Giuseppe De Primo

by Jon Black

Alias: Giuseppe De Primo


Nationality: Sicilian





Giuseppe De Primo was a grocer who worked with the Morello gang in connection with counterfeiting US currency.

On 31st December, 1902, the Secret Service arrested Giuseppe De Primo, Giueseppe Guillambardo and Isadoro Crocervera as they walked along Main Street. They were suspected of passing counterfeit five dollar bills in precise imitation to the currency issued by the National Iron Bank, Morristown NJ. On March 13th, 1903, all three men were found guilty. Giuseppe De Primo was sentenced to 5 years at Sing Sing prison.

His prison admission sheet shows an address of 406 Houston Street where he lived with a ‘Salvatore Macaluso’.

In April 1903, following the famous Barrel murder, Lt. Petrosino visited De Primo in Sing Sing. De Primo helped the police by identifying the victim as Benedetto Madonia, his brother-in-law. He had been killed by De Primo’s former associates from the Morello gang.

De Primo was taken from Sing Sing to the DA’s office in preparation for his appearance as a witness at the inquest. After being given assurances of his safety, De Primo gave a long statement, and the ADA stated that ‘he would be valuable witness to the prosecution’. When he appeared in court, De Primo lost his nerve and was of little value to the government.

Under the recommendation of Joe Petrosino, De Primo was deported back to Italy upon his release from Sing Sing in 1909. The New York press claimed that De Primo had sworn to kill Petrosino, later causing him to become a suspect after Petrosino was murdered in Sicily.

De Primo Morristown 5 note Giuseppe De Primo