In the early 1910s, Gaspare DiCola became the most powerful Mafia boss in Boston, until he was murdered on September 21, 1916. This allowed Gaspare Messina, a Sicilian mobster who had close ties to Bonanno crime family, in New York City to become the new boss of the Boston Mafia group. The Providence Mafia group formed sometime in 1917, under Frank Morelli  who went on to control bootlegging and illegal gambling operations in Providence, Maine, and Connecticut.
In 1924, Gaspare Messina stepped down as Boston's Mafia boss, assuming a businessman's role while working with Frank Cucchiara and Paolo Pagnotta from a grocery store on Prince Street in Boston's North End. A Mafia power struggle ensued in Boston, as rival gangs fought for illegal gambling, bootlegging, and loan sharking rackets, and East Boston mobster Filippo Buccola emerged as the boss of the Boston family. In December 1930 or early 1931, a Mafia meeting was held and Messina was elected the temporary capo dei capi of the American Mafia. He retired from Mafia affairs in the early 1930s and died in June 1957 in his Somerville, Massachusetts home.
During the early 1930s, Buccola battled other ethnic gangs for territory in Boston, along with his underboss Joseph Lombardo, another mobster from the North End. In December 1931, Lombardo arranged the murder of Frank Wallace, the boss of South Boston's Irish Gustin Gang. Then in 1932, Morelli merged his Providence family with Buccola's Boston family, forming the New England crime family. Buccola ruled as boss of the combined family from East Boston as he continued to fatally dispatch his competition. After the murder of Jewish mob boss Charles "King" Solomon at Buccola's command, Buccola became the most powerful gangster in Boston. On April 27, 1952, Buccola held a party in Johnston, Rhode Island, to celebrate his retirement and Raymond Patriarca's ascension to boss of the family. He retired to Sicily in 1954, where he ran a chicken farm. He died in 1987 of natural causes at the age of 101.
During his reign as boss, Patriarca formed strong relationships with the New York-based Genovese crime family and Colombo crime family, deciding that the Connecticut River would be the dividing line between their territory and his own. His long-time underboss, Enrico Tameleo, was also a member of New York's Bonanno crime family. The New England family controlled organized crime in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, where Genovese capo Carlo Mastrototaro reigned as local boss for half a century, as well as the state of Maine; while the Genovese family controlled organized crime in Hartford, Connecticut, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Albany, New York.
In addition to having close ties to the powerful Five Families, Patriarca also sat on the Commission and had investments in two Las Vegas casinos. Another of his underbosses, Gennaro "Jerry" Angiulo, was involved in the numbers racket in Boston, and was being shaken down by rival mobsters because he was not a "made" member. Angiulo solved this problem by paying Patriarca $50,000 and agreeing to pay him $100,000 a year to become a made member of the family. Angiulo continued to control his large illegal gambling network in Boston.
In 1957, more than sixty of the country's most powerful Mafia bosses, including Joe Bonanno, Carlo Gambino, and Vito Genovese, met in Apalachin, a hamlet in upstate New York. Patriarca was also in attendance and was subsequently arrested when the meeting was suddenly raided by police, drawing much attention to him from the press, the public, and law enforcement.
Based on Barboza's testimony, Patriarca and Enrico Tameleo were indicted in 1967 for the murder of Providence bookmaker Willie Marfeo. Patriarca was convicted and began serving time in 1969, and Angiulo served as acting boss. Patriarca resumed control of the family after his release from prison in 1974. For his testimony, Barboza was given a one-year prison term, including time served. He was paroled in March 1969 and told to leave Massachusetts permanently. In 1971, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in California and sentenced to five years at Folsom Prison; he was murdered in San Francisco by Joseph "J. R." Russo on February 11, 1976, less than three months after his release.
After Patriarca's death, the New England family began a long period of decline, resulting from both legal prosecution and internal violence. Angiulo attempted to take over as boss from behind bars, while Larry Zannino, the family's top lieutenant, backed Patriarca's son Raymond Patriarca, Jr. for the position. The Commission approved Patriarca, Jr.'s ascendancy to leadership and his position was confirmed. Zannino was made consigliere, but he was sentenced to thirty years in prison in 1987. Angiulo was sentenced to 45 years in prison on racketeering charges. Other senior members died or were imprisoned, such as Henry Tameleo and Francesco Intiso.
William "The Wild Man" Grasso, an East Hartford-based gangster, became underboss because of the younger Patriarca's weak leadership. Some investigators believed that Grasso was actually in charge, but these rumors ended when Grasso was found dead in June 1989, slain by a gangster from Springfield as factions of the family began fighting each other for dominance. Grasso's murder weakened Patriarca, Jr.'s position. Nicholas Bianco was eventually indicted for the murder, but he became acting underboss before taking over the family's Providence operations.
On March 26, 1990, Patriarca, Jr. and twenty other family members and associates were indicted on charges of racketeering, extortion, narcotics, gambling, and murder. The indictments included underboss Bianco, consigliere Joseph Russo, and lieutenants Biagio DiGiacomo, Vincent Ferrara, Matthew Guglielmetti, Joseph A. Tiberi Sr, Dennis Lepore, Gaetano J. Milano, Jack Johns, John "Sonny" Castagna, Louis Fallia, Frank and Louis Pugliono, Frank Colontoni and Robert Carrozza. The arrests were described as "the most sweeping attack ever launched on a single organized crime family." One of the most damaging pieces of evidence was a tape recording of a Mafia induction ceremony, at which thirteen mafiosi were present. Because of this embarrassment, Patriarca was replaced as boss by Bianco, who maintained a very low profile. However, Bianco was sentenced to eleven years in prison in 1991, while eight other family members were convicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. Bianco died in prison in 1994.
Frank Salemme took control of the family after the RICO trial of Patriarca Jr. which moved the family's base of power to Boston. With Salemme's ascension to the boss sparked tension among the family's factions.
Retired boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 19, 2011, and was charged with extortion and conspiracy. Manocchio had stepped down as boss in 2009, after the FBI began investigating two strip clubs in late 2008. In February 2012, Manocchio agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for extortion on May 11, 2012.
In late 2009, Anthony DiNunzio became the acting boss after Limone's arrest. DiNunzio operates from Boston's North End and is the younger brother to Carmen DiNunzio. In 2010, DiNunzio extorted Rhode Island strip clubs with members of the Gambino crime family. On April 25, 2012, DiNunzio was arrested and charged with racketeering and extortion. On September 13, 2012, DiNunzio pleaded guilty to shaking down Rhode Island strip clubs, and was sentenced to six years on November 14, 2012.
On October 2, 2014, acting boss Antonio L. "Spucky" Spagnolo, 72, and reputed made man Pryce "Stretch" Quintina, 74, were arrested for allegedly extorting thousands of dollars in protection payments from a video poker machine company, which installed machines for illegal gambling in bars and social clubs. Spagnolo took over as acting boss after DiNunzio was arrested back in 2012. Both Spagnolo and Quintina are reputedly old members of the Patriarca crime family's Boston faction.
Family underboss Carmen "The Cheese Man" DiNunzio was released from prison on February 17, 2015 after serving five and a half years on bribery charges. Upon his release, he was thought to renew his position within the family and reconvene with his old North End crew. DiNunzio reportedly inducted his nephew, Louis "Baby Cheese" DiNunzio and two other members of his crew, Johnny Scarpelli and Salvatore "Tea Party Tore" Marino into the family during a ceremony held in the basement of a North End restaurant and attended by boss Peter Limone, acting boss Anthony "Spucky" Spagnolo and Providence capo Matthew "Good-Looking Matty" Guglielmetti. At that same event, DiNunzio promoted his bodyguard Gregory "Fat Boy" Costa to capo of the North End crew.
Family boss Peter Limone died of cancer on June 19, 2017. He was succeeded by his acting boss Carmen DiNunzio, who is the current family leader. DiNunzio led an administration consisting of underboss Matthew "Good-Looking Matty" Guglielmetti and consigliere Joseph "Joe the Bishop" Achille, both members of the Providence faction. Achille died on August 7, 2018. Since at least 2020, Guglielmetti relinquished the position of underboss to Edward "Eddie" Lato due to health concerns and regained the rank of capo. 781b155fdc