After the Apalachin meeting in 1957, his little empire all came apart.  He lost his pistol permit, his liquor license and his Canada Dry Franchise.  He suddenly had a huge tax claim against him. He lost his reputation both in the straight and criminal world.  His health deteriorated and he soon sold the Apalachin estate.  Joseph Barbara died on June 17, 1959 from a heart attack suffered on May 29, 1959.  After his father’s death, Joseph Barbara, Jr. moved to Detroit and became a member of that powerful mafia family.  Little was ever heard from him again.

            Another alleged reason for the meeting, (Purpose #2), was to draw up a hit list of soldiers who had been disloyal and to make a decision whether or not to knock off several federal narcotics officers who were making life uncomfortable for everyone.  A primary concern for the Dons was the meaning of the 1956 narcotics law and how it would affect the syndicate since most of them had deep financial interest in the massive international sale of narcotics.  This act gave a mandatory sentence of five years for the first drug offense and ten for the second offense.  For people like Tony Accardo from Chicago, this meant that fixing a judge for a lighter sentence was no longer going to happen since judges were now bound by law to hand down five or ten year sentences.
            The drug trade was becoming enormously lucrative for the gangsters.  Over the years, the Mafia chiefs received significant amounts of cash from their gambling and union racketeering empires but now they needed to invest in the international drugs trade, not only for its enormous profits, but because it would give them control over the flow of the drugs into their city.  If they didn't control drugs, someone else would and then it would only be a matter of time before someone else would control the streets. 
            In the early days, dope smuggling had been the sole province of New York’s Legs Diamond, the Newman Brothers and Dutch Schultz who formed an alliance with the Eliopoulos Brothers, the drug barons of Europe.  Then in 1930 Louis "Lepke" Buchalter declared that he was going into the business and by the mid 30's Lepke more or less controlled the United States distribution of narcotics.  Lepke's secret to success was bringing in two noted underworld financiers, Jacob Lvovsky and Jasha Katzenberg to help him open transportation inroads for heroin from Tientsin China.  Both Lepke and his chief lieutenant Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss were eventually arrested and executed at Sing Sing Prison on murder charges.  Lucky Luciano had turned them in and in their absence took over Lepke's routes business.
            Luciano tossed the Chinese Tongs out of the business, cornered the market and increased the flow of dope into the United States.  After Luciano was exiled from the country, he continued monitoring the business from Italy.  In the 1930’s, demand for narcotics was high all over America but decreased during the Second World War when the distribution channels dried up, driving up the cost of narcotics.  This was viewed as an opportunity by the mob and by 1943, they had taken narcotics smuggling away from the less well organized, older criminals who had been running it.  With its deep contacts in Europe, Asia and South America, the mob was able to circumvent wartime problems while keeping the price up.
            Up until 1956, the narcotics trade had more or less been a haphazard business with assurance of a regular delivery system out of Asia and Europe.  Meyer Lansky from New Orleans and Carols Trafficante from Florida figured out a way to regulate and distribute the flow of drugs in and out of Cuba.  The skyrocketing prices being charged to Mafia by wholesalers operating out of Sicily, Cuba and other points in South America was another one of the alleged major points of the Apalachin meeting.  (Purpose #3).
            Before serious discussions and agreements could be made, state and federal law enforcement showed up at the Apalachin meeting.  It all came about when Sergeant Edgar Croswell, 44, and Trooper Vincent Vasisko, 31, from the Vestal state police station were called to the Parkway Motel on Saturday, November 13, 1957 to take a report from the owner who indicated a patron had written a bad check.  As the officers were collecting information about the check writer, Croswell happened to look out of the office window and saw Joseph Barbara’s son coming across the parking lot toward the motel entrance.
            Croswell ducked into an adjoining lounge, pulling Vasisko with him.  At the registration desk Barbara Jr. said, "We want six rooms for two nights.  I'll take the keys with me.  The people may be late."  He said he couldn't register the guests by name because, "I don't know exactly who's coming.  We're having a convention of soft-drink people.”  (Purpose #4)
            Having heard rumors that Joseph Barbara was involved in organized crime, Sgt. Croswell was immediately suspicious.  Croswell had been keeping an eye on Barbara and was intrigued by this "convention" that was about to take place.  The two state troopers spent the rest of the day driving over to Barbara's bottling works, and seeing nothing unusual, then drove up to Barbara's estate and noted two out of state vehicles. They returned to the HQ and called in Brown and Rushton who were in Albany.
            The next day, at 12:40 PM, Sergeant Croswell accompanied by trooper Vasisko, and two Treasury agents, Arthur Huston and Kenneth Brown, drove to Barbara's 53-acre estate located on the dead-end McFall Road and recorded the license numbers of several of the cars in the lot.  Upon being seen, Vasisko drove the car out of Barbara's yard and down the hill. 
            They left Barbara's and drove to the crossroads and parked on the side of the road while they discussed what to do.  They did not immediately set up a roadblock.  A fish peddler drove down the road from Barbara’s and passed by them in his business truck.  Upon seeing them, he then turned around and drove back to Barbara's.  A few minutes later he returned in his truck and again passed the parked agents.  Guccia, the driver, was not stopped on any of his three passes by the agents. 

 At 12:50, Croswell and his companions set up what amounted to a roadblock at the base of the hill about half a mile from Barbara's home and. The first car to leave Barbara's was driven by Zicari and contained Alaimo. They were both known to Croswell and they were let pass without being stopped.  However, a few minutes later Croswell radioed to approaching troopers and had the Zicari vehicle stopped, about seven miles east on RT 17, and the two men formally identified. 
         At about 1:20 P.M., two of Barbara's guests, Emanuel Zicari and Dominic Alaimo, drove to the roadblock.  They were stopped and asked to identify themselves.  Next came Russel Bufalino in his Chrysler Imperial with passengers Joseph Ida, Gerardo Catena, Dominic Oliveto and Vito Genovese   When questioned, Vito Genovese asserted that he didn't have to talk to the trooper and would not respond to questioning.  As more vehicles were stopped by the blockade, the line of cars could be seen from Barbara's house.  The remaining guests quickly realized the coast was not clear. 
            Some estimated that 50 men fled into the woods muddying their silk suits, their expensive shoes slipping on wet autumn leaves and tearing their fine coats on barbed wire.
   Croswell indicated that it was more like ten to twelve men.  Allegedly, some threw away guns and wads of cash, but this all appears to be newspaper literary hype.  In the words of Carl Sifakis, “It was a ludicrous scene:  immaculately tailored crime bosses, mostly in their 50’s or older and no longer fleet of foot, climbed out of windows or bolted through back doors and went racing through the woods, burrs and undergrowth in a frantic attempt to escape.”
     In his book, Honor Thy Father, Gay Talese indicated that there were about 70 "delegates" at this "summit meeting" in Apalachin.  Most of them represented families in the Northeastern area of the United States, "the center of many of the current problems" facing the Mafia at the time.  Twenty-three men were from New York City or New Jersey, nineteen were from other parts of New York State, only eight had come from the Midwest, three from the West, two from the South, and three from overseas - two from Cuba, one from Sicily.  The surprise raid sent men fleeing.
         Robert R. Hickey, a Harpur College student, lived down the road from Barbara.  As a child, he used to play with Joseph Barbara’s children. Two well-dressed men wearing camel hair coats and spats stopped Hickey while he was driving home from school.  “It was an unusual day.   My actual encounter with them was brief.  They got in my car and I took them down the road.  Then they flagged down another car, a friend of mine.”  The two were picked up in a car driven by local resident Glen Craig.  Hickey later discovered one of the men was Frank Majuri of Elizabeth, N.J. and the other Louis LaRasso.  Majuri was the underboss of the New Jersey family, (Presently called the DeCavalcante family. LaRasso would later succeed Majuri as the New Jersey underboss.) 

Map of Apalachin, NY:  (1) Apalachin Elementary School, (2) Hafer home and the (3) Barbara Estate.  The distance from the Hafer home to the Barbara estate is about ¾ mile through the woods or 1 ½ miles by road.  It is less than a mile from Barabara’s estate to the Elementary School through the woods.

Two other men who ran away from Barbara’s house made it to nearby Apalachin Elementary School, which had just been built and was to be dedicated the next day.  Morris J. Cape, the school’s principal, met with the men as they wandered into the empty building.  “These two fellas came in and walked all around and asked to use the phone.  They looked no different than anyone else.  In fact, I thought they were a couple of contractors.”  Cape called a cab for the men and they rode away.  Russell Cabs of Endicott picked up the two guys and two others further down the road. The men had the cab take a circuitous route to Owego, on to Endicott, and then over to the Parkway. That was their mistake. As the four tried to leave the area their car was stopped by Trooper F.A. Tiffany and the four men identified.

             At the roadblock, Croswell, Visisko and his reinforcements rounded up 63 men and took them to the New York State Troopers' substation in Vestal where they were questioned.  Among the stated reasons for being at the gathering was Russell Bufalino and others’ claim that they had come to visit a sick friend, Joseph Barbara, who was suffering from a heart ailment.  It was apparently a coincidence that so many people chose the exact same day to visit a sick friend.  (Purpose #5)
             Croswell was anxious to charge any of these 63 men with some violation.  When a Californian named Simone Scozzaro indicated that his hometown was Palermo, Sicily, Croswell asked for proof.  Scozzaro said he had no wallet or identification papers.  Croswell considered filing a vagrancy charge on Scozzaro.  When Scozzaro reached in a pocket and pulled out a $10,000 wad of bills, Croswell quickly determined that a vagrancy charge would be fruitless.Mafia BBQ photo by Fred Brown
            Joe Bonanno, in his 1983 autobiography, claimed he was opposed to the meeting, never planned to attend but had simply gone to the area to try and discuss a number of issues with Stefano Magaddino, his cousin and Mafia Boss in Buffalo.  They met in a small town near Apalachin, but Bonanno claims he wasn’t at Barbara’s that day.  According to Bonanno, when all the fleeing from Barbara’s house began, two of his men were hunting in the area and accidentally drove across Barbara’s property.  Cops wrongly thought they were Barbara’s guests 
since one of them was carrying Bonanno’s driver’s license. 

           Until this day, John Montana was considered an upstanding Buffalo businessman.  The Buffalo Police Organization had recently awarded him “Man of the Year” honors.  His masquerade and demise started that day in Apalachin.  Montana’s excuse was that he had car problems while driving by the area and had stopped at the Barbara house looking for a mechanic.  (Purpose #6)  To his surprise, Barbara was hosting a convention of some sort, which broke into panic when cops arrived.  Looking to avoid the confusion, Montana went for a walk in the woods and was detained by police, a victim of innocent circumstances.

The discovery of the Mafia at the Apalachin meeting became a large legal issue.  Law enforcement wasn’t buying the stories of the men visiting a sick friend, false identification and car problems.  On May 13, 1959, a federal grand jury in Manhattan indicted the sixty-three men for perjury and obstruction of justice by refusing to divulge the true purpose of their meeting at the Barbara home.  The trial went before Judge Irving R. Kaufman and lasted eight weeks before going to the jury on December 17, 1959.  After fifteen hours of deliberation, the jury found twenty defendants guilty.  The American Civil Liberties Union contended that the trial raised "serious Constitutional issues" and announced it would consider supporting an appeal.  Nonetheless, Judge Kaufman, on January 14, 1960 sentenced the twenty defendants to rather long prison terms ranging from three to five years and thirteen of them were fined $10,000 each.

Joseph Barbara’s estate located on McFall Rd., Apalachin, NY

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