The Sciortino Crime Family better known as the San Jose Mafia, is one of the three families that controlled organized crime activities in San Jose, California, within the nationwide criminal organizations' known as the Mafia (or La Cosa Nostra).
History of the Sciortino crime family
The first probable organized crime in San Jose, California was founded by Onofrio Sciortino. The family was formed in 1942, during the second world war. Sciortino would derive a majority of his profits from loansharking, gambling and prostitution. He was probably the first official La Cosa Nostra crime boss of San Jose up till the time of his death on September 10, 1959.
The successor to the San Jose Mafia was underboss Joseph Cerrito. The new boss, and the most successful of all crime dons' over a very small family. Cerrito immigrated to America from Sicily during the 1920s' and moved to San Jose, California during the early 1940s'. At the November 1957 Appalachin Summit of mob bosses, Cerrito was one of many who was captured by authorities. In October of 1964 Cerrito was identified when he was found meeting Bonnano crime family former consigliere Frank Garofalo in Palermo, Sicily. The two were meeting at the time to discuss the war within the Bonanno crime family. Cerrito was a wealthy businessman, with two car dealerships in San Jose and one in Los Gatos. In the late 1960s Cerrito would be identified but never brought to trial for an attempted extortion plot against a Reno hotel. In 1968 LIFE Magazine identified Joseph Cerrito as the crime boss over San Jose. Joseph Cerrito died on September 8, 1978 from natural causes.
A loyal caporegime Angelo Marino under the Cerrito rule, was selected the new don over the San Jose rackets in 1978. Marino had close connections with San Francisco mayor, from 1968-1974, Joseph Alioto. Marino was close with long time San Francisco crime family boss James Lanza, who was consigliere to the Los Angeles crime family and FBI informant Frank Bompensiero. He owned and operated the California Cheese Company. His father, Salvatore, a long time member of the Pittsburgh crime family, handed the company to Marino. His company controlled eighty-five percent of the cheese distribution in California and fifty percent west of the Mississippi River.
Marino was indicted in October 1977 with his son, for the murder of Orlando and Peter Catelli. The reason for the murder was due to the Peter Catelli's attempting to obtain a job with Marino’s company. When Marino refused him a positioning spot, Peter attempted to extort $100,000 from Marino and Marino decided to order Orlando to kill Peter. Orlando refused and both were shot at. Orlando had survived and agreed to testify against Marino for the prosecution. Marino used his bad health to avoid going to trial for the next three years, however Marino continued to operate the Sciortino crime family from a hospital. On October 12, 1980 Angelo Marino was convicted of second-degree murder and attempted murder. His conviction was overturned on appeals and he was released. Angelo Marino died of a congestive heart failure due to diabetes on February of 1983.
Emmanuel Joseph Figlia has been the boss over the remaining San Jose Sciortino crime family. The Sciortino crime family appears to be have been gone, but there are several members still around and many eastern crime families. They moved into other rackets. There has also been an increase of Asian gangs located where the former position of the Sciortino crime family.
Sciortino crime family 2008
Recently statements have spread across California that the Sciortino Family returned to downtown San Jose,California.