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.) 55 soldiers[1]
Criminal activities Extortion, bookmaking, drug trafficking, loan-sharking, 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, The Arm, and now being called The Todaro Crime Family is 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 Sr. became the boss. Todaro united the family and retired in 2006, leaving many in law-enforcement to believe Leonard Falzone as boss.[2] Others believe he was only acting as the "front boss" for the Todaro's[3] and that Joseph Todaro Jr. unofficially became the boss in 2006 leaving his father as the senior statesman for the family.[4]

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 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.[5]

However as late as September 2012, Ron Fino, who became a government informant for the government and LIUNA case against the Buffalo Crime Family's role in LIUNA local 210, states that the Federal Trusteeship and clean up of local 210 did not go far enough and is very skeptical that all the mob influences in Local 210 were removed.[6][7]

Moreover, in November 2017 the US Justice Department and Canadian newspapers indicate the family may still be active. These publications state several members of the Buffalo crime family (or what they and the feds are now calling "The Todaro Crime Family") were arrested on narcotics trafficking charges. These charges indicate a continuation of the long established mafia drug trafficking rectangle from Toronto/Hamilton to Buffalo and Montreal to NYC established by Stefano Magaddino and his cousin Joseph Bonanno.[8][9][10] The Justice Department’s Eastern New York District in a press release dated Thursday November 9, 2017 writes:

In a coordinated operation, Canadian law enforcement authorities today arrested nine organized crime members and associates in Canada, including members of the Todaro organized crime family, who are charged with, among other crimes, narcotics trafficking.[11]

The arrests were part of a joint Canadian Royal Mounted Police and US FBI undercover operation code named "Otremens."[12] About the operation mob expert Adrien Humphries in The Canadian National Post writes:

The four-year investigation also shows the traditional cross-border rectangle of Mafia organizations from 60 years ago remains intact: Hamilton-Buffalo-Montreal-New York...
...Among those arrested in Canada are members of the Todaro organized crime family, based in Buffalo, according to U.S. authorities. The Todaro crime group was built by the now-deceased Joseph Todaro Sr., who took over the Buffalo Mafia once led by the influential boss Stefano (The Undertaker) Magaddino.[13]

In January 2017, Anthony Lupiania Todaro or Robert Bobby Panaro were suggested to be the Family Boss or/or Underboss.[14] But as of November 2017 Cosa Nostra News, after recent Todaro Family arrests in Canada, suggests the alleged leadership of the Buffalo Crime family is as follows:



Frank "Butchie" Bifulco


Giuseppe "Joe" Violi


Victor Sansanese


  • Frank Falzone
6 Soldiers, took over Bifulco crew.
  • Anthony Todaro
8 Soldiers, took over when his brother Joe Todaro Jr. retired.
  • Natale Luppino
Hamilton, Canada
Nine soldiers, took over crew when Violi was moved up to Underboss, who in turn had taken over when Vincent Luppino passed away in 2009.
  • Bruno Monaco
Toronto, Canada
Five soldiers, took over when Dante Gasbarrini passed away. Gasbarrini became Capo when Paul Volpe was killed, and to get away from Giacomo Luppino and John Papalia of Hamilton.
  • Russell Carcone
Six soldiers
  • Loren Piccarreto/Anthony Chirico
Five soldiers.
When Thomas Marotta came back in the 1990's, he decided to join the Bonanno family and took half of the independent family with him to the Bonanno family. After what happened up in Hamiliton with John Papalia, Rene Piccarreto decided to be friendlier with Buffalo. When Joe "Lead Pipe Joe" Todaro retired in 2006, Angelo Amico decided to rejoin the Buffalo Family.
  • Robert Panaro
Las Vegas
No soldiers, Panaro is direct with the family administration and other capos.[1]

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.[15][16][17]

  • 1908–1912 – Angelo "Buffalo Bill" Palmeri – stepped down, becoming underboss.[15]
  • 1912–1922 – Giuseppe "Don Pietro" DiCarlo Sr.[15][18]
  • 1922–1974 – Stefano "The Undertaker" Magaddino – died of natural causes on July 19, 1974, at the age of 82.[15][18]
    • 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.[15]
    • Acting 1972–1974 – Samuel Frangiamore – leader of the Pieri-Frangiamore faction.[15]
  • 1974–1985 – Samuel "Sam the Farmer" Frangiamore – appointed by the Commission, retired in 1985 and died in 1999.[18]
  • 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.[15][18]
  • After 2006 – Joseph Todaro, Jr. Became the boss when his father retired-according to FBI operative and former Buffalo LCN Associate/informant Ron Fino.[4] It has been alleged by the FBI that Leonard Falzone took over as the acting boss when Joe Todaro, Senior retired in 2006.[19] 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.[20]


  1. ^ a b Scarpo, Ed. "Is Buffalo Cosa Nostra Family the Mafia's Dark Horse?". Cosa Nostra News. Cosa Nostra News. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Who will lead now that Todaro, Nicoletti gone?". niagarafallsreporter.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  3. ^ 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 ed.). 22 Isserles, 67014 Tel– Aviv, Israel: Contento De Semrik. p. Kindle Location 5102. ISBN 978-965-550-193-3. 
  4. ^ 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 ed.). 22 Isserles, 67014 Tel– Aviv, Israel: Contento De Semrik. p. Kindle Location 5226. ISBN 978-965-550-193-3. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Don, Dapper. "Buffalo Labor Leaders Details Life as an FBI Informant". Five Families of NYC. Retrieved 16 November 2017. 
  7. ^ Herbeck, Dan (September 30, 2012). "Life after Local 210 for the FBI's inside guy" (Online). Buffalo News. Buffalo News. Retrieved 16 November 2017. 
  8. ^ Edwards, Peter (Nov 10, 2017). "Accused Violi brothers in trafficking bust come from colourful family" (Online Article). Toronto Star. Toronto Star. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  9. ^ Scarpo, Ed. "Bonanno's Plan Kept the Peace in Canada's Mafia". Cosa Nostra News. Cosa Nostra News. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  10. ^ Scarpo, Ed (May 3, 2017). "Does Musitano Hit Have Decades-Old Links to Rizzuto Alliance". Cosa Nostra News. 
  11. ^ "Members and Associates of Gambino and Bonanno Organized Crime Families Arrested in Coordinated U.S.-Canadian Takedown". United States Department of Justice. US Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  12. ^ "9 'well-known' organized crime figures arrested in GTA and Ontario, police say Cross-jurisdictional investigation ran parallel to FBI investigation into New York City's Cosa Nostra". CBC NEWS TORONTO. CBC NEWS TORONTO. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  13. ^ Adrian, Humphries. "'Congratulations': Undercover agent inducted into Mafia in secret ceremony captured on video by police". National Post (Canada). National Post. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  14. ^ http://aboutthemafia.com/2017-mafia-family-leaders
  15. ^ a b c d e f g The American Mafia - Buffalo Crime Bosses onewal.com
  16. ^ Americanmafia.com - The 26 Mafia Cities:Buffalo, New York Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/family_epics/bonanno/1.html
  18. ^ a b c d Albert S. Kurek The Troopers Are Coming II: New York State Troopers 1943–1985. (pg. 177-181)
  19. ^ Hudson, Mike. "Who Will Lead Now that Todaro, Nicoletti Gone?". Niagara Falls Reporter. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  20. ^ "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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