Sunday, March 9, 2014

Detroit Mafia - Sicilian Style

The Mafia in Sicily all work together in so called Mandamentos which are comprised of three or more neighboring crime families which are led by a Capomandamento, who is also a member of Provincial Commission.  He is the head of one of the crime families and he will usually be elected by the other bosses who he represents on the Provincial Commission.  The Provincial Boss of Palermo is always the Capo Dei Capi or Boss of Bosses because almost half the members are from the Palermo Province and it is historically the most powerful.

The Cinisi Mandamento controls the North Western Palermo Provence in Italy and is made up of three crime families: The Terrasini, Cinisi and Villagrazia Di Carini Crime families.

When people think of Detroit they think of the automobile industry or possibly the murder capitol of the US.  The truth is that the Mafia is alive and well in Detroit today and Detroit is considered one of the most active Mafia Families in the US behind New York and Chicago. Known as the Detroit Partnership, Detroit Combination or the Zerilli Crime Family they continue to make the most of the dying city and its suburbs.

The Detroit area has seen an influx of Italian immigrants over the years with an estimated 275,000 now living there.  A large number of these are from Sicily and some of these came from Terrasini.  There are two brothers who came to Shelby Township from Terrasini named Giuseppe D'Anna, aka "Joe,", and Girolamo D'Anna, aka "Mimmo.”  They have been charged by the Feds for violations of the Hobbs Act.  When I first heard about these brothers and this case I was surprised that the Feds would go after a case like theirs.  

They had Tiramisu Italian Ristorante, and in 2009 a man named Pietro Ventimiglia opened a restaurant across the street from their restaurant.  Pietro called it Nonna's Kitchen and as soon as he opened it the Brothers D'Anna paid him a visit.  They were upset that Pietro had opened it without asking their permission because he is also from Terrasini.  They then kept harassing him making threats and trying to shake him down.  They asked Pietro if he had consulted his father in Sicily about opening the restaurant, the Feds claim that was a threat because the brothers have close ties to the Sicilian Mafia in Terrasini.

Joe and Mimmo’s Uncle Anthony was with the Detroit Partnership when they arrived in Detroit in the 1990's but he has since died.  Their father Calagero was deported from the United States in the late 1970's.  The brothers have connections with Detroit and even deeper connections with the Sicilian Cosa Nostra in their home town of Terrasini.  Their cousin Salvatore D'Anna is the boss of the Terrasini Crime Family.  

The Salvatore D'Anna Crime Family is involved in a host of racketeering crimes, including extortion (involving the family’s demanding payment of street “taxes,” or extortion and protection payments, from legitimate businesses), assaults, narcotics trafficking and murder.

The D'Anna brothers decided on April 28, 2011 that they were going to deal with Pietro themselves and they went to his restaurant while he was expanding it.  Mimmo went to the restaurant first and confronted Pietro as to why he was expanding his business in direct competition to theirs.  Mimmo then asked him if he was alone and when he answered yes he kept him distracted while his brother Joe ran in with a baseball bat and started wailing away. Joe struck him eleven or more times in the head and back, he then told him he would solve the problem by killing him, his family, and his family in Sicily.  They left the restaurant and Pietro, who called 911 as soon as they left, and had them arrested.  

They were charged with attempted murder but were able to plead no contest to lesser charges of assault and had to serve two months in jail and 3 more on house arrest.

So they served their time and the Feds came in and now they are charging them under the Hobbs Act.  It could be because those close to the Detriot Partnership have gotten a lot of lenient sentences in the past and this caused a stir in the justice department.  It could also be that the FBI, which works closely with Italian authorities via a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) is closely watching the New Cosa Nostra.  

The FBI has cut down all their LCN (La Cosa Nostra) Squads to go after terrorists and other problems.  The problem is that all the Cosa Nostra guys fit into society, they are business owners that dress nice.  So they fly under the radar until they stay out of the spotlight and quietly rebuild the families.

The Mafia is far from over.  It is simply going back into its roots as a secret crime organization.

The Detroit Partnership is believed to have 50 made men on the streets, so this is a real crime family that can and will rebuild.


  1. hey ken:
    correct me if im wrong but doesn't detroit have or had a working crew in socal? does chicago stil have a crew in L.A. ??


  2. how is kansas city doing?
    and other midwest groups?