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Recollections of the Raid: Trooper Frederick Tiffany

APALACHIN, N.Y. - Tuesday marks the 60th anniversary of the Apalachin Mafia Bust, where over 100 mobsters were rounded up at the home of Joe "The Barber"  Barbara in Apalachin.

In May, we told you how the event unfolded and our viewers reached out to us with their connections to the raid.

Shortly after we aired our series on the events that unfolded 60 years ago, Jeff Tiffany of Owego reached out to us with his father's story as a police officer who played a role in the Apalachin Bust.

Although nobody was arrested as a result of the raid, Trooper Frederick Tiffany was tasked with chasing after a few mobsters.

Trooper Tiffany didn't only pursue the mobsters, he fired his weapon.

"At the beginning of that day he thought it was going to be just another day," said Frederick Tiffany's Son Jeff Tiffany.

On November 14, 1957, New York State Trooper Frederick Tiffany had only been on the job for less than a year when he got the call that changed his career.

Joe "The Barber" Barbera lived in Apalachin and operated the Canada Dry Bottling Company in Endicott.

But, he was better known as a Mafia member heading the Buffalino family.

While at the Vestal Motel responding to a complaint of a bad check, State Police Sergeant Edgar Croswell overheard Barbera's son, Joe Jr., talking about a convention at his father's home.

He followed Barbera back to Apalachin where Trooper Tiffany was instructed to start writing down license plate numbers.

Some of the mobsters noticed and took off.

"The wise guys went crazy and started running.  There wasn't going to be any arrests made.  They were just writing down license plate numbers. They ran in the woods and ran down the road," said Jeff Tiffany.

At around 3:30 Trooper Tiffany ran after three men who were later identified as Louis Santos of Cuba, Carmine Labardozzi of Brooklyn and Michele Miranda.

Trooper Tiffany was chasing after them through the woods and was told to yell at the mobsters to warn them.

But that didn't stop the wise guys.

"Guys were running towards the woods.  The Sergeant that was with my father ordered him to fire his weapon as a warning shot.  He was ordered to fire a second one because they didn't stop running after the first one.  They stopped running after the second shot," said Jeff Tiffany.

The suspects were taken to State Police in Vestal where they along with over 100 other mobsters were interrogated.

Although they were not charged, people have rumored that the wise guys were treated like royalty while in custody.

"The gangsters were all rounded up and taken to the old Tioga County Jail down in the Village.  They were ordering catered meals like steak and lobster.  None of that was true," said Jeff Tiffany.

As the only officer to reportedly fire his weapon, the incident gave him an opportunity to move up the ranks of State Police.

"He was promoted to Investigator and for the last 18 years of his career he was a B-C-I investigator.  He said at times if it wasn't for Apalachin, he may not have become an investigator," said Jeff Tiffany.

Jeff Tiffany gave NewsChannel 34 a copy of the police report that his father had written that day that details the shots fired as well as some interesting interactions with the suspects.  One of the wise guys actually asked Trooper Tiffany "how is the hunting around here"?

Tiffany says his father never went out of his way to talk about the bust.

He was just an officer following orders.

"I think he felt satisfied that they were there and that they did their job, apprehending them asking questions and got some intel. At the end of the day, it was his job and he did it," said Jeff Tiffany.

Not a single mobster would be charged that day but Trooper Tiffany did play a role securing a key piece of evidence - the existence of organized crime.

To hear Jeff Tiffany's full interview, log on to our website, BinghamtonHomepage.com.

John from Vestal says he was small game hunting near the Barbara home when the bust occurred and was asked by police if he had seen anyone suspicious.

Tuesday, I sit down with a family friend of the Barbara's who says he has nothing by fond memories of the family.

The home in Apalachin is occupied and on private property and we are not encouraging viewers to trespass.

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