The Patriarca Crime Family, also known as the New England Mafia, the Providence Mafia, the Boston Mob, or The Office is an Italian-American organized crime syndicate based in New England. The criminal organization has two distinct factions: one active in Providence, Rhode Island and the other in Boston, Massachusetts.
Before prohibition began two separate Mafia families emerged in New England, one based in Boston, Massachusetts and the other based in Providence, Rhode Island. The Boston crime family was founded in 1916 by Gaspare Messina. In 1917, Frank Morelli formed the Providence crime family. Morelli went on to control bootlegging and gambling operations in Providence, Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut. In 1924, G
Raymond L.S. Patriarca stepped down as Boston's Mafia boss assuming a businessman's role while working with Frank Cucchiara and Paolo Pagnotta from a grocery store on Prince Street in Boston's North End. During this time a Mafia power struggle ensued in Boston as rival gangs fought for loan sharking, illegal gambling and bootlegging rackets. Filippo Buccola, a mobster from Boston's East side became the boss of the Boston crime family. In December 1930 or early 1931 a Mafia meeting was held and Gaspare Messina was elected the temporary capo dei capi of the American Mafia. Messina retired from Mafia affairs in the early 1930s, and died in June 1957 in his Somerville, Massachusetts home.
During the early 1930s Buccola along with his underboss Joseph Lombardo, a mobster from Boston's North side battled other ethnic gangs for territory. In December 1931, Lombardo had Frank Wallace the boss of South Boston's Irish Gustin Gang murdered. Then in 1932, Frank Morelli merged his Providence family with Buccola's Boston family forming the New England crime family. Buccola would rule as boss of the New England crime family from East Boston as he continued to have his competition murdered. He then had the boss of Boston's Jewish mob Charles Solomon murdered leaving him as the most powerful gangster in Boston. On April 27, 1952 Buccola held a party in Johnston, Rhode Island celebrating his retirement and Raymond Patriarca ascension to boss of the New England crime family. Buccola retired to Sicily in 1954, and ran a chicken farm, he died in 1987 of natural causes at the age of 101.
In 1954, Raymond Patriarca made drastic changes in the family, the biggest being moving the family's base of operations to Providence, Rhode Island. He ran his family from the National Cigarette Service Company and Coin-O-Matic Distributors, a vending machine and pinball business on Atwells Avenue in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence. The business was known to family members as "The Office." Patriarca was a strict and ruthless leader. He successfully ran his crime family for decades. He made it clear that other crime families were not permitted to operate in New England, and was also skilled at warding off police and maintaining a low profile and thus received little hindrance from law enforcement. The family ventured into new rackets such as pornography and narcotics, though mob informer Vincent Teresa insisted that Patriarca forbade the family to deal in drugs.
During his reign as boss, Patriarca formed strong relationships with the New York Genovese and Colombo crime families. Patriarca worked with the Genovese family and decided that dividing line between the New York families and his family would be the Connecticut River. The New England crime family would control organized crime in Worcester (where Genovese capo Carlo Mastrototaro reigned as local boss for half-a-century)and Boston, as well as the state of Maine while the Genovese family would control organized crime in Hartford, Springfield, and Albany.
Patriarca's long-time underboss, Enrico Tameleo, was even a member of New York's Bonanno crime family. In addition to having close ties to the powerful New York Mafia, Patriarca was also on the Mafia's ruling commission and had investments in two Las Vegas casinos. Another of Patriarca's underbosses was Gennaro Anguilo. Angiulo was involved in the numbers racket in Boston, and was being shaken down by rival mobsters because he was not a "made" member. Angiulo solved this problem by paying Patriarca $50,000 and agreeing to pay him $100,000 a year to become a made member of the family. Angiulo was based in Boston and gained complete control of gambling in the city.
The Apalachin Meeting and aftermath
In 1957, more than 60 of the country's most powerful crime bosses met in Apalachin, a hamlet in upstate New York. The meeting was attended by powerful organized crime figures, such as Joseph Bonanno, Carlo Gambino, and Vito Genovese. Raymond Patriarca was also in attendance, and was subsequently arrested with all of the other attenders. The Apalachin Meeting drew a lot of attention to Patriarca from the press, the public, and law enforcement.
The situation became worse for Patriarca and his family in 1961, when Robert F. Kennedy became Attorney General and began an assault on organized crime. Law enforcement agencies worked to develop informers within the mob and finally succeeded in 1966 when Joe Barboza, a hit man for the Patriarca family who claimed to have killed 26 people, was arrested on a concealed weapons charge. Barboza became concerned when Patriarca did not raise his bail and two of his friends were killed for trying to do so. Barboza became an informant not long after, and in 1967, Patriarca and Enrico Tameleo were indicted for the murder of Providence bookmaker, Willie Marfeo. Patriarca was convicted and began serving time in 1969. While Patriarca was in prison, Angiulo served as acting boss. Patriarca was released in 1974 and resumed control of the family.For his testimony, Barboza was given a one-year prison term, including time served. He was paroled in March 1969 and told to leave Massachusetts forever. In 1971, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in California and sentenced to five years at Folsom Prison. Less than three months after his release he was murdered in San Francisco by Joseph “J. R.” Russo on February 11, 1976
Patriarca was plagued by law enforcement for the rest of his life, and was charged numerous times for a variety of crimes until his death in 1984. In 1978, Vinnie Teresa testified that Patriarca had participated in a 1960 attempt by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Fidel Castro that was never carried out. In 1983, Patriarca was charged with the murder of Raymond Curcio, and in 1984, he was arrested for the murder of Robert Candos, whom Patriarca believed was an informant. Raymond Patriarca died of a heart attack, aged 76, on July 11, 1984.
After Patriarca's death, the New England Mafia began a long period of decline, resulting from both legal prosecution and internal violence. After Patriarca's death, Jerry Angiulo attempted to take over as boss, despite being in jail. However, Ilario Zannino, the family's top lieutenant, backed Patriarca's son, Raymond Patriarca Jr for the position. The National Commission approved Patriarca Jr.'s ascendancy to leadership and his position was confirmed. Zannino was made consigliere, but he was sentenced to thirty years in prison in 1987. Gennaro Anguilo was sentenced to 45 years in prison for racketeering charges. Other senior members died, such as Henry Tameleo and Francesco Intiso, and William Grasso then filled in as underboss because of the younger Patriarca’s weak leadership. Some law enforcers believed that Grasso was actually in charge, but these rumors ended when Grasso was found dead in June 1989. Nicholas Bianco then took over the family's Providence operations.
On March 26, 1990, Raymond Patriarca Jr and 20 other family members and associates were indicted on numerous racketeering, extortion, narcotics, gambling, and murder charges, including underboss Nicholas Bianco, consigliere Joseph Russo, and caporegimes Biagio Digiacomo, Vincent Ferrara, Matthew Gugleilmetti, Joseph A. Tiberi Sr., Dennis Lepore, and Robert Carozza. The arrests were described as "the most sweeping attack ever launched on a single organized crime family." One of the most damaging pieces of evidence was a tape recording of a Mafia induction ceremony, at which 13 Mafiosi were present. Because of this embarrassment, Patriarca was replaced as boss by Bianco, who maintained a very low profile. However, in 1991, Bianco was sentenced to 11 years in prison, while eight other family members were convicted of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. Bianco died in prison in 1994. Patriarca was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 1992 after pleading guilty to racketeering charges. On January 6, 1992, all of the defendants in the RICO trial pled guilty and received lengthy sentences and large fines. In 1993, 26 others were indicted and convicted for running a bookmaking operation.
Frank Salemme took over the family after the trials and moved the family's base back to Boston. Salemme's ascension to the position of boss, however, sparked tensions among family factions. In 1991 and 1992, six mob-related killings resulted from internal family violence. The war between Salemme and a crew of renegade mobsters continued for several years, with murders of more mob associates piling up all over Massachusetts until 1996. In January 1995, Salemme was indicted along with Stephen Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulger on extortion and racketeering charges. Salemme discovered through court documents that his close allies Flemmi and Bulger were longtime FBI informants. Bulger's friend Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent John Connolly, let him run his criminal operations with impunity for informing on the Patriarca crime family.
After Frank Salemme's was imprisoned a renegade faction led by Robert Carozza, Anthony Ciampi, and Michael P. Romano, Sr. waged war on the Salemme loyalists. In April 1997, the FBI indicted 15 members of the renegade faction including Robert F. Carrozza, Anthony Ciampi, Michael P. Romano, Sr., Paul A. DeCologero, Anthony Allan Diaz, Vincent Michael Marino, John J. Patti III, Enrico M. Ponzo, Christopher Puopolo, Eugene A. Rida, Jr., Nazzaro Ralph Scarpa, John M. Arciero, Leo M. Boffoli, Sean Thomas Cote, and Mark F. Spisak. The grand jury testimony that resulted in the indictments was dominated by Sean Thomas Cote, who was the first of four indicted members to turn government witness. When the verdict for the trial returned, the jury acquitted the defendants of most charges and was deadlocked on murder and racketeering charges. While a second trial was underway, several of the defendants, including Anthony Ciampi and Eugene Rida, changed their pleas to guilty.
On December 9, 1999, Frank Salemme pled guilty to racketeering charges and on February 23, 2000 was sentenced to eleven years in prison. In early 2001, Salemme agreed to testify against Flemmi and Bulger.
The New England crime family is estimated to have about 30 made members controlling influence in the New England area especially in the cities of Boston and Providence. In recent years the family has been hit with several FBI RICO indictments and two captains Mark Rossetti and Robert DeLuca have become government informants.
On January 19, 2011 retired boss Luigi Manocchio was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was charged with extortion and conspiracy. Manocchio had stepped down as boss in 2009, after the FBI began investigating two strip clubs the "Cadillac Lounge" and the "Satin Doll" in late 2008. In February 2012, Manocchio agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced on May 11, 2012 to 5½ years in prison for extortion.
Anthony DiNunzio became the "acting boss" in late 2009, after boss Peter Limone was arrested. In 2010, DiNunzio extorted Rhode Island strip clubs with members of the Gambino crime family. On April 25, 2012 "acting boss" Anthony L. DiNunzio was arrested and charged with racketeering and extortion.On September 13, 2012, DiNunzio pleaded guilty to shaking down Rhode Island strip clubs,and was sentenced to six years on November 14, 2012.
On October 2, 2014 Acting Boss Antonio L. “Spucky” Spagnolo, 72, and reputed made man Pryce "Stretch" Quintina, 74, were arrested for allegedly extorting thousands of dollars in protection payments from a video poker machine company which installed machines for illegal gambling in bars and social clubs. Spagnolo took over as acting boss after Anthony DiNunzio was arrested back in 2012. Both Spagnolo and Quintina are reputedly old members of the Patriarca crime family's Boston faction.
Following Spagnolo's conviction in December 2015, , Carmen "The Big Cheese" Dinunzio of East Boston has allegedly taken his spot as acting boss and will most likely seek to be made official boss when Peter Limone officially retires. Matthew "Goodlooking Matty" Guglielmetti of Cranston, RI is said to have replaced Dinunzio as Underboss, running the Providence-faction of the family.
With syndicate consigliere Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo just starting a 5 year prison term for felony assault, it is unclear who exactly would take his spot as consigliere, however Bobby Carrozza of East Boston or Joseph Achille of Providence are likely successors.
Boss – Carmen "The Big Cheese" Dinunzio: (Boston) the current Boss. DiNunzio is a Boston mobster, indicted in 2008 on corruption charges stemming from an undercover operation. In 2009, he pled guilty to bribery charges and was sentenced to six years in prison on September 24, 2009. Dinunzio was released on parole in February 2015.
Underboss – Unknown
Consigliere - Matthew L. Guglielmetti Jr (Providence) is the current underboss of the Patriarca Crime Family. In 2005 Guglielmetti was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "protecting" a shipment of cocaine passing through Rhode Island. He was also busted that year for infiltrating labor unions in greater-Providence. He was released on June 10, 2014.
Boss (official and acting)
1916–1924: Gaspare Messina – Boss of the "Boston family", stepped down, died in 1957.
1917–1932: Frank "Butsey" Morelli – Boss of the "Providence Family", stepped down, became underboss.
1924–1954: Filippo "Phil" Buccola – Boss of the "Boston family", united both families in 1932, retired, died in 1987.
1954–1984: Raymond Patriarca – Providence Faction - died on July 11, 1984.
1984–1991: Raymond Patriarca Jr – Providence Faction - took over after his father's death, stepped down in 1991.
1991–1991: Nicholas Bianco – Providence Faction - imprisoned on December 28, 1991 and died on December 14, 1994.
1991–1996: Frank Salemme – Boston Faction - jailed in 1995, became government informant.
- Acting 1995–1996: John Salemme – Boston Faction - Frank Salemme's brother; jailed
1996–2009: Luigi Manocchio – Providence Faction - stepped down, imprisoned
2009–2017: Peter "Chief Crazy Horse" Limone - Boston Faction- imprisoned
- Acting 2009–2012: Anthony L. DiNunzio – Boston Faction - arrested on April 25, 2012 and was sentenced to 78 months in prison for racketeering
- Acting 2012-2015: Antonio Spagnolo - Boston Faction - indicted in October 2014, on charges of extortion, could face up to 20 years in prison.
- Acting 2015-2017: Carmen "The Big Cheese" Dinunzio - Boston Faction
2017–present: Carmen "The Big Cheese" Dinunzio - Boston Faction
Underboss (official and acting)
c. 1920–1932: Joseph "J.L." Lombardo – Boston Family underboss, became consigliere
1932–1947: Frank "Butsey" Morelli – Providence Faction - retired.
1947–1954: Raymond Patriarca – Providence Faction, promoted to boss.
1954–1968: Enrico Tameleo – Boston Faction, imprisoned, Died 1985.
1968–1984: Gennaro Anguilo – Boston Faction, imprisoned 1983, Died 2009.
1984–1985: Francesco "Paul" Intiso – Died.
1985–1989: William P. "the Wild Man" Grasso – Connecticut Faction - Murdered.
1989–1991: Nicholas Bianco – Providence Faction, promoted to boss.
1991–1991: Frank Salemme – Boston Faction, promoted to boss.
1991–1996: Robert Deluca – Providence Faction, imprisoned
- Acting 1996: Luigi Manocchio – Providence Faction - promoted to Boss.
1996–2004: Alexander Santoro Rizzo – Boston Faction - imprisoned 1995– June 12, 1998.
2004–2015: Carmen "The Big Cheese" Dinunzio – Boston Faction - imprisoned, promoted to acting boss.
2015 - present: Matthew L. Guglielmetti Jr – Providence Faction
Consigliere (official and acting)
1932–1954: Joseph "J.L." Lombardo – Boston - retired - Died on July 17, 1969.
1954–1976: Frank "the Cheeseman" Cucchiara – Boston - committed suicide on January 23, 1976.
1976–1984: Nicolo "Nicky" Angiulo – Boston - demoted - Died 1987.
1984–1987: Ilario Zannino – Boston - imprisoned - Died 1996.
1987–1992: Joseph "J.R." Russo – Boston -- imprisoned 1990, Died 1998.
1992–1998: Charles "Cue Ball" Quintana – Boston - imprisoned.
1998–2002: Rocco Argenti – Providence - Died
2003–2009: Peter "Chief Crazy Horse" Limone – Boston - promoted to acting underboss.
2009-2015: Anthony Parillo – Providence - imprisoned. With syndicate consigliere Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo just starting a 5 year prison term for felony assault, it is unclear who exactly would take his spot as consigliere, however Bobby Carrozza of East Boston or Joseph Achille of Providence are likely successors.
2015-2018: Joseph Achille - Providence - Died
Gregory "Fat Greg" Costa
Frederick "Freddie the Neighbor" Simone
Antonio "Spucky" Spagnolo
Edward "Eddie" Lato
Anthony "Ponytail Tony" Parillo
Joseph "Joe" Ruggiero Sr.