Theodore's World: More Than 120 Busted in Northeast Mafia Crackdown

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January 20, 2011

More Than 120 Busted in Northeast Mafia Crackdown

More than 120 busted in Northeast mafia crackdown

More than 120 organized crime associates face charges including murder, extortion and narcotics trafficking in one of the largest Mafia crackdowns in FBI history, prosecutors announced Thursday.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference Thursday in New York City that the 127 defendants include high-ranking members of the Gambino and Colombo crime families and the reputed former boss of organized crime in New England. All five of New York's five major crime families were targeted.

The charges cover decades worth of offenses, he said, including "classic mob hits to eliminate perceived rivals," a killing during a botched robbery and a double shooting in a barroom dispute over a spilled drink.

More than 100 of the defendants were arrested Thursday as some 800 federal agents and police officers made busts in several states. One person was arrested in Italy.

Other charges include alleged corruption among dockworkers who were forced to kick back a portion of their holiday bonuses to the crime families.

Holder called the arrests "an important step forward in our nation's fight against organized crime."

The crimes include two murders dating back 30 years, and another as recently as 2002. One of the defendants, among the scores arrested, is a former New York City police officer.

Authorities say the investigation was aided by informants who recorded thousands of conversations by suspected mobsters.

Luigi Manocchio, the reputed former head of New England's Patriarca crime family, was arrested Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the U.S. attorney's office in Providence said. An indictment accused him of collecting protection payments from strip club-owners. Also arrested was Thomas Iafrate, who worked as a bookkeeper for strip clubs and set aside money for Manocchio, prosecutors said.

The takedown was the result of multiple investigations. Federal probes aided by mob turncoats have decimated the families' ranks in recent years and have resulted in lengthy prison terms for several leaders.

On Friday, a federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced John "Sonny" Franzese, 93, to eight years in prison for extorting Manhattan strip clubs and a pizzeria on Long Island.

In October, Mafia turncoat Salvatore Vitale was sentenced to time served after federal prosecutors praised his total betrayal of his own crime syndicate — and after he apologized to the families of his victims. Authorities said he had a hand in at least 11 murders, including that of a fellow gangster in the fallout from the infamous Donnie Brasco case.

The evidence provided after his arrest in 2003 helped decimate the once-fearsome Bonanno organized crime family, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres said.

Wild Thing's comment........

hmmmm Mafia takedown, but I guess they did not go after any in Chicago. In Chicago they call them Rahm Emanuel’s campaign staff.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 20, 2011 03:30 PM


Campaign Staff, good one. Is the mob really as big as it once was or was this a case of mis direction for the public.

Posted by: Mark at January 20, 2011 04:33 PM

My first thought also WT. Why no Chicago gangsters? It could be that this mass arrest opens up the North East territory for Chicago gangs to exploit. And these law enforcement people can't find Barry's birth certificate??

Posted by: TomR,armed in Texas at January 20, 2011 05:39 PM

Mark, thanks, not sure if it as big as it used to be.It seemsm to have changed more to being like the street gangs then the organization that it was long ago.

Tom, yes they can do this but not go after obama's certificate.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2011 12:15 AM

The state will always enforce the laws easiest to enforce. Asian, Russian and Latino mobs are worse and more vicious than the decrepit Boot familiy mobs. This means very litte.

Posted by: Rhod at January 21, 2011 05:59 AM

...and there's nothing more of a danger to society than the crime of extorting money from strip clubs. The horror! Eric Holder is Eliot Ness reincarnated.

Posted by: Rhod at January 21, 2011 06:04 AM

I'm hoping the FBI's next raid on dangerous criminals is @ 1600 Pennsylvania where the nastiest gangsters in American history continue to do business.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at January 21, 2011 10:21 AM