The Saint leaves black mark on List of Excluded Persons


Anthony "The Saint" St. Laurent Sr., what are we going to do with you?

Didn't we show you enough respect for one street guy's lifetime back in September 1993 when we added your name to Nevada's infamous List of Excluded Persons?

We bestowed upon you the highest honor Nevada awards mobsters and racketeers and cheats by placing you in the casino Black Book. (Population: 35.) The honor comes with a lifetime membership, and you're banned from setting foot in any of Nevada's sacred gambling halls.

You didn't lose sleep over it, I realize. But your Black Book membership was a signal Nevada gaming authorities believed you were a clear and present danger to the credibility of the casino industry.

That's right. You, Anthony St. Laurent of Rotary Drive in Johnston, R.I., were a certified menace to our society -- no mean feat from 2,600 miles away.

Who could blame authorities? You had an arrest record, mostly for bookmaking and loansharking, dating back to the Eisenhower era. You were a made member and a go-between for old man Raymond Patriarca Sr. and the New England bookmaking fraternity.

In short, you were somebody. Just to show you'd kept up with the times, you were convicted in 1999 in Rhode Island of extortion and loansharking in connection with an illegal bookmaking network. You kept operating from behind bars.

You even took time to answer a columnist's smart aleck inquiries, which I appreciated.

Could it be you weren't such a menace, after all?

"He was part of the Providence faction and was very tight with Raymond Sr.," former New England mobster Anthony Fiato says. "He might have been The Saint, but he wasn't blessed at the crap tables. I came out to Las Vegas on some casino junkets with him. He was a degenerate gambler. When he lost, which was all the time, he'd bitch and moan. He was a real whiner and a Freddie-the-Freeloader type who always had his hand out."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Now look where you're at: making the news in a case in which you are said to have used your long-suffering wife in an extortion scheme involving Rhode Island's illegal bookmaking fraternity. If you ask me, that woman's the saint in the family.

It reminds me of the late Las Vegas-based Genovese gangster "Springfield Sam" Manarite, who enlisted wife Jeanne as a lookout on a botched boat burglary. Of course, Jeanne was tougher than Sam and did the time "standing on her head," as they used to say. Sam also was a Black Book member.

More recently you embarrassed yourself by pleading the Fifth Amendment when you were asked whether you were a government informant. Some people suspect you had given up your life of crime to become a comedy writer for Letterman.

Talk about no respect. These days it ain't easy being The Saint.

If you're not getting slammed in the press for the extortion mess, you're receiving media attention for your chronic bowel trouble. Talk about obstruction of justice.

It's gotten so shameful Boston's wisecracking mob columnist Howie Carr has referred to you as "Public Enema No. 1."

When a mob guy's digestive system makes bigger headlines than his mafia derring-do, maybe it's time to think about retiring. When a made guy's career sinks so low he implicates his wife, something must be done.

In that light, I am making a formal request of state authorities to have you removed from the List of Excluded Persons. It's usually not done until after a member dies, but something tells me the state's casino regulators might make an exception.

After all, we do have our own reputations to consider.

Sorry, Mr. Saint. Black Book material, you ain't.

John L. Smith's column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. E-mail him at Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.