From the Ice to the Fire: A Sicilian Immigrant’s Death Struggle with Pittsburgh Politics, the Teamsters, and Mafia

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Paolo Lomeo arrived in America to fulfill the hopes and dreams of his parents, Giuseppe and Agatina. After serving in the Italian Army during World War I, he was excited about raising his family in a country that would protect their personal freedom in order for them to obtain financial independence. Having established Roma's Fruit Market in McKeesport, Pennsylvania in 1929, Paolo was living the life of an independent American. His days of independence ended abruptly when the Teamsters, with the help of Pittsburgh's political class and the hidden hand of the Mafia, decided to embargo the warehouse district of Pittsburgh preventing Paolo from retrieving his produce. This fight would lead to the destruction of Paolo's family but the salvation of James Tomasello.