Anthony Plate (born April 2, 1913-disappeared August, 1979) known as "The Pitbull", "Tony" and "Tony Plates", was a Florida based mobster with the Gambino crime family.
According to his rap sheet, Plate was arrested numerous of times for robbery and in 1937 was sentenced to a 5-10 year prison term. He also had arrests for felonious assault and "frequenting house of ill fame" and "frequenting gaming houses". Plate had a reputation as a violent individual and a vicious killer. In 1969, he was indicted for intimidating an automobile dealer for $40,000 by knocking him to the floor, putting a knee on his chest, spitting in his face and threatening to "bite chunks" from his face. Plate was a resident of Bal Harbor Island, near Miami.
Murder of George Byrum
In 1976, George Byrum, an electrical contractor who worked on Anthony Gaggi's Florida vacation home. Byrum had tipped off thieves who attempted to burgle Gaggi's home without knowing Gaggi was present. Gaggi and his wife Rose, however, were present and they were held at gunpoint while their house was ransacked. When Gaggi discovered the plot, he had Roy DeMeo lure Byrum to a Miami motel room where Gaggi was waiting with Plate. Byrum was shot and killed by DeMeo while Gaggi and Plate hid in the bathroom. They then began to dismember Byrum's body in the bathtub but were interrupted by a construction crew outside the room that was repairing a faulty air conditioning unit. Before they could dismember the body and put it into suitcases for disposal, they fled the motel. The bloody corpse of George Byrum was later found by the motel maid. An informant later told detectives he heard Plate bragging that he had killed a man named "Dick Byrin" in a hotel on the Miami shore. The Bureau assigned agents to track down Plate, but he could not be located. With Plate’s whereabouts unknown and without evidence to connect the crime to anyone else, the case went cold.
Plate worked for powerful Gambino family mobster Aniello Dellacroce as a loanshark and enforcer, he operated primarily in the South Florida area. In the 1970s Plate and Dellacroce were indicted on racketeering charges and for murder. Dellacroce had allegedly ordered Plate to murder a New York loanshark at a meeting in a Manhattan restaurant. Their defense was to portray Neil (as Dellacroce was called) as a sophisticated person who wouldn't harm anyone, but allegedly, Dellacroce felt that since Plate had a terrifying aura about him that it would be easier to get rid of him, so as not to have his own defense compromised and to avoid jail time.
In August, 1979, Anthony Plate disappeared. It was later revealed by Wilfred Johnson, a Gambino family associate who was also an FBI informant, that Angelo Ruggiero and future Gambino family boss John Gotti, had murdered Plate for Ruggiero's uncle Dellacroce in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His body has never been found.