Alberto and Vito Agueci (born Albert 1923, Vito 1924 - died Albert October 1961, Vito February 2005) were Sicilian mafiosi who were involved in smuggling heroin from Canada into the United States during the 1950s. They became associated with the Buffalo crime family from Buffalo until one of the brothers was brutally murdered in 1961.
The Agueci Brothers immigrated from Sicily to Canada following World War II and, operating from a bakery in Toronto, they also started to work for Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino to control narcotics distribution throughout western New York, the Ohio Valley and Toronto itself. Their heroin contact was the Hamilton boss and Magaddino capo John Papalia. Papalia had connections to the Cotroni Family from Montreal and with the Genovese and Bonanno crime family's of New York. Together with Papalia they ran a branch of the "French Connection", a heroin traffic framework that was controlled by the Corsican mob (near France) which obtained opium base from Turkey and Afghanistan and converted it into heroin in clandestine laboratories in France and Corsica. The Unione Corse had many Italian/Sicilian born members and they mainly did business with the Sicilian Mafia. Some of their partners were Lucky Luciano, Giuseppe Settacase, Luciano Leggio & Angelo La Barbera.
Death of Albert Agueci
Their early success encouraged the brothers to expand their operations into the United States and, with Magaddino's permission; they would begin directly selling heroin in the Buffalo area. Both were eventually arrested in New York on July 20, 1961. Magaddino refused to provide bail money for the brothers. Albert's wife was later able to raise enough money to bail them out. Following his release, Albert Agueci reputedly began plotting to murder Magaddino but was killed himself instead. His body was found horribly mutilated in a field outside Rochester, New York on November 3, 1961. Among his injuries included a broken jaw, his teeth kicked out, genitals removed, hands bound with barbed wire, and severe skull fractures. His eyes had been burned out with a blowtorch and over 30 pounds of flesh had been sliced off his body. He was finally strangled with a clothesline and burned to death. The torture was spread out over several days.
Vito Agueci and later years
Vito Agueci was eventually convicted of narcotics violations and was taken to the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, where he became a fellow inmate of the elder Genovese Boss Vito Genovese and soldier Joe Valachi, with whom he and his brother Albert had worked before in the heroin trade. Vito had a vendetta against Joe Valachi concerning his brother Albert who Vito felt was betrayed by Valachi. It is not certain if Agueci had contact with both Genovese or Valachi inside the prison walls but some reports do say Agueci plotted with Genovese to murder Valachi, telling him that Valachi was thinking about becoming a rat to save himself. Valachi also heard these rumors and began to fear he would be killed in jail. The paranoid Valachi eventually killed an innocent inmate believing he was an assasin sent by Genovese. Because of the murder he had committed inside the prison and the constant threat of his boss he had no other choice. Valachi became a government witness in 1962 to save his own life and escape prosecution. Genovese died in 1969 and Valachi in 1971.
After his release from prison, Vito was considered a soldier in the Buffalo family's Canadian faction and later allegedly turned informer motivated in most part by his brother Albert's murder.
Vito Agueci died many years later on February 13, 2005, at the age of 81.