Since the Roaring 20s Prohibition-era, New Jersey has always had more than its fair share of bloody underworld violence. Jewish, Irish, and Italian gangsters competed for bootlegging profits and fought one another for supremacy.
These were the fledgling days of Cosa Nostra’s early formation. But by the early 1930s, the Italian mobs had beaten down all competition and now reigned supreme.
Aside from mafiosi in New York City who had staked their claim to various New Jersey territories, there was a very small, homegrown Family that developed within Union County, primarily around the heavily Italian-populated town of Elizabeth.
With stiff competition hovering all around them from New York’s Five Families just a few miles over the bridge to the east, and three additional Mafia clans right over the state line in nearby Pennsylvania, New Jersey’s homegrown mafiosi had their hands full.
Nonetheless, what later became known as the Simone DeCavalcante Family more than held their own to become a recognized independent Cosa Nostra clan.
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