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Pseudonym: Joe

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Joe the courier was an alias used by Santos Trafficante, Tampa godfather. Trafficante was involved with Sam Giancana and John Roselli in a CIA plot to assassinate Fidel Castro.
Santos Trafficante was/is widely believed to have ordered the murder of John Roselli in 1976.


Undated CIA document: Page two: ..."Trafficante, Santos: aka 'Joe' the courier. Middle man between Rosselli and Cuban hit men who to assassinate Fidel..."

124-10204-10161: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/docid-32586397.pdf

08/24/59: FBI memorandum from Legal Attaché, Havana, to Director: Subject: SANTOS TRAFFICANTE, JR, AKA ANTI-RACKETEERING: "Re Havana letter dated July 13, 1959. On August 20, 1959, Harold Milks, Associated Press correspondent, Havana, advised that Santos Trafficante and Henry Saavedra, who represents the subject’s interests in the Hotel Capri, had been provisionally released by Cuban Immigration authorities from Tiscornia Prison where they had been incarcerated for the past two months. Milks stated that the Cuban Government claimed that insufficient evidence had been developed to warrant the deportation of subject and Saavedra from Cuba but that investigation concerning this matter was being continued by the Cuban Government. On August 10, 1959, HAV-33 informed that during their stay in Tiscornia Trafficante and Saavedra had 'lived like kings.' Source said that almost all guards in the prison had been bribed by subject in order to insure that the subject had the most comfortable accommodations possible. Source said that subject’s food was brought in on a daily basis to him from outside the prison and that he was allowed any number of visitors he desired. On July 13, 1959, PCI Alberto Suarez Aleman, doorman at the apartment building where Trafficante resides at Calle 12 No. 20, Havana, advised he had attended the wedding of subject’s daughter as an invited guest. Source noted that most of those present at the wedding were employees from the various casinos in Havana and that the only outsiders were subject’s immediate family and one or two close friends from Tampa, Florida. On July 18, 1959, HAV-31 advised that he also had attended the wedding of Trafficante’s daughter but that there had been no important hoodlums from the United States at the wedding. Source noted that Trafficante’s brothers, as well as a close associate named Jimmie Longo, were present at the wedding..."


08/09/76: CIA memo: Subject: Johnny Roselli: "1. During the period September 1960 through February 1963, Johnny Roselli was utilized by the Agency in support of operations designed to assassinate Fidel Castro. Attached hereto is a detailed summary of Roselli’s involvement in these operations which had been prepared for the DCI on 9 December 1970. 2. During the initial phase of the operation, Mr. James P. O’Connell, a retired senior Office of Security employee, contacted with Mr. Robert Maheu, asking Mr. Maheu to identify someone within the underworld who would have contacts within the Cuban gambling syndicates. Mr. Maheu (a former contract employee of the Office of Security who had been utilized in various sensitive operations) introduced Mr. O’Connell to Roselli, who was believed to be a member of the Las Vegas underworld syndicate. Following this initial contact in September 1960, Roselli recruited other members of the underworld (Sam Giancana, Santos Trafficante, et al) to assist in the attempts to assassinate Castro..."


08/13/76: Memo from Mike Madigan to Rick Inderfurth: Subject: Miami Interviews: "I spoke with Senator Hart today about setting up interviews in Miami for Friday, August 20, in the Rosselli matter. He will be calling you about these arrangements. I will try to have a subpoena for Santos Trafficante signed by Senator Baker before he leaves for the convention. We, however must obtain the approval of all or a majority of the members of the Committee (under the Rules) to issue the subpoena. Therefore, I have asked Martha to poll members on two questions: (1) Authority to issue a subpoena for Trafficante; (2) Authority for Senator Hart to disclose to the Miami police investigators in the Rosselli case those portions of the classified Rosselli related transcripts which he deems relevant to the murder investigation. In case we miss connections, the relevant people involved are: (1) Bill Lynch - head of the Justice Organized Crime Section, telephone number 739-3516 (he should help us locate Trafficante and perhaps have a suggestion as to how best to serve him with a subpoena); (2) Detectives Wolf and Zatrepallek - Dade County Sheriff’s Office, telephone number 305-547-7456 (they are the detectives investigating the Rosselli murder for the locals). (I have been putting them off about whether they can have access to the transcripts - you need to talk to Bill Miller and Gary about this); (3) Paul Daly - you may have to go through him if we need the FBI to locate Trafficante. By the time you return I will have taken preparatory steps to set up interviews with the Miami police people as well as begun an effort to locate Trafficante. After talking with Gary you will need to follow up and confirm all these next week as I will be in Kansas City from Monday through Thursday. I will be flying from Kansas City to Miami on Thursday night for the interviews on Friday. You can reach me through the numbers that either Bill Miller or Marie has..."

157-10014-10242: [No Title]

08/13/76: Miscellaneous Records of the Church Committee: Memorandum for the record from Mike Madigan: "I recently discussed with Agent Richard Taylor of the FBI my recollections of pre-testimony interviews with Mr. John Rosselli prior to Roselli’s testifying under oath in June of 1975. It is my recollection that there were several meetings between myself, as counsel for the Committee, and Rosselli and his attorneys. Rosselli and his attorneys expressed on numerous occasions fear for the well-being of Rosselli. They insisted and the Committee agreed that I would conduct interviews prior to the sworn testimony at a location away from the Senate so as to avoid any publicity. During these interviews Rosselli, on more than one occasion, stated that he was taking a great risk in testifying. He was worried about retaliation and particularly worried about his relatives with whom he was living in Florida. I cannot recall Rosselli specifying exactly who he was most afraid of, but he declined to testify about Giancana (until after Giancana’s death), refused to identify any Cubans who were involved in assassination plots, and was reluctant to mention Santos Trafficante by name. In fact, I cannot recall Rosselli ever mentioning by name and only very vaguely responding to questions if the questioner used the name Trafficante. It is my recollection that on at least one occasion, in the presence of Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., Rosselli told the Senator, that he, Rosselli, was concerned for his safety and his life and that he was risking his well-being by testifying before the Committee. I am uncertain in my recollection as to whether that conversation took place up in the Senate interview room or elsewhere. Throughout his testimony Rosselli declined to give his exact address in Florida for reasons of safety. It is also my recollection that Rosselli’s demeanor was visibly affected whenever testimony or interview focused or attempted to focus on Santos Trafficante."


03/24/77: Article in the Washington Post by Jack Anderson and Les Whitton: Headlined: "Mobster's Summons by Probers: Perhaps the most feared mobster in the underworld is Florida’s Mafia chieftain, Santos Trafficante. House investigators approached his Miami hideaway, therefore, with some apprehension. He appeared at the screen-door to accept their subpoena. 'Shove it under the door,' he said softly. They peered through the screen. The sinister Trafficante was pale, and his hands were shaking. He may have had reason to shake. The House Assassinations Committee had taken a sudden interest in the murder last July of mobster John Rosselli. Before he died, the flamboyant Rosselli hinted that he knew who had arranged President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Carefully hedging, he told an incredible story that implicated Trafficante. The New York Times reported on the front page that Rosselli was murdered as a 'direct result' of his Senate testimony about the Kennedy assassination. Twelve days before his death, Rosselli dined with Trafficante at the fashionable Landings Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It is the custom of the Mafia to wine and dine a wayward member before he is executed. The unfortunate Rosselli had been the victim of a gangland execution. This raised some nagging questions in the minds of the committee’s homicide experts who are wise in the ways of the mob. Why would the Mafia knock off a retired racketeer? The fact that he had appeared before the Senate normally would have deterred the crime lords. They would rather not risk antagonizing the federal government by murdering a celebrated witness unless there was some compelling reasons. The experts doubted the Mafia was upset over Rosselli’s confession that, as a hit man for the Central Intelligence Agency, he had attempted to assassinate Cuban Premier Fidel Castro. The mobsters hated Castro, who had expropriated their casinos in Havana..."

HSCA Report, Volume V Current Section: Testimony of Lewis McWillie, Las Vegas, Nev.

09/27/78: HSCA testimony of Lewis McWillie: Pages 105-107: "...Q: Do you know a Mr. Santo Trafficante? A: Know him to see him. Q: Have you ever met Mr. Trafficante? A: Like I say, he knew who I was and he shook hands with me when he saw me, but that was it. I’ve been asked that a lot of times, too. But I didn’t know Mr. Trafficante intimately, no. Q: Did anybody introduce you to him or did he introduce himself to you? A: Maybe Pedro did, I don’t know, when he would come in a party or something. Q: Did you ever meet Mr. Trafficante apart from being in Cuba in the casinos? A: Not that I remember, no. Q: You never met Mr. Trafficante in the United States? A: Not that I recall. Maybe I did. I don't think so. Q: Are you aware that Mr. Trafficante was imprisoned in Cuba? A: Yes, there were a bunch of them imprisoned. Q: Were you in Cuba at that time? A: Yeah. Q: Do you know why Mr. Trafficante was imprisoned? A: To tell you the truth, I don't. I think they just wanted to get them out of there myself. Q: Did you visit Mr. Trafficante in prison? A: I didn't visit him. I went out there once or twice to visit a fellow, he was a dealer...Q: Did you see anybody else in prison? A: I saw everybody out there. Trafficante, I think he was in there. Q: Did you see Mr. Trafficante? A: I saw him but I didn't talk to him. Q: You saw him but you could not talk to him. A: I didn't know him that intimately. Q: Do you know of anybody who did visit Mr. Trafficante in prison? A: No, I don't. I went out there with someone but I don't recall who it was..."

HSCA Report, Volume V Current Section: Testimony of Santos Trafficante

09/28/78: HSCA testimony of Santos Trafficante:

Anthony Summers: (2013) Not in Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK

Pages 403-406: ..."After the assassination, when it emerged that Ruby had been in Havana in 1959, he said he had merely taken an eight-day vacation in Cuba at the invitation of a man named McWillie. Lewis McWillie, one of Ruby's closest friends, had-in the words of a contemporary FBI report-'consolidated his syndicate connections through his associations in Havana, Cuba, with Santo Trafficante...' He was in Cuba managing the Tropicana nightclub, in which Trafficante had a major interest. He had organized and paid for a weeklong trip to Havana for Ruby, McWillie was to say, in hopes that Ruby would get friends in the press to promote the club...Cuban immigration files were to show that Ruby arrived in Havana on August 8, 1959, flying in from New Orleans. Far from staying in Havana for just a few days, he was still there a full month later. Three witnesses, two attorneys and an architect, recalled having encountered Ruby at the Tropicana Casino in the first week of September, over Labor Day weekend...Within twenty-four hours of leaving Havana, documents showed, Ruby entered Cuba again-this time from Miami-stayed for a night, then left for New Orleans. So Ruby made at least two trips, the first lasting more than a month, followed by a forty-eight hour shuttle that can hardly have been part of the pleasure trip Ruby and McWillie claimed. There were almost certainly other visits...The Assassinations Committee would conclude that Ruby made at least three trips to Cuba, perhaps more, and 'most likely was serving as a courier for gambling interests.' While in Cuba, information strongly suggests, Ruby met not only with Lewis McWillie, but also with Santo Trafficante. In the summer of 1959, as one of the most prominent targets of Castro's gradual clampdown on Mafia gambling and narcotics operations, Trafficante was confined at the Trescornia detention camp on the outskirts of Havana." (CONTINUED BELOW)

Anthony Summers: (2013) Not in Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK

"A former detainee named John Wilson, who was held in the camp at the same time, was to contact U.S. authorities in 1963 when news broke that Jack Ruby had killed alleged assassin Lee Oswald. At Trescornia, he reported, he had known 'an American gangster called Santos (sic),' and that 'Santos' had been 'visited several times by an American gangster-type named Ruby' who 'would come to prison with (a) person bringing food.' Years later, in an appearance before the Assassinations Committee, Trafficante would say carefully, 'I never remember meeting Jack Ruby...I don't remember him visiting me, either...I never had no contact with him. I don't see why he was going to come and visit me.' The Committee concluded that there was 'considerable evidence' that Ruby did visit Trafficante at the camp. It linked him, too, to Trafficante associates in Dallas. One, an old Cuba hand named Russell Matthews, was described by one of his own attorneys as 'probably the closest thing to the Mafia we've ever seen in Dallas.' There was also James Dolan, described as one of Dallas' 'most notorious hoodlums,' a man who committed acts of violence on Trafficante's behalf, and who was also linked to the Marcello network in New Orleans. The telephone number of a Trafficante associate named Jack Todd was found in Ruby's car after he shot Oswald..." - - - For more on Trafficante and Ruby see Arnaldo M. Fernandez's article on the JFK Facts website: https://jfkfacts.org/the-man-and-the-mobster-jack-ruby-and-santos-trafficante/


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