Santo Trafficante Jr. was the mob boss in Tampa, Florida for the better part of thirty-three years until his death in 1987. He took over as boss when his father Santo “Santos” Trafficante Sr. died in 1954 from stomach cancer. It is alleged that Santo Jr. was involved in many dealings with the mob and with the government as well. He ran a casino in the mob friendly country of Cuba until he was forced to leave by the new dictator, Fidel Castro. He was arrested at the fateful meeting in Appalachin, New York, arrested in another summit of mob leaders in a restaurant in New York City that was dubbed “Little Appalachin” because of the mob power that was arrested here just as they were in the Appalachin meeting.
Santo Trafficante Jr. was also said to be on the CIA’s blown plan to kill the new Communist ruler of Cuba in Fidel Castro and is also alleged to be a part of the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963. Trafficante Jr. was also at the hotel where Albert Anastasia was murdered; however, none of Albert Anastasia’s biographies mention Trafficante at all as being in on the murder of the “Lord High Executioner”. He is said to be in control of Florida’s gambling operation and had a close alliance with Carlos Marcello, a mob boss in New Orleans. It is also alleged that Marcello was a part of the Kennedy assassination as well along with Jimmy Hoffa.
Santo Trafficante Jr. was sent to New York by his father to learn about mob business. Santo Trafficante Sr. was good friends with Charles Luciano and Tommy Lucchese and these men were very pleased when Santo Trafficante Jr. took control of the Florida mob when his father, Trafficante Sr. died because they liked Trafficante Jr. very much. Trafficante had many aliases in which he was arrested and some of those were Santos Trafficante, Enrique Chacon and Samuel Balto. He also had business dealings with F.B.I. agent Joseph D. Pistone, who was undercover as jewel thief, Donnie Brasco.
It was also alleged that Trafficante died penniless and owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his mob partners. He was arrested several times under different aliases but it was never confirmed that he had even spent one night in jail. He died in a Houston hospital in 1987 due to poor health. Santo Trafficante Jr. was one of the most powerful mob bosses and was truly one who “kept his friends close and his enemies closer.”