The time now is Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:59 pm | Log in to check your private messages
View unanswered posts
crimefile Forum Indexcrimefile Forum Index
Memberlist Usergroups Register Log in

Dallas Crime Family
Post new topic   Reply to topic    crimefile Forum Index » Dallas
View previous topic | View next topic  
Author Message
FINCEN
Administrative Assassin


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 1334

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Dallas Crime Family Reply with quote

    Early Dallas Italian Colony


The establishment of the Dallas crime family began rather late in comparison to cities such as New Orleans which acknowledged the presence of a well organized band of Sicilian bandits in the late 1880s. The Dallasite Sicilian colony remained rather small and was numbered as few as one hundred permanent residents as late as 1909. In such a small community a handful of men easily came to influence the development of the community in terms of education, commerce and social groups. A few who stood out were Pete Corsu who operated a dry goods store on Lamar street. Corsu didn't come form Sicily but nonetheless maintained close business and personal ties with many immigrants from Island who settled in the Dallas area. Rounding out the list of community leaders were Tony Rotello, Tony Lobello, Michael Cardella, John DeMaggio, the Gennaros, Marniccas, Luca and Barney Lanza as well as the Taloni family.

Luca Lanza was one of the first Sicilian inhabitants of Dallas who's name appears in connection with multiple court cases. Barney Lanza was twice held for murder and once found himself the target of an assassins bullet. Tony and Sam Lobello were relatives of the Messinas and Coniglios who later were associated with the Piranio and Civellos. Sam Lobello Jr., also maintained close relations with members of the Dallas crime family.

    The Blackhand Era


As was the case in many immigrant and low income communities, the Dallas Italian community was menaced by an extortionate group of men operating under the dreaded blackhand. Today we recognize this group as a pre-cursor to the Italian mafia. In Dallas the key members of this band were Tony Fosto , A. Pagani and B.B. Vagnini. . All three were employed at the Texas Portland Cement plant in West Dallas. The three became embroiled in a heated dispute which led Pagani and Vagnini to set upon Fosto in a murderous fashion. When the fray ended Fosto lay dead and Pagani and Vagnini were in police custody. Vagnini quickly secured his release and Pagani launguished behind bars for 10 days before earning his release.

    The Dallas Crime Family


Following the blackhand era, Frank Bonanno excercised a tremendous amount of influence among the men who have been acknowledged as the leaders of the Dallas crime family. Bonanno operated a makeshift saloon located at the rear of his Elm street property which served as a meeting place for Italians. Of the men who frequented Bonano's establishment and home were Vito Cortal, Joseph T. Piranio, Carlo Piranio and Tom Cameli.

Bonanno employed Cortal as a bartender and bodyguard. Cortal also worked as a street sweeper for the city of Dallas. On the evening of January 12, 1916 while Bonanno and Cortal entertained guests in the saloon, Dallas patrolmen Roy Thornton and C.C. Booth appeared at the door of the Bonanno home. A startled Mrs. Bonanno began to call her husband who rushed toward the house securing a pistol as he rushed through the house. As Bonanno emerged from the house gun in hand, the two officers identified themselves and Bonanno put the gun down. The two officers then placed Bonanno in cuffs and began to beat him. Cortal unleashed a barrage of gun fire from a shotgun which resulted in the demise of officer Thornton and the wounding of his partner. Both men were later released after a brief trial and left Dallas for Kansas City where Bonanno was arrested in connection with a bank robbery. During the trial J.T. Piranio provided testimony on behalf of the defense.

Conventional wisdom attributes the founding of the Dallas family in 1921 and Carlo T. Piranio. Piranio once figured in the theft of $2,500 worth of liberty bonds. He was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property and released on $1,000 bond. The case was later dropped. Carlo Piranio is said to have died of natural causes in 1930 at which time his brother Joseph T. Piranio came to power. In acknowledging the power and prominance of the Piranio many older and long established figures have been cast aside. They include in part.

    Chiro Labarba - the patriarch of the LaBarba clan which included four sons Carl, James, Tony and Christopher as well as a daughter Mami Gordina. Labarba a retired grocery store owner died of natural causes at the age of 78 in 1925. The extended Labarba clan included the Coniglio, Piccola, Dragna, Musso, Mentesana, Oddo, Teranella, Civello, Cunzolo, Satarino and Pisciotta families.


    Calogero Dragna- the patriarch of the Dragna family which included four sons Frank, Charlie, John and Tom. In addition to five daughters Mrs. Marie Mongavero, Mrs. Frank Testa, Mrs. O.C. Hackney, Angeline Dragna-Mackay and Lucille. The extended Dragna family included the Cortemeglias, Donovos, Testas to name a few.


Joseph T. Piranio is listed as the second boss of the Dallas family having succeeded his brother Carlo. Joseph "known as J.T.," was long associated with criminal figures having appeared in the Bonanno-Cortal trial as a witness. Piranio owned and operated a cigar store known as J.T. Piranio Company wholesale cigar dealers, in the 20s. Piranio's cigar store sat at 603 South Harwood street near Cadiz. The store burned to the ground destroying most of Piranio's stock valued at $12,000. Not to be discouraged, Piranio rebounded opening a contracting business which developed the Preston Road and Northwest Highway additions.

Piranio escaped the gaze of the Kefauver hearings and died at his home at the age of 78 in 1956. The Piranio family included two sons Angelo and A.F. in addition to four daughters. Mrs. Charles LaBarba, Mrs. Joseph Lisotta, Mrs. Leon Kent and Mrs. Anthony Vallone. Piranio's son-in-law Anthony Vallone was a member of the Houston crime scene. Piranio also had a brother Angelo Castro who lived in Pittsburgh California and associated closely with the Bonanno family. In respect to their departed friend, Joseph Civello, Sam Lobello "of the Tony Lebello clan," Joseph and Ross Musso, Vincent Parrino and Paul Satarino served as Paulbearers.

    Joseph Francis Civello


The Civello era began with the death of Joseph T. Paranio in October 1956. The Paranio and Civello families had long sense merged through a series of marriages which in the truest sense created a Dallas family. Crime just so happened to be a sideline business. Nearly a decade older than Joseph Paranio, Phillip Civello a retired grocer contributed two sons to the Dallas crime scene. Joseph Francis and his brother Charles.

The Civello maintained extensive ties to the Rockford Illinois, Dallas and Louisiana Italian communities a fact demonstrated in the marriages of Mr. Civello's daughters. The extended Civello family in addition to the aforementioned sons, included had five daughters Mrs. Magaret Polito, Mrs. Sam Cangelosi (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Mrs. A.L. Zacharia and Mrs. Sam Ginestra (Rockford, Illinois) and Mrs. Ross Musso who lived in Dallas.

The Civello family arrived in the U.S., settling in Baton Rouge Louisiana about 1900. For approximately 23 years, Phillip Civello established himself as a farmer and merchant. In 1923 Mr. Civello and his family relocated to Dallas where they opened a grocery store and built a small fortune selling bootleg liquor. While Mr. Civello clearly had the respect of his neighbors, his sons were feared for their rumored connection to the Italian underworld. Those rumors increased after Joseph Francis was arrested and charged with the murder of Joseph DeCarlo in 1925.

The two men were said to have been friends and DeCarlo died after a shotgun Civello was handling discharged. DeCarlo though fatally wounded managed to tell investigating officers that the shooting was a tragic mishap. Civello was released after a few days behind bars. His rap sheet later included an arrest and conviction on liquor charges and a drug rap which was dismissed though an associate would be sentenced to prison.

Civello's stature grew and he was linked to a large scale narcotics ring headed by Louis [Daddy] Ginsberg . In all 9 Civello gang members including his brother Sam, cousins Leon Civello, Joe Cascio as well as the brother of his longtime friend and business partner Frank Ianni would received prison sentences. This case is the first known documentation of criminal dealings between Civello and New Orleans criminals.

Joe Civello served 15 years before emerging from prison to a Dallas operation headed by his father, Joseph T. Paranio, Frank Ianni, the Satarino, Musso and Cortemeglia brothers.

As mentioned previously family ties played a big role in cementing the Dallas organization.

Civello Family Ties

    Joseph Francis Civello married Mary Tomenellie of Rockford, Illinois in a highly promoted union which included Los Angeles underworld leader Rosario Desimone to Dallas. Desimone was the father of Frank and Dr. Leon Desimone cousins of the Civellos. Also in attendence was Mr and Mrs. Victor Musso who hosted the bridal party. Ross Musso another member of the Civello Musso clan took part in the joyous occassion.


    Charles Edward Civello married Rose Dinovo the daughter of Charles Dinovo. The wedding party included Luke Cortemeglia, Anthony Bifano, Frank La Monte, Ross Musso, the Terrnella, Cirone, Lombardo, Matranga (family of Houston) and Corsello families. Charles was one of those convicted in the Civello narcotics conspiracy trial and upon his release established an Italian food and import store at 4236 Oak Lawn.


    Anna Civello Joe and Sam's sister married Sam V. Cangelosi of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Many members of the Louisiana Italian community attended the wedding including Joe Cefalu a merchant tied to the Louisiana family. The Vallone and Alfieri's of Houston.


    Frances Civello married Ross Musso in a ceremony which joined the Civello, Musso, Dominico, Morales, Cammeri, Menessana, Patrono, Pinto, Palermo and Dragna families.


    Frank Civello Musso owned and operated Musso's Shoe Shop which he opened after arriving from Salapurto, Sicily. The extended Musso clan included his brothers Vito C. and Joe Musso, Tony, Ellis and Louis.


    Joe Musso owner of Joe's Snack Bar and the father of Dr. Frank and Samuel Musso as well as Mrs. Joe La Barbara. The brother of Ross Musso.


As you can see the ties are intimate and seemingly endless. When the Desimone, Dragna, Scozzari and Castro families of California are thrown you get an ideal of the scope of the connections. This is not to mention the fact that New Orleans was drawn into the fold with the marriage of one of Carlo Marcello's sisters with a prominent Dallas daughter.

Civello though best known for his attendence at the Appalachin mob meeting and rumors of having played a role in the Kennedy assassination kept a very low profile during the waning years of his life. Civello operated a successful liquor and food import business. He was recognized as a well dressed businessman about town. His explanation of attending the Appalachin meeting at the requet of his cousin Frank Desimone of Los Angeles was viewed as laughable nationally but did little to deminish his stature in Dallas business circles. Civello died in January 1970 after a brief illness. Control of the Dallas crime scene then passed onto the colorful Campisi clan.

The Campisi Family

The Campisi story begins with Carlo (Papa) Campisi a native of Palermo Siciliy. Mr. Campisi arrived in the U.S., in 1905 settling first in New Orleans and Dallas in 1916 after a brief stop in Lufkin. The Campisi or Compise family "Tony Compise was fined and sentenced to 50 days in jail during prohibition," operated a grocery store before branching out and opening the Idle Hour Cafe at Knox and McKinney [4548 McKinney] in the '40s.

The Idle Hour became a well known Dallas nightspot offering fun, food and entertainment Dallas style. Sam Campisi was charged with permitting the operation of a form of gambling known as the marble game. Mr. Campisi later purchased the Egyptian Restaurant [5610 Mockingbird Lane] which became the families signature business. Upon his death, Mr. Campisi left control of the family business ventures to his sons Sam and Joe. Personable Sam Campisi died in the early 70s leaving the Egyptian in the hands of his colorful brother Joseph.

Ianni to Joseph Campisi

There is some dispute as to the exact date Joseph Campisi came to rule the Dallas crime nest. Some place him as the direct successor to Joe Civello while others say Frank Ianni a longtime Civello friend with close ties to New Orlenas crime lord Carlos Marcello actually ran things. The FBI and Dallas police department both noted at least three occassions when Ianni and Marcello in Dallas. The FBI insisted the pair met with a team of Dallas businessmen to discuss Dallas gambling at Ianni's Italian Restaurant [2230 Greenville Avenue].

The location was connected with a major bookmaking operation broken up in January 1972 which was tied to Joseph Campisi and gambler Bobby Joe Chapman. Investigators never determined who was in control of the operation but Ianni's death left the Dallas rackets to Joseph Campisi. Campis busied himself running the Egyptian Restaurant and Lounge as well as J.D's Restaurant [6111 Greenville Avenue].

Bookmaking raids were about the extent of the Campisi troubles during the early '70s as he escaped prosecution in the shooting death of a robber who was gunned down after brazenly holding up a poker game at the Glen Lakes Country Club. Though Campisi was on scene and likely incharge of the gambling operation no charges were filed against him.

Campisi maintained his elevated status until his death in 1990. Campisi suffered a fatal heart attack chasing an emloyee out of the bar whom he witnessed stealing cash from the register at the Egyptian.

    Anthony Francis Caterine - Overshadowed by the suffocating presence and influence of Frank Ianni and Joseph Campisi, "Tough Tony" Caterine looked for a time in the early 70s like he would claim the underworld crown in Dallas. Caterine operated a string of businesses which included a talent booking agency and several popular Dallas nightclubs. Caterine's most popular ventures were the Castaway Club [5600 E. Mockingbird Lane] and the Loser's club [5436 E. Mockingbird Lane], both located in the heart of Campisi territory. Caterine used his club ventures to launder money and mask his involvement in a vast smuggling ring operating between Mexico, Texas and Hawaii.

    Rumors of Caterine's dope dealings first surfaced with an arrest on February 9, 1963 when police raided his [5222 Belmont] apartment and charged him with Theft, Violation of Texas narcotics laws and possession of gambling paraphernalia. The wispered rumors grew louder after authorities found the body Caterine associate Russell (Rusty) Griffith Jr ., in Louisiana. Griffith purchased the Loser's Club but was latered forced to give up control of the operation due to financial difficulties. At the time of Griffith's murder, Caterine was locked away serving a 27 month term having pled guilty to income tax evasion and a credit card scheme. Caterine's notoriety subsided after his release from prison but he remained a silent force in the local underworld.


    Russell (Rusty) Griffith Jr.,- Indicted in october 1976 in connection with a 30 ton shipment of maurijauna. Griffith's body was found in a remote area of eastern Louisiana. Griffith was killed 5 days before a federal indictment was issued by the Laredo grand jury charging Dennis Russell Sisk and Cumby Eugene Freeman with smuggling. Sisk operated the Bayou Landing nightclub in Dallas and Houston. Both establishments catered to gay men and women. Freeman was said to be a Dallas area jewel dealer. Tony Caterine was latered found to have held a 1/3rd interest in the parent company which owned the two Bayou Landing nightclubs. The two also sold stolen construction equipment south of the boarder, an offense which Griffith was under indictment for at the time of his murder.


Corky Campisi

If there is still an active crime family in Dallas most would say Corky Campisi is the man in charge. It is romantic to think that the Campisi's could still command the underworld as it once existed but few think this is possible in todays world.
    ...
    View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
    Back to top
    beemoe
    Commission Member


    Joined: 07 May 2006
    Posts: 838

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:16 pm    Post subject: From Beemoe Reply with quote

    Recently passed through Dallas on my way to Austin (what a town Austin is) and remembered some of the names of the streets listed in your article. Greenville and McKinney avenues.

    Did the Civello`s have any connection to African-American criminals at that time?
    ...
    View user's profile Send private message
    Back to top
    beemoe
    Commission Member


    Joined: 07 May 2006
    Posts: 838

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject: From Beemoe Reply with quote

    Did the dallas family ever legitimatize itself?
    ...
    View user's profile Send private message
    Back to top
    FINCEN
    Administrative Assassin


    Joined: 08 Mar 2006
    Posts: 1334

    PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Assets of the Dallas operation Reply with quote

    http://www.reocities.com/texasorganizedcrime/dallas.html

    Read some of the business activities of the family leaders at the link above.
    ...
    View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
    Back to top
    beemoe
    Commission Member


    Joined: 07 May 2006
    Posts: 838

    PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Beemoe Reply with quote

    In travelling through Dallas during the late fall and winter, I remembered some of the streets that you`re talking about.It seems like the Ianni`s had the best hand. I wonder how did they finance their horse racing operation?
    ...
    View user's profile Send private message
    Back to top
    FINCEN
    Administrative Assassin


    Joined: 08 Mar 2006
    Posts: 1334

    PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Heroin sales and gambling.
    ...
    View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
    Back to top
    Post new topic   Reply to topic    crimefile Forum Index » Dallas
    Display posts from previous:   
     
     
    All times are GMT
    Jump to:  

    Page 1 of 1


    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
    Web Hosting Directory
    Theme created OMI of Kyomii Designs for BRIX-CENTRAL.tk.

    For Support - http://forums.BizHat.com

    Free Web Hosting | Free Forum Hosting | Photo Gallery | Free Matrimonial

    Powered by PhpBBweb.com, setup your forum now!