Ron "Big Ron" Previte
Occupation Former member of the Philadelphia crime family until he became a Federal Wintness

Ron "Big Ron" Previte was a former member of the Philadelphia crime family until he became a federal witness.[1]

Early Life as a Crooked Cop[edit | edit source]

Ron Previte is 6 feet, 300 pounds and has the physical presence and character of a mobster. He grew up in South Philadelphia to second-generation Sicilian-American parents, and says his earliest memories are of gangsters. Previte was born to be a gangster. Even when he was in the Air Force, he was a crook and a black marketer. After the Air Force, Previte joined the Philadelphia Police Department. As a member of the corrupt Philadelphia police force, he fit right in. As a cop, he learned how to shake down pimps and drug dealers and extort bookmakers. Previte pocketed thousands of dollars a week in addition to his regular paycheck. In 1981, when gambling in Atlantic City had been legalized, there were plenty of opportunities for a criminal like Previte. He stole truckloads of furniture and bar supplies out of casino warehouses, stole money and items in guest safety deposit boxes and ran poker games and prostitutes out of unoccupied hotel suites. Eventually his operation caught the eye of mob boss John Stanfa, who wanted a cut of Previte’s profits. By 1993, Previte made so much money for the Philadelphia crime family that Stanfa made him his personal driver, and a "made" member of Cosa Nostra. His success attracted not only the mob, but also the New Jersey State Police. N.J State Police offered him income in exchange for info regarding the underworld in Atlantic City.[1]

[edit | edit source]

Previte wore a wire during high-level mafia meetings where murders were discussed. He fenced stolen goods for mobsters, conducted drug deals where the buyers were federal agents and tipped off the feds whenever a mafia event (like a Christening or wedding) would take place. Previte gave law enforcement the upper hand.[2]

Ron Previte, a former cop-turned-mobster-turned-government witness wore a wire for more than two-and-a-half years, recorded more than 400 hours of conversations, and helped send more than 50 "made" members of the Philadelphia crime family to prison. "Big Ron" Previte didn't do it to save himself or the people of the United States, he did it for money. After being a paid informant for 10 years, Ron “Big Ron” Previte had been paid approximately $1,000,000 of tax payer money by the Federal Bureau of Investigations for his work as an informant. [3]

References[edit | edit source]


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