• If you buy the argument that former DEA agent Joseph Bongiovanni is tied to the Buffalo mafia, it might be because of his boyhood relationship with Peter Gerace.

    Gerace is the operator of Pharaoh's, the Cheektowaga strip club raided by federal agents Thursday, and the nephew of Joseph Todaro Jr.

    For years, the FBI maintained the Todaro family – Todaro and his late father, Joseph Todaro Sr. – headed the local mob, but investigators never proved that allegation.

    Federal prosecutors stopped short of tying Bongiovanni directly to the mob but, in his Nov. 5 indictment, made several references to "Italian organized crime."

    When federal agents followed up by raiding Pharaoh's, two sources said the raid indicates prosecutors suspect there may be a link to the mob.


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