The New England Family is referred to by the FBI as NELCN (New England La Cosa Nostra). I still call it the Patriarca Family after its long time boss Raymond Patriarca.
The New England Family started as two distinct families in the early 1900’s: one in Boston centered around the North End, and the other in Providence Rhode Island. Gaspare Messina became the boss of the Boston LCN in 1916 and in 1917 Frank Morelli became boss of the Providence LCN. Filippo Buccola became the boss of Boston in the early 1930’s but it was a family at war. He would battle Irish gangs and others for dominance and after he killed the Irish leader Frank Morelli and merged his Providence family into the Boston family. Buccola would retire in 1952 giving control of the family to Raymond Patriarca.
Raymond would make a lot of changes to the family beginning with moving the seat of power to Rhode Island. He would run the family from the Coin-o-Matic vending machine office on Atwells Ave in Federal Hill. It would be known as The Office to members of the family. Federal Hill is still a small neighborhood today and you can see why Raymond chose it as his base of operations.
Raymond was close to the Colombo and Genovese Family in New York and he was a member of the Commission. The Genovese would have a crew in Springfield Mass that is still there today. He had ties with the Los Angeles Family and his guys would head to the West Coast when things got hot. One of the guys who would become boss stabbed a guy on Hollywood blvd when he was hiding out. The current Underboss Carmen DiNunzio was hiding out in California and worked with Joe Sica and his brothers.
Raymond brought 30 years of stability and prosperity to the family. In Boston there was an Italian bookmaker named Jerry Angiulo who was running a large book and other games from the North End. Jerry was being shaken down by other hoods because he was not a made man. The story is he went to Raymond and offered up a sizeable cash gift if he was made. No matter because Jerry and his brothers would bring in huge amounts of cash and in 1968 he was made underboss.
The family would suffer after Raymond passed away in 1984. The FBI was able to penetrate Jerry Angiulo’s office and plant a bug which would bring him down.
The Commission decided that Raymond Jr would be boss of the family and they hoped it would stop the factions from fighting. The Family then decided to induct some new members including Vincent Ferrara who was in prison and had to be released on a furlough. What they did not know was the FBI was watching, they had gotten word from an informant that a ceremony was in the works. Vincent had used the address of the home they were going to use for the ceremony as the place he would be at during his furlough. They FBI bugged the home and the basement where a large table was set up. They recorded the whole event and that would forever debunk the myth that there was no Mafia. The tape is online and if you are interested you should give it a listen.
The FBI took down the acting boss of the family last week. Anthony Spagnolo, the acting boss, and Pryce Quintina, a made man in the family, were busted for extorting a video poker machine company. The case actually shows a couple of things about the NELCN and the FBI.
The Poker machines were placed in the Revere Moose Lodge and they came from a company named Constitution Vending Company which broke both State and Federal law by placing the machines in bars and social clubs. A new owner took over in 1984 and they quickly found out that they had to pay cash to the local mafioso in order for their machines to stay in places like the Moose Lodge. The old owners paid and they started paying $600 a month to Anthony Spagnolo. When he became acting boss he had Pryce pick up the cash. It is not much money but it is just one small portion of what gets picked up every month. Another company wanted to put their machines into the Moose lodge and they even offered a better split with the lodge but they were not paying so Constitutions machines were there to stay. The FBI got the owners of Constitution and the guys at the Moose Lodge to flip on Spagnolo and Quintina.
It is funny because the FBI uses the fact that the Moose Lodge and the illegal vending company do business across state lines as the violation of federal law to make the case. It really shows how much the FBI does not want the family to revamp itself and make themselves whole.