La Cosa Nostra lost yet another boss, earlier this month. At the age of 61, Francesco Guarraci, reputed don of the DeCavalcante crime family in New Jersey passed away on April 14.
Gangsters Inc. breaks down Guarraci’s life and mob career:
Guarraci was born in Ribera, Sicily, and came to New Jersey in 1967, where he settled in Elizabeth. According to his obituary in the Star-Ledger, Guarraci “enjoyed gardening, playing cards and watching soccer. Most of all, he loved to spend time with his family and friends, especially his granddaughter.”
Legitimately, Guarraci earned his income as a laborer with local No. 394 – He was a member for over 25 years and retired in 2006. But according to authorities, this was just a façade.
Around 1989, mob turncoat Vincent Palermo claimed, Guarraci became a made member of the DeCavalcante crime family led by boss John Riggi. Due to prosecutions and turncoats, Guarraci became a capo by the mid-2000s and climbed all the way to the top around 2006.
Within four years, authorities hit him with an indictment. In 2010 he was charged with trying to extort money from the general manager of Lenny’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant in Washington Township a year earlier.
In a scene straight from The Sopranos – HBO’s hit television show which many on both sides of the law think was based on the DeCavalcantes – Guarraci and four other men entered the restaurant and told the general manager that Guarraci was now “the guy in charge,” the man who “runs the show.”
He then demanded that daily cash proceeds and receipts be passed on to one of his associates. When the manager refused, Guarraci allegedly began “yelling and cursing” at him.
While all of this went down, customers fearfully fled the restaurant without paying their bills. One of them called the cops.
It was truly like a scene from The Sopranos.
Guarraci pleaded guilty to all his cowboy antics and was sentenced to six months of house arrest in January 2012 to be followed by five years of probation.
Guarraci reportedly died in his home, surrounded by loved ones. That seems like the ultimate success for men in “the life.”