The Carlino Brothers and the Underbelly of Colorado’s Criminal Underworld
We've all seen movies like The Godfather, Goodfellas, and others that depict stories of organized crime in America that are based on real-life stories of days past.
However, you may not realize that in addition to big cities like New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas, the mafia had a significant presence in the state of Colorado at one time as well.
Like the aforementioned motion pictures, these true crime stories that make up a fascinating time of Colorado's past could be made into numerous chapters.
One of the earliest chapters in this saga of mob activity in Colorado stars the Carlino Brothers.
Organized Crime in Colorado: The Carlino Brothers
Sam and Pete Carlino were the kings of bootlegging in a big section of the state of Colorado during prohibition, namely the portion of the Front Range that stretches from the New Mexico border north, almost all the way to Denver.
However, it was a decision made by the brothers to expand across the entire state, into territory already claimed by Joe "Little Caesar" Roma which included the Denver area, that really got them into trouble.
Mobsters are often depicted in films as being fearless, and the Carlino brothers' tenacity eventually led to the demise of their bootlegging empire and eventually claimed their lives as well.
The Carlino brothers' saga includes stories of homes being blown up, arrests, fleeing into exile, and even murder. Worse yet, in today's world, characters involved would have also likely seen charges of tampering with a body and disrespecting a corpse tacked on their rap sheets.
Keep scrolling to learn all about the rise and fall of Colorado's Carlino brothers: