Leonard Falzone the alleged boss of the Buffalo mafia also known as the Magaddino crime family passed away from natural causes.
The 81-year-old reputed mobster has been the leader of the fading Cosa Nostra family for approx a decade according to the feds. Falzone took the reigns of the beleaguered crime family back in 2006 when former boss Joseph Todaro Jr. retired and went into legit business. He had a long history in the mafia according to reports dating back all the way to the 1970s serving as consigliere for the Buffalo mob before becoming boss. The once powerful Western New York mafia family has dwindled down to merely a few remaining members of the old guard that once ruled.
Falzone was a powerful force in the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) the local labor union for years according to reports. He was a outgoing and well-liked businessman from all accounts but the two-time felon was also feared on the streets. His latest prison stint ended with his release in 1999 after doing a five-year stretch on federal racketeering and loan sharking charges. At the time of his death he was a suspect in multiple murder conspiracies according to federal records. The FBI claim that informants have linked Falzone to the 1980 mafia hit on a young wiseguy named William Sciolino who was believed to supplying the feds with information on wrongdoings of the mobbed up Local 210 union. He was also captured by authorities in late 1989 via a bug in his car discussing a recent mob murder with former mafia captain John “Fat Johnny” Sacco.
According to some reports Falzone had semi-retired in mid 2000s and picked 72 year old Robert “Bobby” Panaro to be the families acting boss. The recent status of the Buffalo crime family is a matter of debate as some believe the family remains viable and has even moved in a new younger direction. But most including many in law enforcement believe the Buffalo mafia is all but dead and that there is nothing left worth organizing. The old guard which includes Russ Carcone, Victor Sansanese, Frank BiFulco, and Panaro seem to be all that’s remains with little indication that they are still active in the local underworld. Perhaps some rackets remain intact but one thing is for sure the mafia in Buffalo is no longer and will never again be the powerful family it once was.