Carl Angelo "Tuffy" DeLuna (April 30, 1927 – July 21, 2008) was an organized crime figure who was once the powerful underboss of the Kansas City crime family. He was also brother-in-law to Kansas City crime boss Anthony Civella. DeLuna was heavily involved in the "Skimming" of profits from Las Vegas Casinos in the 1970s and acted as both a courier and middleman between the leaders of crime family's involved in the multi-million dollar scheme.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, DeLuna rose through the ranks of the Kansas City family to eventually become underboss and second-in-command to Nick Civella. He was said to be personally responsible for the ambush of a rival mob crew, the Spero brothers, who were the bosses of a renegade faction challenging Nick Civella's authority, at the Virginia Tavern in Kansas City, Missouri in May, 1978. The shooting resulted in one brother being paralyzed, another injured and a third, Mike Spero, dying (one of the four Spero brothers had previously been found murdered in the trunk of a car a few months before the barroom shooting).
The Spero brothers shooting resulted in the FBI planting surveillance and listening devices in hangouts of certain members of the Kansas City family, which in June, 1978, resulted in the FBI unwittingly overhearing DeLuna and Carl Civella discussing Allen Glick and the sale of Las Vegas casinos, discovering the mobs infiltration of these multi-million dollar a year enterprises.
DeLuna was a well-respected and trusted mobster, he maintained the Kansas City family’s close ties with the Chicago Outfit, to the Milwaukee crime family under crime boss Frank Balistrieri and the Cleveland crime family during the mob infiltration of several Las Vegas casinos in the mid-1970s. Federal prosecutors in Kansas City alleged that Nick Civella, Carl Civella and DeLuna each held secret investments in the Tropicana hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. DeLuna along with Charles Moretina were in charge of traveling to Las Vegas and receiving the Kansas City crime family's share of the skimmed casino profits. DeLuna once threatened to kill Las Vegas Mob front-man Allen Glick and his family to force him to sell the Argent Corporation through which Glick legally owned many mob-backed Las Vegas casinos. DeLuna told him they wanted him to sell the Argent corporation because he and his partners were "finally sick of having to deal with me (Glick) and having me (Glick) around". Glick would later testify against DeLuna describing him as "vulgar and animalistic". Within days of DeLuna's meeting with Glick at Oscar Goodman's law office, Glick went before the Nevada Gaming Commission and announced his intention of selling his shares in the Casino's.
Arrest and Conviction
On February 14, 1979, DeLuna's home was raided on and it was found that he kept extensive cryptic notes hidden in his basement which, together with wiretaps, connected all the dots the FBI needed in linking the mob to illegal control of Las Vegas casinos. It would not be an exaggeration to say that some of DeLuna's recorded meetings and notes were responsible for getting the mafia kicked out of Las Vegas. DeLuna was an inverted, compulsive note-taker and had meticulously noted his expenses for his Las Vegas trips and used codes to refer to people involved in illegally controlling and skimming from the Casinos in addition to basically laying out blueprints on FBI wiretaps as to how to skim from a casino. In 1979, DeLuna was placed in the Nevada Gaming Commission's Black Book. On November 5, 1981, DeLuna and Carl Civella were charged and convicted of conspiracy, travel act violations, interstate gambling and transportation of stolen property. DeLuna was sentenced to 30 years in jail in addition to pleading guilty to felony crimes in 1983 along with Joseph Agosto.
DeLuna was released from prison in 1998 after serving 17 years in prison. He died in Kansas City in 2008 of natural causes, he was 81 years old.
In Popular Culture
DeLuna was portrayed in the 1995 film 'Casino' as Artie Piscano (played by Vinny Vella). In the film, Piscano is portrayed as being a loud mouth and dying of a heart attack during the FBI raid on his home.
DeLuna was also prominently featured in the book 'Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas'.