Michigan mob figure Joseph (Joe White) Giacalone died of natural causes recently. Giacalone, 78, hailed from the Detroit mafia satellite wing in Flint, a perennially economically-depleted factory town approximately 70 miles north of the Motor City. He was a cousin of the infamous Giacalone family in Detroit, the face of the Zerilli-Tocco crime family dating back to the early 1960s. The Ruggirello family oversaw crime family affairs in the Flint region for the last quarter of the 20th Century and into the 2000s.

In 2009, Giacalone pled no contest to fleecing the city of Flint for 1.2 million dollars in loans to build a vinyl manufacturing company that never got constructed. Ordered to repay the funds by a Genesee County Circuit Court in October of that year, he filed for bankruptcy. Giacalone’s co-defendant in the case, 67-year old Dan Robin was busted for running a prostitution ring in the Detroit area two years ago.

Flint’s Joe Giacalone

Before his arrest for defrauding cash-strapped Flint, which has experienced a highly-publicized tainted water crisis in the last few years, Giacalone had felony convictions for robbery and bookmaking. As a young-buck Goodfella in 1967, he was nailed in an attempted murder conspiracy for the shooting of Charles Thomas in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Thomas had been a member of a Giacalone-led bookmaking and robbery ring in Flint and began cooperating with the FBI.

Today, the Detroit mafia is allegedly led by 68-year old Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone. His father Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone and his uncle Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone — both deceased — were longtime street bosses for the crime family. Tony Giacalone’s father-in-law, Giacomo (Big Jack) Provenzano, ran the Zerilli-Tocco’s Tri-City crew (Saginaw, Midland, Bay City), located near Flint, from Prohibition through his death of natural causes in the early 1970s.

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