Dating to at least the 1910s, the State of Colorado had its fair share of racketeers and hoodlums. It also had a small Mafia Family that operated within several key cities such as Pueblo, Trinidad, and Denver.
These hoodlums and criminals were greatly helped by the early enactment of the Colorado State Liquor Prohibition Law that took place on January 1, 1916. That was fully four years before the National Prohibition Law would outlaw all alcoholic beverages under The Volstead Act put into law in 1920.
A garden variety of criminals would fight for power and wealth during this bootlegging period including a small band of Sicilian-born mafiosi and Calabrian members of the Societa’ Onorato who all vied for dominance and control over the illicit liquor trade.
After killing off many independents and rivals by the mid-1930s an underworld network of blended Italian nationals was firmly in place and operating within Colorado.
There were several additional gangland killings amid infighting among various Mafia factions until things finally stabilized and a firm hierarchy was put into place. This was the start of Colorado’s first and only Cosa Nostra “borgata.”
What later became known as the Colletti Family or the Colorado Family of Cosa Nostra was always one of the lesser-known and smaller “borgatas” of the American Mafia. Nonetheless, the Colletti Family Leadership operated successfully for many decades.