The Mob got hit today as FBI and Italian law enforcement agents made dozens of arrests following an investigation into a trans-Atlantic drug smuggling operation.
The operation code-named "Old Bridge" targeted Mafia leaders who were strengthening ties between the American mob and the Sicilian mob.
Officials say the arrests effectively decapitate the Gambino crime family. A federal grand jury in New York returned indictments against 80 reputed mobsters and reputed Mob associates, including 50 reputed Gambino wiseguys. Charges filed against the mobsters and Mob associates include murder, drug trafficking, robberies, extortion, and other crimes.
The indictments cover crimes, including murders, dating back three decades. People named in the indictments include John Gotti's brother Vincent and his nephew Richard. Another Gotti associate and Gambino soldier, Charles Caneglia, is facing five murder charges: the murder of an armored car driver during a robbery, the killing of a court officer in 1976, and three hits on fellow mobsters.
Others indicted include: Gambino acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, underboss Domenico
"Italian Dom" Cefalu, consigliere Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo, and capo Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo.
Twenty-three people were charged in Palermo, Sicily, by Italian authorities.
"For those whose image of organized crime is that of 'The Godfather,' or more recently of course, 'The Sopranos,' today's indictment serves as a startling reminder that organized crime is not fiction," said John S. Pistole, FBI deputy director. "In fact, it is real, it is alive, and it is a pervasive threat to the citizens of New York City and New York State."
Many of the indictments stem from allegations of extortion in construction projects in New York City and surrounding areas.
"This investigation exposed the alleged grip that the Gambino organized crime family has had over one of the largest construction markets in the United States, from small private projects to large-scale public works contracts," Gordon S. Heddell, inspector general of the United States Labor Department, told the New York Times. "This involved the trucks that move construction material and debris throughout the entire New York City region-the cement that is poured to build house foundations out in Staten Island, the general contractors who are responsible for building condominiums over in New Jersey, and even a proposed Nascar raceway."