Cleveland Capo Joe Gallo Dies in Prison


Joe Gallo at court in 1976 -- when else would someone be
wearing a jacket that looked like that???
From his small business in Orange, Joseph Gallo ascended to the top of the Cleveland Mafia family and helped oversee a $15 million-a-year drug ring that killed seven people.

Gallo, a mob captain to boss Angelo "Big Ange" Lonardo, died April 3 in a federal prison medical center in Springfield, Mo., a spokesman said. He was 75. A cause of death was not released, and Gallo's immediate family could not be reached.

Thirty years ago, the city's mob wars played out daily on the front page, as bombings, indictments and slayings became routine. Today, the mob's story is written in the obituaries of its soldiers who ordered the executions and demanded payment.

"He was a very strong person," said James Willis, an attorney who knew Gallo well but did not represent him. "He was definitely a standup guy. He was very well respected."

Asked if Gallo would ever work for the government as an informant, Willis laughed. "Hell no. It never would have occurred to him."

U.S. District Judge John Manos sentenced Gallo in April 1983 to life in prison without parole, plus more than 100 years, for helping to run the ring that controlled much of Cleveland's drug trade. Besides Gallo, three others were convicted of major charges in the scheme: Lonardo and mob enforcers Kevin McTaggart and Hartmut Graewe. ...