One mafia family that has often been mentioned but tends to remain beneath the shadow of the five New York Families is the Decavalcante family, also known as the New Jersey family. The FBI claims that it is under the control of the Gambino family. In the last month or so a number of them have been put away.
The family is named after Simone “Sam” Decavalcante, who took over as boss of the Elizabeth New Jersey faction in 1964. There had been a long string of bosses in the New Jersey area even before Prohibition. Once Prohibition was in effect there was a lot of money at stake, so they fought a lot of local battles. When Sam took over the family he consolidated groups and crews, doubling the amount of made men in his family before 1969 when he went to prison.
When he was released, he retired to Florida, remainingl an advisor to the family until the 1990’s. The family has fallen a bit from its heyday. They no longer sit on the Commission and while they work all over the Tri-State area, they do not control rackets like they used to.
One of their soldiers, Jerry Balzano, was caught on video attacking another motorist in a road rage incident a couple of months ago. Balzano had previously been taken down along with over a hundred other mobsters on Mafia Take Down Day back in 2011.
It seems Jerry and several others smuggled in truckloads of cigarettes and sold them much cheaper as they avoided having to pay the state tax that applied to their sale. He also helped some guys steal a tax refund check that was worth fifteen thousand dollars. The indictment also charged him with collecting loan shark loans from a debtor in North Carolina.
He ended up taking a plea for racketeering and serving almost two years in prison. He was then on supervised release when he was violated for possession of a firearm and sent back to prison for an additional four months.
Four months really does not seem like a lot of time, considering he is a felon. The new case is all made by him on video and he comes off pretty bad, mostly because of his yelling. It will be interesting to see how much time the judge gives him for this case.
This is the mafia family the Sopranos is supposed to based on, and oddly enough they do behave like a bunch of TV clowns.
This past March, Charles Stango, a capo in the family, pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy and was given ten years. Six other men, including his son, have all pleaded guilty and are either already serving sentences or will be shortly.
The family has fallen a long way in recent years.
They used to have a lot of control with the unions for construction projects. They controlled a number of landfills and other illegal dump sites. In the 1960’s the family ran a twenty million dollar a year gambling business. Today, they swindle checks and sell cocaine.