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Organized Crime Group: the Gambino Family


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Organized Crime Group: The Gambino Family
Melissa Castle
June 11, 2012
Bryan Kaminski

Introduction The organized crime group Learning Team A chose to conduct research on was The Gambino Family. Their entire organization was based in New York City. This paper will reflect the Gambino's national and multinational structure and operating methods pertaining to the drug business. Also a comparison of the Gambino's from their past to present role in prohibition, drug syndicates, political corruption, and other illicit activities will be examined. Over time, the Gambino family had various business interests that made them even more notable in the Italian Mafia history.
National and multinational structure and operating methods, pertaining to the drug business. The Gambino family’s drug business structure and operating methods stem from very strong ties in the Sicilian Drug trade (Critchley, 2008). Until 1914, there were no real laws or boundaries against the drug industry in the United States of America (Critchley, 2008). The Boylan anti-drug Law, passed by the New York state legislature on March 28, 1914, was the first regulatory limitations seen against drugs. This law was not truly enforced until the 1920s, with legitimate businesses continuing to serve recreational drugs to addicts. This drug law was instituted because of the overwhelming numbers of innocent drug slaves, according to Charles B. Towns, the attorney who drafted the law (Shaffer, 2012). The section of legislation most significant to the newly formed war on drugs was The Harrison Tax Act of 1914, which, among other things restricted the sale of heroin and cocaine (Head, 2012). Until the time that drug production and use became illegal, it would not have been necessary for the mafia to become involved. However, after said Harrison Tax Act of 1914, and the Boylan anti-drug Law, the drug business became a prime target for organized crime. In 1920, when Carlo Gambino was only 18 years old, the United States Supreme Court ruled that non-medical use of drugs was illegal, opening the window for organized crime groups to become the sole source of narcotics (Head, 2012). In the mid-to late 1920s, Charles Luciano was the Cosa Nostra's point man in Italy, and Carlo Gambino was the point man and the Cosa Nostra’s director of drug activities in America (Critchley, 2008). The Gambino family’s Sicilian ties to the Cosa Nostra’s Italian drug business was introduced to the United States through Carlo Gambino.
Past and current role in Prohibition, drug syndicates, political corruption, and other illicit activities. During the 1920s, the Gambino family made millions of dollars during the prohibition period in the state of New York. It was not uncommon for members of the organization to bribe, intimidate, or even threaten to do bodily harm to individuals or their family members if they refused to cooperate with the demands of the organization. Kidnapping, murder, and the corruption of local officials were common within the organization. Alcohol, gambling, and prostitution allowed the organizations to gain a substantial amount of prestige, money, and power. The Gambino family originated in the Italian region of Venice and migrated to the United States in the 1800s. The Gambino family was formed as a result of foreign military invaders. Family members would help one another by fighting off any armies that would try to confiscate their homes and land of its citizens. This built a strong bond within the families and has lasted while migrating to America. The Mafias Americanization is essentially from Sicilian roots (Calder, 2009). According to (Attorney General Eric, 2010) “The members of La Cosa Nostra (Gambino family) are the most dangerous gangs in our country.” The Gambino family mafia of the past does not compare to today’s mafia. The old mafia filled a social role more than a criminal one (Silverman, 2010). The Gambino family operates through labor and construction racketeering, gambling, loansharking, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, murder for hire, solid and toxic waste dumping violations, construction, building and cement violations, fraud and wire fraud, hijacking, pier thefts and fencing (Silverman, 2010). The family will use a storefront, business or political connection to conduct illegal activities, transaction, and the transfer of illegal drugs. Technology has become an important instrument to criminal organizations and law enforcement agencies must develop ways of combating this problem. Skype, a program that the mafia uses to conduct live image conference calls with the use of a computer that has a camera mounted on it. Long distance communications are being used by the organization. Cell phones; have allowed the organization to have constant communication by texting, calling, or recording the events with the use of a cell phone camera or recorder. Since the conception of the Gambino family the organization has continually evolved, keeping up with the times and no longer committing many of the crimes of the past. Today’s mafia family is smarter, more advanced, and seeks to get the job done in a manner that would not draw attention to the organization. The prohibition area and the legalization of alcohol lead to the organization finding alternative means of earning money illegally for the organization. In our opinion this opened doors to other means such as, bookie joints, gambling, and the most profited of them all was from drug trafficking. Recently, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (2010) one hundred and twenty five arrests were made.

The Gambino’s various business interests over time
The Gambino family was involved with numerous businesses over the years. There were some businesses that were legal and there were those that were not legal. In 1957, Carlo Gambino became known as one of the most powerful mobsters in history (True TV). The family was involved with a company named Consolidated Carriers Corporation that handled any problems that involved union issues. Later, in the 1990s Carlo’s son Thomas Gambino headed the Gambino Medical and Science Foundation (True TV). At this time, Gambino's financed a two million dollar “pediatric bone marrow transplant” at a Long Island Medical Center. With this investment, it increased Gambino's wealth to $75 million dollars (American Mafia).
In 1991, charges were brought against Carlo Gambino and others that included racketeering, loan sharking, extortion, illegal gambling, along with 11 counts of murder (True TV). It did not take long for one of the men to become a government witness who was willing to testify against everyone else including Carlo Gambino (True TV). In 1993, Carlo Gambino was convicted of two counts of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. The prosecution was trying to prove that Carlo Gambino was responsible for supervising illegal gambling and loan sharking.
These activities were said to have taken place in Connecticut from 1985 to 1996. Carlo Gambino was sentenced to a five-year term, which he started to serve immediately. While Carlo Gambino was serving his sentence, it came out that Gambino's stockbroker, “Mr. Mohammad Ali Khan” was defrauding him of money for many years. The amount that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated was approximately two million dollars and Carlo Gambino sued him and won the money (American Mafia). In 2000, Carlo Gambino was released from prison and moved to Florida. It has been said that there were many illegal activities that the Gambino Family was involved with that ultimately makes it difficult to find people who are willing to testify against them. It has been said that money and greed brought the family down.
The Gambino Family migrated from Italy in the 1800s and has been able to use the prohibition in their favor to become the most feared and powerful organized crime family in history. The Gambino Family has shown law enforcement and other government agencies how organized crime adapts to ever evolving technology. Further, the Gambino Family has taught law enforcement how organized criminal enterprises can camouflage illegal activities within communities as legitimate businesses.

Attorney General Eric, H. (2011). (n.d). Attorney General Eric Holder Hold A New Conference on Mafia Arrests. FDCH Political Transcripts, Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Bruno, A. (n.d). The Gambino Family. Retrieved June 6, 2012 from
Calder, J. D. (2009). The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891-1931. Journal of American History 96(3), 887-888. Retrieved, from EBSCOhost.
Critchley, D. (2008). The Origin of Organized Crime in America: the New York City Mafia, 1891-1931. London: Rutledge. ISBN 0-415-99030-0.
Head, T. (2012). History of the War on Drugs. Retrieved June 6, 2012, from:
New York Times (2011). Gambino Crime Family. Retrieved June 6, 2012 from
Shaffer Library of Drug Policy (2012). History of Drug Laws. New Drug Law Hits Accidental Users. Reported in the New York Times, June 21, 1914. Retrieved June 7, 2012 from:
Silverman, K. (2010). Mafia: Inside the Dark Heart; The Rise and Fall of the Sicilian Mafia. Library Journal 135(18), 79. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Szigethy, J.R. & Eppolito, L. (2005). Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops. Retrieved June 6, 2012 from

References (Cont.)
Walker, C. (2004). Gambino Mafia Rips off U.S. Government. Retrieved June 6, 2012 from
|Name: Group A |Assignment: Week Four Group |
|Course: CJA 384 |Date: 6/14/12 |
|Grading Criteria |Percent |Points Available |Grade |Points Earned |
|Content Development |50% |10 |50 |10 |
|Organization |20% |2.0 |20 |2 |
|Format |10% |1.0 |10 | 1 |
|Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling |10% |1.0 | 10 |1 |
|Readability/Style |10% |1.0 | 10 |1 |
| Totals |100% |15 |100% |15 |
|Hello Team A ,This was an excellent paper on the Gambino Family. With the knowledge obtained from the investigation of the Gambino|
|Family what advancements in the prosecution of organized crime was achieved? The organization of your presentation was good. The |
|format of your presentation was good, except you need to keep your references in alphabetical order per APA. The style of your |
|presentation was good. Any questions or comments concerning your grade please feel free to contact me. |

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