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Carlos Marcello was best known as the mob boss of New Orleans, and for the FBI's investigation of his possible involvement in JFK's assassination.
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Carlos Marcello was born on February 6, 1910, in North Africa. He immigrated to the U.S. and eventually joined Sylvestro Carolla's crime organization. He became the New Orleans' mafia leader. The FBI investigated him in connection with John F. Kennedy's murder, but could not link him to the crime. He was arrested in 1966 for another charge, but served less than six months. He died in his home on March 3, 1993.
Mafia boss. Born Calogero Minacore on February 6, 1910 in Tunis, North Africa. Carlos Marcello immigrated to the United States and was arrested for bank robbery in New Orleans in 1929. The charges were dropped, but he was convicted a year later on yet another assault and robbery charge and sentenced to nine years in prison.
After marrying the sister of underboss Frank Todaro, Marcello moved up the ranks of Sylvestro "Silver Dollar Sam" Carolla's New Orleans crime organization. In 1938, Marcello was arrested and charged with drug trafficking after evidence pointed to the sale of more than 23 pounds of marijuana. Thanks to Carolla's influence, he served less than 10 months in prison.
Working under Todaro, Marcello became a major player in illegal rackets during the 1940s. In 1947, after Carolla was deported to Palermo, Sicily, Marcello became the undisputed leader of the Mafia in New Orleans. He held the position for the next 30 years. His reign included Louisiana's gambling network, including some of New Orleans' biggest casinos. Authorities claim he also extended his criminal activities to Dallas, Texas, during the 1950s.
During the late 1950s, Senator Robert F. Kennedy headed up an investigation into the illegal activities of organized crime throughout the country. On March 24, 1959, Carlos Marcello was one of many associates forced to appear before Kennedy's Senate Committee. True to his oath as a Mafioso, Marcello didn't breathe a word, invoking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to answer any incriminating questions.
But Marcello could not avoid the authorities for long. When Senator John F. Kennedy became President in 1961, Robert F. Kennedy was named U.S. Attorney General and the crackdown on organized crime became even more intense. On April 4, Marcello was arrested and forcibly removed to Guatemala.
With a powerful network of associates and the wealth accumulated through decades in the Mafia, Marcello soon found his way back into the United States. Outraged by his deportation, he was reported to have made numerous threats against the President. His plan, according to informants, was to hire a hitman to take the fall for the assassination. The FBI investigated Marcello after Kennedy's assassination, however, and found no evidence linking him to the crime.
In 1966, Marcello was arrested in New York City and charged with consorting with known felons. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but served less than six months. Carlos Marcello died on March 3, 1993 after an early release from prison on bribery charges.
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