At the Kefauver Committee hearings in the U.S. Senate in 1951, it was revealed that organized crime was extending its tentacles into Reading, PA. Five years later, after a new Democratic administration took over in the city, the IRS launched a campaign to collect taxes from gambling machine operators. Two years after that the federal Alcohol and Tax Unit raided a huge still and IRS agents completed investigations of two large numbers banks. After President Kennedy signed into law interstate gambling legislation in 1961, J. Edgar Hoover sent 100 FBI agents into Reading to arrest more than 100 gamblers in a large craps casino. Year after year local law enforcement looked the other way as racketeers took over the city. A bookie working for the Philadelphia Mafia was murdered in Reading before testifying at a grand jury hearing. The local mob kingpin, Abe Minker, was eventually convicted and imprisoned, as was Mayor John Kubacki. The war raged for six years before organized crime lost its control of vice in Reading.
About Ed Taggert
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Published June 10, 2008
Biographies & Memoirs, History.