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Joseph "Big Joe" Lonardo (Born: 1884 in Sicily - Death: 1927 in Cleveland) was the first ever Crime boss in the Cleveland crime family[1] Lonardo had help by Giuseppe Porello to help his criminal empire in New York. Lonardo sold corn to bootleggers to make corn liquor.[2] In 1926 Lonardo was at the height of his power. That year he travelled back to his native Sicily to visit his mother. During his 6 month absence he lost much of his $5,000 a week profits to the Porrellos who took advantage of his brother John Lonardo's lack of business skills and the assistance of a disgruntled Lonardo employee. When Lonardo came back from his trip he wanted a meeting with the Porello brothers to get his full $5,000 back. On 13 Oct. 1927, Joseph and his younger brother entered a barber shop to play cards with Angelo Porello. As they walked in, two unknown gunmen fired at Joseph and John. Joseph was shot three times in the chest but John was hit in the chest by one of the gunmens gun, John managed to get his gun out by was shot and struck by the gun on the head leaving him to die. Salvatore Todaro was believed to be one of the gunmen and also believed to be sent by the Porello brothers orders. In 1929, Salvatore Todaro was shot and killed by Joseph Lonardo's son.

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