Joseph Guerriero – “Pippy of Connecticut”

By The Other Guy | June 17, 2020


Joseph (Pippy) Guerriero – aka“Pepe” – was born on August 2, 1916, in Connecticut.

By the early 1950s he was residing in a small, modest house at 149 Mill Street, in the town of Wethersfield in Hartford County, where he would live the majority of his life. In later years, Guerriero moved to an apartment complex at 100 Executive Square, Wethersfield.

By the mid 1960s, he was being carried on FBI rosters as a documented “soldier” in the Simone DeCavalcante Family of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

CT underboss Joseph (Buff) La Selva
CT underboss Joseph (Buff) La Selva

It was estimated that Guerriero was formally accepted into Mafia membership during the early 1950s. He served in the Waterbury, CT regime of underboss Joseph La Selva aka “Joe Buff”.

Pippy’s criminal activities included policy, bookmaking, dice and card games, shylocking, extortion and shakedowns, strong-arm.

Since at least the early 1950s Guerriero had been identified by both local and federal law enforcement as an associate of organized crime.

In 1959, Connecticut State Police Rackets Squad raided a suspected numbers “bank” at 84 Berlin Tpke.,in town of Berlin and arrested Pippy and Herbert Blau.

They were charged with possession of policy records (thousands of betting slips), and conspiracy to operate a policy business.

Police said the bank handled a large volume of bets daily from a numbers operation they had going in the town of New Britain.

NJ Boss - Samuel DeCavalcante
NJ Boss – Samuel DeCavalcante

In 1968, the New Haven office of the FBI reported that their informants identified Guerriero as a close associate of Frank Carbone, a known member of the DeCavalcante Family.

Pippy was named as an equal partner in a policy operation with mob associate Danny Tedesco, who was previously described as a strong-arm man for Carbone.

Guerriero was known to have exclusive control over all the black numbers-lottery “action” in the black neighborhood of New Britain.

Pippy was considered a very capable hoodlum, smart and nervy, and a rackets “boss” of the New Britain section of the State.

In February of 1969, he was one of 20 persons indicted for operating a multimillion-dollar gambling ring in the Manchester section.

Girolamo (Bobby Doyle) Santuccio
Girolamo (Bobby Doyle) Santuccio

At the time the FBI labeled Guerriero a mob soldier and numbers kingpin.

He was said to have been allied with Genovese soldier Girolamo Santuccio, and mob gamblers Thomas DeVito, John (Money Bags) Parente, Nicholas (Jimmy the Greek) Japes, and Patriarca soldier Americo (Rico) Petrillo, all of the Hartford area, who operated and controlled a major weekly dice game.

Police detectives raided their gambling club where they found three crap tables with collapsible folding backs. The tables had green felt tops and were in full operation at the time of the arrests. Guerriero, Parente, and Petrillo were charged with “maintenance”.

Pipi named as strong-arm of bookie
Pipi named as strong-arm of bookies

In 1976, Pippy was picked up again, this time by federal agents as one of 25 hoods indicted on various Rico charges for operating several mob-backed rackets active in Hartford, New Britain, Vernon, and Windsor.

Among those also nabbed was his longtime partner Genovese soldier Girolamo (Bobby Doyle) Santuccio, and Springfield, Massachusetts based soldier Anthony Volpe. This was a joint Genovese and DeCavalcante Family venture. Charges included racketeering and conspiracy, gambling, loansharking, extortion, perjury, obstruction of justice, and assault.

During the 1983 U.S. Senate Hearings in Washington, D.C., he was listed in congressional records during testimony by the FBI as a documented “soldier”, inducted into the Simone DeCavalcante Family of LCN.

Guerriero was one of seven, fully fledged mafia members of the Family, who operated in the Nutmeg State.

1959 - numbers lottery raid
1959 – numbers lottery raid

After a seven-year criminal probe, federal authorities brought charges in the municipal corruption and the systematic bribery of high ranking police officials from 1959 to at least the early 1980s, in order to protect Guerriero’s various illegal gambling operations in the town of New Britain. These included a large numbers-lottery ring, bookmaking,and crap games.

Over 33 court cases and 27 convictions of public officials resulted from this investigation.

In 1981 Pippy was indicted on bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Guerriero was accused of bribing Capt. Edward J. Kilduff Jr., among others officials in the New Britain Police Department.

Pippy became the subject of an intense 18-month manhunt that reached across the country to California, while searching to apprehend him.

He was eventually arrested when Ronald F. Hunt, an inspector with the Special Investigations Unit of the Chief State Attorney’s Office spotted Guerriero’s face driving a car in the Rocky Hill neighborhood.

Guerriero bribed the local police
Guerriero bribed the local police

Shamed former Police Captain Kilduff received a concurrent 1-3 years in prison on multiple counts. Originally sentenced to a 3-7 year term on perjury and bribery conspiracy convictions, Kilduff got a reduced jail term after he began helping the state.

He testified against Guerriero, stating that he accepted $200. a week in bribe money for many years to warn gamblers working for Pippyabout impending police investigations and raids.

Overall the probe gained the convictions of three ranking officers in city and state police forces, seven other top police officers, eleven fire department, and several municipal officials.

Joseph (Pippy) Guerriero died on April 1, 1993, at the age of 76 years old. His passing was a quiet affair, with no fanfare.


This article was originally posted “here