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Like most Mafia families in the United States, the L. crime family gained power bootlegging during the Prohibition Era. Since his death the crime family has been on a gradual decline, with the Chicago Outfit representing them on The Commission.The sources for a lot of information on the history of the family are the testimony of Aladena "Jimmy the Weasel" Fratianno, who in the late 1970s became the second member in American Mafia history to testify against it, and The Last Mafioso (1981), a biography of Fratianno by Ovid Demaris.Sam's relatives Salvatore Matranga, Pietro "Peter" Matranga, and Antonio "Tony" Matranga were other members of the gang.Joseph Cuccia was a well-respected criminal amongst the underworld, who served as a translator in court for Italians who didn't speak English.This made him a well liked man in the Italian community.When prominent Black Hand leader Joseph Ardizzone was involved in a dispute with George Maisano, a member of the Matranga gang, they both went to Cuccia to mediate the dispute.
Since the 1980s, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) has been effective in convicting mobsters and shrinking the American Mafia; like all families in the United States, the L. Mafia now only holds a fraction of its former power.
Not having a strong concentration of Italian-Americans in the region leaves the family to contend with the many street gangs of other ethnicities in a city known as the "Gang Capital of America".
The most prominent of these was the Matranga family, a gang run by relatives of Charles Matranga, founder of the New Orleans crime family. Otherwise they used threats, violence, arson, and extortion to control the Plaza area, which was the heart of the Italian American community of Los Angeles at the time.
Its first leader was Orsario "Sam" Matranga, who started leading the family in 1905.
The Los Angeles crime family is an Italian American criminal organization based in California, as part of the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra).
Since its inception in the early 20th century, it has spread throughout Southern California. family reached its peak in the 1940s and early 1950s under Jack Dragna, who was on The Commission, although the L. family was never bigger than the New York or Chicago families.