Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

Prohibition and Vice

COURT CASES

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State Cases

No. 24023 - Missouri ex rel. Cameron L. Orr vs. Leannah Kearns
Kearns, alias Annie Chambers, is found guilty of "conducting or keeping a bawdy house or house of assignation." Details of her establishment are included.

No. 25240 - Missouri vs. Cyreal Daugherty
Daugherty is charged with ten years of imprisonment for robbing Ray E. Shore of $2,436 on June 24, 1922.

No. 30129 - Missouri vs. Oscar Rowe
Rowe is found guilty of giving corn whiskey to Arch Duncan as part of a larger scheme to deprive Democratic voters from voting in the 1928 presidential election.

No. 30195 - Missouri vs. John Messino
Messino is found guilty of killing traffic officer James H. Smith on June 14, 1928 after Messino and six other men stole $19,000 from Home Trust Company.

No. 30588 - Missouri vs. Maurice W. Nagle
Nagle is found innocent of killing traffic officer James H. Smith on June 14, 1928 after Messino and six other men stole $19,000 from Home Trust Company.

No. 33947 - Missouri vs. Walter H. McGee
McGee is found guilty of kidnapping Mary McElroy on May 27, 1933 and holding her for ransom.

No. 34750 - Missouri vs. John Gadwood
Gadwood is found guilty of murdering Lee Flacy on March 27, 1934 "during a city election in Kansas City at a restaurant located at 5824 Swope Parkway".

No. 35160 - Missouri vs. Adam Richetti
Richetti is found guilty of murdering Frank Hermanson on June 17, 1933 as part of the Union Station Massacre.

No. 36717 - Missouri vs. Waller W. Graves
Graves is found guilty of purposefully neglecting his duties in prosecuting individuals in Jackson County openly engaging in corruption and vice.

No. 445951 - Kansas City Star vs. Milton Morris and Eddie Spitz
The Kansas City Star asserts that Morris and Osadchey owe "the sum of $150.96 for advertising published and circulated at the request of the defendants."

No. 548628 - Missouri vs. Peter DiGiovanni and Joseph DiGiovanni
The DiGiovanni brothers assert that they did not commit perjury while filing a liquor license application because they claim they can not read the English language.

Federal Criminal Cases

No. 8460 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo
No. 8461 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo

DeMayo is charged with possession of a Liberty Bond worth $5000 that had been stolen from the mail, "with intent to convert the same to his own use."

No. 12028 - U.S. vs. John Lazia
Lazia is charged with tax evasion for the year 1929. He was suspected to be affiliated with the Kansas City Mafia and the Pendergast Machine.

No. 12126 - U.S. vs. Walter H. McGee, Wendell Johnson, Clarence Stevens, L. R. Gilbert, et al.
The defendants are charged with the kidnapping of Mary McElroy, daughter of Kansas City, Missouri city manager Henry Francis McElroy, and ransoming Mary McElroy for $30,000.00.

No. 12287 - U.S. vs. John Lazia
Lazia is charged with bootlegging, illegal gambling and tax evasion after losing political protection from the Pendergast machine.

No. 12584 - U.S. vs. Charles Gargotta
Gargotta is charged in three counts related to the possession and concealment of two .45 caliber pistols that had been stolen from the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kansas.

No. 12697 - U.S. vs. Charles Arthur Floyd and Adam Richetti
The defendants are charged with the theft of an automobile in connection with the Union Station Massacre.

No. 12698 - U.S. vs. Richard Tallman Galatas, Herbert Allen Farmer, et al.
The defendants are charged in a conspiracy of aiding Vernon C. Miller and others attempting to free Frank Nash from police custody during the Union Station Massacre.

No. 12777 - U.S. vs. Adam Richetti
Richetti is charged with assaulting state and federal officers and attempting to free Frank Nash from custody as part of the Union Station Massacre.

No. 14462 - U.S. vs. Charles V. Carollo
No. 14566 - U.S. vs. Charles V. Carollo
No. 14581 - U.S. vs. Charles V. Carollo

Carollo, aka "Charlie the Wop," is charged with mailing a letter and unsigned bill of sale granting one-quarter ownership of a lottery-style gaming operation, the Fortune Skill-Ball game, at 2 West 39th Street.

No. 14573 - U.S. vs. Charles Carollo
Carollo, aka "Charlie the Wop," is charged with perjury in connection with his application for naturalization as a United States citizen.

No. 14578 - U.S. vs. Charles Carollo
Carollo, aka "Charlie the Wop," is charged with "wilfully ... attempting to evade and defeat a large part of the income tax upon his net income" for 1937 and 1938.

No. 14639 - U.S. vs. Charles Carollo
Carollo, aka "Charlie the Wop," is charged with income tax evasion in the years 1935-1939 with income from smoke and cigar shops, gaming and gambling operations, casinos, liquor distributors, and nightclubs and bars.

Prohibition Cases

Cases in which the defendants are charged with the possession, distillation, and/or sale of alcohol. Defendants are also often accused of maintaining a "common nuisance" from these activities. For associated cases after the end of Prohibition, defendants are charged with "distilling spirits on which the tax had not been paid." View a Map of Prohibition Raid Locations.

No. 2214 - U.S. vs. James Akers, John Thomas, Earl D. Heisler and Roy C. Brown
No. 3956 - U.S. vs. Paul Di Giovanni
No. 4071 - U.S. vs. Joe Di Giovanni and Paul Di Giovanni
No. 4163 - U.S. vs. Charles S. Gargotta and Charles Gargotta
No. 4182 - U.S. vs. Charley Gargotta
No. 4414 - U.S. vs. Charley Gargotta
No. 4639 - U.S. vs. Joseph Lusco
No. 5676 - U.S. vs. Jake Binaggia, Frank Fondana and Tony Dibanata
No. 5839 - U.S. vs. Pete Cardina, Mike Titino, Thomas Tococo and Charles Gargotta
No. 5928 - U.S. vs. Charles Gargotta
No. 6469 - U.S. vs. Elton Apt, Arthur L. Curran, Ray Kirk, et al.
No. 6470 - U.S. vs. Elton Apt, Arthur L. Curran, Ray Kirk, et al.
No. 6471 - U.S. vs. Elton Apt and Arthur L. Curran
No. 6472 - U.S. vs. Arthur L. Curran and Manning Wilcox
No. 6473 - U.S. vs. Arthur L. Curran and Manning Wilcox
No. 6474 - U.S. vs. Ray Kirk and Benno Grauenbaum
No. 6490 - U.S. vs. Max Jaffey, Frank DeMayo, and A. L. Sorenson
No. 7127 - U.S. vs. Peter Digiovanni
No. 7677 - U.S. vs. Dominick Binaggia
No. 7742 - U.S. vs. Joe Berbiglia
No. 7988 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo, Robert Carnahan and B. E. Rector
No. 7989 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo, Robert Carnahan and B. E. Rector
No. 7990 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo
No. 7991 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo, Robert Carnahan and B. E. Rector
No. 8046 - U.S. vs. Frank "Chee Chee" DeMayo, Robert Carnahan and B. E. Rector
No. 8085 - U.S. vs. Frank DeLuca
No. 8262 - U.S. vs. Joe Bertini, Joe DiGiovanni and Tony Tumminello
No. 8388 - U.S. vs. Rose Costanza
No. 8389 - U.S. vs. Joe DiGiovanni
No. 8549 - U.S. vs. Paul Carollo
No. 8550 - U.S. vs. Joe DiGiovanni
No. 8555 - U.S. vs. Flore Picralli
No. 8559 - U.S. vs. Angelo Troyer
No. 8567 - U.S. vs. Tony Leptino
No. 8647 - U.S. vs. Frank DeMayo, Abe Schneider, Jack Clarkson, et al.
No. 8902 - U.S. vs. Frank DeLuna and Ben Danzo
No. 8991 - U.S. vs. Frank DeMayo, Joe Tutaro, Frank Fischman, et al.
No. 9018 - U.S. vs. Solly Weissman, Bob Rippan, Frank Malloy, et al.
No. 9019 - U.S. vs. Bob Rippen, Frank Malloy, Joseph L. Tingle, et al.
No. 9129 - U.S. vs. Joe DiGiovanni
No. 9176 - U.S. vs. Frank DeMayo, Sam Tripi, and John F. Lyhne
No. 9177 - U.S. vs. Frank DeMayo and Cy Summers
No. 9207 - U.S. vs. Sam Pallino and Joseph DiGiovanna
No. 9384 - U.S. vs. Sam Pallino, Frank Mazzuca, and Joe DiGiovanna
No. 9518 - U.S. vs. Tony Casciola, Ellis Titus Buice, Angelo Distassio and Gaston Van Ross
No. 9761 - U.S. vs. Joe DiGiovanna
No. 10839 - U.S. vs. Joe Pasano, Frank Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, John Lazia, et al.
No. 11675 - U.S. vs. Mike Gargotta
No. 11769 - U.S. vs. Pat Noonan, Joe School, Charles Binagio, et al.
No. 11781 - U.S. vs. Gus Gargotta, Hallitt Perkins, Willie Cox, et al.
No. 11784 - U.S. vs. Joseph Piscitta, Russell Piscitta, James Piscitta, et al.
Post-Prohibition
No. 12391 - U.S. vs. Joe Giarameta
No. 12392 - U.S. vs. Frank Balestrere
No. 13387 - U.S. vs. Josie Balestrere and Buster Balestrere
No. 13391 - U.S. vs. Tony Begulio and Nick Digeralamo
No. 13395 - U.S. vs. Johnnie O'Hara
No. 13411 - U.S. vs. Phillip Casciapoia
No. 14215 - U.S. vs. James Scola, Richard Rizzuto, Jack Rizzuto, et al.
No. 14218 - U.S. vs. James Gargotta and Anthony Trombino

Drug Cases

Cases were the defendants are charged with the possession and/or sale of opium, marijuana, cocaine, and/or morphine.

No. 6207 - U.S. vs. William E. Clifford, Anthony R. Gizzo, and August Spearo
No. 8527 - U.S. vs. Jimmie DeSimone
No. 12381 - U.S. vs. Anthony Cassata
No. 14697 - U.S. vs. Walter Davis
No. 14700 - U.S. vs. Carl Civella

Federal Equity Cases

No. 255 - T. J. Pendergast Wholesale Liquor Company vs. Shrader P. Howell
T. J. Pendergast Wholesale Liquor Company asks the court to settle a dispute with Howell, who issued the company an order “that [their liquor] permit… is revoked and canceled.”
KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.