Top of the Ocean - Notes

  Characters:  

john_joseph_carbone
John Joseph Carbone
Crime ring kingpin
b. 1919
d. Aug. 18, 1998

Involved in prostitution, gambling, arson. Ran lucrative bail-bond business - also used car dealership - operated unchecked in the 1960s & 1970s.

At the Tacoma Yacht Club, he told Williams, "if you don't have Journey killed, then you will be killed."

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of racketeering.
- Guilty of interference with interstate commerce, four counts.
- Guilty of obstructing an investigation, two counts.
- Guilty of conducting illegal gambling business, two counts.
- Guilty of obstructing state law enforcement.
- Guilty of mail fraud, three counts.
Recieved 25 year sentence, sent to Atlanta federal prison.

williams
Ronald (Ron)John Williams
Carbone's Chief Lieutenant

Heir to Carbone's bonding business, also ran restaurants/nightclubs: Johnny's Ranch

Let sheriff deputies drink free, many got also free dinners.
Paid off officers with "turkeys, hams, booze, money, women... at Christmas time or just any time."
What he did when the state started investigating one of his nightclubs: "Burned it down."

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of racketeering.
- Guilty of interference with interstate commerce, four counts.
- Guilty of obstructing an investigation, two counts.
- Guilty of conducting illegal gambling business, two counts.
- Guilty of obstructing state law enforcement.
- Guilty of mail fraud, two counts.
Recieved 25 year sentence, imprisoned at Terre Haute, Ind. federal prison.
Also recieved state charges accused of commissioning the attempted murder of state liquor agent, Mel Journey and of Seattle nightlife figure Frank Colacuricio and of hiring arsonists to burn Pierce County nightclubs.

janovich
George V. Janovich
Pierce County Sheriff
b. 1930

Received, but never reported, $22,000 as a campaign contribution from John Carbone & Ron Williams. At William's suggestion, steered suspicion in the shooting of a liquor agent away from the Carbone-Williams organization and toward the Puyallup Indians.
Janovich had told Williams that illegal activities in the couty were split between Carbone-Williams and Bob Satiacum, a Puyallup Indian convicted of racketeering in an unrelated case. Sherriff's office and state liquor-board emplyees came to Williams on a regular basis for payoffs. Janovich arranged for Williams to be notified in advance when police were planning a raid at one of his businesses. Imprisoned in Eastern US.

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of obstructing state law enforcement.

joseph_m_carbone
Joseph (Joe, Joey) M. Carbone
son of John Joseph Carbone
b. 1949

The Journey shooting investigation was starting to be directed at Joseph when Williams told Janovich "the Indians were invloved"

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of interference with interstate commerce.
- Guilty of mail fraud, three counts.
Recieved 18 year sentence, sent to Lewisburg, PA federal prison.

zemek
LaMont Anthony Zemek
b. 1934
Crime ring middleman

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of interference with interstate commerce.
- Guilty of obstructing an investigation.
Served 12 year sentence at Petersburg, PA federal prison.

mazzuca
Frank Julius Mazzuca
b. 1940

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of conducting illegal gambling business, two counts.
- Guilty of obstructing state law enforcement.

levage
David Willard Levage

Verdict:
- Innocent of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Innocent of obstructing an investigation.
Acquitted to federal charges.
Convicted in state court on arson charges from attempts to firebomb the home of Tacoma accountant Jerome Weinstein - 10 years - to run concurrently with a 20 year ssentence for burning down the Top of the Ocean. Served at the Shelton state reformatory.

caliguri
Richard Francis Caliguri
Crime ring strongarm man
b. 1948

Verdict:
- Guilty of conspiring to violate federal anti-racketeering laws.
- Guilty of interference with interstate commerce.
- Guilty of mail fraud, three counts.
Sentenced to 18 years at McNeil Island, WA federal prison.

Mel Journey,
State Liquor-Control Inspector.

Victim of attempted murder in a shooting ambush. Puyllup Indians implied by Sherriff as culprits. Caused problems for Williams by citing his topless bars (which were also fronts for prostitution).

"On Nov. 15, 1977, two men shot Journey several times as he was getting into his car outside his Tacoma home. Journey survived...

Six (of 15) rackets defendants recieved reduced sentences (12 years each) in exchange for testimony. They also all requested assistance from the federal witness protection program:
Jackie M. Bentley
Michael D. Johnson
(Robert) Michael Valentine
Harry Edwin Wilcox
William Lee Petit
Tony Miadnich

Jackie Bentley & Michael Johnson were arrested by Federal agents in the Journey shooting. They had been hired by Williams through Michael Valentine. Bently, Johnson, and Valentine pleaded guilty to the shooting.

Pierce County police -
Williams said the criminal organization had paid bribes to Pierce County law officers since the 1960s in order to operate freely.
Bob Satiacum, Former Puyallup Tribe leader. Fugitive convicted in Federal racketeering case. Had "commitment" of protection from Janovich's department. Ran "Indian smoke shop, booze sales, gambling, fireworks, Christmas trees."

 

 

 

News Articles:

 
tnt101277a1
Two restaurants planned to replace 'Top'
(TNT, Oct. 12, 1977)
"Construction will begin early next year" -Mark Mitchell of Seattle, a co-owner of the property.
"We didn't get enough from the settlement to rebuild" -Mitchell
Local architect, Donald Burr to draft plans for two new structures.

st020683a1-rackets

st020683a4-rackets_cont
Key rackets figure starts talking - describes Pierce County ring
(Sea. Times, Feb. 6, 1983)
After four years of silence, Ron Williams, chief lieutenant (kingpin) of the criminal organization, in protective federal custody in California, cut a deal with US Attorney's office located in Seattle.
His life sentence in state prison for attempted murder of a state liquor inspector was converted to an immediate parole.
His (and his ex-wife's) assets, tied up in legal knots, were released.

tnt050179
Tape: Carbone urged protection payoff
tnt061979a2
Janovich out as sheriff, due pension
st020683a4-payoffs
Pierce County crime leader detailed payoffs to sheriff's office
tnt061077a7
Levage convicted of torching Top of the Ocean
st021083a1
State Liquor Agent Denies Racketeer's Bribe Accusation (Seattle Times, Feb. 10, 1983)
st020983a1
How Pierce Racketeer Won His Freedom
st020983a8
(con't)
Williams still in protective custody
con't from st020683a1
st021083a1-herron
Prosecutor aided crime says convict
tnt061580c1
Pierce County rackets trial: a year later - Janovich and Mazucca free on bond; other behind bars
tnt061979a1
On all trial counts:
Guilty! Janovich, two Carbones, four others; Levage gets acquittal
tnt050179a1
Zoo Chief Sought Carbone's Protection
(TNT, May 1, 1979)
st080978c11
Arson blamed in $175,000 house fire in Gig Harbor