Santo Trafficante Jr
[Reference: Dade County OCB file # 1-139]
[NOTE: This entire document was not transcribed, only the references to Cuba and a little background for continuity.]
U.S. Treasury Department
Bureau of Narcotics
NAME: Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.
ALIASES: Santos TRAFFICANTE; Louis SANTOS; Enrique CHACON; Samuel BALTO
DESCRIPTION: Born 11-15-14, Tampa, Florida; 5' 10"; 180lbs; brown eyes; brown-greying hair; wears glasses.
LOCALITIES FREQUENTED: Resides at 2505 Bristol
Ave., Tampa, Florida; said to maintain a residence at 3010 N. Boulevard
Ave., Tampa, Florida. During the Batista regime he resided
at Calle 12, No. 20 Vedado, Havana, Cuba; has frequented Miami, St.
Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida; New York.
Father: Santo TRAFFICANTE Sr. born Cianciani, Sicily on 5-28-1886, son of Alfonso and Mother Lucia (maiden name unknown).
Mother: Maria Giuseppa CACCIATORE born in Italy (date and place unknown - believed to be deceased).
Wife : Josephine MARCHESE (Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. married Josephine in Tampa, Florida on April 17, 1938).
Daughters: Mary Josephine
Brothers: Frank, Salvatore (Sam), Epifanio and Enrico (Henry)
Uncle: Joseph M. CACCIATORE (convicted narcotic trafficker)
FBI No. 482 531 B; Tampa P.D. # 50366; Sheriff's Office, Tampa, Florida
# 53561; Sheriff's Office, Clearwater, Florida # 4707; U.S. Marshal,
Tampa, Florida # 6632.
10-11-46 arrested as Samuel BALTO, #6120, by the Saint Petersburg, Florida P.D., picked up for investigation, released.
11-16-53 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr., # 53561 by the Sheriff's
Office, Tampa, Florida; picked up for vagrancy-investigation, released.
11-16-53 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr., # 50366 by the Tampa,
Florida P.D.' picked up for general investigation; released 11-16-53.
5-19-54 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr., # 53561 by the Sheriff's
Office, Tampa, Florida; arrested for bribery; 9-14-57 not guilty.
5-20-54 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE, # 4707 by the Sheriff's Office,
Clearwater, Florida; arrested for bribery; on 9-27-54 sentenced to 5
years in Florida State Prison; on January 23, 1957 conviction was
reversed by State Supreme Court.
6-29-54 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. # 6120 by the St. Petersburg,
Florida P.D.; arrested for bolita; on November 8, 1954 not guilty.
3-25-66 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. # 6588; U.S. Marshal, Tampa,
Florida; conspiracy Wagering Act; 12-12-59 found not guilty.
4-1-55 arrested as Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.; # 6632; U.S. Marshal, Tampa,
Florida; conspiracy Wagering Act; 12-12-59 found not guilty.
1-3-58 as Santo TRAFFICANTE, # DI NRO 23039, by the Department of Investigation, Cuban National Police, Havana, Cuba; inquiry.
Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. openly operated the Sans Souci and the Casino
International gambling establishments in Cuba during the rule of
ex-dictator Fulgencio Batista. As a leading member of the
syndicate, he was the overseer of these two gambling casinos. It
was suspected that he also had behind-the-scenes interests in other
syndicate owned Cuban gambling casinos namely, The Riviera, The
Tropicana, The Sevilla Biltmore, The Capri Hotel Casino and the Havana
Hilton. He was toppled from control of these casinos by the
He has interests in the Columbia Restaurant and the Nebraska, Tangerine and Sands Bars, all in Tampa.
Recent, unconfirmed information has it that Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.'s is
"absolutely broke" and that he owes money to his associates. The
alleged debts amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
SUMMARY and BACKGROUND:
In November 1957 Grand Jury subpoenas were issued for TRAFFICANTE Jr.
and the other Apalachin hoodlums. However, he fled from his
Florida home to Havana, Cuba to avoid service of subpoena.
In January 1958 TRAFFICANTE Jr. was questioned by the Cuban National
police regarding the highly publicized Apalachin meeting. When he
had been arrested by New York State Troopers he gave his name as Louis
SANTOS, Sans Souci nightclub, Havana. However, when the Cuban
authorities arrested him he denied the use of the name SANTOS or that
he had attended the Apalachin meeting.
Shortly before TRAFFICANTE Jr. fled from the United States he was also
being sought by authorities of the New York City Police Department for
questioning in connection with the recent murder of Albert ANASTASIA,
commonly referred to as the Chief Executioner for the infamous Murder
Inc. mob of Brooklyn New York. Reliable information was received
that the ANASTASIA murder was one of the items on the agenda of
the criminal meeting at Apalachin.
When TRAFFICANTE Jr. was questioned by the Cubans he admitted to a
close friendship with ANASTASIA but denied any knowledge of the
It is reported that quite recently TRAFFICANTE jr. fell prey to
manipulation of the "bolita" numbers, published in Cuba, by Cuban
operatives working for Fidel Castro. The rumor is that this
operation rendered him "completely broke" financially. This
remains unverified and there are no outward signs that his influence in
the national syndicate has diminished to any marked degree.
Prior to the Cuban revolution, James LONGO looked after Santo
TRAFFICANTE Jr.'s gambling interests in Cuba. (LONGO is currently
a lieutenant and "enforcer" for Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.). In
1954 it was also reported that Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. owned a
drive-in theater on the outskirts of Havana.
On October 25, 1957 the infamous Albert ANASTASIA, chief executioner of
Murder Inc., was shot to death in a barber chair in the Park Sheraton
Hotel, NYC. Many theories have been advanced to explain this
killing. One of these theories is that ANASTASIA was murdered
because he was trying to declare for himself a larger but unreasonable
share of the profits realized from the syndicate's gambling enterprises
In a letter dated March 27, 1958 Wm. W. Johnston, U.S. Treasury Representative in charge, Havana, Cuba reported the following:
1. Shortly after the Apalachin meeting, the Cuban Bureau of
Investigation fingerprinted and photographed the American gamblers and
their casino technicians. These photographs and fingerprints were
then forwarded to Internal Revenue Agent James B. DeLuca for the
information of the International Operations Division of the Internal
2. Under Cuban law during the Batista regime, a gambling casino
was not permitted to operate in a hotel establishment unless the hotel
was valued at least one million dollars. An operating license
cost from $25,000 to $50,000.
3. Once in operation, the Cuban Treasury Department collected 20
percent of the proceeds reported. However, due to pay-offs to
various officials, the actual amount which ended up in the Treasury
coffers was considerably less. About 70 percent of the customers
were American tourists, the balance being wealthy Cubans and Latin
4. It was estimated that about 90 percent of the games in the
casinos were run legitimately. The reason for this was that the
gamblers considered the setup in Cuba as strictly temporary, knowing
full well that eventually they would have to return to the U.S.A.
5. For several years prior to 1955 the only casinos operating in
Havana, Cuba were the TROPICANA and the Sans Souci. Both clubs
served drinks and meals which just about covered the operating
costs. The profits from gambling amounted to approximately $5,000
a day, after "deductions". The newer casinos averaged even higher
profits while the profits of the two original casinos remained more or
less the same.
6. As of 1958 the following were the principal casinos in Havana, Cuba:
a. The TROPICANA – operated by Wilber Clark and Frank
BISCHOPE. Frank BISCHOFF has been a suspected narcotic
trafficker. His principal assistant in the casino was one Pierre
CANAVESE who was closely associated with Salvatore LUCANIA alias Lucky
Luciano, FBN International List No. 198. (CANAVESE had been
previously deported from the U.S.A. to Italy but he subsequently
entered Cuba by means of a fraudulent passport).
b. The SANS SOUCI – operated by Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. One of
Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.'s principal assistants in the operation of this
club was one Sid JACOBS alias Syd Mathews.
c. The RIVIERA CASINO – operated by Meyer LANSKIN FBN
International List No. 169, Frank ERICKSON, Giordano CELLINI, Ed
LEVINSON and one "Disty" PETERS. The RIVIERA CASINO was one of
the more honest gambling casinos in Havana. Meyer LANSKY and
Frank ERICKSON were suspected of being the real owners of the
club. Frank ERICKSON represented racketeer Frank COSTELLO'S
d. CASINO INTERNATIONAL – Hotel Nacional, operated by Wilbur
CLARK. His principal assistants in the operation of this club
were Edward GOFFREDO CELLINY and Merle JACOBS. As far as could be
ascertained, CLARK, CELLINI, and JACOBS do not have any criminal
e. The SEVILLA BILTMORE, operated by Amletto BATTISTI, a Cuban
citizen of Italian extraction. BATTISTI was kingpin of the
"bolita" racket (lottery). He was the owner of the Sevilla
Biltmore Hotel which he had leased to a Chicago concern. BATTISTI
also owned and operated a bank in the hotel.
f. CAPRI HOTEL CASINO – operated by Nicholas Di COSTANZO
and Charles TURIN believed to be identical with racketeer Charles
TOURAINE [Tourine] alias Charley Blade. It was believed that
George RAFZ, the movie star, owned a considerable interest in this club.
g. NATIONAL CASINO – operated by Jack LANSKY brother of notorious
racketeer Meyer LANSKY, FBN International List No. 169. Jack and
Meyer LANSKY owned the major portion of this casino and had in their
employ a number of technicians from Las Vegas, Nevada. It was
said that this casino was run strictly "on the level" because the
habitues were the "boys" who demanded a square game when they felt like
h. HAVANA HILTON CASINO – Operated by Clifford JONES of Las
Vegas, Nevada, Senator Kenneth JOHNSON of Nevada and one Sidney ARCB of
New York Two wealthy Cuban industrialists, Ramon MANDOZA and Marcos
MENDOZA had substantial interests in this club. Santo TRAFFICANTE
Jr. and Joseph SILESI alias Joe Rivers, of New York, N.Y., were rumored
to have had a piece in this casino. However, this was not
Information received in 1958 from a confidential, reliable source stated the following concerning Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.:
1. After the death of his father on August 11, 1954, he dominated the Italian racketeers in Tampa, Florida.
2. He was the leader of the Mafia in Cuba.
3. He had an interest in the Hotel Commodore Casino, Cuba. (city unknown)
4. He participated in the organizing of a commercial enterprise
in Cuba called the "International Amusements Corporation". He was
named agent for this corporation and it was his function to hire
entertainers; musicians and personnel employed in shows presented in
the various casinos.
5. He maintained a luxurious residence in Tampa, Florida but had
"resident" status in Cuba where he resided at Calle 12, No. 20 Vadado,
6. He cultivated a friendship with Albert ANASTASIA. He
visited ANASTASIA in NYC in October 1957, just before ANASTASIA was
shot and killed.
In June, 1959 Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Narcotics Charles
Siragusa, then Field Supervisor, reported the following information on
Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. not already included in the body of this
3. On January 23, 1958 the Department of Investigation, Havana,
Cuba notified the Bureau of Narcotics that Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. was
registered in their Alien Office under No. 93461. He arrived
there as a tourist on December 26, 1955. On March 12, 1957 he
requested the Cuban Immigration Department to change his status from
tourist to resident and on October 3, 1957 a resolution to that effect
4. In 1948 and 1949 the Federal Bureau of Narcotics conducted a
joint investigation with U.S. Customs officers and local police at New
York City against a group of Cubans operating in New York City.
These Cubans were engaged in smuggling large quantities of Peruvian
cocaine to the United States, via Cuba. George Zarate was one of
the principal defendants.
6. During the period when ZARATE was in Havana, and
specifically on October 8, 1953, the Cuban police observed him in the
company of Santo TRAFFICANTE, Jr. at the President Hotel. It was
reported to us at that time that ZARATE was still engaged in the
narcotic traffic, acting as intermediary between Peruvian sources of
supply for illicit cocaine and American gangster customers such at
Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.
7. Another incident occurred on February 21, 1956 when a
civic-minded citizen advised our Miami office that TRAFFICANTE Jr. and
Norman ROTHMAN, who were operating a gambling casino at Havana, were
also engaged in the smuggling of cocaine from Cuba to the United States.
13. Racketeer Jack LANSKY managed the National Casino, Havana,
Cuba and shared ownership with his brother Meyer and with Santo
14. The syndicate operated the major gambling casinos in Cuba but
we believe that Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. was the mastermind and overseer
(or one of them) of all these casinos.
In a memorandum dated July 21, 1961 Narcotic Agent Eugene Marshall
stated that Fidel CASTRO has operatives in Tampa and Miami making heavy
bolita bets with Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.'s organization. The bolita
numbers are taken from the last three digits of the lottery drawing in
Cuba every Saturday. The bolita gamblers or players have the
opportunity to play single, double or triple numbers for the entire
week. The payoffs are in odds similar to the usual numbers
racket. Agent Marshall's source stated that Fidel CASTRO, for
some reason unknown to source, hates Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. and his
organization. CASTRO'S operatives note the numbers which get the
heaviest play in the Miami and Tampa areas. The operatives
themselves play this heavily betted number. Prior to the drawing
each Saturday, these operatives communicate with Cuba and advise which
number received the heaviest play. The Cuban lottery officials
then rig the drawing in such a way to make certain that these numbers
appear, thereby forcing the TRAFFICANTE bolita operations to make
tremendous pay-offs. This has not been verified. If this is
true, there is the possibility that TRAFFICANTE Jr. will again be
active in the illicit narcotic traffic.
On August 21, 1961 Narcotic Agent Oscar Leon Davis Submitted a
memorandum wherein he reported the following relative to Santo
1. According to a clipping in the Miami News dated June 8, 1959
the Government of Cuba approved the expulsion of Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.
as an undesirable alien.
4. While Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr. was at SCALIA'S store, 755 W.
Flagler Street on several occasions one Oscar ECHEMENDIA would meet
TRAFFICANTE there. Oscar ECHEMENDIA was a part owner in the
TROPICANA NIGHT CLUB in Havana, Cuba along with one Martin FOX and one
Pedro ZAMORA. Oscar ECHEMENDIA is now considered to be one of the
biggest bolita men in Dade County, Florida.
6. There are unconfirmed rumors in the Cuban refugee population
in Miami, Florida that when Fidel CASTRO ran the American racketeers
out of Cuba and seized the casinos he kept Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.
In jail to make it appear that he had a personal dislike for
TRAFFICANTE when, in fact, TRAFFICANTE is an agent of CASTRO.
TRAFFICANTE is allegedly CASTRO'S outlet for illegal contraband into
this country. However, other sources of information indicate that
CASTRO and his close associates at the present time have a great
personal dislike for TRAFFICANTE. The validity of either is
As matters stand, the allegations as to Santo TRAFFICANTE Jr.'s status
with Fidel CASTRO are varied, conflicting and, of course, unconfirmed.
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