The feds have indicted more than 100 suspected members and associates from all five of New York's Mafia families as well as New Jersey's DeCavalcante family pursuant to 16 indictments in four federal jurisdictions.
The targets range "from small-time book makers and crime-family functionaries to a number of senior mob figures and several corrupt union officials," and the charges are various as reported by William K. Rashbaum for The New York Times:
Several of of the men arrested, the people who had been briefed said, were charged with murders — some dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. Others were charged with selections from a full menu of mob crimes: racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking and gambling, as well as labor-racketeering crimes in two sectors that officials say remain under the mob's sway: the construction industry and the waterfront.
The raids have reached throughout the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area, and among those arrested were several suspected top leaders of the Colombo family -- including reputed street boss Andrew "Mush" Russo, reputed underboss Benjamin Castellazzo, reputed consigliere Richard Fusco and reputed capo Anthony Russo -- and the Gambino family -- including reputed consigliere Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo and reputed capos Bartolemeo Vernace, Alphonse Trucchio and Louis Mastrangelo -- as reported by John Marzulli for the Daily News.
In announcing the sixteen indictments a Department of Justice press release stated:
In Brooklyn, 12 indictments were unsealed today charging 85 defendants from all five New York-based families as well as defendants from the Decavalcante family. One indictment (United States v. Russo) charges 39 defendants, including the entire leadership of the Colombo family not currently in prison – street boss Andrew Russo, acting underboss Benjamin Castellazzo and consigliere Richard Fusco – as well as four of the crime family's official captains and eight of its soldiers, with crimes including racketeering and racketeering conspiracy committed during an approximately 20-year period. Among other acts of violence, Colombo family acting captain Anthony Russo is charged with the 1993 murder of Colombo family underboss Joseph Scopo during an internecine war among family members. According to court documents, Scopo was shot in the passenger seat of a car outside of his residence in Ozone Park, Queens, N.Y. The Russo indictment also charges numerous crimes of extortion and fraud, including charges related to the Colombo crime family's alleged long-standing control of Cement and Concrete Workers Union Local 6A, and its alleged defrauding of the City of New York in regard to an annually held feast, the Figli di Santa Rosalia. The indictment is based in part on hundreds of hours of recorded conversations of members and associates of the Colombo family, including meetings of the Colombo family administration. Download Russo Indictment
Two of the indictments returned in Brooklyn (United States v. Vernace and United States v. Dragonetti) charge 13 members and associates of the Gambino family, including Bartolomeo Vernace, a member of the current Gambino family administration. The Vernace indictment includes, among others, charges against Vernace in regard to the 1981 double murder of Richard Godkin and John D'Agnese inside the Shamrock Bar in the Woodhaven neighborhood of Queens. D'Agnese died from a single gunshot to the face and Godkin died from a point-blank gunshot to his chest. The Dragonetti indictment charges numerous acts of extortion, including a conspiracy by the Gambino family to extort a New York City cement manufacturer, as well as various construction companies and sites outlined on the crime family's so-called "Construction List." Download Vernace Indictment Download Dragonetti Indictment
In nine of the indictments charged in Brooklyn (United States v. Alesi, United States v. Balzano, United States v. Caramanica, United States v. Cicalese, United States v. Colandra, United States v. Gallo, United States v. Gioia, United States v. Messina and United States v. Samperi), members and associates of the Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Decavalcante families are charged variously with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, extortion, perjury, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, receipt of stolen property and possession of contraband cigarettes. For example, in United States v. Messina, Bonanno family associate Neil Messina is charged with the murder of Joseph Pistone during a home invasion robbery in 1992. The Alesi indictment charges, among other things, a former member of the Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Department's Emergency Services Unit with obstructing a state investigation of illegal gambling businesses by tipping off the business to upcoming law enforcement raids. The Cicalese indictment charges three members of the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) with committing perjury during testimony before a federal grand jury investigating organized crime's infiltration of the waterfront and the ILA. Download Alesi Indictment Download Balzano Indictment Download Caramanica Indictment Download Cicalese Indictment Download Colandra Indictment Download Gallo Indictment Download Gioia Indictment Download Messina Indictment Download Samperi Indictment
Another indictment (United States v. Depiro), being prosecuted jointly by the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of New York, charges 15 defendants with various racketeering related crimes, including extortion of members of ILA Local Union 1235 and other New Jersey ILA locals, as well as for acts of illegal gambling through the management of a sports betting operation and a poker club, and extortionate collection of credit related to gambling debts. Certain defendants, who include numerous current and former officials in local ILA unions based in New Jersey, are alleged to be affiliated with the Genovese family. According to court documents, the Gambino and Genovese families have engaged in a multi-decade conspiracy to influence and control the unions and businesses that work on the New York-area piers. According to court documents, Stephen Depiro managed the Genovese family's illegal activities on the New Jersey piers, including the Genovese family's long-standing conspiracy to extort ILA members each year during the Christmas period, when the longshoremen annually receive a portion of royalty payments paid by shipping companies using the ports of New York and New Jersey. Depiro and others allegedly conspired with his cousin, Nunzio LaGrasso, an associate of the Genovese family and the vice-president of ILA Local 1478 in Newark, to extort ILA members each year. Download Depiro Indictment
In Manhattan, 26 defendants, primarily from the Gambino family, have been charged in two indictments that include charges related to racketeering conspiracy, murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion, assault, arson, loansharking, illegal gambling, mail and wire fraud, and stolen property crimes. Among the defendants charged are Joseph Corrozo, 69, who has served at times as the Gambino family consigliere; Bartolomeo Vernace, 61, a member of the Gambino family administration, who is also charged in Brooklyn; Gambino family captains Alphonse Trucchio, 34, and Louis Mastrangelo, 66; and Gambino soldiers Michael Roccaforte, 34, Anthony Moscatiello, 40, and Vincenzo Frogiero, 43. Download Corozzo Indictment Download Cipolla Indictment
According to court documents filed in the Manhattan cases, the criminal conduct allegedly occurred for more than two decades, from the late 1980s to approximately 2010. Gambino associate Todd LaBarca, 39, is charged with the 2001 conspiracy to murder and murder of Gambino family associate Marty Bosshart. According to the indictment, Bosshart was murdered on Jan. 2, 2002, with a single gunshot to the back of his head, and his body was left on the side of the road in Queens. According to court documents, a cooperating witness consensually recorded more than 100 conversations with other members and associates of the Gambino family, including conversations with LaBarca about the murder. In addition, according to court documents, the cocaine and marijuana trafficking involved multiple thousands of kilograms of the illegal drugs.
At an 11:00 AM press conference Attorney General Eric Holder said "today's arrests mark an important, and encouraging, step forward in disrupting La Cosa Nostra's operations":
But our battle against organized crime enterprises is far from over. This is an ongoing effort and it must, and will, remain a top priority. Members and associates of La Cosa Nostra are among the most dangerous criminals in our country. The very oath of allegiance sworn by these mafia members during their initiation ceremony binds them to a life of crime.
As we've seen for decades, criminal mafia operations can negatively impact our economy – not only through a wide array of fraud schemes but also through the illegal imposition of mob "taxes" at our ports, in our construction industries, and on our small businesses. In some cases, La Cosa Nostra members and associates allegedly seek to corrupt legitimate businesses and those who have sworn to uphold the public trust. And many of them are lethal. Time and again, they have shown a willingness to kill – to make money, to eliminate rivals, and to silence witnesses.
Read more: "More Than 100 US Mobsters Arrested In 'Largest Mafia Round-up In History': US Attorney Eric Holder" by Bruce Golding and Mitchel Maddux for the New York Post