Cigar City Mafia; A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld

Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, 2004. Second Printing [stated]. Hardcover. viii, 291, [5] pages. Illustrations. Cast of Characters. References. Notes. Scott M. Deitche is an author specializing in organized crime and the Mafia. Scott has written numerous books and over 50 articles on organized crime for local and national magazines and newspapers. He has been featured on History Channel, A&E, Discovery Channel, AHC, C-Span, and Oxygen Network. In addition, he has also appeared on dozens of local and national news shows, as well as over 40 radio programs. He is a member of the Mob Museum's advisory council. Bootleggers, gambling, ringleaders, arsonists, narcotics dealers and gang murders—a variety of characters flourished in the era known as Prohibition, and Tampa, Florida was where they battled for supremacy of the criminal underworld. Deitche has documented the seedy past of Tampa in an interesting and informative book. His impeccable research provides insight into the gangsters and killers that ruled the rackets in Tampa during the Prohibition era up to the modern era. He chronicles the inner workings of of the Mafia and it's constant battle to hold onto the gambling, extortion and drugs trade in Tampa. The Trafficante crime family, also known as the Tampa Mafia, is an Italian-American Mafia crime family based in Tampa, Florida, United States. The most notable boss was Santo Trafficante, Jr. who ruled Tampa and the crime family with an iron fist. Author Scott Deitche reported that Santo Jr. was involved with the CIA to plot assassination attempts on Fidel Castro. After the death of Santo Jr. in 1987, the Tampa Mafia family has been controlled by Vincent LoScalzo. During the early 1920s, Charlie Wall created a organized crime syndicate in Tampa, where he controlled a large number of illegal gambling rackets and corrupted many Tampa government officials through bribery. Wall controlled his organization from the Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City, and employed Italians, Cubans and men of other ethnicities in his organization. His only competitor for criminal rackets in the Tampa Bay area was Italian Mafia boss Ignacio Antinori. Ignacio Antinori, a Sicilian-born immigrant, became a well-known drug kingpin and the Italian crime boss during the late 1920s. There was also a smaller Italian gang in the area which was controlled by Santo Trafficante Sr., who had lived in Tampa since the age of 18. Trafficante had already set up Bolita games throughout the city and was a very powerful man. Antinori took notice of Santo Trafficante and invited him into his organization and together they expanded the Bolita games across the state. By the 1930s, Antinori and Wall were in a bloody decade-long war, which would later be known as "Era of Blood". Wall's closest associate, Evaristo "Tito" Rubio, was shot on his porch on March 8, 1938. The war ended in the 1940s with Antinori being shot and killed with a sawed-off shotgun. Both Wall's and Antinori's organizations were weakened, leaving Santo Trafficante as one of the last and most powerful bosses in Tampa. Santo Trafficante Sr. had now taken over organized crime activities in a majority of the city and started to teach his son Santo Trafficante Jr. how to run these operations. In Trafficante Sr.'s adult life he portrayed himself as a successful Tampa cigar factory owner. Santo was being watched closely by police and made Salvatore "Red" Italiano the acting boss. With the Kefauver hearings and Charlie Wall testifying in 1950, both Trafficantes fled to Cuba. Trafficante Sr. had always wanted to make it big in Cuban casinos and dispatched his son, Santo, Jr., to Havana in 1946 to help operate a mob-owned casino. The Tampa mob made a considerable amount of money in Cuba, but never achieved its ambition of making the island part of its territory. After the hearings ended the Trafficantes returned to Tampa to find out that Italiano had just fled to Mexico, leaving Jimmy Lumia the biggest mobster in the city. Santo Sr. had Lumia killed after finding out he had been bad mouthing him while he was in Cuba. With Lumia eliminated Trafficante took over again. In 1953 Santo Jr. survived a shooting. The family suspected the perpetrator was Charlie Wall and consequently, in 1955, had him killed. Trafficante remained the boss of Tampa until he died of natural causes in 1954. Condition: Very good / Very good.

Keywords: Organized crime, Tampa, Trafficante, Mafia, Bootleggers, Gambling, Narcotics, Arson, Murder, Law Enforcement, Harlan Blackburn, Joe Distefano, Jimmy Velasco, Charlie Williams, Criminal Enterprise

ISBN: 1569802661

[Book #84207]

Price: $125.00

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