tony Accardo in Chicago. The informant also identified Balistrieri as Alioto’s “lieutenant” and said another member was August Maniaci. An informant (possibly the same one) spoke to the FBI again on January 10, calling John Alioto the “big wheel” of the Milwaukee “syndicate”.

John Alioto phoned someone in the area of San Francisco, California on December 25, 1957, causing the FBI to check if that number was connected to any crime in that state. While their search results are unclear, it would not be surprising to find out the number simply belonged to innocent relatives, especially since the call took place on Christmas.

In February 1958, the city purchased property from John and Catherine Alioto located at 514 and 522 North Van Buren Street for a total of $25,000. These properties fell in the area where Milwaukee was implementing its Urban Redevelopment Plan. (Today, this spot is a parking lot.)

John Alioto retired from his day job as labor foreman for the Milwaukee Bureau of Street Sanitation on April 6, 1958. He continued to work at Alioto’s Food market at 2500 North Booth Street.

The FBI investigated a connection between John Alioto and Anthony A. Musso, the alleged head of the Rockford, Illinois crime family in May 1958. Telephone records showed that Alioto had called Musso at his residence at 2117 North Court Street, Rockford. On May 1, a Rockford police officer advised the Feds that “in his twenty-three years with the department Musso has never been brought into the station but that Musso is a known local hoodlum but has never been caught in any specific offense.” The investigation led them to digging up rumors about Musso’s criminal activities and his connections to known gambler George Saladino. Few connections between Musso and Alioto were found. Completely by coincidence, on May 22, 1958, Tony Musso died of cancer at age 64. He was succeeded temporarily by Jasper Calo and then later by Joseph Zammuto.

Angelo Alioto, John’s son, became a founder of the National Italian Invitational Golf Tournament for Charities, believed to be the oldest ethnic golf tournament in the United States. First held in 1958, the annual tournament continues to raise money for charities and scholarships.

Joseph Sciortino was served an eviction notice in May 1959 by Judge William F. Shaughnessy for his bakery at 536 North VanBuren Street (adjacent to John Alioto’s tavern). The bakery was condemned by a jury to make way for the lower third ward “slum clearance project”.

Isadore Pogrob, a night club owner, was killed on January 6, 1960. Milwaukee mayor Frank P. Zeidler contacted Senator Alexander Wiley on January 11 and asked to be put in contact with the FBI, because he did not believe that local law enforcement was handling the gang situation well. Zeidler told the agent that he believed Pogrob was killed for “squealing” on Louis Fazio. He also said they had three other unsolved gangland style killings: John “Blackie” Sullivan, Jack Enea and John DiTripani. An agent informed Zeidler that the FBI did not have jurisdiction in local cases. Director Hoover noted also that in his opinion Zeidler, a socialist, “had a hostile attitude” towards the FBI and was a “bigot”.

Frank Balistrieri bought his home on Shepard Avenue on October 22, 1960 — the same house he would live in until his death. He bought it for $36,000 — $20,000 coming from insurance loans.

In the summer of 1961, Frank was having tax problems and called a friend to help him find a “good tax man”. The friend referred him to a man named Art, and the two met at the Fireside Restaurant in Wauwatosa some time in July.

October 7, 1961 — Special agents were at Gallagher’s Steak House at 829 North Third Street, and they witnessed Balistrieri come in around 9:30pm. He immediately pulled up a chair to a table with two middle-aged men, a middle-aged woman and a younger woman (none of whom were identified by the agents). He talked with them a short while, then went and talked to a waitress, and finally “busied himself” around the restaurant for 25 minutes. He conversed with the table a bit more and then went to go answer a telephone call. About 15 minutes later, they were joined by yet another middle-aged man. From about 11:00 to 11:30, Balistrieri spoke with one of the men while the others had left the table. At 1:30am, everyone left except Balistrieri. They departed in three cars — a light-colored 1956 Chevrolet coupe, a white 1962 Chevrolet Impala and a 1961 Chevrolet. These people were somehow connected to Frank’s tax problems, and ultimately this investigation led to a bribery charge.

On December 27, 1961 Alioto attended a civic testimony honoring Dr. Vito Guardalabene. The social event, honoring the son and grandson of the Guardalabenes, would also serve as the official induction of Balistrieri as the new boss of the Milwaukee LCN Family.

#614047 - 09/09/11 04:45 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
furio_from_naples Offline

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 1131

Loc: naples,italy
Frank “Mr. Big” Balistrieri: 1961-1993
Balistrieri was college educated and attended law school for six months. As a young man, he started working for the Milwaukee crime family, which owed allegiance to the powerful Chicago Outfit criminal organization in Chicago. Balistrieri soon built a reputation for arrogance, cruelty and ruthlessness. Balistrieri allegedly received the “Mad Bomber” nickname because he frequently used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attached to cars as weapons against his enemies. He married Antonina (Nina) Alioto and soon his father-in-law and Milwaukee boss, John Alioto, was grooming Balistrieri as his successor. Balistieri had already established a sizable loan shark “book”, monopolistic control over illegal sports betting and large-scale influence over vending machines. He would launch the criminal organization based in Milwaukee to greater illegal heights.

In 1961, John Alioto retired and Balistrieri took control of the Milwaukee family. Balistrieri eventually referred to himself as “the most powerful man in Milwaukee.” Balistrieri conducted his business at a table at Snug’s restaurant in Milwaukee’s Shorecrest Hotel, giving orders over a red telephone.

Jennie Alioto testified in January 1962 that on occasion she kept some records of the Hotel Roosevelt and The Pub at her home and worked thereon.

A search warrant was issued and executed on September 26, 1962, by Ernest G. Johannes, Special Agent, Intelligence Division, Internal Revenue Service, and other Special Agents of said division. The warrant authorized the search of Apartment 406, 1609 North Prospect Avenue, occupied by Jennie Alioto under the alias of Lorretta Fischer. The warrant gave permission to search for: books and records of the Hotel Roosevelt; The Pub; Ben Kay; Tower Tavern; Melody Lane; Bonfire; Badger State Boxing Club; and Frank Peter Balistrieri.

On April 13, 1963, the court made the following decision: the warrant issued regarding the property in Jennie Alioto’s apartment was not valid because it lacked sufficiency of designation of the objects of the search and seizure. The search and seizure conducted pursuant to the invalid warrant was illegal, and the objects obtained thereby must be returned to the movants.

In May of 1963, John Alioto’s son, Joseph, died at the age of 41.

Balistrieri, through his adviser Joseph Caminiti and the Teamsters Union, began supplying local politicians, including Mayor Henry W. Maier, with postage stamps. Rather than use cash or check, which may be easier traced, they decided this was a good way to influence the people who grant licenses. When questioned years later, Maier told reporters, “Balistrieri never asked me to do a damn thing for him — and I never did a damn thing for him.” He acknowledged that they had met, but never offered each other more than a greeting.

Around April 1964 (but possibly as early as September 1961), Frank was employing girls at the Downtowner cocktail lounge (340 West Wells Street) and at Henri’s restaurant (730 North 5th Street) to be prostitutes. The FBI brought in and identified either 38 or 83 of these girls, 13 of whom had prior vice arrests. One girl was Silia O. Pichs-Martin, who had actually been deported from Miami after getting arrested on June 16, 1960.

Around April 20, 1964, state prostitution charges were dropped against Noelle Marie DeMazelier, who went by the stage name of Darbi Wilde at the Downtowner. The prosecutor, Donald Steinmetz, reduced the charge to a city fine of $25 when it was learned that DeMazieler was in San Francisco undergoing surgery for an automobile accident.

November 13, 1964 — a sergeant with the Milwaukee Vice Squad informed the FBI that on at least three occasions he has seen a well-known gambler and pimp in the Downtowner or Gallagher’s with Balistrieri. He suspects that the prostitution may have gone “underground”, but that Balistrieri might be referring clients to the pimp.

January 1965 — Balistrieri and his bookkeeper Miss Jennie Alioto (2440 North Dousman Street) were indicted on charges of tax evasion (conspiracy to defraud the government).

By January 13, 1965, the Milwaukee Vice Squad became slightly less concerned with Balistrieri’s prostitution involvement, as they believed he would most certainly get sentenced for his tax evasion, and either rat out his friends or end up getting offed to prevent him from talking. In the words of one officer, he may “wind up in the river before he has a chance to say very much.”

Frank’s son Joseph Balistrieri earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965.

One alleged prostitute being hunted by the FBI was Marilyn Shelton, who was very elusive. In August of 1965, the FBI searched credit bureau records and did not find her, and when interviewing the property manager (Olive Forrester) of the apartment where she may have lived (915 North 24th Street), Forrester claimed to never have heard of anyone named Shelton in the years that she was the manager.

Roughly May 19, 1966, Frank (living at 3043 North Shepard Avenue) filed to have his federal tax evasion case moved to the Southern District of Illinois, on the grounds that the newspapers of Madison and Milwaukee have given his case too much negative publicity.

In March 1967, Balistrieri was convicted of income tax evasion and was sent to prison for two years. In June 1971, he was released.

In March 1967, Balistrieri would be convicted for felony income tax evasion. He had no reason to fear losing control over the rackets because he had placed his brother Peter as his underboss and acting boss during his absence. He served two years at the federal prison located at Sandstone, Minnesota and was released in June 1971.

Peter Balistrieri, Part One: 1967-1971
While in prison Frank Balistrieri installed his brother Peter as acting boss and the crime family deteriorated.

Mayor Joseph Alioto of San Francisco, nephew of former mob boss John Alioto, threatened to sue Look magazine for $12.5 million on September 5, 1969 for an article they wrote claiming he had mob ties. The article said Alioto had provided Mafia leaders “with bank loans, legal services, business counsel and the protective mantle of his respectability. In return he has earned fees, profits, political support and campaign contributions.” They further alleged that when Alioto ran for mayor in 1967, “the Cosa Nostra did its part”. The magazine claims that Alioto, as board chairman for the First San Francisco Bank, “personally arranged” loans totaling $105,000 for Mafia hitman Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno. Alioto did not deny this claim. And regardless of his connections to the mob in San Diego, his connections to Milwaukee are quite clear.

On November 28, 1969, fourteen agents (ten from the Attorney General’s office) participated in a raid on the Scene, a nightclub which the press described as linked to Frank Balistrieri.

In June 1970 Warren objected to the Milwaukee Common Council’s granting of liquor licenses to taverns associated with Balistrieri.

Some point in 1970, convicted felon Joseph Alioto sold Alioto Distributing to his sister, Jane Alioto, for $500 because Joseph could not own a license. John Balistrieri was appointed manager.

Frank Balistrieri, Part Two: 1971-1983
On October 25, 1971 an informant told the FBI that John Alioto still held the position of a capodecina in the Milwaukee crime family.

Former mob boss John Alioto hosted a dinner at Alioto’s restaurant in honor of his nephew, San Francisco mayor Joseph L. Alioto on Thursday, March 30 1972. The mayor spoke to approximately 80 of his cousins, and stumped for Hubert Humphrey and his presidential bid. Introducing him was another cousin, attorney Joseph Balistrieri, son of mob boss Frank Balistrieri. One suspects this did not help dispel the rumors of Mayor Alioto’s mob ties.

Some time in July, Alioto fell while at his restaurant (3041 North Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa — which was still Alioto’s as of 2011) and had to be hospitalized. Alioto died on August 27, 1972 from a heart ailment at St. Michael’s Hospital. While constantly under suspicion from the FBI, he was never caught for any serious offense. The Milwaukee Journal honored him on September 1 with the headline, “Restauranteur Alioto Dies of Heart Ailment”. He had a funeral at St. Rita’s Catholic Church and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery on September 6, 1972.

The FBI reports that capo Phil Priola of the Rockford crime family (and owner of Towne and Country Motel) was made aware of Alioto’s death by an informant, but declined to have any of the Rockford family attend the funeral for fear that this would lead to them being placed under surveillance by the police or FBI. This same informant did, however, say that every known member of the Milwaukee family attended the funeral. One unidentified member of the Madison crime family was also in attendance.

Louis Fazio was shot to death in an alley behind his home at 2805 North Humboldt Avenue on September 27, 1972.

By 1972 or 1973, Balistrieri was approached by California real-estate developer Allen Glick regarding Las Vegas. Glick had desired to build a casino in Las Vegas but lacked the funding. According to the testimony given by former Cleveland LCN Family underboss and acting boss Angelo “Big Ange” Lonardo, Balistrieri contacted Kansas City crime family boss Nicholas “Nick” Civella about a possible loan to Glick. Civella, with his influence over Teamsters Union official Roy D. Williams, was able to secure the funding. Williams was able to extract the funds from the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund. The pension fund had been a creation of previous Teamsters boss and the notoriously corrupt James R. Hoffa.

On March 20, 1974, Balistrieri met with Kansas City mobsters Nicholas Civella and Carl DeLuna, in Las Vegas. During the meeting, the mobsters agreed that Balistrieri would meet with the mafia front man in Las Vegas, Allen Glick, to secure an option to purchase part of his Argent Corporation. Glick would agree to sell half of the corporation’s ownership to Balistrieri’s sons, John Balistrieri and Joseph P. Balistrieri, for $25,000 which, as the mobster later claimed, “he had an obligation arising from the assistance to Glick in obtaining a pension fund commitment in the amount of $62.75 million.”

Soon Balistrieri and Civella were feuding over each other’s share from the skimming operations. Finally, they requested arbitration from The Outfit. The results of the arrangement, as ruled by Outfit leader Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa and underboss John “Jackie The Lackey” Cerone, demanded that The Outfit receive a 25% tax as its cut in skimming operations until the racket collapsed in 1981.

The skim racket worked very easily. Monies collected from patrons were to be accounted for in what was known as the “count room”. Before the proper accounting was completed, portions of the casino’s earnings were collected and shipped back to crime bosses in Milwaukee, Kansas City, Cleveland and Chicago. An exact figure has never been given on how much was actually taken. Law enforcement, however, claims that from 1974 to 1981 that it was estimated to be well over $2 million. Lonardo, while giving his testimony to the U.S. Senate, states that Cleveland’s portion averaged $40,000 a month. Lonardo also said that a dispute over the illegal amounts arose between the criminal organizations of Milwaukee and Kansas City.

Vincent Maniaci was turned down for an operators license for Little Caesar’s (1758 North Water Street — the Trocadero in 2011) in July 1975 due to his criminal record. The city did, however, grant a license to 27-year old Richard W. Czarnecki who took over the business. This decision went against alderman Edward Griffin, who believed that despite Czarnecki’s clean record, his association with known and suspected underworld figures presented a risk.

If Balistrieri was influencing Las Vegas’s underworld, he also was held a tight grip over the day-to-day criminal operations and their operators based in Milwaukee. On September 11, 1975 gambling operator August Maniaci, a suspected informer, was murdered by five gun shots to the head in an alley outside his Milwaukee home at 2121 North Newhall Street. A witness claimed to have seen Chicago Outfit member and a suspected hit man, Charles Nicoletti, near Maniaci’s home moments after his murder. In contradiction to this, Robert D. Hardin testified that he helped Nick D’Andrea murder Maniaci. Maniaci apparently owed Chicago gangster Albert “Caesar” Tocco money. (Nick D’Andrea was later killed by another Chicago mobster, Nick Calabrese, in August 1981. His body was mutilated and placed in a burning car.) Maniaci, who had five bullet holes in his head, was moved to his garage. The gun that killed him would later be found by a sanitation worker in a storm drain near the Milwaukee River. At the time of his death, Maniaci’s official job was working as a salesman for Prize Steak Products at 4264 South 27th Street, Milwaukee.

By 1978, the gun involved in Maniaci’s slaying was traced… sort of. The gun, a .22 Browning automatic, had been purchased from Tamiami Gun Shop in Miami in 1967. From there it went to the Duome Import-Export Company, but was soon passed on to an unidentified owner.

Joseph Frank Alioto died in 1976 at age 39.

On Monday, May 24, 1976 Frank La Galbo, who had previously been tied to two murders in Milwaukee, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. The weapon was a 6.35mm Astra automatic. Although it appeared as though he was getting into his car, the medical examiner ruled it a suicide. Two suicide notes were found in his home. Police did not investigate further, noting that La Galbo had been in fear of his life for a long time. His Peshtigo cottage, for example, was guarded by dogs and electrified wire. La Galbo’s brother-in-law, Joseph Regano, was with Frank the morning he died and said Frank was depressed, especially since suffering a stroke in January that left him paralyzed on his left side.

In June 1976, August Palmisano sold his one-third ownership of Palmy Corp (which owned Richie’s on Broadway) to his son, John A. Palmisano.

On October 2, 1976 (during the 1976 football season), FBI agents observed Sam Librizzi meet with Di Salvo in the parking lot of St. Michael’s Hospital. When they were observed, Librizzi had the trunk of his vehicle open and both were standing at the rear of the vehicle talking. Photographs were taken of them on this occasion by government attorney J. Kenneth Lowrie. Later on October 2, 1976, after Librizzi and Di Salvo left the St. Michael Hospital parking lot, Di Salvo was observed going to Frank Balistrieri’s house and then leaving a short while later.

On October 3, 1976, agents of the FBI observed Di Salvo again meeting with Sam Librizzi in the parking lot of St. Michael’s. Di Salvo was at the lot when Librizzi arrived. Upon arriving, Librizzi got into Di Salvo’s car. The two were observed discussing something in Di Salvo’s auto for approximately 10 minutes. On October 4, 1976, agents again observed Librizzi meet with Di Salvo at the hospital parking lot. On this occasion, Di Salvo got into Librizzi’s car for a short period of time and then both got out and stood alongside the vehicle. The meeting lasted approximately four minutes, and during it Di Salvo was gesturing in a forceful manner and speaking in a very loud voice. On this occasion, Librizzi said little or nothing, and was observed shrugging his shoulders.

On Tuesday, March 15, 1977, two pistol shots shattered the window of The Hair Company at 5:30pm. The Hair Company, on the second floor at 324 East Wisconsin Avenue, was owned by Charles Seth Gottlieb, the son-in-law of Frank Balistrieri. Gottlieb immediately called his business partner, Michael Haas, at his residence at 3240 North Gordon Place. Michael was not home, but his wife Marie informed Gottlieb that the home had also just been shot — with two shotgun blasts and four pistol shots.

On March 29, 1977, Charles Nicoletti received three .38 slugs to the back of his head while waiting in his Oldsmobile in a suburban Northlake, Illinois, restaurant parking lot. He was brought to the hospital where he died six hours later. Nicoletti’s car was never turned off, and consequently overheated and started on fire. Some said that Nicoletti was murdered in retaliation for a hit on a Milwaukee, Wisconsin mob leader, but this is probably a false lead.

Paul La Galbo sold his firm, Midwest Vendors, to Alioto Distributing in 1977 for $4100.

In 1977, Vincent Maniaci experienced car trouble and pulled over to find 20 sticks of dynamite under the hood of his car. He was the brother of slain mob member August Maniaci. Vincent soon fled to Hawaii.

On Thursday, August 11, 1977, rock star Peter Frampton testified in Milwaukee on a John Doe hearing investigated drug traffic by Charles Gottlieb. Frampton knew the Gottliebs because they were friends with Milwaukee native Penny McCall, Frampton’s girlfriend. When performing in Milwaukee, Frampton even wore a Hair Company jacket and the Gottliebs were backstage.

Frank Balistrieri’s football gambling business accepted $6,710 in wagers on December 23, 1977, $11,090 in wagers on December 24, 1977, $1,850 in wagers on December 25, 1977, and $12,060 in wagers on December 26, 1977.

On December 29, 1977, Dennis Librizzi was observed meeting with Nunzio Basile, a writer for Sam Librizzi’s 1977 bookmaking operation, at the Kohl’s Food Store parking lot on Mequon Road. This meeting occurred pursuant to arrangements made the previous day in a telephone conversation between Sam Librizzi and Basile.

In 1978, John Balistrieri helped Jennie Alioto to purchase a rental property at 1601 North Jackson Street in Milwaukee. Since the purchase, John Balistrieri has assisted Alioto in managing the property.

A suspected informer, August Palmisano, was slain by a car bomb on June 30, 1978. He was inside his underground garage at Juneau Village Garden Apartments at 1319 North Jackson Street. Frank Balistrieri was quoted as saying, “He called me a name — to my face — and now they can’t find his skin!” Approximately twenty other cars in the garage were damaged, too.

On July 29, 1978, in the presence of an undercover agent, Peter Frank Balistrieri, Joseph Zito, Charles F. Vince, Phillip Joseph Emordeno, and Benjamin “Leftie” Ruggiero, Frank Balistrieri stated, with respect to one August Palmisano, “he called me a name — to my face”; he was “arrogant,” and “now they can’t find his skin.” In the same conversation, it is reported, Frank Balistrieri stated, with respect to one Vincent Maniaci, “he was an informer too.” Also with respect to the July 29 meeting, after the undercover agent was introduced to Frank Balistrieri, Balistrieri pointed a finger at the undercover agent and stated, “I know all about you,” “we been looking for you all week — we figured you were the G” — and “We were gonna hit him — we didn’t know what this was about — we thought he was the G.”

On August 25, 1978, Special Agents Gail T. Cobb and Joseph Pistone of the FBI, acting in undercover capacities, and Benjamin Ruggiero went to Snug’s Restaurant in Milwaukee, where they observed Balistrieri seated at a table with DiSalvo and others. Balistrieri motioned Ruggiero over to his table, and Cobb and Pistone remained in the bar area. After about 20 minutes, Cobb and Pistone were escorted to Balistrieri’s table and Pistone was introduced to Balistrieri and DiSalvo. After this meeting, Ruggiero told Cobb and Pistone what Balistrieri had said to him before they were escorted to his table. Ruggiero’s statements were recorded en route from Snug’s to the Midway Motor Lodge in Agent Cobb’s automobile. In this recorded conversation, Ruggiero repeated in substance that Frank Balistrieri had told him that football was the biggest thing in Milwaukee and that he (Balistrieri) had his own “office” which he wanted to discuss with Ruggiero and Pistone. Agent Pistone, experienced in these matters, understood Balistrieri’s reference to “office” to mean that Balistrieri had his own bookmaking operation.

Late the next evening, at the Peppercorn Restaurant in Milwaukee, Balistrieri and Di Salvo revealed their roles as owner and manager respectively of the gambling business operated by Sam Librizzi in 1977. This conversation began with a discussion between Pistone and Di Salvo concerning the upcoming football season and bookmaking in general. As the conversation proceeded, Di Salvo advised Pistone in the presence of Cobb, Balistrieri, and Ruggiero, that he was the one who handled Balistrieri’s sports bookmaking operation, that he wanted to get out of it, and that he was trying to talk Balistrieri out of the bookmaking business. The reason given by Di Salvo was that most of the bookmakers in Milwaukee were “stool pigeons” and he was attempting to convince Balistrieri to charge the other bookmakers in Milwaukee $1,000 a week in order to operate. In this way, Di Salvo explained, the bookmakers would be prevented by their own illegal activities from going to the FBI. Di Salvo further stated that there were so many stool pigeons in Milwaukee that they would need “Castro’s army to kill all the stool pigeons that Milwaukee had.” At this point in the conversation, Balistrieri confirmed that Di Salvo was in charge of his bookmaking operation and that he “Was looking for an individual to oversee the day-to-day operation, because the person that was running it last year, by the name of Sam, did not tend to business and wasn’t doing a good job and he was looking for someone he could trust to run the daily, the day-to-day operation for the upcoming football season.” Balistrieri further advised that they wanted somebody to take over this gambling operation from Sam, “so Steve wouldn’t have to spend so much time taking care of the book.”

#614048 - 09/09/11 04:46 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
furio_from_naples Offline

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 1131

Loc: naples,italy
After Frank Balistrieri announced that they were looking for someone to replace “Sam”, Ruggiero volunteered Pistone’s services to take over the day-to-day handling of Balistrieri’s bookmaking operation. Pistone concurred in Ruggiero’s offer. At that point, Balistrieri took Ruggiero aside and spoke with him out of the presence of Agents Pistone and Cobb. Although Cobb was only able to hear brief portions of this conversation to the effect that Balistrieri would have to call New York and that he (Balistrieri) was holding Ruggiero responsible, the full substance of this conversation was later revealed by Ruggiero to Cobb and Pistone in a tape recorded conversation in the early morning hours of August 28, 1978, after the trio left the Peppercorn.

After Balistrieri and Ruggiero concluded their private discussion at the Peppercorn, they returned to the area where Pistone and Cobb were standing and Balistrieri, in Di Salvo’s presence, advised Pistone to contact Di Salvo and make arrangements to meet with him to go over their bookmaking operation. At this point, Di Salvo agreed that Pistone should contact him to set up a meeting for Tuesday.

On the evening of August 28, 1978, at Ruggiero’s direction, Cobb made arrangements to meet with Balistrieri to advise him that Pistone would not be taking over the bookmaking operation. Upon learning of this fact from Cobb, Balistrieri said he would have to make some other kind of arrangements to replace “the guy that had it”. This statement indicated Balistrieri’s continuing intent to run his sports bookmaking business during the 1978 football season.

On September 13, 1978, Agent Cobb met with Frank Balistrieri, Steve Di Salvo, Peter Balistrieri, and Joe and John Balistrieri at Snug’s. Peter and Frank Balistrieri had just returned from a federal grand jury appearance. Cobb heard Peter Balistrieri tell Di Salvo, “You got a problem.” Frank Balistrieri then told Di Salvo that the government had pictures of Di Salvo meeting Sam Librizzi, “At the hospital . . . where you picked up the money.”

At some point in 1979, Leo Dinon sold his cigarette distributing company to Alioto Distributing for $8000-$9000.

On October 13, 1979, wagering activity totaled $10,600.00. On October 14, 1979, it totaled $47,655.00, and on October 15, 1979, it totaled $100.00. The total of $47,655.00 for October 14, 1979, a single day’s wagering activity, exceeded any daily total in either the 1977 bookmaking operation when at least seven writers were involved, and in the 1980 bookmaking operation when at least ten writers were involved. Wisconsin law prohibited gambling businesses taking in over $2000 a day.

On October 20, 1979, the district court entered an order permitting electronic surveillance at Snug’s Restaurant and Leonardo’s Pasta House. In support of its motion seeking the order the government submitted a 110-page affidavit of Agent Michael De Marco setting forth evidence that Balistrieri and his associates were engaged in extortion, illegal gambling, and the murders and attempted murders of suspected informants. The electronic surveillance produced evidence that the government intended to introduce at Balistrieri’s trial. These orders were subsequently extended on November 19, 1979, and December 28, 1979.

In a telephone conversation between John Piscuine and Sam Librizzi on October 25, 1979, Piscuine protested his inability to reach Librizzi to place some wagers. At one point Piscuine stated, “I tried to get a hold of you. Dennis wasn’t there.”

In a phone conversation on October 26, 1979, Balistrieri complained to Esther Ridgway about the losses he had suffered in his bookmaking operation. At one point he said, “I hollered at him, I hollered at Steve, I’m through hollering.”

In a January 10, 1980 conversation, Sam Librizzi, in responding to Frank Balistrieri concerning the status of delinquent wagering accounts, stated: “Now Dennis [Librizzi] owes us thirty-seven hundred. It’s on the slip there. What he gave me last week.” Librizzi made reference to “Feller’s 290″ in reporting to Balistrieri on the status of amounts owed by various persons to their gambling business. Frank Balistrieri and Sam Librizzi discussed setting up a sports bookmaking operation that would accept wagers on upcoming basketball games. The profits and losses from such an operation were to be split four ways between Sam and Dennis Librizzi, Frank Balistrieri, and Peter Picciurro. Sam Librizzi was the one who suggested the idea to Balistrieri, and in the course of this conversation referred to the fact that his brother Dennis had already opened up such a bookmaking operation in which Balistrieri and Sam Librizzi were included as partners. Librizzi further advised that he and Dennis were going to “combine” customers and “rent an office”.

In a telephone conversation on February 14, 1980, Micelli and Sam Librizzi discussed reduction of an amount owed by one of Micelli’s betting customers to Librizzi. At one point in this conversation, Librizzi told Micelli, “Yeah. But I see him all through the Football season, this was from . . .” In response, Micelli stated, “I understand, see, but I was waiting, as long as you got a little piece of money coming, that’s the time to pay.”

In a telephone conversation on February 18, 1980, Ed Feller told Sam Librizzi that due to the volume of bets, “[I]t seemed like football, for crying out loud.”

In a telephone conversation on February 22, 1980, Micelli advised Sam Librizzi that, “I just got through talking to my partner . . .”

In a telephone conversation on March 1, 1980, Micelli told Dennis Librizzi that he gave the “book” to the “other guy” because he (Micelli) was going to “leave in the next thirty-six hours.” In a telephone conversation on March 4, 1980, an unknown individual relayed a series of wagers to Sam Librizzi. These wagers were recorded by Librizzi on a bet slip under the account designation “Match”.

On March 5, 1980, the FBI seized documents (charting sheets and bet slips) from Frank Balistrieri’s bedroom in his residence on North Shepard Avenue in Milwaukee. Most of these documents were in the handwriting of Sam Librizzi. They reflected wagering activity on football games played on October 13, 1979, on October 14, 1979, and on October 15, 1979.

Much of John Alioto’s restaurant building was destroyed on August 15, 1981, in a fire that took the lives of two members of the Wauwatosa Fire Department, paramedics James Lorbeck and Lawrence Schampers. Lorbeck, 42, and Schampers, 38, died after they were trapped in the basement where the fire started.

Frank Balistrieri was indicted on October 1, 1981 of various gambling and tax charges. The case was assigned to Judge Robert W. Warren.

Balistrieri submitted his first motion for recusal on October 26, 1981, shortly after Judge Warren’s assignment to the case. The affidavit accompanying the motion set forth various statements and actions attributed to Judge Warren during the period from 1969 through early 1971, when he was Attorney General of Wisconsin. According to the affidavit, Warren believed that Frank Balistrieri was the head of the Mafia family in Wisconsin. Warren allegedly set into operation a systematic program, or “vendetta,” designed to ruin Balistrieri and to destroy businesses with which he or his relatives were associated. As a part of this program, Warren moved to dissolve certain Balistrieri-linked corporations for failure to file annual reports, saying that this “crackdown” was an effort to keep the crime syndicate out of legitimate business in Wisconsin. Warren also sought injunctions against four Balistrieri-linked taverns for not having workmen’s compensation insurance.

Benedetta Balistrieri, Frank’s daughter, followed her second husband, Johnny Contardo, a former lead singer for the band Sha Na Na, to Hollywood in 1982.

The October 4, 1982 car bombing of mob associate and the Stardust Casino’s Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, in Las Vegas, was attributed to Balistrieri. Rosenthal’s Cadillac was parked in the parking lot of Tony Roma’s (620 East Sahara Avenue) and he survived only because a metal plate was installed under the driver’s seat.

Balistrieri’s second motion for recusal was filed on July 20, 1983. It incorporated the previous affidavit and included a new affidavit from one John Forbes. Forbes stated that he was then in the Federal Witness Protection Program, that he was then serving a sentence for burglary, and that over his life he had been charged with a number of crimes and convicted of several. He stated that in 1963 he became acquainted with one Herbert Krusche, a criminal investigator for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. According to Forbes, from 1968 through 1970, during the period when Robert Warren was Attorney General, Krusche asked Forbes to conduct a number of undercover investigations of Frank Balistrieri and persons alleged to be associated with him, in return for help in connection with criminal charges then pending. On several occasions in 1969 and 1970, Forbes related, he wore a body recorder or electronic listening device at Krusche’s request and monitored conversations of Frank Balistrieri and of his lawyer, Roland Steinle, among others. Krusche allegedly asked Forbes to break into someone’s apartment and plant a bug and to break into the basement of the Kings IV restaurant and plant a bottle of stolen liquor. On one occasion Krusche allegedly asked him to break into Steinle’s office and bring back any files he could find on Frank Balistrieri. Forbes stated that he complied with this request and brought back one file. According to Forbes, he met Robert Warren only once, in a meeting with other high officials of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Forbes stated that he had made a tape of a conversation with someone about fixing a case pending against Forbes, then went with a reporter to the Attorney General’s office and turned over the tape. According to Forbes, someone stated that they could not use the tape “because it might be considered illegal or an entrapment or something of the sort.”

Forbes continued: “I made a statement to the effect I did not understand why they were concerned about it, in light of the number of times that I wore a bug for Mr. Krushe [sic] and went in places for him. Someone, I think [the Head of the Criminal Division], said “You better not talk about that.” [An assistant to Attorney General Warren] then asked if I had declared it on my Wisconsin tax return and kept a record of it. I said “no.” [The assistant] said “well, we did.” I understood this conversation to mean that I ought not to talk what [sic] I had done for Krusche [sic]. Attorney General Warren was present during this conversation. I do not remember any specific comments made by him. Except about entrapment etcetera. [sic]”

Balistrieri filed a third motion for recusal on August 16, 1983, attaching the affidavit of one Terrence Joseph Donley. According to Balistrieri, Donley contacted attorney John Balistrieri on August 11 after having read an article in the previous evening’s paper concerning Judge Warren’s denial of the previous motion for recusal.

In the affidavit Donley stated that he worked for the Wisconsin Department of Justice from June through September 1970 as an “undercover operative.” According to Donley, his immediate supervisors included Robert Warren. In Donley’s presence Warren allegedly swore that he was going to get Frank Balistrieri no matter what. Warren was alleged to have said, in substance, “If it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to put Frank Balistrieri back in prison for the rest of his life.” According to Donley, Warren frequently made statements of his intention to get Frank Balistrieri. Donley stated that a special detail of the Department of Justice under the supervision of Dan Hanley and under instructions from Warren was assigned to the Milwaukee detail on Frank Balistrieri and organized crime, and that it was the purpose of this detail to bring criminal charges against Frank Balistrieri. According to Donley, Warren would get upset if nothing was found. Donley stated that Frank Balistrieri and organized crime were among the top priorities on the Attorney General’s budget.

Balistrieri filed his final motion for disqualification on August 22, 1983. It included all the previous motions and supporting documents as well as new affidavits of Frank P. Balistrieri, John J. Balistrieri, and John C. Tucker, Frank Balistrieri’s attorney.

In his affidavit Frank Balistrieri stated his belief that Judge Warren had personal bias and prejudice against him. He reiterated the factual allegations of previous affidavits. The only new factual material we find is a paragraph stating that Balistrieri did not previously know Terrence Donley and did not give him anything for his affidavit, and a paragraph stating on information and belief that Judge Warren had said at a recent social gathering that he was delighted to be sitting in judgment in the case because he will have an opportunity to “put Frank Balistrieri away.”

The affidavits of John J. Balistrieri and John C. Tucker concerned the circumstances under which Terrence Donley came forward and gave his affidavit. John Balistrieri stated that he had never met Donley before and gave Donley nothing of value for his affidavit. They both stated, in substance, that news reports found in the Milwaukee Public Library confirmed certain statements that Donley had made regarding his background and his position as an informant for the State of Wisconsin during 1970.

The gambling case was reassigned to Judge Terence T. Evans for trial, and trial commenced on August 29, 1983.

In September 1983, Balistrieri and his two sons were indicted in Kansas City on charges of skimming over $2 million in unreported income from the Fremont Hotel and Casino (in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada) and the Stardust (in Winchester, Nevada), both associated with Argent Corporation (owned by Allen R. Glick, a San Diego real estate investor). This was the first case in which federal authorities had successfully connected mobsters from four different states. While awaiting sentencing on extortion and bookmaking charges, Balistrieri claimed to be innocent.

October 9, 1983, Frank P. Balistrieri, described by prosecutors as the city’s organized crime boss, was convicted of five gambling and tax charges but acquitted of five other counts stemming from a sports betting ring. Balistrieri, 65 years old, was accused of heading a betting operation from 1977 to 1980 that grossed at least $2,000 a day. The five-week trial stemmed from a government investigation that had included wiretapping of the Shorecrest Hotel, owned by Balistrieri’s son, Joseph, and a raid on Frank Balistrieri’s home in which Federal Bureau of Investigation agents knocked the front door open with a sledgehammer. Four other defendants were convicted on a total of 19 counts and found not guilty on two counts.

Two others were acquitted on all charges. One acquitted man was Peter Picciurro, whose attorney William Coffey told jurors in his closing statement that the court wanted to “grind Peter Picciurro up and spit him out because he’s in their way and they want Frank Balistrieri.”

Benjamin Ruggiero pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, presumably lowered thanks to his involvement in catching the Balistrieris.

On January 5, 1984, Dennis Librizzi filed a motion seeking permission to file, as timely, an additional motion for a new trial. The motion alleges that the factual information supporting the January 5, 1984 motion for a new trial did not come to the attention of his counsel, Mr. Sutton, until December 31, 1983. The information used for the motion was that juror Douglas Plinska knew FBI agent James McDermott despite answering that he did not know any federal agent during jury selection.

At a hearing on January 16, while under oath, Plinska said he played on about 40 to 50 softball teams over the last 15 to 20 years, and that he turned 35 last year and joined, for the first time, a team in the “35 and over” league sponsored by the City of Brookfield. The team included about 15 “hard core” members who showed up for most games, and 3 or 4 others who only showed up for a few games. The team played about 14 games during the season, all on Monday nights. Plinska explained that he did not know McDermott except for the fact that McDermott was also on the team. They did not socialize together, and he did not know McDermott’s occupation until the team banquet was held on October 15, 1983, six days after Plinska’s duties as a juror in this case had come to a close.

A US District Court jury began deliberations on Saturday, April 8, after hearing from federal prosecutor John Franke about death threats, protection payoffs and the inner workings of the mob.

On Monday, April 10, 1984, Frank P. Balistrieri, described by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the head of organized crime in Milwaukee, was convicted of extortion for trying to take control of an vending machine business run by undercover FBI agent Gail T. Cobb. Also convicted were his two sons, Joseph, 43, and John, 35. A fourth defendant, Michael SaBella, 73, a restauranteur and reported member of the Josepg Bonanno crime family in New York, was found not guilty.

On May 29, 1984, Frank was sentenced to four years imprisonment and a fine of $4,000 on the conspiracy, four years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 on one of the § 1955 (conducting an illegal gambling business) counts, four years imprisonment and a fine of $4,000 on the other § 1955 count, and one year imprisonment and a fine of $1,000 on each of the two tax counts, with all the sentences of imprisonment to run concurrently. His sons were convicted of extorting a vending machine businessman and each received two years in prison and lost their licenses to practice law. “The first time I heard the word ‘Mafia’ was when I read it in the newspapers,” Frank said in a 10-minute pre-sentence speech to Judge Evans. He said that the convictions were results from a “conspiracy between the press and the government”, with the news media “inflaming and poisoning the community against me.”

Dennis Librizzi was sentenced on June 4, 1984, to imprisonment for a year and a day for conspiracy to conduct an illegal sports bookmaking operation and to three years probation for failure to file certain tax forms, on condition that he pay a fine of $15,000 during the probationary period.

In September 1985, Balistrieri was tried in Kansas City, Missouri with eight other associates for skimming an estimated $2 million of the gross income of the Argent Corporation from Syndicate casino operations. Federal prosecutors further accused Balistrieri of skimming the unreported income and distributing it to organized crime figures in Kansas City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cleveland. In failing health, Balistrieri pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy in exchange for dropping federal charges, which included attempting to conceal ownership of a casino to skim profits and interstate travel to aid racketeering. He also attempted to shield his sons, John and Joe, from any charges.

In December 1985, Balistrieri was sentenced to 10 years in prison (to run concurrently with his 13-year sentence from 1984). Close to achieving a seat on the ruling Mafia Commission in New York, Balistrieri was thwarted by this prison sentence. According to the Bureau of Prisons, Balistrieri was released from prison in late 1991.

He died of heart-related natural causes on February 7, 1993. Handling the funeral was Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral Service, though callers from the media were informed only that “a Frank Balistrieri” had died, without confirming it was the man itself. Senator Gary George, D-Milwaukee, was one of the notable attendees at Balistrieri’s funeral.

#614049 - 09/09/11 04:49 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
furio_from_naples Offline

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 1131

Loc: naples,italy
Peter Balistrieri, Part Two: 1983-1997
Joseph Balistrieri would later testify regarding the Alioto property on North Jackson: “Well, when we came back from our sabbatical in 1989, things were very bad, personally and financially. We no longer had a source of income. We were practicing lawyers, and we had to put our affairs together. John got married. Now he had a wife, and we were just trying to keep what we had from going under. I finally said, look, with the Jackson Street thing — I’m not going to pull this wagon anymore without some kind of compensation. I mean, no more. We used the term no more, niente per niente. That means no more nothing for nothing. I’m not going to charge her a fee, but we have to have some kind of arrangement where we’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because every day she would call John. In fact, he’d come to me with her problems. My life at that time wasn’t a bed of roses either. I had litigation of my own to contend with. I had my own problems that I was going through, and I said enough. Things weren’t as rosy as they used to be. Now we’re convicted felons. We’ve got to take care of business, here.”

In 1991, John Balistrieri and Jennie Alioto discussed the future status of her rental property at 1601 North Jackson Street. Alioto told John Balistrieri that she did not wish to sell because she needed the income from the rental units for her retirement. Alioto told Balistrieri that she would be willing to give him and his brother the option to purchase the property before any other buyer if she ever decided to sell it.

On February 14, 1992, Jennie Alioto and the Balistrieri Brothers met and signed a contract giving the Balistrieris an option to purchase the Jackson Street property after ten years for $125,000. Attorney Greg Gramling prepared the document at the request of the Balistrieris. He testified that he read the document to the defendant in the meeting. Alioto signed the document, but testified that she believed that she was signing an agreement providing the Balistrieris with the first opportunity to purchase the property should she decide to sell it. She also testified that she did not read the contract prior to signing it.

May 1992, Jennie Alioto read the contract for the first time and understood that its terms provided the Balistrieris with an option to purchase. Alioto then phoned John Balistrieri and recorded the conversation. A transcript of the exchange was admitted into evidence at trial for impeachment purposes as to John Balistrieri. Alioto also testified to her own recollection of the conversation: “I told him that that wasn’t what I was supposed to have been signing, that I thought I was signing an offer — I can’t think of the phrase (right of first refusal) — and he told me not to worry about it, he would do right by me, and I said, you put the price in, you put the date in, and I didn’t know anything about it.”

In 1992, Benjamin Ruggiero was released from prison after serving 11 years and sick with lung and testicular cancer. On November 24, 1994, he died of lung cancer at age 68.

In 1996, Peter’s brother Joseph Balistrieri unsuccessfully petitioned to have his license to practice as a lawyer reinstated.

Peter Frank Balistrieri died of natural causes on August 17, 1997.

Joseph P. Caminiti: 1997–present
As of 1997, long time consigliere (counselor) to the Milwaukee LCN Family, Joseph P. Caminiti, is believed to be the local crime boss. Law enforcement claimed that he shared much of the power with Frank Balistrieri’s son Joseph up until Joe’s death. Law enforcement also believes that the Milwaukee LCN Family is nearly extinct, with less than 15 “made” members and the most lucrative rackets controlled by the Chicago Outfit.

In early 2002, the Balistrieri Brothers served Jennie Alioto with notice of their intention to exercise their option to purchase the property. Alioto refused to sell, and the Balistrieris sued Alioto for specific performance of the contract. Alioto answered that the Balistrieris fraudulently induced her to sign the contract. The Balistrieris moved for summary judgment, arguing that Alioto’s defense of fraud was barred by the six-year limitation in Wisconsin Statute § 893.93(1)(b)[3] on claims of fraud. The court rejected this argument and sided with Alioto.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke resigned his post and joined Milwaukee law firm Gass Weber Mullins on January 1, 2009. Deputy Chief Judge David Hansher called Franke one of Milwaukee County’s best and brightest judges.

Benedetta Balistrieri, the daughter of Frank Balistrieri, died May 27, 2009, in a Los Angeles hospital from diabetes complications at age 64.

Joseph P. Balistrieri, son of Frank Balistrieri, died in October 2010 at age 70.

Angelo J. Alioto, son of John Alioto, died February 3, 2011 of complications of pneumonia at age 87.

#614072 - 09/09/11 08:51 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
yigido Offline

Made Member
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 172
what is the estimated membership?

#614074 - 09/09/11 08:55 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: yigido]
IvyLeague Offline

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 6784
Originally Posted By: yigido
what is the estimated membership?

If you're talking about present day membership, it's probably only a handful of guys, if that.
"If you believe there's a hell...I don't know if you're into that...but we're already pretty much going there, right? But I'm not going to lie down until I get there."

- Walter White

#614075 - 09/09/11 09:00 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
yigido Offline

Made Member
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 172
yh thats what i meant
is the membership really that low even with their associates?

#614081 - 09/09/11 09:16 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
Mukremin Offline

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 1102
Associates dont count as members, otherwise the New York mafia would end up in more then thousands of members.

#614084 - 09/09/11 09:29 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
yigido Offline

Made Member
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 172
guess youre right but why dont these guys induct more members if they are almost becoming defunct?

#614085 - 09/09/11 09:32 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
Mukremin Offline

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 1102
Not all associates are Italian, its a mix of everything. All the families suffer from the same problem, they cant find anyone good enough for the mob.

#614105 - 09/10/11 07:33 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: yigido]
IvyLeague Offline

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 6784
Originally Posted By: yigido
guess youre right but why dont these guys induct more members if they are almost becoming defunct?

They were always a small family. And there hasn't been a mob case in Milwaukee since the Balistrieris in the mid-1980's. 25 years ago. They've been defunct for quite some time now.
"If you believe there's a hell...I don't know if you're into that...but we're already pretty much going there, right? But I'm not going to lie down until I get there."

- Walter White

#614108 - 09/10/11 07:46 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: IvyLeague]
LuanKuci Offline

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 662
Originally Posted By: IvyLeague

They were always a small family. And there hasn't been a mob case in Milwaukee since the Balistrieris in the mid-1980's. 25 years ago. They've been defunct for quite some time now.

I thought that they got "merged" into Chicago...kinda like a Crew or something.

#614113 - 09/10/11 08:28 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: LuanKuci]
IvyLeague Offline

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 6784
Originally Posted By: LuanKuci
Originally Posted By: IvyLeague

They were always a small family. And there hasn't been a mob case in Milwaukee since the Balistrieris in the mid-1980's. 25 years ago. They've been defunct for quite some time now.

I thought that they got "merged" into Chicago...kinda like a Crew or something.

No. Even back in the day when Chicago had a certain amount of oversight over some other families, it was ones west of Chicago. Not east. There's really not much left in Cleveland to merge with anyway.
"If you believe there's a hell...I don't know if you're into that...but we're already pretty much going there, right? But I'm not going to lie down until I get there."

- Walter White

#616506 - 10/05/11 04:25 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
WestCoastGoombah Offline

Registered: 10/05/11
Posts: 2
Hello Furio_from_naples.

Thanks for the great story about the Wisconsin family. I would like to make a note of one thing you included in your long story. Mariano "Mario" Alioto, who was gunned down in San Francisco in 1917 was not a brother of the mafia boss, John Alioto, but was his cousin. He was the brother to six others, including Giuseppe, the father of former mayor of San Francisco, Joe Alioto. He did get killed in 1917. Just wanted to make one small correction.

#616510 - 10/05/11 07:42 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
furio_from_naples Offline

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 1131

Loc: naples,italy
thanks for the small correction

#616538 - 10/05/11 12:27 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
Jimmy_Two_Times Offline

Registered: 10/03/11
Posts: 721

Loc: Your Mom's House
Again, Furio, you're the man! Very insightful!

#714966 - 05/10/13 04:20 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
WestCoastGoombah Offline

Registered: 10/05/11
Posts: 2
Hello Furio,

I have another correction for you. The former mayor of San Francisco, Joe Alioto, was fourth cousins (x 2 removed) "in law" to Giovanni (John) "Mob Boss" Alioto. I know this because I have a 10,000 plus name database of the Alioto family with accurate records dating back to the 1700s. The Alioto family was split between Milwaukee and San Francisco. One family had connections directly with the mafia (Milwaukee)in the 1950s and 1960s. The other one, the San Francisco family, lost ties to Cosa Nostra nearly 100 years ago.

#714969 - 05/10/13 06:31 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
Faithful1 Offline

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 425
I think it's important to give credit where credit is due. Furio basically copied what Gavin Schmitt wrote on his website. Gavin spent a lot of time and money researching this information and he deserves the all the credit.

#714974 - 05/10/13 08:16 AM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: Faithful1]
Dwalin2011 Offline

Registered: 04/28/11
Posts: 980
Was Balistrieri really about to receive a seat on the Commission? I thought the Milwaukee mafia wasn't important enough.
Willie Marfeo to Henry Tameleo: “You people want a loaf of bread and you throw the crumbs back. Well, fuck you. I ain't closing down"

#714996 - 05/10/13 01:43 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: furio_from_naples]
Jenkins Offline

Made Member
Registered: 07/02/12
Posts: 145
I like the part where Kansas City and Milwaukee are having a dispute over their shares of the skim in Vegas. So they go to Joey Aiuppa in Chicago to settle it. Aiuppa's solution is to give Chicago 25 percent. Brilliant! Probably the last time anyone went to Aiuppa to solve money disputes!

#715325 - 05/12/13 09:42 PM Re: The Milwaukee Mafia, 1918-present [Re: Jenkins]
cookcounty Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 1213
Originally Posted By: Jenkins
I like the part where Kansas City and Milwaukee are having a dispute over their shares of the skim in Vegas. So they go to Joey Aiuppa in Chicago to settle it. Aiuppa's solution is to give Chicago 25 percent. Brilliant! Probably the last time anyone went to Aiuppa to solve money disputes!

Chicago was the bully of the Midwest like newyork bullied the east


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