The Lucchese Family
The Lucchese Family is a crime family based in NYC. They were part of the nationwide Mafia and they are among the “five families” that lead all organized crime throughout the city. Since the beginning of the 1920s the Lucchese family belonging to the Mafia was led by Gaetano Reina. He continued to lead the family in their crime activities until he passed away in 1930. After that Tommy Gagilano took over until he died in 1951. His successor was Tommy Lucchese; under the leadership of Lucchese the Mafia family ended up being the most powerful family when it came to criminal activities.
Lucchese controlled the NYC crime scene by working with Carlo Gambino, the boss of another NYC mobster family. Upon the death of Lucchese in 1967 Carmine Tramunti briefly ran the family until 1973 when he was arrested. After his arrest Anthony Corallo took over. Corallo became heavily involved in the Commission and went to trial in the 1986 Commission court case. Despite being a crime family the Luccheses had a reputation for being peaceful. Their reputation was forever changed when Victor Amuso was put in charge. Amuso appointed an underboss; his choice was his partner in crime Anthony Casso. Together they led a bloody reign that would go down in Mafia history for being the most violent. Anyone that messed with the Lucchese family was murdered during this time. Following their bloody reign Amuso was given a lifetime prison sentence.
In 1989 Amuso had appointed Casso the underboss of the family. This gave him a lot more influence over decisions made by the family than was ever the case in the past. The end of the 1980s was a very tumultuous time for the family. Amuso was demanding to receive half of the profits that the family’s New Jersey crew was making. However the leaders of the New Jersey crew refused to comply with this. As a result Amuso ruled that the New Jersey crew was to be killed off. The members of the crew were asked to meet with Amuso in Brooklyn, New York. Fearing for their lives, the men then went into hiding instead.
The 1990s began with Casso and Amuso being implicated in a NYC case where the businesses they were using as a cover for the mob were inflating their prices so the family could make more money. At this point members of the Lucchese family were starting to become informers. During this time Amuso ordered his men to kill “Fate Pete” Chiodo, though despite shooting him 12 times, Chiodo survived. As a result Amuso ordered a hit on the man’s sister and the man’s wife. Chiodo then turned the family in to the authorities. Amuso came to the point where he was willing to help the Government out during a 1990 trial in the city.
Outside of the family, many informants came to be because they were afraid to speak up against the Lucchese family. Alphonse D’ Arco then went on to become the first NYC crime family boss to testify in court by speaking out against the mob. Every member of the Lucchese family was then arrested. The family came very close to being destroyed after this. Victor Amuso was still running the family from his prison cell at this time.
The depth of the deception this family committed wasn’t entirely clear until 2006 when Anthony Casso admitted that two officers with the NYPD that were highly respected in the 80s had been acting as informants for the Lucchese family. The two officers worked for the NYPD for a collective 44 years and in that time they gave confidential information to the family and murdered innocent people as well. Within four years the officers played a part in eight different murders. The reason behind these murders is that the family was trying to eliminate John Gotti, as he was a rival to the family at that time.
Starting in 2003 the Lucchese family began being run by three individuals. These three men did their part to resurrect the earlier success the Mobster family had had in the Bronx. Their reign of terror continued until 2009 when the family had two indictments brought against them. This resulted in 49 people within the crime family and their associates facing charges of racketeering and bribery. The first indictment resulted in the arrest of 29 of the 49 individuals. The second indictment resulted in 12 of the family’s mobsters being formally charged for bribery.
Throughout the years Amuso was still running the family from prison until 2012. At that point Steven Crea became the new boss of the crime family. In 2013 members of the Lucchese family were arrested, along with other members of other crime families. These members were arrested because they had been involved in local waste disposal businesses. Their “job” was to take control over where trash could and could not be picked up throughout the city. They extorted payments out of their victims so that others could not move in on their territory. As recently as June of 2013 there have been two NYPD squads watching the Luccheses and other local crime families. One of those two squads is watching both the Lucchese family and the Gambino family. To this day the local police department is still closely watching the family for signs that their mobster ways continue.