January 7, 2021 – Tampa Goodfella Salvatore (Big Sam) Carollo died recently of natural causes in Florida. Before he passed, the retired 83-year old Carollo was one of the last button men left in the dormant Trafficante crime family.

The Tampa mob hasn’t been anything resembling a force since the 1980s and the final days of don Santo Trafficante, Jr., a man with great power and reach nationwide. Carollo was one person removed from Trafficante, Jr. and a juggernaut himself in the building and real estate development world.

Carollo was linked to Trafficante, Jr.’s driver and successor, Vince LoScalzo, the last known reputed boss of the mafia in Tampa. LoScalzo’s father, Angelo (The Hammer) LoScalzo, was one of Trafficante, Jr.’s top enforcers.     

Carollo, who was born in Sicily and raised in Chicago, was identified as a “made man” in the Florida mafia in a 1991 state report issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The report categorized him as part of the state’s “new generation,” of wiseguys to be on the lookout for in LCN circles. His funeral was held on Monday at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Trinity, Florida in a private ceremony. It’s unknown if LoScalzo attended Big Sam’s funeral.

Carollo’s name surfaced in the Key Bank probe of the early 1990s — Key Bank was a well-known Florida mob asset — and him and Vince LoScalzo were pinched in 1994 in a racketeering and fraud case where they were charged with ripping off investors for $300,000 in a pair of high-tech oil filter businesses. LoScalzo, 83, is still alive, but barely semi-active, per sources, spending most of his days holding court at a Tampa cigar bar.

“Big Sam was in the news a lot around here in the early 1990s, right around the time he was identified as a made member of the Trafficante family in that 1991 report,” said Florida mob expert and Trafficante syndicate expert Scott Dietche (Cigar City Mafia) of Carollo. “Then, he fell off the radar, both in terms of the media and law enforcement. The guy had a good reputation (in the mob) and he was a successful businessman and developer. He was known for holding charity golf tournaments. That’s how the community mostly knew him and will remember him.”

Special thanks to: The Tampa mob guru himself Scott Dietche

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