Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carl "Tuffy" DeLuna, Convicted Outfit Gangster, Dies at 81

Carl Angelo “Tuffy” DeLuna — whose legacy is that of both a notorious Kansas City mob leader and a gentleman — has died.

DeLuna passed away Monday at the home of his daughter, Carla Allen. He was 81.

To his family, he was “a caring, giving man. He touched a great many lives and he will be deeply missed,” they wrote in his obituary.

To most people, DeLuna was one of the top guys in “The Outfit,” an organized crime unit in Kansas City in the 1970s and ’80s.

DeLuna served 12 years in federal prison on multiple racketeering and other convictions related to skimming profits from Las Vegas casinos during those decades.

He was being investigated for murder in 1978 when the FBI picked up leads that he had been manipulating Teamsters union pension funds and stealing from the casinos, according to Gary Hart, who was the supervisor in charge of the FBI’s investigation into organized crime in Kansas City in the late 70s.

After being released from prison in 1998, DeLuna gambled at Kansas City area casinos until the Missouri Gaming Commission banned him in 2005. But even the man who headed the investigation that eventually put DeLuna in federal prison called him a “perfect gentleman.”

“He was a very respectful guy,” Hart said. “He went down one pathway, and we went down another. We agreed to disagree agreeably.”

DeLuna’s family was hospitable when FBI agents searched his house on Valentine’s Day 1979, according to Hart. “Carl and his family were perfect hosts for all the agents,” he said. “It was not a hostile environment.”

He treated everyone with the same respect, Hart said, “other than the usual things that mob guys are accused of.”

Thanks to Meredith Rodriquez

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