In 1978, Baratta became a made man in the Lucchese crime family operating under the family's Bronx faction. In the early 1980s, Anthony Baratta was promoted caporegime (or capo) of the "Harlem Crew", controlling the Pleasant Avenue narcotics ring in East Harlem and other rackets in the Bronx and Long Island. Baratta placed soldier Joseph "Joey Bang Bang" Massaro in charge of running his Long Island topless bars operations. In 1980, Massaro started a feud with the Bonanno crime family, when he began taking over their topless bars. FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone, who was working undercover in the Bonanno family as "Donnie Brasco", heard of the two families having a sitdown over Long Island topless bars.
In May 1990, after Lucchese crime family boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso were indicted on labor racketeering, extortion, drug trafficking and murder, they went into hiding, leaving Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco as acting boss.
In 1991, Baratta serving as acting underboss viewed a Genovese family list of proposed new members, he commented to D'Arco, after seeing the name Ralph Desimone "He is a rat.". A sitdown was arranged between the two family's. The Genovese family acting boss Liborio Bellomo, acting underboss Michael Generoso and consigliere James Ida attended the meeting to discuss "Ralph Desimone" with Lucchese family acting boss Alphonse D'Arco and Baratta as acting underboss. The Genovese leaders asked Baratta about Desimone he said "Desimone had been a government witness", the Genovese leaders leave saying "will take care of it". On June 13, 1991 Desimone's dead body was found in a truck of a car at LaGuardia Airport.
On July 29, 1991, the FBI captured boss Vic Amuso in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In early September 1991, Amuso demoted D'Arco and created a "Ruling panel" to run the family, Baratta became a member along with Salvatore "Sal" Avellino, Frank Lastorino and Alpnonse D'Arco. On September 18, 1991, Baratta along with capo Frank Lastorino and soldier Mike DeSantis conspired to kill Alphonse D'Arco in the Kimberly Hotel in Manhattan but failed, D'Arco defected on September 21, 1991 and became a government witness. The ruling panel continued to control the family in October 1991, they inducted (made) Thomas D'Ambrosia, Joseph Tortorello, Jr., Frank Gioia, Jr., Gregory Cappello and Jody Calabrese into the Lucchese family. In June 1992, Baratta was jailed on murder and racketeering charges.
In November 1993, Baratta took a plea deal and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. In January 1995, Baratta was indicted along with Carmine Avellino, Frank Federico and Rocco Vitulli on the August 1989, murders of Robert M. Kubecka and Donald Barstow two executives of a Long Island trash-collection company.
In September 1996, Baratta was imprisoned in the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution. He began working with DeCavalcante crime family associates in trafficking Asian heroin. On September 23, 1997, Baratta along with Albert Puco and twelve others were arrested and charged with conspiracy to sell narcotics. Baratta was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Baratta was released from prison on September 25, 2012.