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Cheat Sheet 58, FBI Files: Patriarca and Coia, the Massive Effort to Prosecute

Monday, September 19, 2016


Arthur Coia, son of Arthur E. Coia. The younger was the focus of a Starkman story in Washington Monthly

Each week accompanying the segments of the FBI files on Raymond Patriarca and expert analysis on the documents released, GoLocal provides a “cheat sheet” of some of the key elements from the documents.

Make no mistake about it, the files are layered with information about a time where the scope and reach of the Patriarca crime family permeated nearly every aspect of life in New England.


PAGE 1 The massive FBI document outlining the ties between the Laborers’ International and a massive array of economic interests across the United States. The document in detail reviews the financial scheme.


An article by Dean Starkman and John Mulligan that appeared in Washington Monthly about Arthur E. Coia’s son that appeared in 1998 outlined the history of the union and its political influence:

Arthur Coia's father, Arthur Ettore Coia, was die general secretary-treasurer of the Laborers' International, which represents 750,000 unskilled workers in dozens of fields. Almost single-handedly, he molded the union into a political force that still holds Providence city hall in its grip. The union doled out pensions to City Council members and hired Providence political figures and their relatives. The old man had the ear of Rhode Island governors and the late House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. 

Coia's father also had other, sinister contacts. He had a relationship--casual, he insisted--with the legendary boss of New England organized crime, Raymond L.S. Patriarca, that dated to their youth in the 1930s. FBI wiretaps, planted in the early 1960s, crackled with the sound of Patriarca meddling in everything from Laborers elections to decisions on who got kickbacks on union coffee machines. "Hit them, break legs to get things your way," Patriarca was overheard saying.


As previously disclosed in the Patriarca Papers - Arthur E. Coia, Raymond Patriarca and others were indicted. As the Boston Globe reported in October of 1981, “Raymond L.S. Patriarca, reputed head of The Mob in New England, was accused yesterday of conspiring to seize control of the insurance business of the Laborers International Union in the Northeast with the help of a union official, two Providence lawyers and a Winchester businessman.

The alleged scheme was described by the Justice Department when Patriarca and his four codefendants were arraigned on an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Miami that has been investigating the role of organized crime and union leaders in a reported kickback racket.”

At the time of his indictment court appearance,“Patriarca walked into the Federal Building in Providence unassisted but left leaning on the arm of his attorney, John F. Cicilline of Providence. Cicilline has said Patriarca is not well enough for trial on murder charges in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

"I don't care if I die or go to prison, because they are going to keep harassing me - for what I don't know," Patriarca told US Magistrate Frederick R. DeCesaris.”


PAGE 38 “REDACT could obtain two to three million dollars quickly for the GALICO purchase and that the man behind getting the money was RAYMOND PATRIARCA.”


FBI Files - The Patriarca Papers - Entry 58

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