The Banda della Magliana – the most powerful criminal organization in the 70s in Rome whose boss was a church benefactor (part three)

The Banda della Magliana gang’s founding members came together practically by coincidence. Giuseppucci’s pal Enrico De Pedis gave him a cache of firearms after he was let out of jail. Although De Pedis was incarcerated at the time, he ran a batteria in the Testaccio district. Renatino, a member of De Pedis’ group, collaborated closely with Danilo Abbruciati, who operated a batteria in the nearby Trastevere district. It did not take long for the two of them to gain recognition in the Roman underground.

De Pedis’s no-nonsense, straight-forward demeanor won him respect among his colleagues. He was usually dressed in fashionable clothes, abstained from alcohol and tobacco, and had a keen sense of business, all of which would come in handy for the gang in the future as he would be crucial to their contacts with the Vatican and certain politicians.

Giuseppucci had stashed the firearms in his car’s trunk. He left his car keys on the dashboard when he stopped at a cafe on the way to hide them for a bite. This was the perfect chance for Paulo Tegani, another street criminal, to steal the car since he didn’t know who owned it or what was inside. When Tegani learned about the guns, he made the decision to sell them. Emilio Castelletti was the customer he found immediately, and Tegani sold the firearms to him for two million lire. After Giuseppucci went in search of the automobile right away, he soon learned that Castelletti, a batteria for Maurizio Abbatino, another infamous gangster in the Magliana district, was now in possession of the guns.

Since 1975, Abbatino, often known as Crispino due to his curly hair, has served as the leader of a larger batteria that consists of roughly ten members. Nicola Selis, a prominent felon in the city who was born in Nuoro and went by the nickname “Nicola the Sardinian,” was in charge of a batteria that ran between the Ostia and Acilia areas. Selis’ gang was an expert at both train and gun robberies.

Together with one of his colleagues, Antonio Mancini, Selis devised a scheme while serving a sentence of years in the Regina Coeli prison to create a batteria that would be far more potent and larger than any that had before existed in the city. His plan was to establish a gang in Naples like to Camorra’s, with capillary control over all illegal operations, primarily the drug trade, and to keep that control by eradicating any rivals.

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