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Dragna and the Canzoneris
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FINCEN
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 1345

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Dragna and the Canzoneris Reply with quote

Jack was booked July 29, 1930 on suspicion of robbery after Lt. H. L. Wolfer and Sgt. Willard S. Regur stopped his car in downtown Los Angeles. During the stop the officers found a sawed-off shotgun, four revolvers and a knife. Jack admitted ownership of the shotgun and three of the revolvers claiming he and his passengers "Johnny Roselli, James Russo and John Canzoneri," were carrying the weapons to protect funds they were transporting from the S.S. Montefalcone (a gambling ship that Jack had a piece of,) to a local bank. All charges were later dropped after an impressive stream of character witnesses appeared on his behalf including his wife Frances and daughter Anna "Niotta", Dr. Leon Desimone "son of Rosario and brother of attorney Frank," Phillip Morici and Sam Kurland "the attorney." Canzoneri was a cousin of Tony Canzoneri one of the greatest lightweight fighters of his era. John Canzoneri was gambler who bred and raced dogs in association with the Alviso Kennel Club. Canzoneri reportedly aimed his shotgun at the officers lowering only after Jack commanded him to do so. At the time Dragna also operated a poker club locaed within Hawthorne city limits.
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FINCEN
Administrative Assassin


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 1345

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:53 am    Post subject: George Niotta Reply with quote

George Niotta played a prominent role in shifting prohibitions illicit cash into legitimate concerns. In October 1932, Niotta purchased the San Francisco based El Rey Brewing Company from E. J. Preston. He'd previously served as a distributor for the company. It should come as no surprise that Dragna languished in the shadows. Years later, Niotta and horse trainer J. Mereola were suspended after 'Hopes High' a Niotta owned horse tested positive for procaine following a race at Tanforan race track.
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jomahmah
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 450

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So was George Jack's son-in-law??
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FINCEN
Administrative Assassin


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 1345

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Niotta Reply with quote

(Correction) He was Jack's brother-in-law. His son Steve married Anna. Steve died in San Diego in 1997.

Last edited by FINCEN on Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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jomahmah
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised there was a "brewing" company to be bought at all, even though Prohibition's end was not far off. For all the business' Jack was involved in over the years, what kind of estate was left when he died???
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FINCEN
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 1345

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Dragna estate Reply with quote

There were a number of sales and ownership transfers leading up to repeal. Among them were Alfred Hart and Joe Fusco's securing of the Pacific Brewing Co., the San Angelo Wine & Spirits Corp., the Maier Brewing Co., and the launching of Alfred Hart Distilleries and Alfred Hart Distribution.

As for Jack's estate, at the time of his death most of his business interests were held in the name of family members. This was twofold as Jack's legal issues dating back to the late 40s surrounding his citizenship status and later taxes issues required him to place those assets in the hands of trusted and capable people. Obviously George Niotta was one, Louis Tom was another and his brother Tom, with whom he held joint ownership of the Dragna ranch with was another trusted person.
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