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Tony Buccola

Tony Buccola (disappeared May 6, 1930) was an early Los Angeles mafioso and boss of the Matranga Gang, the predecessor of the Los Angeles crime family.

Biography

The Matranga family was the most prominent gang in early Los Angles organized crime scene, and was run by relatives of Charles Matranga, founder of the New Orleans crime family. Their legitimate business was in fruit vending. Otherwise they used threats, violence, arson and extortion to control the Plaza area, which was the heart of the Italian American community of Los Angeles at the time. Its first leader was Sam Matranga who started leading the family in 1905. Sam's relatives Salvatore Matranga, Pietro "Peter" Matranga, and Antonio "Tony" Matranga were other members of the gang. The Matrangas were the dominant force in Los Angeles, until a feud between the Matranga brothers and Joseph Ardizzone and his gang led to the murder of some of the brothers and their eventual downfall.

Around 1918, Tony Buccola assumed leadership of the Matranga gang and was able to get revenge and kill an Ardizzone ally by the name of Mike Marino in 1919, many years of violence ruined the Matranga family. It was becoming clear that Ardizzone's faction was winning the war. With the rise of bootleggers in the 1920s, the Matranga's power declined and was eliminated with Buccola's disappearance in 1930. The Only trace of him was his wrecked car found 2 days later in Venice California; newspaper accounts also claim that Buccola hinted he knew about the November 25,1929 dissapearence of Frank Baumgartker, a wealty businessman who had resisted attempts by "Liquer Barons" to participate in illegal liquer business.

The disappearance of the Matranga gang paved the way for the rise of what became known as the Los Angeles crime family.

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