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By Devin McDonald
     Newark, New Jersey
     New Jersey has been a place for organized crime activity since early Prohibition. It's geographically in the heart of Mob America with New York directly above it and Philadelphia neighboring it. New Jersey has always had families from outside the state grabbing for a piece of the action in Newark, so the New Jersey mob aka The DeCavalcante Family is based more in the small town of Elizabeth. New Jerseys first boss was a big time drug dealer Filippo "Phil" Amari who died in 1957. Nicholas Delmore took over after Amari's short stay as boss but the old don Delmore had medical problems so he left the reins of the family in the hands of his nephew Samuel "Sam the Plumber" DeCavalcante.
     DeCavalcante led the family for ten years and ran things his own way. For example, in the making ceremony for a mob member he did not prick the trigger finger (This was revealed years later when the family was at trial). He often chastised soldiers for not showing proper respect to higher ups in the family and predecessor John Riggi praised him as a much better boss then Nick Delmore. DeCavalcante would sky rocket the family's number of members during his reign nearly doubling it. After serving time for extortion he would retire and unlike many mobsters he lived the last years of his life not in a jail cell, but in sunny Florida. Union manipulator John Riggi took over the family in 1976 he was very well liked and could be spotted in Little Italy with some of New York's bosses but out of the five bosses he was favored mostly by Gambino boss John Gotti. Gotti called on the services of the DeCavalcantes to kill a garbage business man named Fred Weiss, who knew too much for his own good. The DeCavalcantes would carry out the contract in the early morning of September 11 1989 with Vincent Palermo and James Gallo as shooters and Anthony Capo as the wheelman. The murder would come back to haunt the DeCavalcante Family.
     John Riggi would be convicted of labor racketeering in September 1990 and he is still incarcerated today. Since the DeCavalcantes boss was imprisoned Riggi appointed a very unpopular captain John D'Amato to the acting boss spot. He did what other bosses told him to do and didn't stick up for the family, like when John Gotti told D'Amato that DeCavalcante enforcer Gaetano "Corky" Vastola could be a rat and he should be killed D'Amato immediatly agreed. (Gotti was later convicted for this murder conspiracy and Vastola is still alive today and is not cooperating with authorities) The final straw came when D'Amato's girlfriend told Soldier Anthony Capo that he is homosexual. This was a total disgrace to the family and up and coming made member Vincent "Vinny Ocean" Palermo knew something had to be done. He called a meeting of the higher-ups in the family and it was decided he had to go. So in November 1991 John D'Amato was shot and killed by bodyguard Anthony Capo with associate Victor DiChiara as the driver. His body has never been found.
     The next street boss of the DeCavalcante was Giacomo "Jake" Amari. He was an old-timer who was a labor racketeer like boss John Riggi. He would lead the family until his death in June 1997. The man who replaced him as street boss was a man who had been in the shadows for decades and had served very little jail time, Vincent "Vinny Ocean" Palermo. He was very much legitimate with interests in a gambling boat, strip clubs and construction industries. Palermo knew how to be legitimate but there were times when he needed to be a gangster. Like when longtime friend degenerate gambler Joseph Masella was looking like he was going to cooperate, Vinny Ocean had him killed. Vinny Ocean's luck would soon run out as DeCavalcante associate Ralph Guarino would start ratting on January 20th 1998. He would gather information on the family going back many years and after a leak came down that there was a rat in the DeCavalcante family from Genovese Capo Fritzy Giovanelli, the FBI decided to pull Guarino out. Arrests were made in December 1999 naming most of the family. Like all mob families these days the DeCavalcantes had a crew of rat's come out of this crackdown. Anthony Capo was the first to cooperate giving the feds information on all the murder plots he was involved in, which also made associate Victor DiChiara cooperate. Longtime Soldier Joseph "Tin Ear" Sclafani decided he could not to see his family again so he hopped on the rat wagon. Those three cooperators were small time compared to Capo Anthony Rotondo and Acting Boss Vincent "Vinny Ocean" Palermo. Palermo, Rotondo, and Capo were both involved in the Fred Weiss and John D'Amato killings and they were the reason the feds were able to convict almost the entire DeCavalcante family. They also went beyond that testifying at Colombo boss Joseph "Joe Waverly" Cacace trial and at Genovese Capo Fritzy Giovanelli trial.
     Nowadays what's left of the DeCavalcantes is being led by longtime soldier Joseph Miranda. However Organized Crime wise New Jersey is mostly inhabited by outside families from New York who have been invading the Jersey Waterfront.

Smith, Greg. Made Men. New York: Berkely Publishing Group, 2003.
Zeiger, Henry. Sam The Plumber. New York: The New American Library Inc., 1970
Rudolph, Robert. "Tales point to bumbling mobsters." [Online] Available
Newscenter Staff. "Gangster Gets Life For Hit On Gay Mob Boss." [Online] Available
The Associated Press. "Doing favor (murder) for Gotti gets mobster 10 years." [Online Available September 26th, 2006.
Capeci, Jerry. "What's Left of the Mob." [Online] Available, January 17th, 2005
Unknown. "New Jersey LCN Family." [Online] Available
Unknown. "The Mafia in New Jersey." [Online] Available
Amoruso, David. "Made Men Who Attend College." [Online] Available

by Devin McDonald
     New Jersey
     The New Jersey factions of La Cosa Nostra often struggled to find ways to make money without upsetting their stronger partners in New York City and Philadelphia. The only established faction of LCN in the state was in Newark. Its first boss was Filippo Amari. He ruled from the establishment of the family until his death in 1957. Nicholas Delmore ruled from 1957 to 1964. Samuel DeCavalcante was the most prominent boss of the New Jersey LCN. He ruled until early in the 1970's. He was succeeded by John Riggi, who is currently imprisoned. It is not known who is the boss in his absence. One other capo of notice is Anthony "Tough Tony" Provenzano. He was a vice-president in the Teamsters' Union, and he is said to be one of the conspirators in Jimmy Hoffa's murder. The latest news on the DeCavalcante family is that it is under the control of John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico. D'Amico is well known in New York for his close association with the Gambino family and with John Gotti. D'Amico served as Gotti's bodyguard at one time, and, along with Peter Gotti, Nick Corozzo, and John Gotti, Jr., D'Amico was one of the men on the committee that ruled the Gambino family immediately after Gotti's incarceration.

by Mario Machi

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