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The Mob fades, but the fascination endures

During the bygone heyday of Raymond L.S. Patriarca, some inferiority complex-plagued Rhode Islanders took solace in how the New England Mob was headquartered out of a storefront on Atwells Avenue.

Now, although LCN has continued its longstanding fade across the country, public fascination (as well as that of the press) continues when Mob-related stories burst into the spotlight.

During a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers, Colonel Brendan Doherty, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, expressed concern about a rising level of youth violence, with about 63 shootings in Providence so far this year. He endorsed the efforts of the Providence streetworkers, and says the profileration of street gangs has complicated the work of law enforcement.

Doherty says the RISP continues to keep a close eye on wise guys and their associates in Rhode Island. Unlike the old days, when aspirants longed to be "made," mob-affiliated criminals no longer want the "button," Doherty said, because they can make more money without it.

Organized crime in RI -- which claimed about 22 "made" men during its heyday -- is down to about nine "made" guys, some of whom are "retired," says the colonel.

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