The State of New England’s Mafia by Mark Silverman
In 2005, the Boston newspapers were reporting that Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio was running a noxious, unhappy mafia family. A street beef between Anthony (Spucky) Spagnolo and the East Boston mafia street duo of Frederick (Freddy the Neighbor) Simone and Vincent (Dee Dee) Gioacchini had reached its boiling point. The two East Boston gangsters had served lengthy prison terms and wanted their old territory back. Spagnolo, who had since been promoted to Capo of the Day Square Crew was not about to let that happen. In traditional Mafia style, the two gangsters reached out to Manocchio to settle the dispute. Fearing another all out mob war, Manocchio dispatched his Rhode Island Lieutenant, Matthew Guglielmetti to Boston for a sit down. State police wiretaps placed in the kitchen of Simone picked up some very damaging conversations alluding to the fact that Guglielmetti would be killed if the peace could not be brokered.
Guglielmetti tried to convince Simone and Gioacchini that Spagnolo would back off and allow them to earn in his territory. It sounded good, but the duo did not believe him. They had only one option left; reach out to New York. The Patriarca family has always been controlled by New York’s Genovese Family. In fact the Genovese had a crew that operated in Springfield, Massachusetts. Their Springfield crew was headed by Genovese captain, Adolfo (Al) Bruno. Once again, the state police wiretap paid off as they intercepted a phone call between Boston and New York. The stage was set.
Boston organized crime was about to be re-organized. Genovese big wig Al Bruno agreed and the meeting was set. By now the feds had joined the party hoping to connect the dots. They focused their attention on newly released Joe (The Horse) Salvati. The Horse was part of the infamous FBI framing of four innocent men for the alleged murder of petty thief Teddy Deegan in the 60’s. The Horse served almost three decades behind bars courtesy of The FBI and their informant Joe (The Animal) Barboza. As the saying goes “a leopard doesn’t change his spots”, neither did The Horse. The results of the sit down did not go in favor of the Day Square Crew. Bruno had about as much luck as Guglielmetti in quelling the beef. Bruno was gunned down three years later as he exited his social club in Springfield. Stories ranged from retribution to an internal power struggle with the Genovese.
By 2005, the state and federal authorities closed in and arrested Simone and Gioacchini on charges ranging from extortion to threats made during the beef with Spagnolo. In any event, the authorities gathered enough information during the investigation to begin their relentless assault on the leadership of the Patriarca Family. In 2008, they turned their attention to 48 year old Boston wiseguy, Carmen (The Cheeseman) DiNunzio who was allegedly promoted to boss of the Patriarca family after Baby Shacks had ‘retired’ and moved to Florida. It was rumored that the Cheeseman played a key role in brokering the peace in the family. The Cheeseman was arrested by Massachusetts state police on extortion charges while also being charged in a bribery case by the FBI. As part of the package deal, he was sentenced to 6 and a half years. The Cheeseman appointed his brother Anthony DiNunzio upon his departure to federal prison.
In 2011, the Patriarca Family power base had clearly shifted back to Boston when the feds snared Baby Shacks as part of the largest ever mafia sweep across the country. Over 120 wiseguys from Providence to New York were snatched off the streets and sent off to serve sentences ranging from probation to life. The 83 year old Don was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his alleged role in shaking down Rhode Island strip joints.
Anthony DiNunzio’s reign was short lived as he was arrested in 2012 for his part in the Rhode Island strip club shakedowns. DiNunzio received 6 years. His alleged replacement was none other than Anthony (Spucky) Spagnolo. It was the first time in the history of the Patriarca family that the boss was from East Boston. The Boston center of power was always based in the North End of Boston. Spagnolo was arrested in October 2014 on charges that could land him a seat behind bars for up to 20 years.
2015 has brought with it the release of several key players in the once mighty Patriarca Crime Family including Baby Shacks, Guglielmetti, and the Cheeseman. As of today, there has been some jockeying for position, but no clear cut leader has emerged. The once coveted position of boss now comes with price. According to Jeffrey Sallet, special agent in charge of organized crime in New England, the FBI will aggressively pursue their attack on leadership positions in New England organized crime.
Check out author Mark Silverman’s book Rogue Mobster- http://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Mobster-Untold-Silverman-Boston/dp/1511947624/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433964818&sr=8-1&keywords=rogue+mobster+paperback