March 19, 2001 – Alleged Buffalo mob associate Anthony Gerace was smacked with a five-year federal prison sentence this week for a drug, weapons and money laundering conviction. The 41-year old Gerace is a nephew of reputed Buffalo mob boss Joseph (Big Joe) Todaro, Jr. He pleaded guilty last month. Based on multiple sources in Western New York law enforcement, Todaro, Jr. is the focus of a triple-pronged assault from three separate government agencies aiming at dismantling what they claim is a decades-long mafia dynasty.
Cheektowaga strip club owner Pete Gerace, Jr., Anthony Gerace’s older brother, was indicted by the feds in the winter for bribery and narcotics and sex trafficking conspiracies. The 53-year old Gerace, Jr. has pleaded not guilty in the case. He owns Pharaoh’s Gentlemen’s Club. The Gerace brothers’ father, Peter Gerace, Sr., is married to Big Joe Todaro’s sister.
Anthony Gerace was collared in May 2019 after agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided his suburban Buffalo home and discovered duffel bags filled with marijuana, 14 guns and $103,000 in cash. Authorities believe Gerace operated a cocaine, weed and pill business from 2006 until his arrest in this case.
The FBI in Buffalo considers 74-year old Big Joe Todaro, Jr. the boss of the Magaddino crime family. Big Joe succeeded his father, the legendary Joseph (Lead Pipe Joe) Todaro, Sr., who died of natural causes in 2012. The feds trace the Todaro reign in the Buffalo mafia back to the 1980s. Buffalo Police Department records speculate Big Joe became Lead Pipe Joe’s underboss in 1985 and his acting boss in the 1990s.
The Todaros pioneered the marketing of Buffalo wings with their enormously successful La Nova pizza and wing empire. Big Joe Todaro, Jr. was forced to resign from his leadership post in the LIUNA (Local 210) when his underworld ties came under scrutiny 30 years ago. Big Joe Todaro, Jr. calls any assertions that he is a mob boss of any sort, “nonsense.”