Over the next several weeks, Button Guys will be presenting a series of hierarchy charts that recreates The Capitol District’s many underworld entities over the years, starting from the 1920s and 1930s period.
The most dominant “traditional” Italian Cosa Nostra Families that operated within its territory and seemed to exert a “spilt control” of sorts among themselves were the Magaddino, Barbara, and Genovese clans. But over the years, other Mafia networks such as the Bonanno and Colombo Families also nipped at the region’s coattails.
Some of these Mafia clans were represented by a single “soldier” or “associate” who happened to live and operate in that area. Other times, entire small groups or “crews” of hoodlums and gamblers flew the flag of whatever Mafia Family they happened to be affiliated with.
But there were many other hoodlums and gamblers that seemed to operate independently of any central authority or mob affiliations. As mentioned above , the area’s organized underworld was a patchwork of varied racketeers devoid of any one central command.
The second underworld gang we examine is that of Antonio (Tony) Bernardi who was the undisputed rackets boss in the City of Schenectady, New York for over three decades. Button Guys has created a hierarchy chart naming seventy of Bernardi’s most prominent crew members and closest criminal associates.
The Tony Bernardi Gang
During his time in the underworld, Antonio Bernardi was widely regarded among the Schenectady Police Department and local racketeers alike as its reigning underworld “kingpin. He was said to have controlled most gambling rackets and other organized criminal activities in that upstate city from the 1920s, until his death from natural causes in July, 1950.
Under Tony Bernardi’s guiding hand Schenectady’s fledgling underworld first expanded into alcohol bootlegging, and, later, into a major gambling network that controlled a city-wide horse and sports bookmaking operation, a major policy-numbers racket, as well as backroom casinos offering floating dice and card games and slot machines.
Continue reading for more in this brief history of the Tony Bernardi Gang and view the full Tony Bernardi Gang Leadership Chart.
An Overview of Upstate New York’s “Capitol Region’s” Underworld
Despite the fact that no one particular Mafia Family or underworld network ever controlled the City of Albany and Upstate New York’s “Capitol Region” and adjoining territories, over the years, a variety of semi-independent racketeers and official Mafia members alike all operated within the region.
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