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Crimetown, Fundraising Frenzy, and Dan Drew. This Post’s Got It All.


If you have not listened to Crimetown, the podcast sensation, start now. Crimetown chronicles the violent legacy of the Patricarca crime family based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raymond Patriarca’s reach extended far into Connecticut–including Middletown.

Sal “Butch” D’Aquila ran a gambling operation for Patriarca out of a Middletown newsstand–Central News–until the Feds caught up with him and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1991. You can read a summary of D’Aquila’s dark tale in this Courant story from his 1991 sentencing.

The newsstand is closed. The Patriarca mob family is no more. Sal “Butch” D’Aquila is still around and took time to attend and contribute to a recent fundraiser for Middletown Mayor Dan Drew. Democrat Drew is exploring a race for governor. The candidate is usually the star attraction at these events but at this one it was D’Aquila who had jaws dropping and attendees reaching for their phones. Drew confirmed D’Aquila attended the local June event.

Candidates are in a fundraising frenzy as the second reporting period of the year draws to a close on Friday. Dragooned wives, children and parents have seen their names attached to the most cringe-inducing appeals to strangers and other marks. You must have seen them arrive in your email inbox. Candidates will have to be either notably innovative or reckless to top Drew’s curious contribution Sal “Butch” D’Aquila.

One more note on this. Consider that the Constitution State puts no prohibition on contributions to a candidate who may seek public financing from a violent Mafioso. It bars Jospeh Ganim, whose crimes by any standard were far less than D’Aquila’s, from participating in the misbegotten taxpayer-financed bonanza. Reconcile that—and begin listening to Crimetown at episode one. You can thank me later.