The MAYFIELD RD. MOB, so named because they met frequently in the Little Italy section of Mayfield Rd., evolved into a powerful local crime syndicate in the 1920s and 1930s through bootlegging and illegal gambling. In 1932 1st and 2nd generation Italian leaders reached a formal agreement with the Jewish-Cleveland Syndicate of Moe Dalitz, Morris Kleinman, Louis Rothkopf, and Samuel Tucker who organized Buckeye Enterprises through which they operated laundries, casinos, and nightclubs. Both groups profited from the relationship. In 1949 when Dalitz and his partners built the Desert Inn gambling casino in Las Vegas, the Cleveland family protected the casino from shakedowns by other Mafia families and was rewarded with a portion of the unreported casino profits. The income helped support illegal gambling, bookmaking, loan sharking, and labor rackets in northern Ohio.
The local Mafia don for 30 years was John Scalish, a low-key boss who permitted membership decline in the Cleveland family and failed to clearly designate a successor before his death in 1976. A battle for control of racketeering in northern Ohio ensued, culminating in the car-bombing deaths of
Neff, James. Mobbed Up: Jackie Presser's High Wire Life in the Teamsters, the Mafia, and the FBI (1989).