YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Notorious Youngstown mob boss Lenny Strollo has died. He was 91 years old.
Strollo spent 13 years behind bars, convicted of bribes, money laundering and racketeering.
In the 1990s, he agreed to a plea deal to testify against other local mobsters and corrupt politicians.
In total, he helped prosecutors get more than 70 convictions as part of an organized crime probe in the Valley.
“It was unbelievable, in my mind, all of the people that either held office, elected office or appointed office who were just greedy in taking their money. I’ll never understand that,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains.
Strollo was also convicted of ordering the shooting of Gains in 1996, the Mahoning County prosecutor elect at the time.
“Even though I had to suffer, at least that, I believe, that is what ultimately took Mr. Strollo and his organization down,” Gains said as he was reflecting on being shot by mobsters.
Gains believes the downfall of Strollo and the local mob began when lawyers and judges started fixing cases for drug dealers.
“They ratchet it up a notch and that’s what, in my opinion, caused all the violence because we went from 19 homicides in 1990 to 59 in ’91 and we went from 2-300 shootings a year to 13-1,400,” he said.
Gains says Strollo’s death is the “end of an era” in Valley history.
Strollo was released from prison in 2008.
It’s believed he spent his remaining years living in Canfield.