For the second time in less than a year, the New Jersey mafia has lost a head of state. DeCalvacante crime family don Frank Guarraci died last week, losing his bout with cancer. He was just 61 and officially listed his job as a foreman for a labor union (Local 394). Longtime New Jersey mob Godfather Giovanni (John the Eagle) Riggi died of old age in August 2015 at 90.
A native Sicilian, Guarraci came to the United States in the early 1980s and was in charge of crime family affairs starting in 2007, according to court documents. Per court testimony, he was inducted into the American mafia at a December 1989 ceremony conducted by Riggi, Family-namesake Simone (Sam the Plummer) DeCalvacante’s successor, while being warned to “tone down” his temper.
“The guy (Guarraci) was pretty volatile,” said one retired FBI agent. “He could go from 0-to-60 before you knew it. You should have heard some of the tapes we had on him, simply classic. But he was always respected and had a lot of ties back in Sicily which helped him gain standing here in the States. The man wasn’t afraid to throw his weight around.”
Since the mid-1980s, Guarraci ran the Ribera Social Club in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the DeCalvacante clan’s main headquarters (seen in this article’s featured image). Guarraci and many other DeCalvacante members trace their roots to Ribera, Sicily. When he first arrived in the U.S., Guarraci was often seen in the company of up-and-coming Garden State Goodfella Jake Amari, who eventually ascended to the crime family’s boss’ chair in place of the imprisoned Riggi. Amari too was felled by cancer in 1997.
Back in 2010, Guarraci was indicted for extorting a Washington Township, New Jersey pizza parlor (Lenny’s Brick Oven Pizzeria) after he staged a takeover of the restaurant following the July 2009 death of the eatery’s owner. His demands of daily cash profits and ordering receipts on July 3, 2009, less than 48 hours after the owner’s death of natural causes, erupted into a loud cursing match with the restaurant’s manager, sending customers fleeing for the exits, had them calling the cops and Guarraci’s enforcer Michael (Mikey Red) Nobile physically stopping the manager from alerting authorities by blocking his walkway to the pizzeria’s office phone. Nobile had been headquartering his activities out of Lenny’s for the previous few years leading up to the incident.
The DeCalvacante organization still has stable leadership options in aging underboss Joe Miranda and former ruling panel figure Charles (Charlie Big Ears) Majuri. Miranda is 90, Majuri 76. Experts in east coast mob affairs finger Charlie Majuri, the son of deceased New Jersey mob underboss Francesco (Fat Frank) Majuri – dead since 1983 – as the most likely candidate to assume the mantle of power in the Borgata.