Friends In High Places: Danny Greene’s Top Lieutenant In Cleveland’s Irish Mob Of ’70s Aims For Sentence Reduction

September 11, 2020 – A Judge and a Mayor. Not too shabby.

Former Cleveland Irish mobster Kevin McTaggart has some pretty heavy hitters going to bat for him in his quest to get a sentence reduction. The 64-year old McTaggart is serving life in federal prison for racketeering, drugs and taking part in a half-dozen murder conspiracies. He’s been locked up since 1982 and filed for a resentencing last week.

In the 1970s, McTaggart was the No. 2 in charge of Ohio’s “Celtic Club” Irish mob ran by his best friend, brash organized crime figure Danny Greene, one of the Midwest’s most high-profile and headline-grabbing gangsters of his era. Chubby, fair complected and pompadoured, McTaggart fought on the frontlines of Greene’s war with the Cleveland Italian mafia which saw the fearless and emboldened Greene get blown to bits in a 1977 car bombing attack outside his dentist’s office in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

After the war ended and Greene was out of the picture, McTaggart joined forces with the Italians and went to work for Cleveland mafia underboss Angelo (Big Ange) Lonardo as hired muscle and a large-scale narcotics trafficker. Lonardo eventually became a government witness and joined the Witness Protection Program, dying a free man in 2006.

Ohio Municipal Court Judge Donna Congeni Fitzsimmons who prosecuted the case that put Taggart away 38 years ago and Mayor Monica Recktenwald of Canisteo, New York who was once the warden of a prison he served time at have both written letters to federal authorities on his behalf pushing for a resentencing. The NBC television affiliate in Cleveland (WKYC) aired a story on McTaggart’s attempt to get out from under his life sentence.

In the 2011 film To Kill The Irishman about the Cleveland mob war of the ’70s, Ray Stevenson plays Danny Greene. A character inspired by McTaggart is played in the movie by Marcus Thomas and called Billy McComber.

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