Bonanno crime family

The Bonanno crime family (pronounced [boˈnanno]) is an Italian-American Mafia crime family and one of the "Five Families" that dominate organized crime activities in New York City, and in the United States, as part of the criminal phenomenon known as the American Mafia.

Bonanno crime family
Mugshot of Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno, who was boss from 1931 to 1968
Founded1890s
FounderSalvatore Maranzano
Named afterJoseph Bonanno
Founding locationNew York City, New York, United States
Years active1890s–present
TerritoryPrimarily New York City, with additional territory in New Jersey, South Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas,[1] Northern California and Montreal, Quebec
EthnicityItalians as "made men" and other ethnicities as associates
Membership (est.)100–110 made members and 500 associates (2017)
ActivitiesRacketeering, loansharking, money laundering, murder, drug trafficking, extortion and illegal gambling[2]
AlliesCotroni crime family
Colombo crime family
Gambino crime family
Genovese crime family
Lucchese crime family
San Jose crime family
Milwaukee crime family
Rizzuto crime family
Castellammarese clan
RivalsVarious gangs in New York City, including their allies

The family was known as the Maranzano crime family until its founder Salvatore Maranzano was murdered in 1931. Joseph Bonanno was awarded most of Maranzano's operations when Charles "Lucky" Luciano oversaw the creation of the Commission to divide up criminal enterprises in New York City among the Five Families. Under the leadership of Bonanno between the 1930s and 1960s, the family was one of the most powerful in the country.

However, in the early 1960s, Bonanno attempted to overthrow several leaders of the Commission, but failed. Bonanno disappeared from 1964 to 1966, triggering an intra-family war colloquially referred to as the "Banana War" that lasted until 1968, when Bonanno retired to Arizona.

Between 1976 and 1981, the family was infiltrated by an FBI agent calling himself Donnie Brasco, becoming the first of the New York families to be kicked off the Commission. The family only recovered in the 1990s under Joseph Massino and, by the dawn of the new millennium, was not only back on the Commission, but also was the most powerful family in New York.

However, in the early 2000s, a rash of convictions culminated in Massino himself becoming a government informant, the first boss of one of the Five Families in New York City to do so. The Bonanno family was seen as the most brutal of the Five Families during the 20th century.[3]


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