By James Calemine
During Prohibition in Tampa, Florida, the criminal underworld flourished. Scott M. Deitche’s book, Cigar City Mafia, proves a gritty tale on the underground operations that revolved around Tampa’s cigar industry for decades.
Deitche chronicles the true stories and eerie activities of some of Florida’s most dangerous bootleggers, gamblers, arsonists, drug dealers and murderers, as well as crooked cops around the Ybor City area. Some of Tampa’s deadliest denizens such as Nick Scaglione, Henry & Santo Trafficante, Scarface Rivera, Charlie Wall, and Frank Gagliano serve as major characters in this mean and insightful book. This is not a story for the weak of heart.
Deitche’s research in such deadly company of killers and bad cops remains vital to illustrate how far the mob’s connections and dark deeds penetrated and influenced local politics all the way up to 2002. This isn’t HBO drama. Cigar City Mafia serves dark truths about true events and real people’s actions that still linger to this day in one of our southern states…