Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

American organized crime groups included traditional groups such as La Cosa Nostra & the Italian Mafia to modern groups such as Black Mafia Family. Discuss the most organized criminal groups in the United States including gangs in Canada.
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Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 5th, 2008, 10:25 pm

Some people might not be familiar with the Colacurcio family in Seattle. They are an Italian family that have operated in the city for decades. They run their organization much like a typical mob family, and they have mob connections, but technically they are not LCN. They are an independent group. Their main business has always been strip clubs. As the article below explains, there was a huge bust of their strip clubs and other businesses earlier this week.


Police and feds raid Colacurcio strip clubs
By PAUL SHUKOVSKY, KATHY MULADY AND SCOTT GUTIERREZ
P-I REPORTERS


Police and federal agents appear poised to topple the empire of Seattle strip club magnate Frank Colacurcio Sr., alleging that it's built "on the backs of women" who turn to prostitution to pay the exorbitant fees required to dance in his clubs.

"For far too long, the Colacurcio organization has made big money operating their clubs as fronts for prostitution," U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan said in a statement Monday. "The Colacurcios have designed the clubs, the payment methods and the policies to encourage prostitution and to ensure they're the ones getting rich off of these illegal sex acts."

No charges have been filed so far, but likely charges include racketeering, money laundering and fraud, federal prosecutors said.

Armed with search warrants, agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service criminal division on Monday raided four strip clubs operated by the Colacurcio family in the Seattle area -- Rick's on Lake City Way Northeast, Sugar's on Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline, Honey's in Everett and Fox's in Tacoma. They also raided Talents West on Lake City Way, a Colacurcio-owned business that places strippers in his clubs, and 90-year-old Frank Colacurcio Sr.'s home in Lake Forest Park.

The investigation -- which involved the use of undercover officers, confidential informants and unspecified surveillance techniques -- is focused on allegations that the clubs are thinly veiled fronts for prostitution where the house takes a cut of the action. Named as suspects in a lengthy search warrant affidavit are Colacurcio and his son, Frank Colacurcio Jr., along with several associates of the family.

On Monday one of the Colacurcios' lawyers, John Wolfe, said: "It's significant that there were no arrests and no charges. This is part of an investigatory process."

Wolfe said he hasn't had a lengthy conversation with his clients since the raid and doesn't have much information yet beyond the affidavit.

"These guys have been investigated every decade," Wolfe said.

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against Rick's, Sugar's, Honey's and Talents West, a move aimed at ensuring that the equity and assets of the Colacurcio organization are frozen and available for forfeiture to the government pending a successful criminal prosecution, authorities said. The order prohibits the Colacurcios and their associates from selling the clubs or doing anything to lessen their value.

A restraining order being issued prior to charges being filed is rare, Sullivan said, reflecting a concern that the Colacurcios might have tried to liquidate their assets once they learned of the investigation.

The order does not close the clubs and the Colacurcios have 10 days to challenge it.

Prodigious amounts of cash flow through the clubs. Bank records examined by IRS and FBI agents show that the four Seattle-area clubs generated $15.2 million from January 2006 through April 2007.

A sexually explicit search warrant affidavit filling more than 100 pages paints a picture of rampant prostitution in the Seattle-area clubs.

"Undercover officers posing as customers at the clubs have documented scores of prostitution violations," the affidavit states. Some of the women dancing at the clubs charged $40 and up for sex acts -- including intercourse -- that unfold in dimly lit "VIP" sections, according to the affidavit.

Undercover officers, in addition to observing sex acts, said dancers offered to perform sex acts on them for money 70 times at Rick's alone, over an unspecified period. Although the affidavit says the officers did not engage in sex, it reports numerous instances where naked dancers rubbed their bodies against the officers or touched them outside their clothes.

One female undercover Seattle police officer even worked as a manager at Rick's, according to the affidavit.

It wasn't just the officers who reported witnessing sex acts. Several current and former dancers provided information to investigators -- some for money, others to avoid prosecution on prostitution or drug charges. Two former dancers, one of whom apparently objected to the increased prevalence of prostitution, provided information without compensation.

The affidavit portrays the system set up by the Colacurcio organization as pressuring the women into becoming indentured sex workers in which the only way they can pay their "rent" for dancing at the clubs is by committing sex acts. Dancers at Rick's, for example, must pay $130 per shift. If they miss a scheduled shift or don't make enough money in an evening to pay their rent, they owe "back rent."

Men who want "private dances" buy tokens from special club ATMs that charge them a $4 fee for the transaction. The men pay dancers with tokens, who in turn cash the tokens in with the club manager, who subtracts a 10 percent fee, according to the affidavit. Through this system, the club takes a cut of every dance or sex act that happens on the premises.

A Rick's dancer identified as Champagne "expressed disgust" to an undercover officer over having to commit a sex act with a customer "because she owed back rent," according to the affidavit.

On Monday afternoon, Honey's employees -- mostly women in their 20s -- gathered in a vacant lot across the street from the south Everett club, wondering if the federal raid meant they were out of jobs. They said the clubs employ hundreds of people, including waitresses, doormen, security workers and DJs.

One young woman said it didn't matter that agents weren't shutting down the clubs.

"No customers are going to come in; it's been on the news all day," she said.

That was true early Monday night at Rick's, where there was one dancer in evidence but not a single customer.

At Sugar's, federal agents picked through a Dumpster as a tow truck hauled away a Lincoln Town Car owned by Gil Conte, co-owner of the club and Colacurcio Sr.'s driver.

Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske -- whose officers were the core of the undercover effort -- characterized the Colacurcio organization as one that "made its money on the backs of women." He called the investigation "the most significant organized crime investigation we have ever undertaken."

The federal affidavit takes pains to show that club management not only knew of the prostitution taking place, but also promoted it. It relates the story of one dancer who said that Colacurcio Sr. told her that the VIP booths were installed so the dancers could perform oral sex and that the number of customers at Rick's has increased substantially since the booths were put in.

The situation at Rick's is in sharp contrast to Déjà Vu, a dance club just a mile down Lake City Way Northeast. Undercover officers repeatedly visited, but could find no dancers willing to take money for sex.

Unlike Rick's, Déjà Vu has no VIP area and no condom machines in the bathroom, the affidavit says.

It also doesn't make nearly as much money. Gross revenues at Rick's for 2006 and 2007 were $10.3 million compared with nearly $3.2 million for the same period at Déjà Vu.

The investigation is also "about tax dollars due the city of Seattle that have never been paid," Kerlikowske said.

The city levies an admission tax on strip clubs at the rate of 5 percent of door cover charges. Rick's -- the only club within the city limits -- is believed to be evading the tax by undercounting customers, authorities said. The affidavit estimates monthly tax losses to the city of more than $3,000 based on surveillance of Rick's door by a surreptitious camera mounted on a utility pole.

In July 2006, while Rick's reported 7,929 customers, the camera recorded 13,979 for a tax loss of $3,025, the affidavit said.

Controversy and the law have dogged the Colacurcio family for decades. Both Colacurcio Sr. and Colacurcio Jr. have served prison time for tax evasion.

Colacurcio Sr. was convicted of racketeering in 1971, although both men deny prior allegations against them.

In January, Colacurcio Sr. pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions in 2003 in what became known as the "Strippergate" scandal.

Colacurcio Jr., who now owns and manages the multistate strip club business, also pleaded guilty to charges that the Colacurcios secretly channeled illegal donations totaling at least $39,000 to Seattle City Council candidates Judy Nicastro, Heidi Wills and Jim Compton in 2003.

The donations were made by Colacurcio, his relatives, friends and business associates. The donors were then secretly reimbursed for their contributions.

Prosecutors said it was political money laundering to win approval of a zoning change for a parking-lot expansion at Rick's.

The three council members returned the contributions after they became public. The fallout contributed to the 2003 election defeat of Nicastro and Wills. Compton was re-elected.

When Strippergate broke, Tim Burgess, who served 12 years on the city's Ethics and Elections Commission, and is now a city councilman, called it "just the tip of the iceberg."

"It was never about parking spaces and nude dancing," he said Monday. "Some will suggest (the raids) are a misuse of police resources and making a mountain out of a molehill. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"The strip club industry in this country has a pattern of public corruption, money laundering, coercive violence and prostitution, and that is true in Western Washington as well. It isn't about nude dancing and free expression, that is total bunk. It is a criminal enterprise that has been operating in our region for decades."

TIP LINE

The FBI is asking anyone with information on the Colacurcio organization to call toll-free: 877-774-8889.

$15.2 million The amount of money, according to bank records examined by IRS and FBI, that the Colacurcios' four Seattle-area clubs, including Rick's, above, generated from January 2006 through April 2007.

THE COLACURCIOS' CONTROVERSIAL LEGACY

1943: Frank Colacurcio Sr. convicted of “carnal knowledge” with a 16-year-old girl.

1950: He and his brothers go into jukebox and pinball machines. They also lend money to bars and restaurants, taking several over when they can’t pay up.

1958: Colacurcios open their first topless dance club.

1959: U.S. Senate Rackets Committee subpoenaes Colacurcio Sr. He is questioned about alleged racketeering.

1971: Colacurcio Sr. convicted of racketeering for collecting payoffs for police and conspiring to bring bingo equipment into Washington.

1981: Colacurcio Sr. convicted of tax evasion. In ’80s, family’s strip club business expands into other states.

1991: Colacurcio Sr. and son, Frank Colacurcio Jr., plead guilty to tax evasion. The father serves additional time for fondling a woman at a club.

2003: “Strippergate” campaign-finance scandal erupts, involving City Council candidates.

2004: Criminal investigation started by King County Prosecutor’s Office over illegal campaign donations to City Council members.

2005: Colacurcio Sr. sentenced to 90 days of house arrest and fined $2,500 for assaulting waitress at Rick’s strip club.

January 2008: Colacurcios plead guilty to felony charges stemming from “Strippergate.” Father, son each agree to pay $75,000 in criminal and civil penalties.

Monday: Federal agents raid four Colacurcio-owned strip clubs, company headquarters and a Colacurcio home.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/365475_strip03.html

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby TeeKay » June 7th, 2008, 6:23 pm

If They're not LCN, do they induct "made" members?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 8th, 2008, 3:38 am

Are they even "made" members? Quite interesting,they being up in Seattle near Canada. Do they have any Canadian connections like the Angels,Rizzutos or UN?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 9th, 2008, 5:55 pm

TeeKay wrote:If They're not LCN, do they induct "made" members?


No, I don't believe so. Being as they are not LCN, they don't have a reason to adhere to LCN tradition.

paingod wrote:Are they even "made" members? Quite interesting,they being up in Seattle near Canada. Do they have any Canadian connections like the Angels,Rizzutos or UN?


No, they are not a part of LCN. They are Italian, have LCN connections, and run their business like the LCN, but they are independent. They may have ties to Canadian groups, as their operations have stretched up to Alaska in the past, but I'm not aware of any specifically.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby TeeKay » June 12th, 2008, 1:54 am

I know wikipedia isnt reputable but it lists the family as havin made members and capos....

Influential members

Frank Colacurcio Sr. a.k.a "Big Frank"- high ranking member of criminal organization, was released from prison and remains a consultant to his business, Talents West. Charged with assault in 2005 for fondling a 23-year-old woman and was also charged with political money laundering in 2006, but charges were dismissed and reinstated by the state supreme court.

John Carbone a.k.a "Handsome Johnny" - Former capo, was released from prison in 1997 and died of a heart attack at his home in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Joseph Carbone a.k.a Joey - Known member, son of Handsome Johnny, convicted on racketeering in 1980s, may have taken over father's position as capo.

Albert D. Rosellini Sr. - Still works each day at his downtown office, remaining close to political figures in the state of Washington and still denies any ties to organized crime.

Albert Rosellini Jr. - Seattle businessman, suspected member.

Stanley Naccarato a.k.a "Mr.Tacoma", "Stan" - Tacoma fundraiser and restaurant operator, suspected member since his retirement from baseball.

Michael Tucci a.k.a "Big Mike" - Tacoma construction magnate and suspected member.

Frank Colacurcio Jr. a.k.a "Frankie" - Son of Frank Sr. Hiring agency president, general manager and bookkeeper, high ranking member.

Robert Payton a.k.a "Bobby" - Right-hand man of Frank Sr. Hiring agency director and high ranking member of family.

Nicholas Furfaro a.k.a "Nick" - Nightclub manager, known member since 1963 and high ranking member.

John Conte Sr. a.k.a "Gil" - Former lounge singer, charged with Colacurcio in 2006. Known high ranking member since 1972.

John Conte Jr. - Mechanic, son of Gil, suspected member.

Francis Lucarelli a.k.a "Frank" - Executive chef, suspected member.

Gilbert Paoule a.k.a "Junior" - Became a member after short prison stint with Colacurcio Sr. and after becoming his protege, was put in charge of Alaska operations in the 1980s and was arrested then later testified against Colacurcio in a tax evasion case in Seattle. Also informed about Arizona operations ran by Colacurcio's younger brothers.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 12th, 2008, 11:50 am

Well, like you said, it's Wikipedia. There is a reason why you never hear of an LCN family in Seattle - because technically there isn't one and never has been. Now I'm sure the organization has had ranks, whatever they are called. But I highly doubt they actually have "made" members that have gone through the ceremony and all when they are not an LCN family.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 13th, 2008, 9:02 pm

TeeKay wrote:I know wikipedia isnt reputable but it lists the family as havin made members and capos....

Influential members

Frank Colacurcio Sr. a.k.a "Big Frank"- high ranking member of criminal organization, was released from prison and remains a consultant to his business, Talents West. Charged with assault in 2005 for fondling a 23-year-old woman and was also charged with political money laundering in 2006, but charges were dismissed and reinstated by the state supreme court.

John Carbone a.k.a "Handsome Johnny" - Former capo, was released from prison in 1997 and died of a heart attack at his home in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Joseph Carbone a.k.a Joey - Known member, son of Handsome Johnny, convicted on racketeering in 1980s, may have taken over father's position as capo.

Albert D. Rosellini Sr. - Still works each day at his downtown office, remaining close to political figures in the state of Washington and still denies any ties to organized crime.

Albert Rosellini Jr. - Seattle businessman, suspected member.

Stanley Naccarato a.k.a "Mr.Tacoma", "Stan" - Tacoma fundraiser and restaurant operator, suspected member since his retirement from baseball.

Michael Tucci a.k.a "Big Mike" - Tacoma construction magnate and suspected member.

Frank Colacurcio Jr. a.k.a "Frankie" - Son of Frank Sr. Hiring agency president, general manager and bookkeeper, high ranking member.

Robert Payton a.k.a "Bobby" - Right-hand man of Frank Sr. Hiring agency director and high ranking member of family.

Nicholas Furfaro a.k.a "Nick" - Nightclub manager, known member since 1963 and high ranking member.

John Conte Sr. a.k.a "Gil" - Former lounge singer, charged with Colacurcio in 2006. Known high ranking member since 1972.

John Conte Jr. - Mechanic, son of Gil, suspected member.

Francis Lucarelli a.k.a "Frank" - Executive chef, suspected member.

Gilbert Paoule a.k.a "Junior" - Became a member after short prison stint with Colacurcio Sr. and after becoming his protege, was put in charge of Alaska operations in the 1980s and was arrested then later testified against Colacurcio in a tax evasion case in Seattle. Also informed about Arizona operations ran by Colacurcio's younger brothers.

Since this is from Wiki, can anyone confirm any of the people here as real?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 14th, 2008, 9:10 pm

Does anyone have any pictures of these guys?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 14th, 2008, 9:50 pm

paingod wrote:Does anyone have any pictures of these guys?


Frank Colacurcio Sr.
Image

Frank Colacurcio Jr.
Image

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 14th, 2008, 9:57 pm

Thank you. Frank SR. sure dresses the part of mob boss. Has he ever been a known to associate with the other mafia families in the US?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 14th, 2008, 10:05 pm

paingod wrote:Thank you. Frank SR. sure dresses the part of mob boss. Has he ever been a known to associate with the other mafia families in the US?


Once again, technically the Colacurcios are not a Mafia family. They are Italian, and they run their organization like a mob family, but they are not La Cosa Nostra. However, Frank Colacurcio Sr. has had ties to LCN figures over the years, many of them mafiosi based in California and Nevada.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 14th, 2008, 10:10 pm

So if he worked with mafiosi from Nevada that would be Chicago,right? Who from Cali? What was some of their biz together?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 14th, 2008, 11:14 pm

paingod wrote:So if he worked with mafiosi from Nevada that would be Chicago,right? Who from Cali? What was some of their biz together?


I don't know about who specifically but I've read that Colacurcio had ties to some of the California families like Los Angeles and San Francisco. I'm not sure who he knew in Nevada. These were more social connections than actual business contacts.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 1:11 am

thewestside wrote:
paingod wrote:So if he worked with mafiosi from Nevada that would be Chicago,right? Who from Cali? What was some of their biz together?


I don't know about who specifically but I've read that Colacurcio had ties to some of the California families like Los Angeles and San Francisco. I'm not sure who he knew in Nevada. These were more social connections than actual business contacts.

Does San Francisco have a mafia family today?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 22nd, 2008, 1:36 am

paingod wrote:Does San Francisco have a mafia family today?


No, the San Francisco family is considered extinct by the FBI.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 1:39 am

How long ago did the Colacurico deal with California?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 22nd, 2008, 2:12 am

paingod wrote:How long ago did the Colacurico deal with California?


His ties to LCN figures in California go back decades.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 2:14 am

Nothing current? Milano in L.A.?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 22nd, 2008, 2:35 am

paingod wrote:Nothing current? Milano in L.A.?


Nothing that I know of. There isn't much left of the Los Angeles family. It has maybe ten members remaining. Milano owns a beverage supply company. Some members and associates are still involved with the porn business. One of the family's two Captains lives and operates in Arizona where he has an AC repair business. Basically the LA family is like a lot of other ones that once they get to the point of being a "glorified crew" (to borrow a phrase from The Sopranos) rather than an actual family. They don't have the manpower or resources to lauch significant criminal operations anymore. Many of the remaining guys, who aren't in prison or inactive, or mostly legitimate.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 2:41 am

Who is stronger? The Colacurcio or any of the west coast families?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 22nd, 2008, 2:56 am

paingod wrote:Who is stronger? The Colacurcio or any of the west coast families?


The only Westcoast family left is Los Angeles. And like I said, there isn't much of a family left. They are more of a crew now. Other families, like San Francisco and San Jose, are extinct. I would say that Colacurcio organization makes more money than what is left of the LA family. The biggest LCN players in both California and Nevada now are members and associates from the Northeast and Midwest families.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 2:58 am

Is Riccia still alive in California?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 22nd, 2008, 3:07 am

paingod wrote:Is Riccia still alive in California?


I'm sorry, I'm not sure who you are referring to. Are you sure you spelled the name right? What's the first name?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 3:08 am

Mike Ricci?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 22nd, 2008, 3:10 am

There was also another old-school,hardcore gangster out there. A captain,I believe?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 22nd, 2008, 3:32 am

paingod wrote:Mike Ricci?


There was a Mike Ricci who was an Associate of the Outfit and part of the "Family Secrets" indictment. He was an ex-cop. He died before the trial started.

I believe you mean Mike Rizzi. He died.

paingod wrote:There was also another old-school,hardcore gangster out there. A captain,I believe?


I believe you are thinking of Vincent "Jimmy" Caci. He's still alive though I think he might be in prison right now. I'm not sure. He's one Captain in the family. The other is Louis "Little Louie" Caruso who is in Arizona.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby paingod » June 28th, 2008, 9:46 pm

Yea, you're right ,Rizzi. Is Caci still in prison? How old is he now? When's he gettin' out and how old will he be then? Who's this Little Louie Caruso? Any relation to Chicago?

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » June 29th, 2008, 6:23 pm

paingod wrote:Yea, you're right ,Rizzi. Is Caci still in prison? How old is he now? When's he gettin' out and how old will he be then? Who's this Little Louie Caruso? Any relation to Chicago?


I'm not positive but I believe Caci is still in prison. I'm not sure when his release date is. He is like in his 80's now. Louie Caruso is one of the Los Angeles family's two Captains, the other bieng Caci. Caruso is based in Arizona where he owns an AC repair business. No relation to the Caruso family in Chicago.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby thewestside » July 14th, 2008, 4:45 am






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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby nicnacc » May 13th, 2016, 7:30 pm

Stanley Naccarato a.k.a "Mr.Tacoma", "Stan" - Tacoma fundraiser and restaurant operator, suspected member since his retirement from baseball.

I'm his grandson and can tell you this isn't true.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby Tml777 » June 28th, 2016, 10:49 am

I second that about Stan naccarato, im his grandaughter and i can say thats not true.

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Re: Colacurcio organization bust in Seattle

Unread postby Tml777 » July 2nd, 2016, 12:49 pm

[quote="Tml777"]I second that about
Stanley Naccarato a.k.a "Mr.Tacoma", "Stan" - Tacoma fundraiser and restaurant operator, suspected member since his retirement from baseball.- I'm his granddaughter and I can say that this is not true.


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