The Colombo Crime family is considered to be the youngest among the ‘Five Mafia Families’ dominating New York City’s organized criminal activities.
Its history is said to have roots to a gang of bootleggers which was started in 1928 by Joseph Profaci. After the Castelammarese War and the American Mafia’s reorganization, the gang of Profaci had been recognized as Profaci crime family. Until late 1950s, Profaci is said to have ruled his family without any challenge or interruption.
The family wars of the Colombo crime family
Three internal wars took place within the family. During late 1950s, the first war occurred when Profaci saw revolt from capo Joe Gallo. In early 1960s, with the arrest of Gallo and death of Profaci, the first war had lost its momentum. It was under the leadership of Joseph Colombo that the family got reunited in the 60s. But after Gallo was released in 1971 and shooting of Colombo, the second war started. This war as won by Carmine Perisco and supporters of Colombo, which saw Gallo and his crew to go into exile in 1975 to Genovese family. Under Perisco, the family enjoyed peace for 15 years.
The third war which was the bloodiest in its history took place in 1991, when Victor Orena, its acting boss tried usurping power from Carmine Perisco, who was then under imprisonment. For two long years, mayhem ensued with the family getting split into factions and finished in 1993 with Orena imprisoned and 12 of the family member’s dead, where Perisco emerged the winner by default. After this war, he had a decimated family. Although this family is still run by Perisco, it was never able to recover its lost glory. The family got crippled further in the 2000s, due to several members be coming witnesses of the government and multiple convictions with regards federal racketeering cases. Apart from being the youngest of the five mafia family in the City of New York, it is also currently the weakest.
The Colombo Crime family has been named after Sr. Joseph Colombo and was founded in the New York City. Its territory of operation is spreads over the different neighborhoods of the city, Massachusetts, Long Island, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and South Florida. As of 2011 estimate, there are around 100 to 115 active mafia members of the family and approximately 400 associates.