Lecco, 31 years ago the capture of Franco Coco Trovato: the rise and fall of the boss

Lecco, 31 years ago the capture of Franco Coco Trovato: the rise and fall of the boss

Lecco, – On 31 August 1992 the boss of the Lombard ‘Ndrangheta Franco Coco Trovato was arrested. It was a Monday and he was 45 years old. He has never set foot out of prison since. Mauro Masic, at the time the captain in command of the Carabinieri Company of Lecco, handcuffed him. In reality, the handcuffs around the mammasantissima’s wrists never went off, at least not that day. Colleagues in Foggia had been looking for the boss of the Lombard ‘Ndrangheta for a week, but no one could find him, neither at the Il Portico restaurant in Airuno which he frequented every day, nor at his home in Galbiate, nor at his Wall Street pizzeria in via Belfiore. where the boss of bosses made every decision, elaborated strategies, forged alliances with the Flachis, the De Stefanos, the Schettinis, the Paviglianites, Papalja, Crisafulli, Sergi, the people of Catania, ordered ambushes, punitive expeditions, murders. He had sensed that he was now at the end of the line and probably before letting himself be captured he wanted to settle the last few deals, to then reappear right behind the counter on Wall Street. The capture “We sent two of our plainclothes carabinieri there for a check, who had just moved to the provinces together with two girls as if they were two couples of friends – said Paolo Chiandotto, marshal on leave, former commander of the operational unit -. Having received confirmation of his presence, the captain and one of my collaborators intervened ”. In the room there were two goons ready to intervene, but he, with an imperceptible sign of the hand and a look, ordered them not to move and sit down again. He wore an elegant suit, with a jacket, a flamboyant tie and the ever-present white shirt. He asked the soldiers if he could offer them something to drink, then he gave himself up without resistance, following them aboard the gazelle without the need for handcuffs, so as not to provoke reactions from his soldiers. “He was extremely kind in the barracks – continues Chiandotto -. However, we were worried, we knew who we were dealing with, we watched him closely all night, until the following morning, when he was transferred to prison”. Wall Street During the subsequent search of Wall Street then found a sort of armored room, protected by cameras and shatterproof doors, a sort of bunker, just like those found in the hideouts of godfathers and fugitives in Calabria.Inside the bunker there was nothing , if not a cot. If before there was something Franco Coco Trovato managed to make it disappear in time. Now Wall Street is gone. The pizzeria was seized, confiscated and transformed into Fiore, still a pizzeria, but of legality. The operators of the social cooperative La Fabbrica di Olinda, Arci and Auser manage it. It took two decades between handovers, projects, bad bureaucracy, scandals. The vault on Wall Street instead remained as it is: it is a testimony to tell above all to the youngest, what happened there, in the center of Lecco, one of the capitals of the picciotteria, the capital of a province with the highest per capita percentage of Ndrangheta companies and anti-mafia bans. Franco Coco Found behind bars he graduated in law, swears he no longer has anything to do with the picciotti of the past, however he has never collaborated with the investigators or revealed a single name, not even confessed anything or even apologized . For this reason, despite the fact that a quarter of a century has passed since his capture, he remains in 41 bis, the hard prison. Yet, the investigators suspect, he still appears to be the recognized and natural leader of the Lecco and Milanese ‘Ndrangheta and – we read in some investigative documents – “his undisputed apical role within the coterie has never failed, not even following his arrest. The stoats of the Cassation also recently established it, according to which, “it still does not seem to be accompanied by a real review of one’s criminal choices and, even in the absence of any collaboration, in any case a critical reworking of the same, accompanied by a precise ( and definitive) crasis with the past”. Translated: he maintains the same contracts as before and continues to take an interest in the family business. The criminal career Franco Coco Trovato – only Franco Coco until 1991 before his father recognized him and gave him the surname Trovato – before becoming a criminal, indeed the king of criminals, he was a bricklayer, who arrived like many in the North in search of work and luck. When he was very young he stole mopeds, then in the 60s he became a robber. He was arrested and in prison he met leading exponents of the Calabrian underworld. In 1983 he was recognized in the field as a santista, the lowest in the hierarchies of the picciotteria, but in a few years he became the boss of the bosses of the Lecco ‘Ndrangheta: drug trafficking, weapons, extortion, ordered and committed murders, alliances with the other mobsters, the wars with Kalashnikov, an attempt that escaped in 1990… a rapid and bloody ascent, at the head of an army of 1,400 picciotti. Everyone knew who he was, yet politicians, local administrators, entrepreneurs and colleagues cheered him and vied to sit at the table in his restaurant. At least until 31 August 31 years ago, when he was arrested and then tried and sentenced to 1,700 years in prison and four life sentences.

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