Carolla was born in New Orleans and unlike the son of Carlos Marcello who seemed to have no disposition of joining the mob family that his father had once controlled, Carolla followed in the footsteps of his father in organized crime by joining and eventually becoming the boss of the New Orleans crime family. In 1954, Carolla was arrested on charges of illegal gambling.
On September 22, 1966, Carolla and other high ranking Mafia members attended a meeting at an Italian restaurant called La Stella, which was located at 102-111 Queens Boulevard in Forrest Hills, Queens, New York. They were gathered around a table in a private dining area in the basement, and while awaiting their first course, New York police raided the building and arrested everyone. There were thirteen of them and all were members of the Mafia. Who had summoned the meeting, and how it was organized and what its purpose was has never been disclosed. The group were all taken to a nearby police station, questioned, searched and then released on personal bail of $100,000 each.
Although there has been speculation about why the meeting was called, it has been alleged that it was to resolve matters relating to the New Orleans crime family. Carlos Marcello, the then current boss of New Orleans, sat at the table with his brother Joe, his underboss, along with Carolla and Frank Gagliano, two of his senior family members. Carolla had apparently been seeking a greater share of the New Orleans mob's action, citing seniority within the family and his family birthright. His father had been Sylvestro Carolla, who had run the family until deportation in 1947. Anthony was also apparently seeking approval to take over the New Orleans Mafia when Marcello eventually retired. Apparently the ruling of the meeting favored Marcello. The meeting was referred to by law enforcement and the press at the time as "Little Apalachin".
It wouldn't be until the 1990s that Carolla would finally assume control of the New Orleans crime family following that faithful meeting in New York in 1966.
Boss of the New Orleans
In 1983, Carlos Marcello was sent to prison and suffered and series of strokes in 1989. He was released from prison in 1991 after serving 8 years in prison. During the time he was in prison his brother Joseph Marcello, Jr. was the reputed acting boss of the family. In 1990, it is believed that Carolla took over as boss of the New Orleans crime family with Frank Gagliano as his underboss. Gagliano was once overheard on FBI surveillance saying to a member of the Philadelphia crime family who was seeking permission to operate in New Orleans "...the Marcello's are finished here...", referring to Carlos Marcello and his brothers' control of the local mob.
In 1994, members of the Marcello crime family and the New York Gambino crime family and Genovese crime family were arrested following an FBI/Louisiana State Police mounted operation that lasted two years. In a series of predawn raids, suspects were arrested in Louisiana, New York and Florida. The racketeering charges alleged that the three crime families were involved in establishing and controlling two businesses known as Worldwide Gaming of Louisiana, Inc, and Louisiana Route Operators, Inc. These companies were licensed to sell, distribute and receive revenues from video poker machines in Louisiana. The mobsters were aiming to skim funds collected from these machines, before taxes were due, and to funnel this money into their own crime families.
Among those arrested were: Carolla, Frank Gagliano, Joseph Marcello, Jr., Joe Gagliano, son of Frank, and family capo, Sebastian Salvatore. Two powerful members of the Gambino family, Joseph Corozzo and John Gammarano were also indicted. For Corozzo it was a double blow, as he had apparently been nominated, approved and was about to be "raised" to replace imprisoned John Gotti, as head of the Gambino family. Within a year they had all been tried and convicted.
Carolla remained boss of the New Orleans family until his death in 2007 of natural causes. It is unknown today if the New Orleans crime family is still active or extinct, if still active, what remains of the family is now allegedly headed by Joseph Gagliano.