Blast from the Past -- In Nov. 1957 Cops Raided Mafia Meet in Upstate, NY

From the Almanac of Absurdities: Today in 1957 was a career making day for New York State Trooper Edgar D. Crosswell. Croswell worked near Apalachin New York in the late 50s, and in 1956 he pulled over someone leaving a 58 acre estate near Apalachin and found Mob Figure Carmine “The Cigar” Galante behind the wheel. Some wise guys showed up and attempted to bribe Galante out of the local slam, but it just got the local authorities attention. Trooper Croswell started keeping close tabs on the house that was owned by Joseph Barbara, the owner of the local Canada Dry distribution company and, they learned, was mobbed up with major Mafia figures in New York.

In mid November in 1957, Trooper Croswell found out that Joseph Barbara’s son was making arrangements for hotel rooms for a group of visitors due at the Barbara estate on the 14th…and the state cops quietly began watching the roads in and out of the area. Barbara was having a gathering all right…the heads ofThe Luciano Family, the Bufallo family, the Genovese Family and Frank Costello’s operation were gathering in Apalachin for a full scale Mafia Congress…High on the agenda were the mob’s plans for Cuba, alongside some crucial turf squabbles. Once the meeting was started, police roadblocks went up around the estate…and the assembled mafiosi panicked.

Those who attempted to leave immediately by the roads were rounded up…over 50 major mafiosi laced up expensive italian shoes and hoofed it through the forest to escape the roadblock, dumping cash and other evidence on the way. Apparently locals were finding 100 dollar bills in the forest for years afterward. History finds that the biggest loser on this occasion wasn’t the mob…it was J. Edgar Hoover, who had, for years, maintained that the Mafia in the US was a Myth. After this meeting it was hard to deny.