November 14, 1957: At the home of mobster Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Binghamton NY, law enforcement raids what is now known as “The Apalachin Meeting” and arrest 55 alleged organized crime bosses.
It is alleged that the meeting took place to discuss the division and distribution of the late Albert Anastasia’s criminal activities, such as: gambling, loansharking, drug trafficking and control of the garment industry trucking operations in NYC.
State Police Officer Edgar D. Croswell knew that Bonanno crime boss Carmine Galante was stopped for a traffic infraction by the State Police after visiting the Barbara estate a year eariler. For the next year Officer Croswell would occasionally surveil the Barbara house and on November 14 he observed numerous luxury cars parked at the home who’s license plate numbers were registered to alleged known criminals.
Having observed a State Police roadblock just outside the Barbara home the 105 men at the meeting began fleeing the house and the Police managed to apprehend 55 of them. As a result, 20 men from the Apalachin meeting were criminally charged and in January 1959 they were found guilty of “Conspiring to obstruct justice, by lying about the nature of the underworld meeting.” The Judge sentenced the Defendants to pay fines of up to $10,000 each and prison sentences that ranged from three to five years. However, all of the convictions were overturned on Appeal.
The Apalachin Meeting is remembered as the moment the American Mafia was brought to the public eye.