Nino Magaddino

Antonino "Nino" Magaddino (born June 18, 1897 - died April 13, 1971) was a capo in the Buffalo crime family and the brother of family boss Stefano Magaddino. Antonio and his brother were also related to several bigshots including Vito Bonventre, Joe Bonanno and Joseph Barbara.


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 across the ocean to America. Antonio and his brothers remained in Castellammare Del Golfo and were taught 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 catalyst 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 to America during the time Mussolini was in power in Italy and was hunting down suspected mafiosi. Antonio was immediately 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 Magaddino 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 fall under the law of prohibition, and from there smuggled alcohol into the US. 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 underboss John C. 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.

In November of 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 to the ranch of Joseph Barbara. 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. Police decided to investigate the property which immediately 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.

The men who would always be blamed for this disaster were Antonio's brother Stefano, who chose the meeting place, and Vito Genovese.

During the mid and late 1960's Antonio was present during the unstable years within the Magaddino family which led to rivalry between two 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.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.