The Chicago Syndicate: Nicholas Pari
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Showing posts with label Nicholas Pari. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nicholas Pari. Show all posts

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Joseph "Joe Onions" Scanlon's Remains Are Confirmed

It's official. The remains found behind an East Providence apartment building in November 2008 are those of mob associate Joseph "Joe Onions" Scanlon.

Scanlon died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the state Medical Examiner's Office. The M.E. used forensic anthropology and DNA analysis to identify the remains and the cause of death.

“We hope that this information will bring closure for the family,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “This death occurred 30 years ago. We hope this gives them peace."

Scanlon disappeared April 3, 1978. From that day, until his remains were discovered, authorities could only suspect Scanlon was the victim of a gangland slaying. In fact, Patriarca crime family associates Nicholas Pari and Andy Merola served time in prison in connection with Scanlon's death, even though investigators never found the body.

It wasn't until November 2008, when State Police arrested Pari during their investigation "Operation Mobbed Up," that they discovered the location of Scanlon's body.

Pari told investigators the remains could be behind the Lisboa apartment complex on Bullocks Point Ave in East Providence. After days of excavating the site, authorities uncovered the remains which have now be postively identified as Scanlon's.

Pari died of cancer at the age of 71, a month after Scanlon's remains were uncovered. Merola died in 2007 without divulging the secret.

Thanks to Nancy Krause

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

30 Arrested Charged with Organized Crime Activities Including Racketeering, Narcotics, Extortion, Bookmaking and Firearms.

The state police say their break came nine months ago when leaders of a West Warwick-based racketeering enterprise decided they needed to “teach a lesson” and hurt someone who owed them money.

Their target, however, was a low-ranking associate of mobster Nicholas Pari, who has since died of natural causes. They felt it their duty to inform Pari in advance as a matter of criminal courtesy. Pari objected, and asked ranking members of the Patriarca crime family to intervene. They did, siding with Pari in getting the assault called off. But the little exchange alerted the police to an enterprise they knew little about.

Yesterday, in simultaneous raids at 25 locations in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts, the state police, working with officers from West Warwick, Warwick, Cranston and Coventry, arrested 30 people they say were active conspirators in an organized criminal enterprise managed by Donald St. Germain, 54, of West Warwick, and Adolf “George” Eunis, 67, of South Kingstown, on a range of offenses, including racketeering, narcotics, extortion, bookmaking and firearms.

St. Germain, whose criminal record goes back 20 years and includes interstate highjacking and stolen goods, is being held without bail pending a hearing on Feb. 19. He asked for a public defender.

Eunis’ bail was set at $50,000, with surety, yesterday in District Court. Neither entered a plea, as felony charges are handled in Superior Court. A screening date of April 10 was set.

Yesterday afternoon, as court personnel discussed how to handle the influx of defendants being bused in for arraignment, friends and relatives perused a seven-page list of those arrested and the charges against them.

“Joe Montouri, they got,” commented one of the men. “They just shut West Warwick down,” said another of the men.

For the next hour, as the clerks divided the list into two, people chatted about the charges, those who had been arrested, and who knew whom. Friends waved at each other. Cell phones kept going off.

Shortly before 3 p.m. –– an hour after the scheduled time –– court personnel called the names of those defendants whose cases would be heard by District Court Judge Jeanne E. LaFazia. The rest would be handled by Judge Anthony Capraro next door, they said.

The defendants were brought out, in shackles, in groups of three.

Lt. Col. Stephen O’Donnell, second in command at the Rhode Island State Police, and Col. Brendan Doherty, the state police superintendent, credited the arrests to troopers and detectives who monitored more than a thousand phone conversations among members of the group, and to the work of an undercover state police detective, Christopher Zarrella, who managed to infiltrate the group. “It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to do what he did,” O’Donnell said of Zarrella. “He’s a unique guy.”

In the wake of the aborted assault, in June 2008, Zarrella, a member of the intelligence unit, ingratiated himself with the two leaders and gradually gained their trust, O’Donnell said. Over the next several months he was seen as one of the regular members of the group, buying drugs and firearms and establishing himself as one of the guys.

With the information gathered by Zarrella, the state police obtained warrants to tap the phones of St. Germain and Eunis. The wiretaps, according to O’Donnell, helped show “a clear pattern” of an organized criminal enterprise operating out of St. Germain’s second-floor apartment at 47 Phenix Ave., in West Warwick.

“On a daily basis, numerous individuals in the organization would buy and sell marijuana” and various prescription drugs that were obtained illegally, O’Donnell said. “We also learned that they were managing partners in a gambling and loan-sharking operation.”

The police said that the two had enlisted, as part of their strong-arm operation, Terrell Walker, who in 1973 was charged with murdering a Boston police officer during a botched robbery of a pawn shop; witnesses recanted and the charge was reduced to manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 18 to 20 years.

According to the state police, a decision to close in on the group was made a short time ago after St. Germain and Eunis decided they needed to deal harshly with Daniel Louth, 48, another individual who owed them a large amount of money.

They decided they would “teach him a lesson” and went to several people, including Zarrella, for help in tracking him down.

The assault, without Zarrella’s help, occurred Jan. 19 at a Shell station on Quaker Lane in Warwick. Michael Sherman, 35, and Michael Lillie, 33, both of West Warwick, carried out the assault, according to O’Donnell, with Jeremy Lavoie, 36, of West Warwick, as a lookout.

Louth –– who was brought in for arraignment yesterday with Eunis –– was held as a violator due to his extensive criminal record, which includes drug, extortion and bookmaking convictions. He faces racketeering, organized criminal gambling, bookmaking and drug charges.

Lillie and Sherman were ordered held without bail pending a hearing on Feb. 19.

At a news conference yesterday at state police headquarters , troopers displayed some of the items seized during yesterday’s early morning raids — including 2 pounds of marijuana, large quantities of prescription drugs, cell phones, scales, grinding tools and $10,000 cash.

Thanks to Richard C. Dujardin and Maria Armental

Monday, December 29, 2008

Old Mobster, Nicholas Pari, Reveals Secret Burial Ground, Days Before He Enters His Own Grave

They came for the gravely ill racketeer last month, appearing at his North Providence home around dawn. His time was near, but not as near as the police officers at his door. He went peacefully.

Soon he was at state police headquarters, where veteran detectives knew him well: Nicholas Pari, once the smart-dressing mobster whose nickname, “Nicky,” had clearly not taxed the Mafia muse. Now 71, with gauze wrapped around his cancer-ruined neck: Nicky Pari.

The arrest, for running a crime ring from a flea market, put him in a reflective mood, and he said some things he clearly needed to say, including that he was dying. Still, ever-faithful to that perverse code of the streets, he seemed insulted when asked about the deeds of others.

“He wouldn’t cooperate beyond talking about himself and his past actions,” says Col. Brendan Doherty, the state police superintendent, who knew Mr. Pari from long years spent investigating Rhode Island crime, back when it was more organized.

The gaunt man did not weep, though his voice softened as he spoke with regret about a life that had fallen far short of its promised glamour and riches, a life heavy with guilt over one particular act. And in confessing this one act, Nicky Pari gave up a ghost.

“He was making an attempt at an act of contrition,” says Lt. Col. Steven O’Donnell, who also knew Mr. Pari from way back when and had listened to his old adversary’s words of regret.

That same day, detectives took the mobster for a 19-mile ride, following his directions as he zeroed in on the past. To East Providence. To the Lisboa Apartments. To a grassy backyard bordered by a listing stockade fence.

What he indicated next, whether through words or gestures or even a nod, was this: Here. Deep beneath this blanket of dormant grass, you will find him — here. Soon the claws of backhoes were disturbing the earth.

Thirty years ago, organized crime in Rhode Island was still like a rogue public utility. Raymond L. S. Patriarca, the old man with bullet tips for eyes, still ran the New England rackets from a squat building on Federal Hill. And men, from the merely dishonest to the profoundly psychopathic, still followed his rules.

Among them was Nicky Pari, who supposedly declined the honor to join the Mafia because he preferred the freelance life. If not made, he was known, in part because he had done time for helping a Patriarca lieutenant hijack a truck with a $50,000 load of dresses.

In April 1978, he and another freelancer, Andrew Merola, decided to address the delicate matter of a police informant within their ranks, a droopy-eyed young man from Hartford named Joseph Scanlon. The theories behind his nickname, “Joe Onions,” are that he made the girls cry or, more prosaically, that his surname sounded like scallion.

One morning Mr. Pari lured Mr. Scanlon and his girlfriend, who was holding their infant daughter, into Mr. Merola’s social club, in a Federal Hill building now long gone. Mr. Pari struck Mr. Scanlon in the face. Then Mr. Merola fired a bullet that shot through the man’s head and caught the tip of one of Mr. Pari’s fingers.

The girlfriend was ordered to leave the room. When she came back, her child’s father was wrapped in plastic near the door, his jewelry gone, his boots placed beside his body. A package, awaiting delivery.

The girlfriend, once described as a “stand-up girl” who wouldn’t talk, did, and the two men were convicted of murder in a case lacking a central piece of evidence: the body. They successfully appealed their convictions, but in 1982 they pleaded no contest to reduced charges in a deal that required them to say where the body was. Dumped in Narragansett Bay, they said.

Few believed this story, perhaps because it lacked the panache desired of a Rhode Island-style rubout. For years afterward, people would call the police and The Providence Journal with tips like: Joe Onions is in the trunk of a scrapped Cadillac. Check it out.

Perhaps, too, there was the inexplicable charm of Mafia sobriquets. In a state whose mobster roll call includes nicknames like “The Blind Pig” and “The Moron,” one wonders whether Joe Onions would be remembered had he been known, simply, as Joe Scanlon.

The years passed. The paroled Mr. Merola opened a Federal Hill restaurant called Andino’s, while the paroled Mr. Pari gravitated toward flea markets. They were often seen together, sitting in a lounge in Smithfield, or attending a testimonial for a mob associate in Providence, that damaged finger of Mr. Pari’s, holding a glass or maybe a cigarette, always there.

Mr. Merola died of cancer last year, leaving Mr. Pari to bear their secret alone. He went on as a father, a grandfather and, apparently, the man to see in a grimy flea market in a stretch of Providence where auto-body shops reign.

Last month the police arrested Mr. Pari and a motley mix of others for crimes of the flea market that put the lie to The Life, including the supposed trading of guns and drugs for more fungible items like counterfeit handbags and sneakers. Still, he remained bound to Mr. Merola; in arranging to sell illegal prescription drugs for a measly $320, for example, he chose to meet an undercover officer at his departed friend’s restaurant.

At state police headquarters, before that ride to East Providence, Mr. Pari expressed remorse for helping to kill Joe Onions, remorse that he admitted had deepened as he faced his own mortality. Seeing the anguish his own family was going through, he knew he could ease another family’s 30-year pain by sharing one detail that only he knew.

Don’t misunderstand, Lieutenant Colonel O’Donnell says. Mr. Pari could have shared this detail days before his arrest, months before, decades before — but he lied instead, for reasons known only to him. “It doesn’t make him a good guy,” the police official says. “But he’s a human being.”

Hours after leading the police to the place that had haunted him since 1978, Mr. Pari appeared in District Court in Providence, unshaven, diminished, in a wheelchair. Released on bail, he returned home to his hospice bed and oxygen tank.

Meanwhile, back in East Providence, backhoes mined the sandy past. They dug until dark that Monday afternoon, then returned to dig all day Tuesday, as detectives and spectators shivered and watched, as the November sun offered little warmth, as the smell of fried food wafted from a Chinese restaurant a few yards away.

Finally, late on that Wednesday, the scoop of a backhoe pulled up things of interest from more than a dozen feet below, including a boot that seemed to match a description. The mechanical dig stopped and a human dig began, with investigators using a sifting pan to separate bone from earth.

It isn’t as though you can dig anywhere in Rhode Island and find a body. But Colonel Doherty, the state police superintendent, says he will not confirm this was Joseph Scanlon until a match is made with some DNA provided by one of Mr. Scanlon’s siblings. He adds that even though 30 years have passed, among the Scanlons “there was always a hope that he was not dead.”

On a cold night late last week, an old mobster died at his home in North Providence, freed of one secret he would not have to take to the grave.

Thanks to Dan Barry

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Made" Mob Members Dwindle in Ranks

The ranks of the traditional "La Cosa Nostra" have been dwindling here in Rhode Island over the years. So much so, the face of the modern mob bust, like we saw last week, is a diverse cross-section of society.

The "Operation Mobbed Up" sweep netted two dozen people and crushed an alleged criminal syndicate run out of the Valley Street Flea Market. Among those arrested were several with ties to the Patriarca Crime Family.

In organized crime's heyday in Rhode Island, when Raymond L.S. Patriarca ran the show, investigators kept tabs on at least 22 "made" members of the New England crime family.

Rhode Island State Police Col. Brendan Doherty, a veteran mob investigator, tells Target 12 that right now, "There are about eight or nine people we allege are inducted members." Of those, some are what he calls "retired."

In fact, in the "Mobbed Up" bust from November 17, not a single defendant is a member of the Patriarca crime family. State Police say several -- including infamous mob muscleman, Gerald Tillinghast, and aging, wheelchair-bound Nicholas "Nicky" Pari -- are mob associates.

"The fact that a large group of associates was arrested and a made member was not arrested is not a reflection on the New England LCN," says Jeffrey Sallet, a supervisory special agent with the FBI's Organized Crime Unit in New England. He told Target 12 the LCN -- La Cosa Nostra, "our thing" -- has not "made" a lot of people, and many are mere associates.

The boss of a crime family approves letting in new members. Law enforcement sources tell Target 12 the head of the New England crime family is 80-year-old Luigi "Babyshanks" Manocchio. Sources say Manocchio keeps his inner circle small. Those men who've been identified by law enforcement sources as capo regime under Manocchio include:

* Robert "Bobby" Deluca, whom sources say is keeping a low profile after serving ten years on gambling charges. His parole is set to expire in 2009.
* Edward Lato, who recently escaped gambling charges after a State Police sting in 2006. Lato was released from federal prison earlier this year after a probation violation.
* Joseph Achille, who two years ago served a year at the ACI on a conspiracy charge.

Two longtime reputed mobsters are currently in prison: Capo regime Matthew "Matty" Gugliemetti -- serving time at Ft. Dix for drug violations -- and the infamous 67-year-old mobster, Anthony "The Saint" St. Laurent. He is serving five years for an attempted shakedown of two men over gambling debts.

So far the inner circle has come up clean in this latest round of organized crime-related busts. Col. Doherty says it may just be a new face to old crimes: "It's not quite as organized anymore. We have a lot of renegade factions out there."

Sallet tells Target 12 New England has the distinction of having the only crime family in the country with an active boss still on the street and not behind bars.

Thanks to Target 12

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

18 Arrested as Police Use Backhoe Digging for Body of Mob Hit Victim

The Rhode Island State Police on Monday arrested 18 people allegedly connected to Mafia rings and used a backhoe to dig through an East Providence lot searching for the victim of a three-decade-old mob hit.

The dig for the body was called off around dark and was expected to resume Tuesday.

Some of those arrested allegedly had ties to the Patriarca crime family, which for years controlled organized crime in Providence and Boston. One alleged long-time Patriarca figure arrested Monday was Nicholas Pari, 71, of North Providence.

Investigators said he took counterfeit handbags and sneakers from undercover federal agents who infiltrated the ring, allegedly based out of the Valley Street Flea Market in Providence. In return, the agents got guns and drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and Vicodin, said State Police Lt. Col. Steven O'Donnell.

Pari previously was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter in the 1978 killing of Joseph "Joe Onions" Scanlon, whose body was never found.

State Police officials said they were digging at an East Providence apartment complex for a victim killed by the mob about 30 years ago. Authorities would not say whether Scanlon was the victim they were seeking.

Pari was charged with racketeering, firearms violations and drug offenses. Pari did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. It was unclear Monday whether he had an attorney.

Detectives also arrested Gerald Tillinghast, 62, on drug and gambling charges. Tillinghast, released last year from prison for a mob-related killing, is accused of operating an illegal gambling and drug sales business. Tillinghast was ordered held without bail after a court hearing Monday afternoon, his attorney Paul DiMaio said. He was not asked to enter a plea.

"I just don't believe that he was involved," DiMaio said. "He's been trying to do the right thing. I know he was trying to find a job, find a chauffeur's license."

Other suspects are accused of fencing stolen goods, selling stolen jewelry and setting up heists and sales of catalytic converters, police said. All 18 men were being arraigned in Providence District Court on Monday.

Police said more arrests are on the way and that the sting would make it harder for older reputed mobsters to recruit younger would-be criminals.

"This I think will serve as a devastating blow to some of the older generation that have really been such a problem," Attorney General Patrick Lynch said at a news conference announcing the arrests.

Thanks to Hillary Russ


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