Anthony Loria Sr. (Oct 1, 1921 - Jan 4, 1989) also known as “Tony Abboudamita” was a major participant in the French Connection Heroin scandal. He was cited as a major heroin dealer during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He was born and raised in Pleasant Avenue in the East Harlem section of Upper Manhattan, a New York City neighborhood infamous for being home to the Genovese crime family's 116th Street Crew and the Lucchese crime family's East Harlem crews.
Loria closely associated with members of the Lucchese family and soon acquired a reputation within the family as a loyal and reliable man. He was also associated with the East Harlem Purple Gang, a semi-independent gang of Italian American hit-men and heroin dealers who, according to federal prosecutors, dominated heroin distribution in East Harlem, Italian Harlem, and the Bronx during the 1970s and early 1980s.
In the early 1940s, Loria moved to Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx with his wife Mildred and children Ralph, Daniel, Anthony Jr., Anna and Arthur. They later lived in the Cypress Gardens apartment building on Beaumont Avenue. Loria's brother-in-law Alfred Perillo, was a major Mafia member who was partner of Joe Valachi.
In 1961, Loria was the defendant in New York v. Loria, a landmark case involving Fourth Amendment rights regarding illegal "search and seizure" procedures.
In the early 1970s, Loria moved to North Babylon with his wife and twin sons Louis and Joseph Loria. During this period, Loria went to prison for his role as head of Long Island's heroin trafficking operation. Loria was also implicated in the New York Police Department scandal, in which over $70 million worth of narcotics seized during the French Connection operation were stolen from the police property room. These drugs eventually ended back on the streets, with Loria allegedly being one of the sellers. Loria's partner, Vincent Papa was also arrested in the same Drug Enforcement Administration case and was sent to prison. Carmine Tramunti, Virgil Alessi and Johnny Dio were also part of the crew who "Stole the French Connection" under the direct control of the Lucchese Crime Family.
The case was never fully solved, nor did they discover who was the inside mole in the NYPD or the Special Investigations Unit. That information was taken to the grave with Loria, Papa, Alessi and Dioguardi. Recently however an update has come, with mobster Anthony Casso attempting to "tell all" regarding the whole structure of the famous scandal in return for a reduced sentence. Authorities however declined.
Therefore the full scope and depth of this scheme are still not known. Officials suspect it involved corrupt NYPD officers, who allowed Papa, Alessi, and Loria access to the NYPD property/evidence storage room at 400 Broome Street, where hundreds of kilograms of heroin lay seized from the now-infamous French Connection bust, the missing heroin replaced with flour and cornstarch.
The substitution was discovered only when officers noticed insects eating all the bags of "heroin". By that point an estimated street value of approximately $70 million worth of "smack" had already been taken. The racket was brought to light and arrests were made. Certain plotters received jail sentences, including Papa (who was later murdered in federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia).
For his role in the French Connection scheme, Loria was sentenced to 5 years in prison for heroin distribution after the DEA and BNDD both closed in on his operation. Angelo Paradiso and Stanton Garland turned states' witness against the whole Papa - Loria operation that generated a few million dollars a year according to the SUI internal investigation. He was on the run for over a year when he turned himself in after authorities made over 27 arrests of many family members and friends. With his surrender the Eastern District Courts dropped all 27 arrest charges, and Loria went in to do his time.
In later years, Loria moved to the Stuyvesant Drive section of Port Jefferson, New York and lived out his last years living with his wife Mildred there, along with his son Arthur Loria, Arthur's wife Catherine and their two sons, Daniel Loria and Christopher Loria. In 1989, after years of failing health, Anthony Loria Sr. died at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, New York. He was survived by his wife Mildred (who died in 1995) and seven children.
Loria was the father of Artie Loria who was a very successful musician and member of The Belmonts and Larry Chance and the Earls of doo wop fame. Art Loria died October 23, 2010. Anthony's other son Louis Loria was a successful casting agent. His company "Strickly Talent Production" has produced shows like Oz for HBO and Law and Order for NBC. Daniel Loria, his grandson, is a screen actors guild member and has appeared in The Siege which starred Denzel Washington and Disco! The Final Dance. He is also an active musician - following in his father's footsteps and currently performs and produces many styles of music.
Anthony Loria Sr. is laid to rest in Pinelawn Cemetery in Long Island, New York.