Protocol has changed in the Detroit mob in the last year since Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone took power from dying don Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco.
The 65-year old Giacalone is no longer trekking the some 10-to-20 miles from his homebase on the posh westside of Metro Detroit to the grittier eastside on a regular basis, as he did for more than 15 years in his capacity as the syndicate’s street boss. Instead, he’s taking all his meetings at his “mobile office” along Orchard Lake Road, one of the main thoroughfares in suburban Oakland County, in the mostly non-Italian, westside part of town where he’s lived for the past two decades.
“Jackie has the power now, the boss isn’t supposed to be running around catering to other people’s schedules, they’re supposed to cater to his,” said one centrally-placed source in the local underworld. “He used to go crosstown to deliver orders, now people come west to see him or he sends P.T. to the eastside to relay what he wants done. Jackie’s the boss, it would be beneath him and the job to do it any other way”
“P.T.” is Peter (Specs) Tocco, Giacalone’s street boss and Jack Tocco’s nephew. Tocco, 67, lives in the city of Troy in Oakland County, but keeps a social club (The Italian-Retirees Social Club) on the east side in Macomb County, a Detroit mafia hotbed since the 1970s when the white population began fleeing the city proper and spreading out into the suburbs. While most of the area’s Jewish and Middle-Eastern communities settled in Oakland, the Italians, Irish and Eastern Europeans planting their roots in Macomb.
The Giacalone family planted a flag in Oakland County all the way back in the late 1960s. That was when Jackie the Kid’s uncle, legendary Detroit mob leader Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone moved his crew’s nerve center to the Southfield Athletic Club, a fitness and social facility owned by Giacalone labor union lieutenant Leonard (Sports Club Lenny) Schultz and residing less than five miles outside of the city limits on the northwest side of town. Tony Jack spent his days at the Southfield Athletic Club, holding court and dispatching edicts from his private table in the club’s restaurant, until he fell ill in the late 1990s (he wound up dying of cancer in 2001).
Raised in ritzy Grosse Pointe Park, the affluent suburb directly east of Detroit, in what was known as “the Compound” – a cluster of leafy estates encompassing parts of three blocks and home to the Michigan mafia elite from the 1930s into the early 1970s –, Jackie Giacalone and Pete Tocco both relocated west to Oakland County over 20 years ago with their families.
The two of them were indicted together in a 2006 federal RICO case – Giacalone beat the charges at trial and Tocco served two years in prison – and are suspected of carrying out the 1985 gangland slaying of policy lottery chief Harold (Harry Mack) Maciarz in tandem, per government records.
You can frequently see them lunching together during the week at the Stage Deli in West Bloomfield off Orchard Lake Road. Specs Tocco, sometimes also referred to as “Blackie,” started meeting Jackie the Kid several afternoons a week at the Stage in 2011 upon Giacalone’s promotion to “acting boss” in place of his ailing predecessor and Tocco assuming Giacalone’s former street boss position.
Other syndicate figures have begun joining them in the past year after Jackie the Kid became the Family’s boss, traveling west to get face time with the head honcho. Reputed capos David (Davey the Donut) Aceto, Paul (Big Paulie) Corrado, Joseph (Joey Jack) Giacalone and the Ruggirello brothers have all been seen on the west side taking meetings with Jackie the Kid in his inaugural year on the throne wearing the crown in an official capacity, according to exclusive Gangster Report sources.
Jackie Giacalone was anointed don of the crime family in the spring of 2014, per sources, in the months before Jack Tocco succumbed to heart failure last July. Joey Giacalone is Jackie the Kid’s first cousin.
The FBI is aware of the afternoon gab sessions at the Stage.
“They eat, shoot the shit in the restaurant and then go outside to discuss business,” one law enforcement source said. “Jackie doesn’t let anybody talk shop at the table.”
Giacalone learned early in his life in the mob to be aware of government surveillance techniques and vigilant in efforts to combat the feds’ wiretapping capabilities. Back in the 1960s, his dad, Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone, a well-liked syndicate capo and future underboss and his uncle, Tony Jack, had their dual headquarters at the Home Juice, Co. bugged. When they set up shop in separate headquarters in the 1970s, Billy Jack in Eastern Market and Tony Jack at the Southfield Athletic Club, history repeated itself – Tony Jack’s table in the club’s dining room was wired for sound, as were the fruit and vegetable aisles at Farm Fresh Produce on the far south end of Eastern Market and the light poles adorning the entrance, eventually ensnaring Billy Jack and Jackie the Kid in a 1983 federal racketeering indictment after they were caught on tape taking “walk-and-talks” in the front of the building.
Because of this Jackie Giacalone is incredibly cautious when he’s engaging in conversations related to mob business affairs, holding a policy against conducting meetings inside his home or car or at any of his favorite social destinations. Instead he’s created a “mobile headquarters,” having his meet-ups at an ever-changing rotation of chain stores along Orchard Lake Road (Barnes & Noble, K-Mart, Best Buy, Starbucks, T.J. Maxx, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Whole Foods, etc).
“Once he got busted in the Farm Fresh case in the 80s and he witnessed first hand the lengths we were going to in order to keep tabs on him and his dad, Jackie’s been pretty successful in staying off audio surveillance, he’s been tough to get talking on tape,” said a retired FBI agent who worked the Detroit Family for close to 30 years. “He’s very diligent in taking measures to prevent the bugging of his conversations. He knows how to mix things up and stay away from a standard routine which exposes people like him to bugs.”
Windy City Wiseguy Opts Of Trial, Accepts Guilty Plea
Suburban Chicago mobster Paul Carparelli was jailed in April for violating his bond in the federal extortion case he was facing by making threats to a future witness. Carparelli is so comfortable in his new jailhouse digs, he’s decided to stay for a while. A relatively long while, for that matter.
On Friday, Carparelli, a 47-year old Outfit enforcer stationed in Lake County and a member of the syndicate’s powerful Cicero crew, pled guilty to three counts of extortion, infractions that hold with it a potential dozen years behind bars when he is sentenced in September.
Back in the summer of 2013, he was indicted with eight other alleged Illinois underworld figures, most of which have either pled guilty or found guilty at trial. He was ultimately done-in by an associate of his who began wearing a wire for the FBI in 2011, recording a series of incriminating conversations.
Out on bond, Carparelli was locked up by the judge in his case last month after he ran into a friend of that former associate and told him to tell the cooperator that, “You know what happens to rats.”
In the 2013 indictment, Carparelli is said to have been sought by a local Chicago businessman to aid in the collecting of debts and subsequently let his muscle loose (three no-neck thugs from the Outfit’s Lake and McHenry County enforcement unit under the Circero regime) on a series of targets, some of them in out-of-state locales like New Jersey, Nevada, Wisconsin and Florida.
The FBI believes Carparelli is a key enforcer for Outfit acting boss Salvatore (Solly C) De Laurentis.