“Too many prosecutors focus on those criminals that are relatively easy to bring to justice instead of those who should and must be apprehended for society’s safety. These criminals include not just the kingpins of organized crime but those who bleed society by consumer fraud, price fixing, collusion, and restraint to trade.”
– Denis Dillon during his 1974 campaign for Nassau County District Attorney
Once described by a fellow prosecutor as “absolutely incorruptible,” Denis Dillon spent his entire career fighting crime in New York, with much of his early career being a racket buster against organized crime. One of his favorite targets was Joe Colombo Sr., the boss of the crime family that still bears his name.
But when Dillon arrested Colombo’s son, Joe Jr., in 1970, Colombo turned the tables around and waged his own war against the very institutions meant to bring him down with the creation of the Italian-American Civil Rights League (IACRL). Later, other notorious mobsters from all Five Families, fellow prosecutors, and even a federal judge also found themselves in Dillon’s crosshairs.