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Excerpt for Joseph "Joe Sweets" Paterra Harlem Genovese Soldier by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Joseph Joe Sweets Paterra

Harlem Genovese Soldier

Published by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr. at Smashwords

Copyright 2019 by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr.

Joseph Paterra (June 1, 1906-) was the son of alien building laborer Anthony Paterra (1865-) and Anna Paterra (1875-). In 1930 the Paterras lived at 150 East 112th Street. Anthony owned a home valued at $35,000. Born in Italy, he arrived in New York in 1890. Joseph Joey Rao was the oldest of five children. His siblings were Minnie Paterra (1907-), Sam (1909-), Rose (1912-) and Helen (1914-).

Joseph Paterra’s name first appears in news reports in the mid-1930s. On Friday, November 29, 1935 a New York Appellate Court upheld the convictions of Harlem gangster Joseph Tough Joey Joie Rao (1901-1962), aka Joseph Congro, and his lieutenant Joseph Paterra, 29, of 329 East 112th Street. The two men were charged with beating Patrolman Edward F. Smith on January 14, 1932.

In 1930 Patrolman Edward F. Smith (1900-) lived at 11 Concord Place in Richmond, New York. He rented a residence there for $50. Smith wed Marguerite Casey in Manhattan on June 11, 1926. By 1940 Smith had moved to 58 Hunton Street in Richmond. Both Rao and Paterra were sentenced to two years imprisonment at Ossining State Prison (Sing Sing).

Patrolman Smith was employed by the East 104th Street police station. As Smith had entered a Bronx dance hall, at 113 East 116th Street, he had witnessed Rao and Paterra beating the establishment’s proprietor Frank Perisco. The policeman realized that a thorough shakedown of Perisco, of 2284 Bronx Parkway, by thugs was imminent. Rao had carried out his assault of proprietor Perisco with Paterra aiding and abetting in the beating.


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