||Buffalo| Antonio Magaddino
Birth: June 18, 1897 - Castellammare Del Golfo, Sicily
Death: April 13, 1971 - Niagara Falls
Antonio Magaddino was a capo in the Magaddino Family and was the brother of Stefano Magaddino, the family boss. Antonio and his brother were also related to several bigshots including Vito Bonventre, Joseph Bonanno and Joseph Barbara.
Castellammare Del Golfo
Antonio was born on July 18, 1897, in Castellammare Del Golfo, a coastal town in the provence of Trapani. His father, Giovanni Magaddino, and his brothers were respected leaders in the region. He was born during a long going feud between the Magaddino-Bonanno alliance against a rival family called the Buccelato's and their clans. The war came to an end when leaders Salvatore Bonanno and Felice Buccelato made peace in 1905. In the years to follow members of the Bonanno's and Magaddino's would make the journey accross the ocean towards America. Antonio and his brothers remained in Castellammare Del Golfo and were teached by their father and uncles. However, sometime later the Magaddino's headed back to war with the Buccelato's which forced Salvatore Bonanno, his wife and child Giuseppe, to return to their native country to restore the peace. Bonanno however died in 1915 at the age of 39. During this period of bloodshed the young Antonio and his brothers were trained in defending themselves and committing crimes. He was arrested several times from 1916 on. His convictions and police records go from burglary to rape and murder. In 1916 Antonio's elder brother was murdered in order of the Buccelato side which became a katalyst for he and his brother Stefano to leave Sicily and head for America.
Both brothers arrived somewhere in 1919 at the docks of New York. They went to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where a great number of friends, family and associates lived closely together. They were taken under the wing of their uncle, Vito Bonventre, who had become one of the main figures amongst the Castellammarese. Bonventre offered his cousins a job in his bakery but also welcomed them into his crew, consisting out of vicious criminals and murderers. Stefano and his close friend Gaspar Milazzo soon rose the ranks within the community. By 1921 Antonio's brother Stefano had reached a leading position while Antonio possibly went back to his native country, because his police records also date from the 1920's in Sicily.
He returned back to America during the time Mussolini was at power in Italy and was hunting down suspected mafiosi. Antonio was immediatly invited to Buffalo, which had become his brothers territory. Here he became a capo within the organization and also worked as an adviser. His younger cousin Gaspare on the other hand frequently lived in both Sicily and America and worked as a hitman. The Magaddino brothers became heavily involved in illegal gambling and bootlegging. They also had breweries on Canadian territory, which didn't fell under the law of prohibition, and from there on smuggled it into the United States. During the Castellammarese war of 1930-1931, the Magaddino's supported their ally Salvatore Maranzano. When Maranzano and the Castellammarese were victorious Maranzano set up a number of meetings in 1931 with all of his associates. During one of these meeting he recognized the leaders of the 5 New York families, proclaimed himself Boss of bosses and thanked his supporters. Stefano, Antonio and Magaddino underboss John Montana were present during this meeting.
The drug trade
In October 1957 Stefano Magaddino sent Antonio and Gaspare to Sicily to attend a meeting which would determine the future of the Mafia. The American delegation present during that meeting were mainly from the Bonanno and Magaddino Family, both organizations who also had about the largest number of associates back in the old country. The main item to discuss was to create a drug trafficking network which would have to run between the two continents. The Magaddino's and Bonanno's could also come in handy because both had branches in respectively Hamilton and Montreal, which could oversee their smuggle operations from Canada into the United States. In the years to come the Mafia would be responsible for having the biggest distribution of Heroin in America and by this would also be responsible for thousands of addicted men and women on the American streets. The other Mafia families in America soon realized they could easily double their former profits by involving themselves in this billion dollar business and all wanted their share. To keep the peace and to give everybody a peace of the action there had to be a new meeting between the heads of the American families.
November 1957, One month after the business meeting in Sicily Antonio and many other high profile Mafia members from all over the US were invited to Apalachin, New York. One by one they arrived at the ranch of Joseph Barbara, a cousin of the Magaddino's. The host of the evening was Vito Genovese, who wanted to be recognized as the official successor of Frank Costello, who most recently had survived a murder attempt in Genovese's order. However, it didn't last long for the police to notice those expensive cars and mysterious businessmen in humble town. It also seemed very suspicious that all of them went to one and the same adres, that of a suspected Mafia don, Joseph Barbara. The police decided to investigate the property which immediatly caused panic amongst the mob bosses. Many of the men standing in the garden fled into the nearby woods or jumped into their cars and drove away. This was no different for Antonio Magaddino, who fled the scene with John Montana.
Montana had all reasons to leave because he was regarded as being a respected businessman who was even recently awarded with the title 'Man of the Year' in Buffalo. Due to this fiasco it was no longer unknown that Montana had ties to organized crime. But most importantly, it was now brought to everyone's attention that there was something like organized crime on a big scale and which operated nation wide. When taken into custody Montana claimed to the FBI that he was driving home with his friend, Antonio Magaddino, when suddenly their Cadillac broke down. As "coincidence" it happened near the house of Barbara, who was having a barbecue with his businessassociates. The men who would always be blamed for this disaster were Antonio's brother Stefano, who chose the meetingplace, and Vito Genovese.
The unstable 60's
During the early 1960's Profaci Family boss Joseph Magliocco had a fallback with fellow New York bosses Carlo Gambino and Thomas Lucchese. They claimed that Magliocco was elevated illegaly as head of the family after it's former head had passed away due to cancer, and wanted to remove him of that position. Also did Magliocco believe that Gambino and Lucchese supported a rival faction within the Profaci family which revolted against him and former leader Joseph Profaci. Therefore Magliocco wanted to dispose Gambino and Lucchese and forged a plot to kill them. He sought help and support from Joseph Bonanno, the only original member left of the Commission. However, the plot was soon revealed and both bosses had to be punished. Magliocco was sentenced to pay up $50.000 and was removed as head of the family, being replaced by Joseph Colombo. Bonanno was also called to appear in front of the commission but refused, claiming that he had nothing to do with the plot. By this he retaliated against the commission and frictions inside the Bonanno family grew. In October 1964 Bonanno was allegedly kidnapped as a result by his cousin Antonio Magaddino and his cousin Peter. During the 6 weeks of Bonanno's disappearance the Bonanno family had gotten into an internal feud between a faction led by Gaspar DiGregorio and one by his son Bill. While being kidnapped it is believed that Bonanno was treated well by his relatives and many crime historians now believe that the kidnapping was probably staged in order of Bonanno's safety. In 1968 Bonanno eventualy moved to Arizona and reportedly never talked again with his Magaddino cousins.
During the mid and late 1960's Antonio was also present during the unstable years within the Magaddino family which led to rivalry between 2 factions. During those years Antonio was also indicted with his cousin Carlo DeLuca. Whether or not he was jailed for any crimes committed during that time is unknown. Antonio passed away on April 13, 1971, at the age of 73. Nowadays tourists can go on a so called 'mob tours' in Buffalo which brings you to all the places where the Magaddino brothers once ruled their empire.
(Source: Allan May, "Bonanno, A godfathers biography" by Joseph Bonanno, niagarafallsreporter.com)
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