All The Times The U.S. Government Worked With The Mafia To Get Things Done

By | September 9, 2019

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Sicilian-born American gangster Charles Luciano relaxes in exile from the FBI after helping the U.S. government in Operation Husky. Source: (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)

Let’s face it: Sometimes, you have to fight criminals with criminals. The United States government knew it, and they took it to heart on at least a few occasions. Of course, not just any petty criminal would do; they needed professional criminals, and the best place to find experienced, expert-level criminals is in the Mafia. Let's take a look at those instances when the government and the Mafia teamed up together to face a common enemy---at least, the ones we know about.

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Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini. Source: (

Lucky Luciano and Operation Husky

During World War II, the Allied forces were battling the Germans and Italians in the Mediterranean and North Africa, and they were beginning to gain the upper hand. British prime minister Winston Churchill proposed that the Allied forces invade Italy to overthrow the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. At first, Franklin D. Roosevelt (then the U.S. president) was reluctant, but Churchill was persuasive and finally convinced Roosevelt to join the invasion, codenamed "Operation Husky." In truth, Churchill needed the Americans to make this operation a success. Meanwhile, Lucky Luciano, the father of organized crime, was sitting in his jail cell reading about the war and plotting ways to get out of prison.