Angelo Anthony "Don Marino" Marino (born May 30, 1924- died Feb. 1983) also known as "The Cheese King", was a San Jose businessman and notorious boss of the San Jose crime family which he headed from 1978 until his death in 1983. Marino was arguably the most powerful and successful boss in the history of the San Jose Mafia organization and had connections to mobsters from across the United States.
Angelo Marino was a capo and later the boss of the San Jose family. Marino was born in Pittsburgh, PA. His parents came to the United States from Italy in 1918. He was the son of Pittsburgh capo, Salvatore "Sam" Marino. Angelo was a former numbers racketeer in Sharon, Pennsylvania who moved to San Jose in 1949 to operate a cheese factory owned by his father, in which he also allegedly invested his criminal gains. His only known arrest up until the 1970s was for a misdemeanor charge in Santa Clara County, California. At one point Marino's company controlled 85% of California's mozzarella and ricotta business. Marino was married to Precious Maggio, daughter of Michael Maggio, who was reportedly a capo in the Philadelphia crime family for many years. Maggio was the owner of M. Maggio Cheese Co. in Philadelphia. Marino was once allegedly marked for death by the Maggio brothers because of his treatment of their sister Precious, who Marino reportedly cheated on and had a child with a mistress by the name of Maria Mack, fortunately for Marino East Coast mobster John Misuraca intervened on his behalf and had the problem peacefully resolved.
On December 5, 1962, Marino was given a contract from Joseph Cerrito to murder Giuseppe Polimeni, who managed a pizza place in Vacaville, CA, known as Pietro's Pizza. This man murdered a member of the Sicilian Mafia in 1953. Polimeni moved from place to place in the United States, and finally was located in California, working under the name John Ripepi. He would have continued to be in hiding if he didn't become friendly with a salesman from Marino's cheese company. Unaware that the company was operated by a mafioso, Polimeni told the salesman more than he should have about his past, but he was deported to Italy before the mob could kill him.
Marino was a very well connected individual. He had close ties with San Francisco mayor, from 1968-1974, Joseph Alioto. He was also close with long time San Francisco crime family boss James Lanza and Frank "Bomp" Bompensiero, Consigliere of the Los Angeles crime family. He also had ties to the Milwaukee crime family through his distant relative Santo Marino. Marino was also connected to Genovese crime family capo Frank "Skyball" Scibelli of Springfield, Massachusetts, who according to FBI reports traveled to San Jose from 1969 through 1971 to conduct gambling business with Marino.
Look Magazine ran a story in 1969 linking San Francisco's Mayor Joseph Alioto to Marino and five other mafia figures. Mr. Alioto responded with a $450,000 libel suit that he eventually won.
Boss of San Jose mob
He became the boss of the San Jose mafia organization after the death of Joseph Cerrito. In October 1977, Marino was indicted, along with his son, Salvatore "Sal" Marino, for the attempted murder and murder of father and son, Orlando and Peter Catelli. The order for their murder had been given by Marino while he sat behind his desk in the trailer office of the cheese factory. Marino had told Orlando to take a knife off his desk and kill his son, Peter. The reason behind the attempted extortion was that Peter previously had attempted to obtain a job with Marino's company. When Marino denied him a position, he attempted to extort $100,000 from him "I must be crazy," he wrote, "but it's not everybody who takes on the Mafia". Marino subsequently ordered Catelli's father to kill him. His father refused and both were met with bullets. Orlando was shot in the back of his head as he was kneeling saying a prayer beside the body of his dead son. He decided to play dead. Weighing 270, it took three men to lift him into the trunk of a car. A few minutes later his son's body was dumped on top of him. The driver abandoned the car in San Francisco but Orlando survived and was rescued from the trunk of the car and agreed to testify against Marino for the prosecution.
He told the prosecution that Marino's son Salvatore killed Peter and then shot him in the head. Marino used his bad health to avoid going to trial for the next three years, but he continued to operate the crime family from a hospital. Joseph Piazza and Thomas Napolitano were also arrested for participating in the attack. On October 12, 1980 Angelo Marino was convicted of second-degree murder and attempted murder. His conviction was overturned on appeals and he was released. Angelo Marino died of a congestive heart failure due to diabetes in February of 1983 at the age of 58.