Joe Jr. found himself under tremendous scrutiny after the Apalachin fiasco when it became known that he had booked the hotel accommodations for several of the guests of the ill-fated underworld summit. Joseph was saved from the intense scrutiny of the media and state and federal law enforcement agencies when he accepted an invitation from Pete Licavoli to come into the Detroit area and become apart of the Detroit mob known as the Detroit Partnership.
Member of the Detroit Mob
Young Joseph accepted the offer and immediately proved to be an excellent addition to the team when on his suggestion the Detroit Partners moved into the refuse business. Joseph Barbara, Jr. joined by his father-in-law Peter Vitale and his brother Paul formed Tri-County Sanitation. Under this company the Detroit outfit would gain a monopoly over the refuse business that would last for the next 30 years.
The 300lb Barbara was set up as the companies front while the Vitale's offered advice and assistance from the shadows. Tri-County offered the most modern equipment boasting a fleet of brand new haulers costing in excess of $20,000 dollars each. Barbara received the Partners help with labor relations as Jimmy Hoffa the International Brotherhood of Teamsters President made certain that no labor problems be-felled the young company allowing Barbara to increase his companies profit margin by hiring non union drivers and paying them $40 dollars a week less than the going rate. The Tri-County Sanitation company received an unexpected boost when a grand jury indicted 29 Detroit public works employees and 5 trash haulers in 1963 and charged them with cheating the city of Detroit out of dumping fees by purposely underestimating the weight and volume of trucks entering dumping facilities. Barbara took this opportunity to secure as much as 10 per cent of the cities trash business and later achieved an even larger slice of the multi million dollar pie when he employed strong arm tactics and intimidation to drive several smaller companies out of business or forced them to sell their assets to Tri-County at a discounted price.
Barbara forced himself out of the trash business in 1968 when at the age of 36 he was arrested on rape and extortion charges involving the wife of Pete Lazaros "a collection agent for the outfit who was locked up on fraud charges." Though Barbara was acquitted of the rape charges he was sentenced to a 7 to 20 year term for extortion. The public outcry over the mistreatment of Delores Lazaros forced Barbara to arrange the sale of Tri-County Sanitation Company to Nicholas Micelli, an attorney who was married to another of Peter Vitale's daughters.
Barbara was able to stay out of prison for several years by appealing his conviction but eventually served the minimal amount of time before returning to the Partnership. Once released from prison Barbara was given priority attention by investigators who managed to nail him a second time in 1979 for income tax fraud relating to an retained interest in the Tri-County Sanitation Company after the arranged sale to his brother-in-law Nick Micelli. Barbara was sentenced to 4 years in prison in October of 1980 for racketeering and had another year added to that for violation of his probation relating to the 1970 conviction.
Since his release from prison several years ago Joseph Barbara, Jr., appears to have learned the value of keeping a low profile. He has managed to avoid the attention of federal and state investigators who now consider him an inactive member of the Detroit Outfit.