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Title: New York Purple Gang


GangstersInc - September 25, 2007 08:52 AM (GMT)
Bronx detectives pounce on junkie wanted in shooting slay

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BY BOB KAPPSTATTER
DAILY NEWS BRONX BUREAU CHIEF

Monday, September 24th 2007, 4:00 AM

He shot the wrong man eight years ago, and now cops say a longtime - and deadly - enforcer for a notorious mob-connected gang has finally been brought to justice.

But police were forced to delay his arraignment because he had to be hospitalized for his heroin habit.

Joseph Meldisch, 51, an alleged hit man for the Genovese/ Luchese/Bonanno-connected Purple Gang, was arrested Thursday night in the Bronx for the March 21, 1999, slaying of Joseph Brown in an East Bronx bar.

Cops said Meldisch had a beef with Brown's brother Thomas, who had got Meldisch busted for robbery.

They said Meldisch, wearing a ski mask, walked into Frenchie's bar on E. Tremont Avenue in Throgs Neck about 2:30 a.m., stormed through a crowd of more than a hundred people, with the band still playing, and up to a table where Joseph Brown, 35, of Yonkers, was sitting with his wife and other family and friends.

"You're dead, mother-----r!" witnesses said Meldisch screamed as he pumped nine shots into Brown, who died at the scene.

Law enforcement sources said Meldisch, with a reputation for a hair-trigger temper, was long-time muscle for the Purple Gang, an independent crew originally affiliated with the Luchese mob, and later with the Genovese and Bonanno crime families.

The gang, labeled by federal prosecutors in the late 1970s as controlling much of the heroin traffic in East Harlem and the Bronx, "has pretty much been dismantled by police and the feds," said a law enforcement source.

When he was arrested in 1983 at age 27 on a robbery charge, Meldisch was already suspected by police in 30 homicides, said the source.

"We think he went on to do at least 70 mob-contract hits up and down the East Coast between New York and Florida," they added.

Along with detectives from Bronx narcotics and the major case squad, lead case Detective Kevin Tracy of the Bronx Homicide Task Force arrested Meldisch at his girlfriend's Logan Ave. apartment in Throgs Neck.

Two boxes of 9-mm. ammo were recovered in the apartment, police said.

But before Meldisch could be processed for arraignment, he fell ill from what he told arresting officers is a $100, 10-bags-a-day heroin habit.

He was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where authorities were weighing a bedside arraignment.

rkappstatter@nydailynews.com

With Alison Gendar

Hollander - September 25, 2007 09:20 AM (GMT)
East Harlem Purple Gang
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The East Harlem based Purple Gang was a loosely connected group of at least 127 Italian-American drug dealers from Pleasant Avenue in Italian Harlem, and the Bronx, during the 1970's. Many members became Lucchese and Genovese family mobsters, including Daniel Leo (mobster), and Angelo Prisco.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Harlem_Purple_Gang"

GangstersInc - September 25, 2007 10:43 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (GangstersInc @ Sep 25 2007, 09:52 AM)
The gang, labeled by federal prosecutors in the late 1970s as controlling much of the heroin traffic in East Harlem and the Bronx, "has pretty much been dismantled by police and the feds," said a law enforcement source.

Dismantled, or have most of its members moved on to bigger things? The most qualified have obviously turned up into the NY mob families.

Hollander - July 26, 2008 01:30 PM (GMT)
East Harlem Purple Gang
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The East Harlem based Purple Gang was a tightly connected group of at least 127 Italian-American drug dealers from Pleasant Avenue in Italian Harlem, and the Bronx, during the 1970s. Many members became Lucchese and Genovese family mobsters, including Daniel Leo, and Angelo Prisco.

The Purple Gang was not exclusively Italian-American. They used the toughest, smartest and best street thugs from any ethnic group. The leaders, however, were of Italian origin and were marked by various families to become made members of La Cosa Nostra when the membership books were opened. Vinny Basciano, one time "Boss" of the Bonanno borgata, was a Purple Gang member, responsible for their considerable interests in Westchester County. At the time, the late 1970s through mid 1980's, Vinny Gorgeous was the owner of the heroin brand "Blue Thunder"--a very popular bag sold primarily in the neighborhood around 157th street and Melrose Avenue in the Bronx.

Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri, a powerful Gambino captain, was also a Purple Gang shot caller in the early 1970s, and, legend has it, was the man who made the lucrative world of babania available to a young John Gotti in 1977. Bobby Germaine, a close associate of Jimmy Burke, familiar to most as "Jimmy Conway," in the Martin Scorcese film Goodfellas--and by proxy supergrass Henry Hill was an influential member. You can even make a leap and consider The Purple Gang the modern extension of the 107th Street Mob which held among its ranks such Mammasantisima as Frank Costello(Castigila), Vito Genovese, John Ormento and an early Federal Bureau of Narcotics informant Eugenio Gianinni. Mr. Gianinni was shot and dumped on 109th street after attempting to gather evidence of the FBN's "Moby Dick," Lucky Luciano, and his involvement in the international heroin traffic.

Carmine (Gribbs) Tramunti was the LCN overseer of the Purple Gang during the late 1960s. Gribbs was the front boss of the Lucchese clan after Gaetano Lucchese died in 1967. Many believe that Paul Vario of Brooklyn was the real boss until Anthony Corallo took the helm in or around 1973.

Dominic Cirillo, Il Messagario of the Genovese Family, a position that calls for the maintenance of the relationship between Genovese's and the Outfit of Chicago, was also very close with the Purple Gang. Mr. Cirillo did a prison stretch for heroin trafficking in the early 1960s. The aforementioned Carmine Tramunti also served a federal prison sentence for heroin.

The Colombo crime family also had it's hand in the Purple pot. In 1983, the Colombo's were running a heroin operation based in Hell's Kitchen's northern edge in concert with the Purple Gang and the Irish locals, mythologized as "The Westies." 9th Avenue and 49th street during the mid to late 1980s and 37th street between 6th and 7th avenues (dealers would stand in doorways that led to garment district sweat shops) were the street outlet points for this alliance. In addition to heroin (10 dollars a bag), nickle (5 dollar) bags of cocaine were also sold.

In the early to mid 1980's the Purple Gang aquiered the moniker "The Sixth Family." This highly complimentary claim was also used to describe the renegade Profaci/Colombo Gallo Crew, led by Larry, Albert and the infamous Joey in the early 70's. It has also been used in recent years when referring to the Sicilian Mafia cosca operating in Montreal, Canada, led by the Rizzutos. Once again, heroin is the source of the Rizzuto's income and hence, power.

The Purples, much like the fabled Murder,Inc., took care of "heavy work"(internecine murders) for all five families.

When cocaine became a big money maker in the late 1970s, the Purple Gang formed strong ties with the Contras in Nicaragua, trading military grade weapons for the potent powder.

Crack cocaine was the downfall of the Purple Gang. Their spots around 122nd street and second avenue were gold mines,yet many younger members and associates began to use themselves, and their credibility faded fast.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Harlem_Purple_Gang"




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