Feature Articles

February 2004

Cigar City Mafia

By Scott M. Deitche

Scott M. Deitche - Cigar City Mafia
  Click cover to buy

For those of you that have visited in the past you know that Rick Porello was the one who first gave me an opportunity to post some feature articles on organized crime in Tampa. Back then I was just starting to research and write my first book. Now, five+ year later, Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld (Barricade Books) is being released. Here�s an excerpt form the press release:

Cigar City Mafia is the first book ever written about the Tampa mob. This enigmatic crime group extended its criminal empire across Florida, into Cuba and across the globe. Mafia traces the mob�s history from its beginnings in the Cuban/Italian ethnic enclaves of Tampa in the 1920�s through the present. The group also gave rise to one of the most powerful, yet least known mob bosses in crime history, Santo Trafficante Jr., who ran the crime family from 1954 to his death in 1987.

The book examines:

        The "Era of Blood", where 25 gangsters were gunned down on the streets of Tampa as Italian, Cuban, and Anglo crime groups battled for control of the rackets

        Bolita, the nickel and dime betting game that made the crime family millions

        The global narcotics empire of Santo Trafficante Jr.

        Control of gambling in pre-Castro Cuba

        The nebulous connections between the CIA, anti-Castro Cubans, and the mob

        On the 40th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, the relationships between key figures in the assassination plot and Santo Trafficante Jr.

        The pervasive influence of organized crime on Tampa politics through the present day

        The influence of the Tampa mob in the South Florida/Miami underworld

        The mob murder of police officer Richard Cloud and the "lounge wars" of the 1970�s

        The Donnie Brasco FBI sting, designed to take down Santo Trafficante Jr.

        The true story behind the Goodfellas scene in Tampa

        The relationships between the Tampa mob and crime families in New York, New Orleans, and Chicago as well as ties with Sicilian, Spanish, Hispanic, and Asian crime groups as well as the cracker mob, a group of rural whites that controlled gambling in central Florida

        The death of Santo Trafficante Jr. and the rise of his successor, Vincent LoScalzo


About The Author: Scott M. Deitche has written extensively on organized crime since 1996 and has been interviewed on local television and radio on Tampa organized crime. He has written articles for as well as The Weekly Planet, a local alternative newsweekly in the Tampa Bay area.

I tried to make this a comprehensive overview of a crime organization form its inception through the present. There are 50 chapters (James Patterson chapters - 2-5 pages) that cover a host of events and characters- some big some never before in print. I hope that fans of Mafia- books enjoy my contribution to the canon or organized crime writings. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think:

Also feel free to share info. I�ve gotten so many stories from old-timers, relatives of wiseguys and others from my three signings in Tampa so far. I�ll soon have enough to start another Tampa book- though my priority is a book with former NJ mobster Steve Lenehan.

Included here are a couple of the characters you�ll be reading about as well as the cover of my book- which you can purchase through the link on this site.

Cigar City Mafia Matassani Donofrio Trafficant

I want to thank Rick and for giving me the chance to present my research during it�s progression, as well as posting my interview with Steve Lenehan, and for all their support through the years.

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