The New Jersey faction was recognized as a bootlegging crew under Gaetano Reina's crime family. Throughout the prohibition era the crew smuggled alcohol into New York City. In 1930, Reina was murdered and his family was taken over by Tommy Gagliano.
During the 1940s and early 1950s, the faction was headed by Settimo Accardi in Newark. In 1953, Accardi's U.S. citizenship was revoked after not disclosing his previous arrest record. Accardi was arrested in 1955 on narcotic charges and fled the country. With Accardi's absence Anthony Delasco and Joseph Abate took over running the New Jersey faction.
Toward the 1970s, the faction was unofficially headed by Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo, because Accetturo had not yet been inducted into the Lucchese crime family due to "closed books". The leader of the faction was still Joseph Abate, with Anthony Accetturo as his protégé waiting to take over. The faction then came to control the entire Newark area, with loansharking, illegal gambling, narcotics, money laundering and extortion operations. Reportedly, with Accetturo in charge of the crew, they handed something between $70,000 and $80,000 a year to Tommy Lucchese. Upon Lucchese's death in 1967, and several years of different "acting bosses" such as Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti and Ettore "Eddie" Coco. At the end of 1973, when Anthony Corallo was released from prison, he was quickly installed as boss. Corallo, a longtime friend of Accetturo, quickly inducted Accetturo and his second in commands Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta and Martin Taccetta into the Lucchese crime family, so they could officially control the entire New Jersey area.
During the early 1970s, Accetturo relocated to Miami to avoid prosecution for his illegal gambling and loansharking business in Newark, and Michael Taccetta was soon promoted by Accetturo to run the day-to-day activities. Meanwhile, Accetturo created illegal operations in Florida where he could lie low from law enforcement. Taccetta soon expanded Accetturo's former operations in New Jersey as the crew grew stronger, and several members of the Lucchese crime family in New York were sent to win over the moneymakers. Taccetta developed an operation that soon controlled the entire New Jersey area. From arson and burglary, to loansharking and extortion, to illegal gambling and drug trafficking, the Jersey Crew soon made millions of dollars in profit, and sent hundreds of thousands of dollars back to Anthony Corallo in New York City for years. Both Accetturo and Taccetta soon became the most powerful mobsters in New Jersey. Accetturo was repeatedly indicted, and the State of New Jersey tried to extradite him but failed due to his "poor" health. Accetturo later relocated his business interests to Miami and Hollywood, Florida, but still remained the official boss of New Jersey. Michael Taccetta was chosen once again to run the Northern New Jersey faction of the Lucchese crime family, during the mid-1970s. Toward the late 1970s, the crew allegedly earned something between $700,000 and $800,000 in profit every year.
In 1980, the longtime Don of the Philadelphia crime family, Angelo "Gentle Don" Bruno, was shot and killed on March 12. This resulted in a huge power vacuum between prominent Bruno members Philip Testa and Nicodemo Scarfo, both fighting for the total control of the Bruno crime family. Accetturo and Taccetta, on the other hand, used their situation to establish a new foothold in Philadelphia, as a part of the Jersey Crew, with illegal gambling and loansharking operations. Because of the bad relations between the two factions in Philadelphia's crime family, as well as both Taccetta and Accetturo taking advantage of the situation, the relationship between Philadelphia and the New York Families, especially the Luccheses, eventually turned worse after the murder of Angelo Bruno, which led to all cooperation between the families being completely terminated. It was around this time that prominent Bruno member Giacomo "Jackie" DiNorscio, and many others, defected to the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese crime family to make more profit and to avoid being killed.