One of the most interesting Mafia Families ever established in the United States was the one based in the Anthracite coal region of Pittston, Pennsylvania.
Its founding members were early Sicilian immigrants from Montedoro, Sicily who settled in the northeast portion of the state and formed one of the most successful and long-lasting Cosa Nostra borgatas in history.
A young Sicilian immigrant named Stefano (Steve) LaTorre is attributed with laying the seeds for the Family when he brought together a small group of countrymen and formed a clan.
He soon sponsored his boyhood friend and “compare” Santo Volpe to immigrate as well by paying for his voyage to America and helping Volpe establish himself.
LaTorre then abdicated his position as leader, and Volpe assumed the mantle of power and further organized and expanded their clan into a formal Mafia borgata recognized throughout Cosa Nostra.
King of the Night
Known as “The King of the Night,” the notorious Santo Volpe was an established mafioso back in Sicily and quickly became one of the most respected Mafia leaders in the United States. The Pittston-Scranton clan was named the Santo Volpe Family.
Santo Volpe lead his soldiers quietly and stealthily through the years as they successfully took control of local rackets like bootlegging, the Italian lottery, black hand extortion, counterfeiting, robberies, and strong-arm activities.
The shrewd mafioso also managed to infiltrate many of the region’s coaling-mining companies as well as the labor-union representing mine workers in contract negotiations with company management.
This brilliant underworld plot worked seamlessly to help Volpe and his top men become very wealthy through their ownership interests in major coal companies.
They also went into other businesses such as bars and nightclubs, restaurants, wholesale beverage distributors, multimillion-dollar government contracts, and real estate.
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