The feds have busted several suspected members and associates of the Genovese crime family for their alleged roles in the extortion, gambling and labor rackets pursuant to an indictment which will be unsealed later today as reported by NBC 4.
The Genovese family is the ivy league of organized crime, and it remains relatively unscathed after decades of law enforcement targeting New York's five Mafia families.
UPDATE: Among the eleven arrested pursuant to an 18-count indictment are alleged soldiers and union officials Salvester Zarzana and James Bernardone who are charged with extortion on construction sites, and alleged capo Conrad Ianniello who is charged with shaking down vendors at the annual San Gennaro street fair in Little Italy according to a press release by Brooklyn federal prosecutors.
Conrad is "the nephew of Matthew 'Matty the Horse' Ianniello, 92, onetime acting boss of the Genovese family" as reported by Leonard Greene for the New York Post, and Conrad Ianniello has "a history of offenses that includes a conviction on gun possession charges in 1986 and a five-year term of probation for grand larceny in 1972" as reported by Alan Feuer for The New York Times.
Other defendants who have been variously charged in the indictment are Ryan Ellis, Paul Gasparrini, William Panzera and Robert Scalza whom prosecutors identify as associates of the Genovese family, and Robert Fiorello, Rodney Johnson, Felice Masullo and John Squitieri.
The number of charges against several defendants involving labor racketeering suggests that the Genovese family apparently continues to have pervasive influence throughout assorted unions in New York City, and Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Panella from the U.S. Department of Labor stated that "today's arrests reflect our strong commitment to combat the infiltration of unions by organized crime members and associates for their personal enrichment."
Although some may contend the bust is a sign the mob is back perhaps it never went away, and whether the feds want to admit it or not New York City perhaps is the same as it ever was. Indeed, given how the mob allegedly keeps turning up like a bad penny in familiar haunts, maybe the feds should take a look at other venues -- say gay bars, for example -- in which wise guys have had a historic role.
Further reading that may be of interest: