||Scranton - Pittston| Alberto Bufalino
Birth: September 25, 1903
Death: February 25, 1994
Russell A. Bufalino was head of the Bufalino crime family during the 1960s and 70s as well as controlled criminal activities in upstate New York, Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey for over four decades.
Born Rosario Alberto Bufalino, Bufalino became involved in crime during his teenage years and, by his mid-20s, had an arrest record with charges including petty larceny, receiving stolen goods and conspiracy to obstruct justice along with the Pittston, Pennsylvania crime family’s traditional activities of drug dealing and fencing stolen jewelry. Under Joseph Barbara, Bufalino was eventually named family Underboss and attended the Apalachin Meeting in November 1957. The disastrous outcome of the meeting put Barbara in a bad daylight. Due to his poor health Barbara died 2 years later and was succeeded by Bufalino.
By the 1950s, the McClellan Committee had identified Russ Bufalino as the ringleader of the Pittston, Pennsylvania crime syndicate naming Bufalino "...one of the most ruthless and powerful leaders of the Mafia in the United States." Although primarily based in Pittston, Bufalino sought to expand outside central Pennsylvania in the mid-1970s following the death of Buffalo mobster Stefano Magaddino in 1974. One of the leading labor union racketeers, and one of the influential members of the Teamsters Union, Bufalino was considered a prime suspect by federal authorities in the 1976 disappearance of ex-Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa.
Despite attention from federal authorities, Bufalino managed to avoid serious convictions until 1977, when he was indicted of extortion regarding an incident in which he threatened a witness who owed $25,000 from a diamond fence associated with Buffalino. The witness, who had been under surveillance by authorities during the altercation, was entered into the Witness Protection Program following his testimony. However, Bufalino soon learned of the witness's location and ordered hitman Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno to murder him. Fratianno, a government informant at the time, claimed he was unable to find the witness and Bufalino was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment. Regarding the incident, Bufalino stated to the court "If you had to deal with an animal like that, Judge, you'd have done the same damn thing."
During Bufalino's imprisonment, consigliere Edward Sciandra became the acting boss until Bufalino's death in 1994, with former Bufalino driver and aide William "Billy" D'Elia assuming full control soon after.
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