Irish-American mobster Danny Greene is trying to bring the Irish gangsters in Cleveland under his control. With the help of an FBI agent, he sets about taking out his rivals one at a time. But when he starts to interfere with Mafia operations in New York, they send an assassin after him. His only hope is that the FBI can protect him long enough for him to make a bust or kill off his enemies.
The film takes place in 1973 and tells the story of Danny Greene’s rise to become king of Cleveland’s criminal underworld through violence and intimidation while shaking down local construction developers and running numbers games. He eventually turns on his own men, going against them and refusing to share their money with them, but it all changes when he tries to extort money from some Mafia bosses in New York City who send hitman Frankie Carbo (Joe Pesci) after him.