Profile: Lucchese crime family boss Joseph Defede

By David Amoruso

Joseph "Little Joe" Defede was born in 1934 in New York. In his early days as a mobster Defede used to operate a hot dog truck in Brooklyn that doubled as a numbers bank. As a close personal friend of Lucchese Boss Vittorio Amuso Defede started climbing the ranks and by 1994, not long after Amuso's conviction and life sentence were upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Amuso made Defede acting boss of the Lucchese Crime Family.

After 4 years Defede was taken out of the picture. In March of 1998 he was arrested and indicted on racketeering charges. He was held without bail as a danger to the community. In December of 1998 Defede pleaded guilty to extorting $100.000s of dollars from garment center businessmen and was sentenced to prison. With Defede in prison Amuso apointed a new acting boss, this time it was Steven Crea's turn. After serving almost 5 years Defede was released early and was back on the streets but things weren't all good. Word got to Defede that Amuso suspected that Defede had been skimming money from the crime families profits. Under the leadership of Steven Crea the profits went up and Amuso seriously thought Defede had fucked him over. And so it was that Amuso wanted Defede whacked. Upon hearing this Defede contacted the F.B.I. and in February 2002 entered the witness protection program.

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