During his extensive underworld career, Robert Wisch was known to engage in everything from burglaries, grand thefts, truck hijacking, armed robberies, strong-arm extortion, loansharking, and gambling to business frauds and tax evasion.
By at least the late-1940s, Wisch had acquired his underworld moniker of “Red Robby” and was also now firmly entrenched in Brooklyn’s organized underworld.
Authorities would later tie him to key members of the Italian Mafia such as Vito Genovese Family “capo” Matthew (Matty the Horse) Ianniello. He was also closely allied his entire lifetime to New York’s “Jewish Mob,” and, by extension, to its acknowledged kingpin, Meyer (The Little Man) Lansky.
But, by far, his closest underworld connections came from his decades-long affiliation with many important members and associates of Brooklyn’s Joseph Colombo Family. These included a close personal friendship, and later partnership, with a fast-rising, young Colombo member named Vittorio (Little Vic) Orena.