Tom Dragna

Gaetano "Tom" Dragna (November 25, 1888 – 1977) also known as "Tom Rizzotti" and "Tom Allen",was a Sicilian-American bootlegger and mobster who became a member of the Los Angeles crime family. He was the brother of Jack Dragna and father of Louis Tom Dragna. He remained an obscure figure until he was featured in The Last Mafioso: The Treacherous World of Jimmy Fratianno in 1981.

Biography

Dragna was born Gaetano Dragna in Corleone, Sicily in 1889. He was the middle child of Francesco Paolo Dragna and Anna Dragna. He had an older sister, Giuseppa, and a younger brother Iganazio. At the age of eight, they moved to New York City on November 18, 1898.

The two brothers, who now renamed themselves Tom and Jack Dragna, respectively, then moved to Los Angeles. Unlike his brother, Tom became a naturalized citizen on November 10, 1939. While in California Tom married and fathered at least two children: Louis Tom Dragna and Frank Paul Dragna. He owned a ranch in West Puente Valley, California. During the 1920s they were involved in bootlegging and were closely allied with Joseph Ardizzone. On multiple occasions, Dragna was arrested for violating the national prohibition law, for violation of deadly weapons Act, national firearms Act and for conspiracy to commit murder. Tom was also a suspected major narcotics smuggler. After Ardizzone's disappearance in 1931, Jack became Boss of the Los Angeles crime family and made Tom his consigliere. Another close supporter of theirs, Girolamo "Momo" Adamo, was made underboss.

Consigliere

Tom Dragna was a planner in some of the unsuccessful attempts on Mickey Cohen's life. Dragna was an expert at dynamite and setup the two bombs that were planted in Cohen's home. The first one didn't go off after the fuse failed to fully light. The second time, the bomb went off, but was placed near a safe, which shielded Cohen. In 1950, Dragna along with his son Louis, and two men named Frank Paul Dragna (his son and nephew, respectively) were arrested after Jack fled the state after being named in the California Crime Commission report as a member of a crime syndicate in Los Angeles. The four along with Momo Adamo were taken into custody by authorities, who believed they were responsible for bombing Cohen's home or knew who was. After being questioned, none of them were charged and they were released. Dragna bought a desert ranch outside of Las Vegas in 1951 in hopes of turning it into a casino. Jack Dragna was unable to build a casino and his attempt almost led to his deportation.

According to the book The Last Mafioso, Dragna had the best aim with a gun in the crime family. As consigliere he was able to get his son Louis to become an official member of the Los Angeles family. When Jack Dragna died in 1956, Tom resigned from the criminal life when Frank DeSimone was named boss of the family. He still remained close to the crime family afterwards however.

Dragna died in 1977 of natural causes.

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