By The Other Guy | June 8, 2020
| A Button Guys Exclusive |
This Exclusive Investigative Expose was a painstaking effort almost one year in the making. Data compiled for this storyline was released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and included; FBI #302 reports, Interpol, Informant and surveillance reports, NYCPD, NCPD, SCPD, and other agencies in creating this chronological profile.
Part One – Getting Started
The suburbs of Long Island which fall within what is considered the greater metropolitan New York City area is one of the most beautiful and wealthy areas in the entire United States.
It’s pristine, white sandy beaches that run all along the shoreline of the blue Atlantic Ocean on it’s South Shore are among the most popular and sought after on the East Coast.
The lush foliage, thick woodlands and expansive wide-open acreage of the breathtaking mansions that dot its North Shore or “Gold Coast”constitute what is arguably one of the most desirable places to live in the entire world.
The Long Island Sound, the body of water off its North Shore beaches offers its own breathtaking vistas and enjoyment and is equally compelling.
The Sound connects the Island to its Connecticut neighbor and to New York City itself, both of which can actually be seen from it’s shores.
And it’s vibrant economy is second to none. World class restaurants, eateries and nightclubs. Hotels and motels of every stripe from the famed Garden City Hotel to internationally known resorts in the Hamptons like Gurney’s Inn on the East End of Montauk Point.
Fabulous enclosed shopping malls and high end strip-centers such as the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington and the famed Miracle Mile in the Americana Shopping Complex in upscale Manhasset are show stoppers.
Boating, world-class fishing off Montauk Point, parasailing, surfing and jet-skiing at Long Beach, professional sports teams, rock concerts, and live performances by internationally known singers and entertainers at Long Island venues like the Nassau Coliseum.
The list is never ending. Long Island is considered one of the best business districts and entertainment destinations in the nation.
Technically speaking, Long Island extends 118 miles eastward from New York Harbor to Montauk Point, and at its thickest point is 23 miles wide.
It encompasses Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.
It has a landmass of 1,401 miles, making it larger than the entire state of Rhode Island, and its total population is just shy of 8,000,000 people.
If Long Island were a state, it would be the 13th most populated region in the country.
But in truth, Kings County, better known as Brooklyn and Queens County are really considered part of the Five Boroughs of New York City.
When true native New Yorkers speak of Long Island, they are only referring to the counties of Nassau and Suffolk.
Collectively, those two counties boast a population of just under 3,000,000 people.
It is considered to be the wealthiest area of New York State and one of the wealthiest sections in the entire United States.
As far as demographics go, fully 26% of its residents proudly claim Italian ancestry.
Although the area was originally settled by several native Indian tribes, and later the first waves of European immigrants dotted it various areas and farmlands, Long Island’s true population explosion started in earnest right after WWII.
The changing demographics of New York City, and the many returning GI’s soon to marry, would lead to a population explosion on the Island as young couples moved east to start their fledgling families.
Mob guys were no different. Because Long Island was such a prized plum, they were drawn out there too and soon started moving their young families into Nassau and Suffolk as well for it’s noted school system and beautiful landscape.
The Mob was soon to come along for the ride!
After WWII, most of those returning ex-GI’s first went back to their old inner-city neighborhoods and looked to get jobs by which to make a living and start their lives.
But times were tough financially. Slowly but surely, the economy started to make a strong comeback, and by the mid-1950s, New York’s economy was vibrant again.
A good-sized segment of young Italian men, many of whom were ex-GI’s, would turn to organized crime to try and get a foot up in this world.
And the Old-World Mafiosi who ruled many of those city neighborhoods would help and welcome the much needed young “blood” into their ranks.
By 1955, Long Island’s resident daily tabloid Newsday started reporting on a small influx of racketeers and mob figures that local law enforcement noticed were starting to move out to their area from the inner city.
Several exposes in 1955, and again in 1957, documented this mob “infiltration” as it was referred to. Newsday reported that although they now resided there, most mobsters kept their racket activities within the confines of New York City’s five boroughs.
Then in 1959, Newsday reported in an extensive expose about mafia infiltration of the Long Island garbage-carting industry.
As Nassau District Attorney William Cahn would later say: “Make no mistake about it, the nature of the beast is to be greedy, and Nassau is a wealthy and tempting target. The Mafia doesn’t just reside here, they are starting to operate out here as well.”
That would really start the ball rolling. Subsequent police investigations from 1963 forward started to uncover the pervasive infiltration of numerous businesses and varied industries on the Island.
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs, trucking firms, meat stores, diners, bakeries, dry cleaners, fuel oil companies, construction firms, labor unions, etc…there was no end in sight to how far Cosa Nostra had infiltrated Long Island’s business economy within less than a decade.
Law enforcement soon discovered that all five of New York’s Cosa Nostra Families now had representatives and mafia crews living and operating in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The area had become the mob’s playground.
In an extensive three-month undercover Newsday investigation published in late February of 1969, the newspaper documented in-depth profiles on over 120 Cosa Nostra members and their top associates now living and operating a myriad of rackets in Nassau and Suffolk.
Several months later, they identified 40 more. And these were just the major mob figures. Newsday reported that they controlled an operational army of approximately 1400 lesser associates…it was a mob invasion!
But if there was a first among equals, it was the underworld faction headed by a fast-rising, notorious mafia capo named John (Sonny) Franzese who had moved out to the Island a few years earlier.
He and many of his regime soldiers and close associates would become notorious names on Long Island. The daily tabloids would fly off the shelves with seemingly weekly reports about their colorful, but sordid underworld tales and exploits
…This is their story!
This article was originally posted “here“