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Former La Cosa Nostra underboss dies at age 82

| Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, 9:27 p.m.
Eugene 'Nick the Blade' Gesuale (left) and Charles 'Chucky' Porter in 1981 at the Beacon Club in Squirrel Hill.
Eugene 'Nick the Blade' Gesuale (left) and Charles 'Chucky' Porter in 1981 at the Beacon Club in Squirrel Hill.

Charles “Chucky” Porter, the former underboss of the once-powerful Pittsburgh La Cosa Nostra organization, died Tuesday. He was 82.

Porter was considered the “right-hand” man to Michael J. Genovese, the reputed head of Pittsburgh's organized crime syndicate from 1984 until his death in 2006, according to a report by the defunct Pennsylvania Crime Commission.

A Pittsburgh grand jury indicted Porter in March 1990 along with several other associates on charges including drug distribution, extortion, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, gambling and racketeering.

The FBI used wiretaps hidden in L.A. Motors, the Verona car dealership where Genovese worked as a salesman, to collect evidence against Porter.

In 2000, a federal judge cut Porter's 28-year prison sentence in half for helping federal agents investigate mob operations from New York to California, including narcotics operations in Pittsburgh.

Porter returned to Penn Hills after being released from prison.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at William F. Gross Funeral Home, 11735 Frankstown Road, Penn Hills.

A funeral prayer will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10 a.m. at St. Bernadette Church in Monroeville. The family through the funeral home declined comment.

Tony Raap is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7827 or traap@tribweb.com.

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