DETROIT, MI – Jack Tocco, 87, who had been the head of the mafia in Detroit for over 30 years has died. He was the alleged boss of the national organized crime organization known as The Detroit Partnership.
Jack Tocco was famously linked to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in July of 1975 from the Machus Red Fox restaurant on Telegraph Road and was never to be heard from again.
He was notoriously secretive about his business affairs. Tocco was very known not to talk on the telephone. He was very insistent that conversations were face to face. The federal government knew of this so it was very difficult for them to get him on a wiretap.
Tocco was born in 1927 to parents Vito William Tocco and Rosalie Zerilli. He was raised in the upscale Windmill Pointe section of Grosse Pointe Park. In 1949, Tocco received a degree in finance from the University of Detroit. In 1979, Jack Tocco assumed leadership of the Detroit Partnership following the death of Joseph Zerilli.
On March 15, 1996, Jack Tocco and 16 alleged Partnership members or associates were arrested. The government sought a forfeiture for proceeds derived from the defendants’ respective alleged crimes, claiming that Tocco and four co-defendants were jointly and severally liable for $234,700 that had been collected in “street tax” extortions. The government further claimed that Jack Tocco, Anthony Corrado, and Vito Giacalone, in addition to the $234,700 amount, were jointly and severally liable for $4.2 million in profits from the sale of two hotels in Las Vegas (the Frontier Hotel and the Edgewater Hotel), $1 million extorted from Sal Vitello, and $38,400 in proceeds from the collection of unlawful gambling debts. Thus, the government sought a total forfeiture amount of $5,473,100. The district court concluded that the evidence presented by the government at trial did not provide, by a “preponderance of the evidence,” a sufficiently quantified factual basis for assessing any forfeiture against the defendants.
Prosecutors suffered another blow when Tony Zerilli and Tony Giacalone extended their trials indefinitely due to illness. The five defendants were charged, along with twelve other defendants, in a 25-count indictment relating to their alleged involvement in the Detroit branch of the national Mafia organization known as La Cosa Nostra. Jack Tocco and Anthony Corrado were convicted on two counts of conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), one based on a pattern-of-racketeering-activity and one based upon the collection-of-unlawful-debts, and on one count of a Hobbs Act conspiracy. Paul Corrado and Nove Tocco were convicted of the RICO pattern of racketeering activity conspiracy and the Hobbs Act conspiracy. Vito Giacalone pled guilty to the RICO collection of unlawful debts conspiracy.
During sentencing, Jack Tocco was supported by several high-profile community figures, including former Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson, ex-Warren Mayor Ronald Bonkowski, political fund-raiser Frank Stella, Tigers advertising agent Gary Vitto, members of the Kilgore family, Grosse Pointe City Councilman Patrick Petz and a host of restaurant owners, retired judges, doctors, lawyers and priests.
Bagnasco & Calcaterra Funeral Home in Sterling Heights are in charge of Jack Tocco’s funeral arrangements. Visitation will be at the Sterling Heights chapel of Bagnasco & Calcaterra Funeral Home 13650 E. Fifteen Mile Road (@ Schoenherr) Thursday 2-9 pm. Funeral will take place Friday Instate 8:30 am St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church 1401 Whittier Road (@ Mack Ave.), Grosse Pointe Park, until time of Mass 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers donations to St. Louis Center 16195 W Old US Highway 12, Chelsea, MI 48118.