Dante Strollo, the brother of Youngstown, Ohio, mob boss Lenny Strollo - photo above, died on Tuesday. He was 89 years old.
The Strollos were a major force in the Youngstown underworld in the 1970s through to the early 1990s, controlling gambling and extortion rackets. Though his brother was a captain in the Pittsburgh crime family, running the crew and leading all mob operations in the area, Dante apparently never became a made guy.
Not that he needed his button to be successful. With the assistance of several corrupt officials who were all too willing to accept bribes, both brothers enjoyed a fruitful run as they established their dominance in the city and surrounding towns.
But not everyone can be bribed and by the late 1990s things got crazy when Lenny ordered the murder of Mahoning County Prosecutor-elect Paul Gains, who refused to play ball with the mob. Gains was shot several times, but somehow survived the attack.
As a result of these violent power plays, by 1997, both Strollos were behind bars. Seeking to get out from under, Dante flipped and became a government witness. Due to his testimony Dante Strollo received a lenient prison sentence of just short of four years. It also resulted in his brother Lenny turning on his corrupt contacts in the police department and city hall.
Their testimony finished off what was left of La Cosa Nostra activity in Youngstown.
Lenny Strollo is reportedly still alive and has left the witness protection program, living out in the open, a source told Gangsters Inc
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