The Costanzo Crime Family was an aspiring cosa nostra group and a ruling organ of the Las Venturas underworld throughout the twentieth century. In 2001 the family was shut down by the FBI.
Originally founded and active from 1918 to 2001 Joseph Costanzo was the prime godfather of the family. The group was founded under a regiment following the italian influx on the East Coast and Joseph Costanzo first stationed in New York. When he later moved to San Andreas to invest in capital the mob which at that time consisted of three crews (Downtown Crew, Blackfield Crew, Redsands Crew) bought the Starfish casino and constructed The Visage. In 1928 a power struggle occured forcing the three deficit crews to scatter, each forming up their own families.
1928 to 1930 was known as a violent period in Las Venturas mob history, footsoldiers and captains deliberately killed by their rivals. When in 1930 they called truce, they formed a treaty and split the city in three sectors, each ruled by one family. The Strip was called neutral ground.
In 1936 the Federal Bureau of Investigation gained an interest in driving the mafia out of town. In 1946 an investigation was started against the Santullo Crime Family and the Costanzo Crime Family. Most of the families lost their gambling propery to aviator Grosvenor Segal. Joseph Costanzo stubbornly refused. In 1972 Polish-american hitman Patrick Czajkowski was contracted to liquidate Joseph Costanzo, when the Santullos decided they wouldn't want to share any longer and their bad history flocked them into triggering another conflict.
Patrick Czajkowski and partner Miguel Esperanza entered The Vice and gunned mob-boss Joseph Costanzo down vitaly together with caporegime Giacomo Gravano. His son Benjamin Costanzo was appointed to succes him thereafter. Benjamin assembled a hit-squad and told them to take down the Santullo capo's, their boss and underboss for half a million dollars.
In march 1974 the first bodies were counted when caporegimes Alexander Pesci and Rodolfo Toricello were gunned down in their car in broad daylight. This attracted some police attention and the FBI started building an organized crime task-force to investigate the case which finished in 1976. In 1975 family boss Frank Santullo was found shot down by a .45 caliber firearm in his backyard in Prickle Pine.
Corey DiPascello was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations when Santullo's neighbour testified against him in court, convicted of the murder in the first degree of Frank Santullo. News reached the Costanzo's sooner or later, when Paul Cuccinello told Benjamin the forfeit soldiers and two capo's had decided to join the Cuccinello Family, seeing no prosperous future in a new Santullo generation.
Benjamin Costanzo insisted Paul would kill them. "If you don't do it, I'll do it myself." he cited in an interview in 2005. The remaining loose ends were gunned down or strangulated by Costanzo and Cuccinello hitmen, having established an agreement, their bodies dumped in the Bone County desert where they soon decayed to leave no evidence.
In spite of their victory rush the FBI put all their manpower in the prosecution of the five hitmen that coöperated in the conspiracy to kill Frank Santullo and his caporegimes, sooner or later convicting them all with the last piece of the puzzle finished off in 1982. Through them the FBI was able to locate other key-figures to build their case. They put up the remaining loose links to Benjamin Costanzo, and just before his retirement he was arrested together with his underboss and remaining caporegimes.
It is apparant that underboss George Salieri released information, forming a testimony against the rest of them, and being put under a witness protection program to release him of his charges. The rest of the corps was demolished with RICO charges, ultimately all of them convicted in 2001 with charges varying between 21 to life.