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Buffalo crime family

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Buffalo crime family
Stefano Magaddino.jpg
Named after Stefano Magaddino
Founded by Angelo Palmeri
Founding location Buffalo, New York, United States
Years active c. 1910–present
Territory Buffalo, throughout the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area, Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, the Canadian province of Ontario, Northwest Pennsylvania and Las Vegas
Ethnicity Italian, Italian-American, Sicilian people, Sicilian American made men and other ethnicities as "associates"
Membership (est.) 20+ made men, 100+ associates
Criminal activities Extortion, bookmaking, drug trafficking, loan-sharking, prostitution, gambling, racketeering, labor racketeering, conspiracy and murder
Allies Five Families, Papalia crime family, Luppino crime family, Chicago
Rivals various gangs in the Buffalo area

The Buffalo crime family also known as the Magaddino crime family and The Arm, was an Italian American Mafia crime family based in Buffalo, New York, United States. The family operated throughout Western New York, Ontario, Canada and Erie, Pennsylvania.

The Buffalo crime family gained power during the Prohibition era through bootlegging. In 1931, family boss Stefano Magaddino became an original member of The Commission, and his family remained relatively peaceful until the 1960s when his leadership was challenged. The family broke into separate factions as they tried to assassinate Magaddino who died of natural causes on July 19, 1974. Following Magaddino's death the family continued its war until the early 1980s when Joseph Todaro became the boss. Todaro united the family and retired in 2006, leaving many in law-enforcement to believe Leonard Falzone as the current boss.[1] Others believe he was only acting as the "front boss" for the Todaro's[2] and that Joe Todaro, Jr. unofficially became the boss in 2006 leaving his father as the senior statesman for the family.[3]

The Buffalo crime family's main front operation was Laborers' International Union of North America Local 210. Because of New York State's generous labor protections, Local 210 could exert major influence on construction projects in its territory. Over the course of the later part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st, the Buffalo crime family declined in influence. Factors included older members slowly turning away from the organization, younger Italian-Americans showing no interest in its operations, an 11-year federal operation that forced the family out of Local 210 between 1995 and 2006, introduction of the New York Lottery depriving the family of a major revenue source (illegal gambling revenue), and the rise of Joe Todaro, Jr.'s legitimate pizzeria business. In January 2017 in article on the website it is considered that Anthony Lupiania Todaro or Robert Bobby Panaro is considered to take over as Family Boss or Underboss. In a March 2017 feature article The Buffalo News reported "The Mafia is all but dead in Western New York," noting that a few widely scattered remnants that are no longer believed to be active or organized remain.[4]

Buffalo's early Italian Americans

Buffalo, New York, is located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, at the southern head of the Niagara River, directly across from the Canadian border town of Fort Erie, Ontario. Buffalo saw a huge influx of Italian immigrants from the 1890s through the 1920s, as the area provided abundant jobs for immigrants willing to do manual labor. The local mills and factories flourished as they made use of the hydro-electric power gained from nearby Niagara Falls. The opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1957 provided additional employment opportunities on Buffalo's busy waterfront. Buffalo is the state's second largest city after New York and was one of the first American cities to have electricity.

Like many other cities, such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh, the West Side of Buffalo saw the growth of a "Little Italy" neighborhood in the early 20th century. The East Side neighborhood of Lovejoy also had a small Italian immigrant community. In the 1980s the demographics of the West Side shifted, becoming a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, and now the North Side near Hertel Ave. is home to the largest Italian-American community in Buffalo.[5]

Historical leadership

Boss (official and acting)

The early history of what became the Buffalo family was controlled by two different men: Angelo Palmeri and Joseph DiCarlo. The two groups merged, becoming a crime family.[6][7][8]

  • 1908–1912 – Angelo "Buffalo Bill" Palmeri – stepped down, becoming underboss.[6]
  • 1912–1922 – Giuseppe "Don Pietro" DiCarlo Sr.[6][9]
  • 1922–1974 – Stefano "The Undertaker" Magaddino – died of natural causes on July 19, 1974, at the age of 82.[6][9]
    • Acting 1969–1970 – Salvatore "Sam" Pieri – leader of the Pieri-Frangiamore faction, imprisoned.
    • Acting 1970–1972 – Joseph Fino – leader of the Fino-Sansanese faction, imprisoned.[6]
    • Acting 1972–1974 – Samuel Frangiamore – leader of the Pieri-Frangiamore faction.[6]
  • 1974–1985 – Samuel "Sam the Farmer" Frangiamore – appointed by the Commission, retired in 1985 and died in 1999.[9]
  • 1985–2006 – Joseph "Lead Pipe Joe" Todaro Sr. – became semi-retired in 1995, officially retired in 2006. Died in 2012. Todaro was the last officially recognized boss of the family.[6][9]
  • After 2006 – Joseph Todaro, Jr. Became the boss when his father retired-according to FBI operative and former Buffalo LCN Associate/informant Ron Fino.[3] It has been alleged by the FBI that Leonard Falzone took over as the acting boss when Joe Todaro, Senior retired in 2006.[10] However, Fino states that Falzone was acting as the "Front Boss" for the Todaros.
  • Acting 2017 – Anthony Lupiania Todaro – May be considered to be the current Boss of the family.

Underboss (official and acting)

  • 1908–1912 – Giuseppe "Joseph" DiCarlo Sr. – became boss.
  • 1912–1932 – Angelo "Buffalo Bill" Palmieri -died of natural causes
  • 1932–1936 - Vacant
  • 1936–1964 – Salvatore "Sam" Pieri – arrested and downgraded to consigliere.
  • 1964–1974 – Peter Magaddino – died in 1974.
    • Acting 1964–1967 – Frederico "Fred the Wolf" Randaccio – arrested and ritired in 1967, deceased in 2004.
  • 1974–1985 – Rosario "Roy" Carlisi – deceased in the 1980s.
  • 1985–2006 – Joseph "Big Joe" Todaro Jr. – Todaro Jr. was the last officially recognized underboss of the family. Since 2006, he has concentrated on running the Todaro's pizza chain La Nova.

Former family members


Buffalo faction

  • Frank "Butchie" Bifulco – Butchie is also an arsonist, and was sentenced in 2003 for 10 years in federal prison. He was put in charge of the New York area rackets and labor interests.[11]


  1. ^ "Who will lead now that Todaro, Nicoletti gone?". Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  2. ^ Fino, Ronald; Rizzo, Michael (January 20, 2014). The Triangle Exit:The True Story of a Secret Undercover Operative for the FBI and CIA (Organized Crime) (Kindle Edition ed.). 22 Isserles, 67014 Tel– Aviv, Israel: Contento De Semrik. p. Kindle Location 5102. ISBN 978-965-550-193-3. 
  3. ^ a b Fino, Ronald; Rizzo, Michael (January 20, 2014). The Triangle Exit: The True Story of a Secret Undercover Operative for the FBI and CIA (Organized Crime) (Kindle Edition ed.). 22 Isserles, 67014 Tel– Aviv, Israel: Contento De Semrik. p. Kindle Location 5226. ISBN 978-965-550-193-3. 
  4. ^ Herbeck, Dan (March 19, 2017). "The Mafia is all but dead in Western New York. So what killed it?". The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ Eberle, Scott; Grande, Joseph A. (1987). "Second Looks: A Pictorial History of Buffalo and Erie County. Walsworth Pub Co. p. 93-95. ISBN 978-0898656091. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g The American Mafia - Buffalo Crime Bosses
  7. ^ - The 26 Mafia Cities:Buffalo, New York Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d Albert S. Kurek The Troopers Are Coming II: New York State Troopers 1943–1985. (pg. 177-181)
  10. ^ Hudson, Mike. "Who Will Lead Now that Todaro, Nicoletti Gone?". Niagara Falls Reporter. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Bifulco Sentenced to Stiff Prison Term". High Beam. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 

Other references

  • Dubro, James. Mob Rule: Inside the Canadian Mafia. MacMillen, 1985
  • Sifakis, Carl. The Mafia Encyclopedia, Second Edition. Checkmark Books, 1999
  • DiVita, Louis P. "A Wiser Guy" 2016
  • Capeci, Jerry. The Complete Idiots Guide to the Mafia:The Buffalo Family. Alpha Books, 2002
  • Humphreys, Adrian. The Enforcer: Johnny Pops Papalia, A Life and Death in the Mafia. Harper Collins, 2002
  • Griffen, Joseph. Mob Nemesis: How the F.B.I. Crippled Organized Crime. Prometheus Books, 2002
  • Edwards, Peter. The Northern Connection: Inside Canada's Deadliest Mafia Family. Optimum International, 2006
  • Dubro, James and Robin Rowland, "King of the Mob: Rocco Perri and the women who Ran His Rackets" Penguin 1987
  • Dan Herbeck Justice Dept. Claims Union has been dominated by the mob Buffalo News (New York). January 31, 1996
  • U.S. vs Laborers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO, 212 Page RICO Complaint
  • Statement of Ronald M. Fino to Sub-Committee on Organized Crime - July 24 & 25, 1996.
  • The Cosa Nostra and Labor Rackeering by Ron Fino (1998)

External links

  • Pennsylvania Crime Concession. "Organized Crime in Pennsylvania: Traditional and Non-Traditional". (April 15, 1988). The Nevada Observer.
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