The Bufalino crime family in Northeastern Pennsylvania was once a power in U.S. mafia circles but by the 1980s was on its last legs in terms of strength and influence. Russell Bufalino, the borgata’s longtime boss, was closely aligned with the Genovese crime family out of New York. When Bufalino died of natural causes in February 1994 at the ripe old age of 90, his organization’s glory days of controlling all vice in Scranton, Pittson and Wilks-Barre were in the distant past. Actor Joe Pesci was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Bufalino in the 2019 Netflix film, The Irishman.
The Last Days Of The Bufalino Mob Timeline (1980-1990)
July 1980 – Bufalino crime family enforcer Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran is indicted for labor racketeering and bribery. Sheeran is boss Russell Bufalino’s bodyguard and right-hand man and is president of the Delaware Teamsters.
September 1980 — Bufalino crime family soldier Dominick Sesso dies of natural causes.
December 30, 1980 – Pennsylvania Godfather Russell Bufalino is indicted for the attempted murder of Jack Napoli, who was in the Witness Protection Program after testifying against Bufalino at a 1977 extortion trial and sending him to prison for three years. Bufalino located Napoli in California and reached out to the mob in L.A. to put out a contract, but one of the L.A. mafia figures he was dealing with was wearing a wire for the feds.
June 13, 1981 – Bufalino crime family soldier Angelo Son dies of natural causes.
August 11, 1981 — Bufalino crime thief Joe Maruca survives a botched hit at an Agawam, Massachusetts farm. The Bufalinos farmed the contract out to the Genovese Family’s Springfield (MA) crew.
November 1981 – Bufalino crime family consigliere Eddie (The Conductor) Sciandra is busted for for tax fraud.
November 1981 – Russell Bufalino is found guilty of trying to kill Jack Napoli and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
December 1981 – Frank Sheeran is found guilty of labor racketeering and bribery and sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.
*In the months before he died in 2004, Sheeran admitted to killing Detroit Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, the basis for the 2019 movie The Irishman, starring Joe Pesci as Bufalino, Robert DeNiro as Sheeran and Al Pacino as Hoffa.
May 1982 — Bufalino crime family soldier Joe Genovese dies of natural causes. Genovese was in the Family’s Scranton crew.
August 1982 — Bufalino crime family soldier Angelo Parrino dies of natural causes.
October 1982 – Bufalino crime family underboss Dave Ostico is indicted on conspiracy charges and for obstruction of justice.
December 25, 1982 — Buffalino crime family soldier Salvatore (Sal Vicious) Trivalino retires.
December 27, 1982 – Bufalino crime family hit man Gioacchino (Dandy Jack) Parisi died of natural causes. Parisi was a member of the Murder, Inc. wing of the New York mafia in the 1930s and 40s.
February 11, 1983 – Bufalino crime family capo Phil Medico dies of natural causes. Medico and is brother Billy owned Medico Industries, a defense contractor that made ammunition for the U.S. Military. Phil Medico’s office at Medico Industries was a frequent hangout for crime family leaders Russell Bufalino and Dave Osticco.
March 1983 – Bufalino crime family associate Ellis Klepfer is indicted for aiding and abetting racketeering.
July 29, 1983 – Bufalino crime family capo Louis (Las Vegas Lou) Marconi dies of natural causes. Marconi oversaw Bufalino interests in Binghamton, New York and ran Las Vegas casino travel junkets. Hewas heavily involved in the garment industry game.
August 1983 — Bufalino crime family soldier Sam Insalaco dies of natural causes.
September 1983 — Bufalino crime family soldier Tommy Sesso died of natural causes. Sesso ran the Scranton numbers lottery.
October 1983 — Bufalino crime family soldier Mike (Hoppy) Carsia dies of natural causes. Carsia helped run the rackets in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
November 1983 — Bufalino crime family soldier Lou Cordi dies of natural causes.
December 1983 – Dave Osticco is sentenced to 8 years in prison in his conspiracy and obstruction case.
March 17, 1984 – Bufalino crime family capo Aldo Magnelli dies of natural causes. Magnelli ran the rackets in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was executive director of the state’s Turnpike Commission.
July 5, 1984 – Shelved Bufalino crime family boss Steve La Torre dies of natural causes. La Torre and his brothers had brought the Italian mafia to Northeastern Pennsylvania from Montedoro, Sicily at the turn of the 20th Century.
September 1984 – Ellis Klepfer pleads guilty and is sentenced to 2 years in prison.
December 1984 – Bufalino crime family solider Charles (Charlie Lips) Fratello is arrested in Florida and charged with murder. Fratello had been sent down to Florida to be the Bufalino’s muscle in the Sunshine State and wound up killing a man at a bar he managed.
August 1985 – Charlie Fratello is found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
June 1986 — Bufalino crime family soldier Frank Vultaggio dies of natural causes. Vultaggio was in the Endicott, New York branch of the Bufalino clan.
March 4, 1987 – Bufalino crime family soldier Casper (Cappy) Guimento dies of natural causes. Guimento was Russell Bufalino’s driver.
April 29, 1987 – Bufalino crime family capo Angelo Sciandra dies of natural causes.
May 1987 – Bufalino crime family capo Anthony (Guv) Guarnieri is indicted by the feds for drugs, weapons and counterfeiting. Guarnieri ran the Bufalino’s Endicott, New York and Florida rackets.
August 11, 1988 – Dave Osticco is released from prison.
May 5, 1989 – Russell Buffalino is released from prison.
October 1989 – “Guv” Guarnieri and Bufalino button man Anthony Mosco are indicted together for labor racketeering.
April 20, 1990 – Shelved Bufalino crime family capo Dominic (Nick Rags) Alaimo dies of natural causes. Alaimo ran the Bufalino’s garment industry rackets before a falling out with Russell Bufalino got him demoted to soldier and eventually placed on the “pay-no-mind” list.
June 15, 1990 – David Ostico dies of natural causes.
August 12, 1990 – “Guv” Guarnieri dies of natural causes at 80, two weeks after being smacked with a 30-year prison sentence for the labor racketeering pinch he took the year before.