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Old 09-10-2015, 10:44 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
8,827 posts, read 13,240,454 times
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Anyone heard anything about the alledged Italian mafia presence in Fayette County, Smithers, and Montgomery?

In addition to what I wrote above, i've also specifically heard that Lopez's Restaurant in Smithers, an Italian place despite its Mexican sounding name, is owned by an Italian crime family. Last time I drove past there it was closed don't know if its permanent or temporary.

That's all I've heard about the Italian mafia in WV. Most organized crime in my area consists of meth dealers though we are getting more and more legitimate gangsta types from Chicago and Detroit coming here. I heard rumors about the Mexican drug cartel operating out of Mexican restaurants in Charleston but haven't heard anything in the news.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:39 PM
 
Location: WV/Va/Ky/Tn
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Heard stories from some family way back in the day there was Italian and Greek mafia types in Welch and Bluefield. I know you don't hear much about Greeks being Mafia related, but they use to run numbers and betting into the 1980's, stayed under the radar but they paid tribute to whoever. There were several poker games always goin on, but I never got the golden touch when it came to poker unlike some family. I use to play a football parlay card for college and pros and the cards were taken to Welch, but that ended back in 2003-4 a year or two after the State cracked down on Gray machines. It blew my mind what some businesses were making off them, sometimes big money can be in the least expected places in the middle of some dead coal town.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,225 times
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Default Charlie Maroon/Wheeling mob

Quote:
Originally Posted by WheelingWv View Post
Does anyone know of Charlie Maroon? My Grandmothers father worked for him back in the 40's 50's... I believe. & I Happened to be in his old house the other day and there were safes all over the walls hidden under layers of wallpaper. There was also hidden doors that were bricked over. I was freaked! But I can't find much on Mr. Maroon. Anyone else?. Oh this is in Wheeling.
I grew up in Bellaire, Ohio, just three miles across the river from Wheeling, on the Ohio River. While in high school, 1958-1962I worked at a place called The Snack Bar, which was a teen hangout. I'd only been there a few days and a well-dressed guy came in, accompanied by two guys who looked like muscle. I'd had previous minor contact with the local Mafia (very difficult not to!), but I pegged him as soon as he walked in. If nothing else, he dressed the part: long overcoat, fedora, cigar, sunglasses. The 'kingpin' for that whole area was "Big Bill" Lias, who lived and controlled the Wheeling area, which included Bellaire.


He told me he wanted to see Rod, the guy who ran the place. Rod later told me that was Charlie Maroon, and that he was with the local branch of the Pittsburgh mob, and it was through him that we got most of our supplies, food, juke box, cigarette machine, etc. Not directly, but from "vendors he OK'd.'


I'd already been aware of Lias, for the simple reason that as a young teen, I knew where I could buy a beer or a drink, which was essentially any of a number of bars throughout the area. The standing joke was, 'If you're tall enough to put your money on the bar, you drink." At that time it was illegal to sell liquor by the drink in Wheeling. (There were "bottle clubs" all over also, which were legal.) But many of the bars in the greater area figured if they were breaking the law by selling liquor by the drink, what the hell? And so in those places that sold by the drink, you could usually find plenty of underaged kids drinking, as well as slot machines, hookers, card games, etc. It was a wide-open area then, 'Anything Goes,' as the saying went. I started having an occasional beer when I was 13. We'd walk about a mile, across the Bellaire Bridge to Benwood WV. There was an American Legion there that offered 'nickel beer night' every Monday, and they attracted a good crop of teens.


Google both those names and you'll find plenty, esp on Lias.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:31 PM
 
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I'd say you are pretty much on target with everything you said except for the part of about Maroon being part of the Pittsburgh mafia. Maroon, operating in Belmont County, would have paid tribute to Bill Lias. Lias had close relationships with the Columbo crime family operating in Pittsburgh, but he was not Mafia. Actual Mafia control stopped at the Jefferson - Belmont line on the Ohio Side, and at the Brooke - Ohio County Side on the West Virginia side. The entire Upper Ohio Valley was wide open in those days, and the culture of the area supported that mindset. The local police and courts refused to enforce drinking, gambling, and prostitution laws. In my opinion, it didn't seem to hurt anybody either.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:26 PM
 
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The memory's pretty foggy these days. Ten years ago I could've told you names, dates, cars they drove, etc, but those days are gone. I was always known for my phenomenal memory, able to dredge up facts most others had long forgotten.


Bearing all that in mind, on the Pittsburgh reference, my memory says that that's what I was told. I didn't really 'know' any of the players, just knew of them, so my best recollections are from what I heard. It was my understanding that Lias was the real kingpin in the area, and he paid homage to the Pittsburgh Mob. Also, I think, but am not certain, that it was Rod who told me of the Pittsburgh connection. I took him at his word and did not pursue it, then or now. And if one of my boys hadn't brought it up recently, I probably would not have reason to. But it was just a week or maybe two ago, he asked me about one of the stories I'd told him from my HS days. I was a wise-ass, and what really transpired was as I told it, except I excluded what I actually said to Rod when Charlie and his two goons came in. Rod was in his office in the back and I peeked in his door and said, "Rod, there's some greasy little ****er and his two goons out front wants to see you." About 10-15 minutes later, as Charlie and his goons left, Rod came out of his office and said, "You idiot! That's Charlie Maroon, etc.," telling me about his mob connections. "And don't ever let him know you called him a 'greasy little ****er,' or he'll string you up by your balls."


On the classmates comment, I recall very few of those I went to school with, although some of the names I do recall, but not the person. Joyce Roy, Carol Spitzl, Richard Economos, Stan Burich (Burech?), Denny Pasz, I do recall all of them. A physics teacher, Fred Reynolds, who lived above us on Tallman Ave, directly across the street from St John's church. I haven't been back to that area since somewhere around 1972. I was in the Army and was on my way to an assignment in Hawaii. I was driving from Pittsburgh (Oakdale, actually), which was a former Nike missile site, to CA. I had received a compassionate reassignment there when my first wife died. I had two very small children, so the Army did me a favor and assigned me to Oakdale, about a 90 minute drive from the Uniontown PA area, where my children were then staying with my parents.


On the high school subject, I've moved probably 30-35 times in the years since I was at BHS, and as with anybody who moves repeatedly, boxes get forgotten or otherwise lost, small incidents occur and one loses things, or things get damaged during the move. My latest move was into the VAMC here in the Boise, Idaho, area, so I donated most of my belongings to our local Habitat for Humanity in Florida, where I had lived for a few years. When I left Fla, I said if it didn't fit in my Subaru Outback, it didn't go, so I left quite a bit behind. I spent 22 years in the Army, and have lived in Kentucky, then Georgia, then New Jersey, then Kansas, Viet Nam, Arizona, Korea, Oakdale, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, DC area, Jordan, Maryland, Turkey, then back to MD. After retiring from the Army I lived in Europe for ten years, with time spent in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, England, Scotland, Ireland, then back to Maryland, then the Uniontown PA area, then Milwaukee, then DC area again, then Florida and finally the VAMC here.


Oh, and by the way, Luigi Basco is a name I stole from an old, old radio show, vintage late 1940s, early 50s, that I listened to when I was a tyke. FWIW, it had an actor who played the starring role who was probably in 50 movies, but whose name is rarely recognized, Jay Carroll Naish. Famous character actor for many years. I liked his characterizations and thought him a great actor. My actual name is Louis A Novacheck, Jr. Classmates and teachers at BHS would recall me as Lou Novacheck. I kept in contact with a few classmates, and while stationed in Pittsburgh, I made several weekend trips to Bellaire and stayed with an old friend who was a year behind me in school, Bill Carrigan. Bill died I think in the 1990s, was married to one of the Connors girls whose name I no longer recall (Bobbie! I just remembered!). I haven't been back since the mid-1990s. I went back to look up Bill and visit my first wife's grave on my way here in 2014 - Bill had died and I could no longer even find the McMechen cemetery, where she's buried. All the roads had changed and it was somewhere close to midnight when I passed through and nothing was open, so I couldn't even ask for directions. I made a quick tour of Bellaire and even got lost there. Town's only about 10k, so quite small, but again, roads had changed considerably. I managed to find SJS and BHS, and one of the houses I lived in, but that's about it.


Before BHS I attended St John's School in Bellaire and the Connors family had something like 18 kids, all of whom attended SJS at various times. I transferred to BHS when I completed grade school at St John's, then graduated from there in 1962.


While in Europe I eventually opened a small chain of American Pop Culture shops - comics, sports cards, tee shirts, CDs, Magic the Gathering, etc. My first job there was selling food to NATO military which is when I started traveling -- monthly trips to about 20 different locations in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK, plus occasional visits to Turkey, Greece and Spain. Then when I opened my shops, I eventually had 3 in Germany, one each in Italy, Belgium and France and a part-interest in one in The Netherlands. I made frequent trips to all those shops, plus I made monthly visits to England to pick up stock, so I really did live all over. I flew in most of my stock from the US, but some was more immediately available in England.


All the above is probably far more than you wanted to know, so please forgive this old fart for rambling on. And I hope the little of Charlie Maroon was helpful.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:53 PM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,072,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luigi Basco View Post
The memory's pretty foggy these days. Ten years ago I could've told you names, dates, cars they drove, etc, but those days are gone. I was always known for my phenomenal memory, able to dredge up facts most others had long forgotten.


Bearing all that in mind, on the Pittsburgh reference, my memory says that that's what I was told. I didn't really 'know' any of the players, just knew of them, so my best recollections are from what I heard. It was my understanding that Lias was the real kingpin in the area, and he paid homage to the Pittsburgh Mob. Also, I think, but am not certain, that it was Rod who told me of the Pittsburgh connection. I took him at his word and did not pursue it, then or now. And if one of my boys hadn't brought it up recently, I probably would not have reason to. But it was just a week or maybe two ago, he asked me about one of the stories I'd told him from my HS days. I was a wise-ass, and what really transpired was as I told it, except I excluded what I actually said to Rod when Charlie and his two goons came in. Rod was in his office in the back and I peeked in his door and said, "Rod, there's some greasy little ****er and his two goons out front wants to see you." About 10-15 minutes later, as Charlie and his goons left, Rod came out of his office and said, "You idiot! That's Charlie Maroon, etc.," telling me about his mob connections. "And don't ever let him know you called him a 'greasy little ****er,' or he'll string you up by your balls."


On the classmates comment, I recall very few of those I went to school with, although some of the names I do recall, but not the person. Joyce Roy, Carol Spitzl, Richard Economos, Stan Burich (Burech?), Denny Pasz, I do recall all of them. A physics teacher, Fred Reynolds, who lived above us on Tallman Ave, directly across the street from St John's church. I haven't been back to that area since somewhere around 1972. I was in the Army and was on my way to an assignment in Hawaii. I was driving from Pittsburgh (Oakdale, actually), which was a former Nike missile site, to CA. I had received a compassionate reassignment there when my first wife died. I had two very small children, so the Army did me a favor and assigned me to Oakdale, about a 90 minute drive from the Uniontown PA area, where my children were then staying with my parents.


On the high school subject, I've moved probably 30-35 times in the years since I was at BHS, and as with anybody who moves repeatedly, boxes get forgotten or otherwise lost, small incidents occur and one loses things, or things get damaged during the move. My latest move was into the VAMC here in the Boise, Idaho, area, so I donated most of my belongings to our local Habitat for Humanity in Florida, where I had lived for a few years. When I left Fla, I said if it didn't fit in my Subaru Outback, it didn't go, so I left quite a bit behind. I spent 22 years in the Army, and have lived in Kentucky, then Georgia, then New Jersey, then Kansas, Viet Nam, Arizona, Korea, Oakdale, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, DC area, Jordan, Maryland, Turkey, then back to MD. After retiring from the Army I lived in Europe for ten years, with time spent in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, England, Scotland, Ireland, then back to Maryland, then the Uniontown PA area, then Milwaukee, then DC area again, then Florida and finally the VAMC here.


Oh, and by the way, Luigi Basco is a name I stole from an old, old radio show, vintage late 1940s, early 50s, that I listened to when I was a tyke. FWIW, it had an actor who played the starring role who was probably in 50 movies, but whose name is rarely recognized, Jay Carroll Naish. Famous character actor for many years. I liked his characterizations and thought him a great actor. My actual name is Louis A Novacheck, Jr. Classmates and teachers at BHS would recall me as Lou Novacheck. I kept in contact with a few classmates, and while stationed in Pittsburgh, I made several weekend trips to Bellaire and stayed with an old friend who was a year behind me in school, Bill Carrigan. Bill died I think in the 1990s, was married to one of the Connors girls whose name I no longer recall (Bobbie! I just remembered!). I haven't been back since the mid-1990s. I went back to look up Bill and visit my first wife's grave on my way here in 2014 - Bill had died and I could no longer even find the McMechen cemetery, where she's buried. All the roads had changed and it was somewhere close to midnight when I passed through and nothing was open, so I couldn't even ask for directions. I made a quick tour of Bellaire and even got lost there. Town's only about 10k, so quite small, but again, roads had changed considerably. I managed to find SJS and BHS, and one of the houses I lived in, but that's about it.


Before BHS I attended St John's School in Bellaire and the Connors family had something like 18 kids, all of whom attended SJS at various times. I transferred to BHS when I completed grade school at St John's, then graduated from there in 1962.


While in Europe I eventually opened a small chain of American Pop Culture shops - comics, sports cards, tee shirts, CDs, Magic the Gathering, etc. My first job there was selling food to NATO military which is when I started traveling -- monthly trips to about 20 different locations in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK, plus occasional visits to Turkey, Greece and Spain. Then when I opened my shops, I eventually had 3 in Germany, one each in Italy, Belgium and France and a part-interest in one in The Netherlands. I made frequent trips to all those shops, plus I made monthly visits to England to pick up stock, so I really did live all over. I flew in most of my stock from the US, but some was more immediately available in England.


All the above is probably far more than you wanted to know, so please forgive this old fart for rambling on. And I hope the little of Charlie Maroon was helpful.
Maroon definitely was connected to that crowd, but he was not in the Mafia. He was the wrong ethnicity (Lebanese). So was Lias (his ethnicity was Greek). The Italian ethnic underworld in the Wheeling area was not Mafia connected. It was Mafia connected in Steubenville and Weirton. In order to be actually in the Mafia, it is my understanding that someone had to be Sicilian but I've also been told that regular Italians were sometimes accepted into the families.
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:40 PM
 
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Thumbs up Mafia in WV

[b]Yes there was and is organized crime (Mafia) in WV and SW Pa. In Southern WV a family named Averson had migrated from Italy to work in the mines. One of the fathers sons Louie Jean had moved to Cleveland Ohio in the late 60s . He became a soldier or associate to the Cleveland Crime syndicate. He was involved in a gambling deal and in the process of collection killed one or two men. He was charged on multiple counts of felonies and at that time the political culture had enough influence to moderate a low term sentence. Louie Jean returned to his families home in Whitesville Boone County where he began a small gamltibg operation. In WV convicted felons could not hold alcohol licenses si his brother held the license and he operated a private club to front the operation. To ensure a safety net around the operation his brother Andy AKA JR became the Chief of Police. He held that job until early 2000s . During JRs reign at Police Cheif the local bank was robbed in a fake ffie department call in. The call stated a car accident about 10 miles from the town FD. Everyone locally was involved in the Volunteer FD so police and most able bodied men responded. At the same time a man dressed in FD coveralls entered the Whitesville State Bank and held a pistol to take 20 some thousand dollars.

The Hunan was never found and the FBI inmedialey questioned Our Jean and some other members of his family. About 10 or more years later his younger brother was caught robbing a bank in Beckley WV trying to rob a bank at gun point. He was shot by a off duty policeman in the leg as the off duty cop was cashing a payroll check. Later it was reported the brother of LJ had a accomplis who reportedly was his new phone Ronnie who was the wheelman to the robbery. Charges never filed but FBI 302 reports had contained this info.

As with Southern WV politics deep in the process the case was quieted and a small sentence was delivered in a low security prison former the Averson.in the middle 1980s LJ Aversons brother in Law became County Sheriff and died having heart problems. Also the alleged wheel man Ronnie was mystery killed in a single car crash .

The story continues with the city stil connected to the Aversons with the Sheriff's son local mayor and counsel of family members.

Now in Central WV there Salem ways has been mafia connection. I could go on and on but here is one example. Clarksvurg resident Bernard Folio was a member of the 1950s 1960s Las Vegas Mob. He worked for the mafia in the entertainment aspect. In the late 50s early 60s he moved to Clarksburg WV. He began buying real Estate and opened a Explosive Business. At that time the new interstates were being built and he connected with politics to get the big contracts. He asking bought a beer and wine distributor shop . Having owned slot of property and buildings he secured large rental contacts with the state. He had huge connections in that's as at a local fair in the 1960s or 70s brought in Famous baseball stars to meet and greet.
Other mafia retirees were scattered in the Fairmont/ Clarksburg areas but the story goes on and on. So the answer is YES the mafia was and is in WV. If you believe it's all retired guys then maybe they were not big bosses types but surely associated with the Outfit.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethdziamniski View Post
My great grandfather who came over from Italy around 1910 made moonshine up in the hills, so he was probably involved with the mafia in some way. Another thing...he owned a bakery...which exploded and killed him...the news said "too much natural gas in the oven". It just sounds suspicious to me. I guess the world will never know the life of Rafaele Musilli.


Rafaele musilli was my great great grandfather. Christina madama my Great Great grandmother. I’m the Great granddaughter of Maria Musilli, one of their youngest daughters. Is it your mother or fathers relation to the musilli family?
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:21 PM
 
10,148 posts, read 13,072,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyAWV View Post
[b]Yes there was and is organized crime (Mafia) in WV and SW Pa. In Southern WV a family named Averson had migrated from Italy to work in the mines. One of the fathers sons Louie Jean had moved to Cleveland Ohio in the late 60s . He became a soldier or associate to the Cleveland Crime syndicate. He was involved in a gambling deal and in the process of collection killed one or two men. He was charged on multiple counts of felonies and at that time the political culture had enough influence to moderate a low term sentence. Louie Jean returned to his families home in Whitesville Boone County where he began a small gamltibg operation. In WV convicted felons could not hold alcohol licenses si his brother held the license and he operated a private club to front the operation. To ensure a safety net around the operation his brother Andy AKA JR became the Chief of Police. He held that job until early 2000s . During JRs reign at Police Cheif the local bank was robbed in a fake ffie department call in. The call stated a car accident about 10 miles from the town FD. Everyone locally was involved in the Volunteer FD so police and most able bodied men responded. At the same time a man dressed in FD coveralls entered the Whitesville State Bank and held a pistol to take 20 some thousand dollars.

The Hunan was never found and the FBI inmedialey questioned Our Jean and some other members of his family. About 10 or more years later his younger brother was caught robbing a bank in Beckley WV trying to rob a bank at gun point. He was shot by a off duty policeman in the leg as the off duty cop was cashing a payroll check. Later it was reported the brother of LJ had a accomplis who reportedly was his new phone Ronnie who was the wheelman to the robbery. Charges never filed but FBI 302 reports had contained this info.

As with Southern WV politics deep in the process the case was quieted and a small sentence was delivered in a low security prison former the Averson.in the middle 1980s LJ Aversons brother in Law became County Sheriff and died having heart problems. Also the alleged wheel man Ronnie was mystery killed in a single car crash .

The story continues with the city stil connected to the Aversons with the Sheriff's son local mayor and counsel of family members.

Now in Central WV there Salem ways has been mafia connection. I could go on and on but here is one example. Clarksvurg resident Bernard Folio was a member of the 1950s 1960s Las Vegas Mob. He worked for the mafia in the entertainment aspect. In the late 50s early 60s he moved to Clarksburg WV. He began buying real Estate and opened a Explosive Business. At that time the new interstates were being built and he connected with politics to get the big contracts. He asking bought a beer and wine distributor shop . Having owned slot of property and buildings he secured large rental contacts with the state. He had huge connections in that's as at a local fair in the 1960s or 70s brought in Famous baseball stars to meet and greet.
Other mafia retirees were scattered in the Fairmont/ Clarksburg areas but the story goes on and on. So the answer is YES the mafia was and is in WV. If you believe it's all retired guys then maybe they were not big bosses types but surely associated with the Outfit.
Mafia members were no tougher than anybody else. Their secret to survival was their code of "Omerta", or silence. They got away with their horrific crimes because they swore an oath to each other, which was honored by tradition, of never telling on each other, even if they were at war with each other. They settled matters among themselves. The Mafia was (and likely still is) almost entirely Sicilian, and early on the early victims of their criminal activities were Italians, who spoke a similar language. Later on, they did accept some Italians into their membership but this was rare. They had many associates from other ethnic groups, including a lot of Greeks (and Sicily is really half Greek), but Greeks were never "made" members of the organization. Their associates had to live by the same code of silence. The result of not doing so would be death. They were not especially tough, but their ruthlessness and code of silence caused them to be successful at most of their criminal endeavors. They also accumulated vast sums of money "off the books" on which they never paid taxes. They found it relatively easy to bribe officials in the largely corrupt political system, and this immunity plus the fear their tactics instilled, gave them free rein in many cases.

In the Wheeling area at that time, Lias was the king pin and he was Greek. He was associated with the Pittsburgh Mafia, closely associated, but was never "made" into an actual Mafia member. Their rules would have never permitted that. He certainly did adhere to their rules though, and he amassed a huge fortune doing so. He made Wheeling into Pittsburgh's playground on weekends, and thousands of men from the "Burgh would descend on Wheeling to spend their money in bars, casinos, houses of prostitution, and other places. Wheeling never slept on weekends, and in addition to the affluence of most of the residents due to their employment in lucrative manufacturing jobs, the vibrant nightlife of the city was legendary. It was a remarkable thing to see. All of the towns around Wheeling were similarly prosperous, and there were several on both sides of the Ohio River that were populated with close to or more than 20,000 people... Bellaire, Martins Ferry, Moundsville, Weirton, and Steubenville, and smaller but still well populated Bridgeport, Shadyside, St. Clairsville, Wellsburg, Follansbee, Mingo Junction, in addition to prosperous little towns. The entire area was hugely prosperous, and it was wide open.

Northern West Virginia was (and to a degree remains) different than southern West Virginia culturally. In the Northern tier, people were never culturally in favor of what they considered to be repressive government laws governing alcohol and gambling. While there were many in the southern tier who also had this view, it was never spoken publically in that region due to the influence of fundamentalist religion. Those areas did enforce those laws due to public pressure, and any activities related to gambling and many of those related to alcohol were conducted secretly due to the influence of the Bible Belt culture. Any time things have to happen "behind closed doors", the likelihood of organized crime involvement is much greater.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:56 AM
 
160 posts, read 101,958 times
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Angry Wanna be's.

Mainly wannabes a.k.a. Garnett Allen Rocchi. Who has a cut/crop/and paste photo of him and John Gotti. WTF. He was arrested on drug charges. Good luck.
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