The Detroit mafia is downsizing. With the recent power shift at the top of the near century-old syndicate, it appears the crime family’s capo ranks are on the chopping block.

Exclusive sources on the street tell the Gangster Report that the mob in the Motor City is going, at least temporarily, from a five-crew organization to a four-crew regime, in the near future. According to the sources, new Detroit don Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone has decided to eliminate the crew that once belonged to his underboss Anthony (Chicago Tony) La Piana in the next year or so and is content on going forward in his reign with only four captains instead of five.

“Jackie wants to minimize exposure, the smaller things are, the safer he feels,” said one member of Giacalone’s social and business sphere. “Since he took over the Family, he’s trimmed his inner-circle. He’s trying to interact with as few people as possible on a daily basis. He don’t want the hassle and Chicago Tony’s crew ain’t that big to begin with.”

The Detroit mob has been a five-capo operation since the 1990s. As of this moment, Antonio (Toto) Ruggirello and Antonino (Tony the Exterminator) Ruggirello, Jr. are “acting co-capos” of La Piana’s former crew in a pure stopgap measure but the Ruggirello boys want to retire – Tony is semi-retired already – and when they do, Giacalone has been vocal about dissolving the crew all together, per sources.

Tony Ruggirello, Jr. was once co-capo of a crew with his deceased older brother Luigi (Louie the Bulldog) Ruggirello. He’s been semi-retired for over a decade, however, per these sources, is still frequently sought for counsel by Family leadership on internal issues.

Giacalone, 64 and La Piana, 71, were allegedly installed as boss and underboss, respectively, in early 2014, appointed to their positions by a then-dying Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco, the Godfather of the Michigan mafia for close to four full decades who passed away due to heart failure last July.

Both Jackie the Kid and Chicago Tony were on their jobs in an “acting” capacity for the two years prior to being installed in their posts officially last spring at an inauguration in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market. While Jackie the Kid was mentored by his dad and uncle, Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone and Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, the syndicate’s legendary street bosses from the late 1950s until the beginning of the 2000s when the younger Giacalone took their place, La Piana came up in the underworld groomed by a myriad of powerful Midwest Mafiosi including Tocco, his deceased father-in-law and labor-union capo, Vincent (Little Vince) Meli, and reigning Windy City Godfather John (Johnny No Nose) Di Fronzo.

La Piana, the reputed head of the Family’s “white-collar wing” came to Detroit in the early 1970s after cutting his teeth in the Chicago Outfit’s Elmwood Park crew and marrying Meli’s daughter, Tocco’s niece via marriage, in 1974.

Chicago Tony and Jackie Giacalone were “made” into the mafia side-by-side at a February 1986 induction ceremony, according to federal documents. La Piana himself has never been convicted of a felony. Just last month, the razor-sharp and immensely business savvy Chicago Tony reportedly sold his insurance company for 50 million dollars.

“Tony Lop has a bunch of businessmen around him, it hasn’t been that strong of an overall crew since Little Vince was running it,” said one La Piana associate. “Those guys will still report to Lop even though he’s the No. 2 (underboss) now, just like Tony Z had guys reporting directly to him when he was the underboss. The knuckle-dragger types, which are few and far between with Lop, will just get moved around somewhere else.”

Anthony (Tony Z) Zerilli, Jack Tocco’s first cousin and the syndicate’s underboss from 1979 until he was demoted in 2002, had his own specific crew under him despite being the No. 2 in charge throughout the majority of the Tocco era. Zerilli, 87 and the son of Detroit mafia patriarch Joe Zerilli (ruled from 1936-1977) and the son-in-law of New York mob baron Joe Profaci (died of cancer in 1962), is living in Florida, ailing, broke and shunned after going to the FBI and pointing them towards Tocco’s former property in southeast Michigan to search for the remains of Teamsters president and organized-labor icon Jimmy Hoffa (kidnapped and killed in suburban Detroit in the summer of 1975). No remains were ever found in a 2013 dig acting on Zerilli’s tip.

Giacalone was tapped a capo in the early 1990s after a brief federal prison stint for a gambling RICO conviction in 1992. The FBI believes that La Piana was “upped” to capo of Meli’s crew in 1996 in the aftermath of the epic Operation Gametax bust which brought down the majority of the Family’s administration and immediately preceded Meli’s promotion to “acting underboss.” Federal authorities also believe that La Piana has been in charge of mob labor-union affairs for both Detroit and Chicago LCN factions for some 30 years, although he’s never faced any formal indictments (while many of those around him have).

La Piana isn’t making a fuss over the possible termination of his former crew says people ‘in the know’.

“Lop’s cutting as many ties to the street as he can too, just like Jackie, shit, he’s been doing that for years preparing for this time,” said one local mob insider.

Little Vince Meli died of bone cancer in 2008. A military hero in WWII as a part of Army Special Forces, Meli owned a business degree from the University of Notre Dame and was, like Jackie Giacalone today, mob royalty – his father was mid-20th Century Detroit mafia jukebox king Frank (the Music Man) Meli and his uncle was longtime underboss Angelo (the Chairman) Meli.

The Ruggirello brothers, the current overseers of the La Piana-Meli crew, are Motor City mob stalwarts and have served the syndicate with their skills as “utility” Goodfellas, good at filling in gaps, no matter time or place. Back in the late-2000s, they stepped in and helped look after Peter (Petey Specs) Tocco’s crew when he had to go away for two years on a RICO gambling pinch.

Specs Tocco, sometimes known as “Blackie,” and Jack Tocco’s nephew, is reported to be the crime family’s street boss right now, replacing Giacalone, upon Jackie the Kid’s appointment as acting boss in 2012. When Specs Tocco, 67, got the bump up to street boss, according to sources, Paul (Big Paulie) Corrado – sprung in 2010 from a 12-year prison bid – was assigned to replace him as capo of his crew as reward for his loyalty. Corrado, 56, is Tony Zerilli’s nephew and the son of former captain Dominic (Fats) Corrado.

Tony and Toto Ruggirello, convicted racketeers and attempted murderers, are the sons of Antonino (Big Tony) Ruggirello, Sr., a confidant, bodyguard and enforcer for Tocco’s dad, William (Black Bill) Tocco, the founder and first boss of the LCN branch in Detroit (1931-1936). The elder Tocco died of lung cancer in 1972 after serving in an advisory capacity to Joe Zerilli for the last three decades of his life, living most of the year in Miami Beach. Big Tony Ruggirello passed away from cancer in 1980.

For years, the 81-year old Tony Ruggirello, Jr. known as “The Exterminator” for his reputation as a “hitter” and his co-ownership of a pest extermination company (Atlas Pest Exterminators) with Tony Giacalone in the 1970s and 80s, ran a crew based out of Ann Arbor and was tasked with monitoring mob activity in the artsy, liberal college town and its conservative surrounding communities as well as the smoggy, working-class Flint area. Ruggirello, Jr. was aided in his capo duties back then by his brothers Toto, 76, Louie (died of cancer in 1987) and Joseph aka “Jo Jo” (died of cancer 2013).

The Ruggirello’s headquarters, the posh Timberland Game Ranch, a ritzy private hunting lodge and club, hosted Jack Tocco’s inauguration as Godfather in June 1979, a ceremony attended by crime family dignitaries to elect Tocco don following his uncle, Joe Zerilli’s passing, and photographed by trailing FBI agents.

Two years earlier, in 1977, Tony and Toto were nailed by the feds for trying to blow up a Flint numbers runner in a car bomb and then trying to kill him while he was in police custody preparing to testify against them in court and each did time behind bars.

The day after Tony’s then-wife, Judy ,announced she was filing for divorce in August 1968, she vanished and has never been found.  Later, turncoat Detroit wiseguy and mob political fixer Pete Lazoros accused fellow gangland figure Joseph (Joe the Clipper) Barbara, Jr. of “stuffing Judy Ruggirello down a sewage drain” in a public argument that erupted in a courtroom hallway on the same day Barbara, Jr. was indicted for extortion and the rape of Lazoros’ wife.

Barbara Jr’s dad, Joseph (Joe the Barber) Barbara, Sr., was the northern Pennsylvania mob chief who hosted the infamous Apalachin mafia summit in 1957. Joe the Clipper came to Michigan in the early 1960s when he married the daughter of Detroit LCN capo Peter (Bozzi) Vitale.

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