Sunday, September 28, 2014

Buffalo Mafia Part II

The man who was made the acting boss of the Buffalo Family, Fred "Lupo" Randaccio came to the United States  as a child.  Randaccio was arrested as a teen for gambling, bootlegging and armed robbery.  The US Government wanted to deport him in the 50’s but they dropped it when they found out he had been in the Army in the 1940’s.  Randaccio had the classic criminal resume for a Mafioso and by the 1960’s he was ready to be boss.

Two capos handled the gambling for the family in the Buffalo area: Daniel Sansanese and Joseph Fino.  The Family had a long history in labor and construction.  They also controlled the Unions via Capo John Cammilleri.  They also had crews in Toronto and Hamilton Canada that answered to the family.

Things ran smoothly with Randaccio as the acting boss and Stefano Maggadino as the recognized boss until the whole Paddy Calabrese incident that I have written about in the blog titled, “The Birth of WITSEC.”  Paddy Calabrese had given up a lot of details of the way Randaccio ran the family.  He told the FBI that Randaccio like to hold court at the Senate Grill with Patty Natarelli.  Patty would take care of rackets in Syracuse, Rochester and the numbers in Buffalo.   Randaccio and Natarelli were sent away to prison and Peter Magaddino was soon upped by his father to the acting boss spot.  This promotion did not sit well with the rest of the family because they felt he did not earn it.

In 1969 the word came down from Stefano that the Capos would be keeping a smaller percentage of their criminal earnings. They were to kick up more cash to Peter and this did not endear him to the Capos.  It all blew up in November when the FBI raided Peter’s home and found $521,000 in cash.  

The Buffalo and Rochester factions were to be under the leadership of Joseph Fino, Underboss Danny Sansanese and Consigliere Sammy Frangiamore. They stopped paying tribute to the Maggianos at this time.  There would be murders and in 1972 the new leaders were sent for by the Commission.  They would make the trip to Manhattan where the Genovese Family basically ran the Commission.  Tommy Eboli, the Boss of the Genovese Family, told the men that they were in the wrong by breaking away from the family and that Stefano was the boss.  Sammy Frangiamore was made acting boss, Peter Magaddino would be a Capo loyal to his father.  This change brought another relative of Sammy to the forefront Joseph “Lead Pipe” Todaro Sr.  Lead Pipe was a huge earner for the Family. He had bookmaking, shylocking, Las Vegas junkets and his pizza business.
Sammy was very sick by the 1980’s.  Lead Pipe was seen as the natural successor but there was some opposition, so again the Commission stepped in and made a decision.  The FBI had the Palma Boys Social Club in East Harlem New York bugged and they would catch Fat Tony Salerno on tape.  Fat Tony said that the Commision decided that Lead Pipe was the Boss.  That was it and Lead Pipe aka Joseph Todaro Sr was the new boss in early 1985.
Lead Pipe upped his son Joseph Todaro Jr to Underboss and Joe Pieri Sr was made consigliere.  He then started making new members to strengthen his reign.  He reached out to factions in Canada, Ohio and elsewhere solidifying his position as boss.

Lead Pipe would hand over the day to day operations of the family to his son Joseph Jr in the Mid 1990’s.  Joseph Jr was already a multi millionaire from his legitimate pizza and buffalo wing business by this time.  He has never been convicted of a crime.  

Today the family has between 35 and 50 active members plus associates.   The family has changed a lot and diversified in the years since Magadino.  The family was huge in the telemarketing business in the 1990’s, they still had the unions but the drugs were taken over by other Sicilian groups.  

For a good inside look at the family check out The Triangle Exit by Ronald Fino and Michael Rizzo. Michael Rizzo also has a number of good books on the subject.

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