Giuseppe De Primo

Giueppe DePrimo
Giueppe DePrimo

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.