The first episode of a two-part series on the organization that would later become known as the Smaldone Crime Family, which ran organized crime in Denver and much of Colorado during the 20th century.
We tell the story of the early days of organized crime in Colorado, how the area’s Mafia got its start, the bloody strife during the 1920’s and early 30’s, and how that strife ultimately led to what became known as the Smaldone organization.
If the violence in New York and on the East Coast at the time can be considered the epitome of viciousness, I can assure you that Colorado’s infighting was every bit as violent—it just doesn’t get the credit it deserves since it’s not quite as high profile.
This episode is focused primarily on how the mob evolved within the state, and specifically in the main hubs of Denver and Pueblo, Colorado which were two separate but very much interrelated groups. To those from the area, I’d love it if you chime in and share your stories in the comments section for this video.
The big events we cover in this video include:
Early Italian immigration to Colorado
How Prohibition contributed to the rise of the mobs
The story of the Carlino Brothers, Pete, Sam and Charlie Carlino
The Carlino's war with the Danna family
The "Bootlegger's Convention" in Denver in 1931
The murder of Pete and Sam Carlino
The rise and fall of Giuseppe "Joe" Roma
Enter the Smaldone Brothers and the Pueblo Mafia
In the next episode, we will discuss the rise and careers of Clyde "Flip Flop" Smaldone, Eugene "Checkers" Smaldone, Clarence "Chauncey" Smaldone, as well as several Pueblo Cosa Nostra members.
Also, here are the links to buy the books I cited within the episode...
'Colorado's Carlino Brothers: A Bootlegging Empire' by Sam Carlino: https://www.amazon.com/Colorados-Carlino-Brothers-Bootlegging-Empire/dp/1467143278/
'Smaldone: The Untold Story of An American Crime Family' by Dick Kreck: https://www.amazon.com/Smaldone-Untold-Story-American-Family/dp/1555917062