Banner image            Home    What's New    Articles    Images    Subjects    Corrections    Advanced Search    Timeline    Maps    Multimedia    About
The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

MAYFIELD RD. MOB - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The MAYFIELD RD. MOB, so named because they met frequently in the Little Italy section of Mayfield Rd., evolved into a powerful local crime syndicate in the 1920s and 1930s through bootlegging and illegal gambling. In 1932 1st and 2nd generation Italian leaders reached a formal agreement with the Jewish-Cleveland Syndicate of Moe Dalitz, Morris Kleinman, Louis Rothkopf, and Samuel Tucker who organized Buckeye Enterprises through which they operated laundries, casinos, and nightclubs. Both groups profited from the relationship. In 1949 when Dalitz and his partners built the Desert Inn gambling casino in Las Vegas, the Cleveland family protected the casino from shakedowns by other Mafia families and was rewarded with a portion of the unreported casino profits. The income helped support illegal gambling, bookmaking, loan sharking, and labor rackets in northern Ohio.

The local Mafia don for 30 years was John Scalish, a low-key boss who permitted membership decline in the Cleveland family and failed to clearly designate a successor before his death in 1976. A battle for control of racketeering in northern Ohio ensued, culminating in the car-bombing deaths of DANIEL GREENE† and John Nardi in 1977. James Licavoli, reputed successor to Scalish, was convicted of conspiracy stemming from Greene's murder in 1982 and died in prison 3 years later. Angelo Lonardo, the local underboss, became an FBI informant after his narcotics conviction in 1983. The prosecutions weakened the entire Cleveland operation.

Neff, James. Mobbed Up: Jackie Presser's High Wire Life in the Teamsters, the Mafia, and the FBI (1989).

Last Modified: 18 Jul 1997 03:48:17 PM

Related Article(s)
This site maintained by Case Western Reserve University