February 17, 1885 |
October 23, 1940 (aged 55) |
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
|Cause||killed by mutlple gunshots to the head|
|Occupation||Criminal figure, mafia boss, drug trafficker, racketeer|
Ignacio Antinori (February 17, 1885 – October 23, 1940)  was a Italy-born Florida mobster who built one of the earlier narcotics trafficking networks in that state. Antinori was regarded as the first boss of the Tampa crime family, later known as the Trafficante crime family.
Criminal career[edit | edit source]
Although much of his early life is unknown, the Sicilian born Antinori, whose family emigrated to the United States when he was eighteeen, was one of the first mobsters to emerge in Florida during the Prohibition era. By the 1930s, Antinori was one of the largest heroin traffickers in the country, with close ties to French-Corsican heroin traffickers and American Mafia bosses. Antinori established a drug pipeline from Marseille, France through Cuba into Tampa, Florida. According to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the drugs were subsequently distributed in the Midwestern United States, primarily through St. Louis mobster Thomas Buffa and Kansas City mobsters Nicolo Impostato, James DeSimone and Joseph Deluca.
Law enforcement soon began to concentrate on Antinori's operation. In addition, mobsters such as Florida mobster Santo Trafficante, Sr. soon set up rival smuggling rings. Antinori was eventually eclipsed by Trafficante, who held his own strong connections to Mangano crime family boss Vincent Mangano and Profaci crime family boss Joseph Profaci in New York.
Turf feud with Charlie Wall[edit | edit source]
During the late 1920s, a turf war began between Tampa-born southern mobster Charlie Wall and Antinori, who fought each other while also jockeying with Santo Trafficante Sr. (who got his criminal start in the Antinori family) for control of the illegal numbers rackets in the Tampa area. The feud between Wall and Antinori came to a violent head between factions of Antinori Gang, dissatified members of Chicago and St.Louis criminal outfits to whom Antinori was suppiying narcotics, and Wall's crew.
Ignacio Antinori was also disliked by the Commission. The narcotics trafficking done by Antinori was from France into Cuba and from there to Tampa, and hence the Commission thought this could attract federal attention.
Antinori's death and aftermath[edit | edit source]
On October 23, 1940, Antinori was sipping coffee at the Palm Garden Inn in Tampa with a friend and a young female companion when suddenly a gunman appeared and fired two shotgun blasts at Antinori, blowing off the back of his head. The gunman was allegedly sent by one of Antinori's dissatisfied customers, the Chicago Outfit. Antinori had sent the Outfit a poor-quality shipment of narcotics. When the Outfit complained, Antinori refused a refund; at that point, the Outfit put a murder contract on Antinori. Some within the organized crime ranks in Tampa suspected that Wall, who had survived a hit attempt on his life possibly made by the Kansas City outfit linked to Antinori earlier that spring, may have been linked to Antinori's murder.
After Antinori's death, all of his rackets and most of his criminal holdings, which included the bolita rackets, were seized by Santo Trafficante, Sr., who was once part of his crime family as an underling, then a capo, and became the new boss of Antinori's crime family. In 1955, Wall would fall victim to assassins at his Tampa home. One or more assassins brutalized the retired mobster, bludgeoning him with a baseball bat and slitting his throat. While the murder was never solved, many, including the police, suspected that Santo Trafficante, Jr. may have been linked to the crime, in retaliation for the death of Antinori.
References[edit | edit source]
- http://www.hillsboroughcountycemeteries.com/la-unione/book1.htm Tampa Italian club - mobster birth and death references
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Sifakis, Carl The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3
- Deiche, Scott M. Cigar City Mafia - A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld, Barricode Books, 3-25-2004, ASIN# 8004449516.
[edit | edit source]
- American Mafia.com The KC/Tampa Drug Connection By Scott M. Deitche