LaStella Raid: On September 22, 1966, at 2:30 PM, New York City police walked into the La Stella restaurant in Queens and arrested Mafia bosses and capos Carlo Gambino, Thomas Eboli and Mike Miranda, then acting bosses with Jerry Catena, of the Genovese Family; Joseph Colombo, Aniello Delacroce, Underboss of the Gambino Family. Joseph N. Gallo, the Gambino Family’s future Consigliere; Dominick Alongi, Eboli’s driver; Anthony Cirillo, a Genovese soldier, Florida’s Santo Trafficante, Jr. Carlos and Joe Marcello of New Orleans, Anthony Carolla, the son of former New Orleans boss Sam "Silver Dollar" Carolla, Frank Gagliano and Joseph and Jack Taliercio.
They were held for questioning and released at 3 in the morning on $1.3 million in bail and were scheduled to appear before a grand jury the next day.
The New York City police had been following New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello across the city and stumbled into the Mafia meeting by mistake, although the purpose of the meeting remains largely unknown although it probably had something to do with a dispute between the Marcello organization and the Carolla’s regarding Anthony Carolla’s position in the New Orleans Family.
A week later, on their lawyer’s advice, Trafficante, Marcello Ragano, Jack Wasserman (Marcello’s attorney) returned to the La Stella restaurant for lunch and invited reporters to join them.
The Cosa Nostra men (l. to r.) Attorney Jack Wasserman, Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante, Frank Ragano, Attorney Anthony Carollo, Frank Cagliano and John Marcello at La Stella Restaurant after appearing before the Queens Grand Jury.
A photographer asked the group for permission to take a picture and the group agreed, and raised their glasses in a mock toast with Marcello adding "Why don’t they arrest us now?"
Time Magazine printed the now photo and misidentified both Ragano, the lawyer, and Wasserman as "top Cosa Nostra hoodlums." Ragano demanded a retraction which Time refused so he filed a $2.5 million dollar libel suit against the magazine. He lost.
Upon Marcello’s return to New Orleans FBI agent Patrick Collins was waiting at the airport. A clear picture of what happened there has never been gathered, but Marcello took a swing at the agent Collins. Collins admitted he was in Marcello’s way as he entered the airport and there was some shoving and
Marcello saw him he screamed “I’m the boss around here!” and threw a punch.
But witnesses on the scene said that Collins, who was involved with Joe Marcello’s wife, Bootsie, (She also happened to be an informant) shouted out “Hey Carlos, guess what? I’ve been fucking your Brother Joe’s wife."
Marcello was charged with assaulting a federal agent and was eventually found guilty and sentenced to two years in federal prison.