Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Massive Lucchese Family Bust Imminent in NYC

AT LEAST six city building inspectors -- some with ties to a powerful crime family -- were videotaped taking bribes at construction sites, and some were seen dealing cocaine and prescription pills while on duty, The Post has learned.

The corrupt Department of Buildings workers -- who lined their pockets by ignoring violations or expediting construction and building work permits -- will be arrested later this month, along with about two dozen Lucchese crime-family captains, soldiers and associates, sources said.

"This is going to be big," a well-placed source said.

Among the other startling revelations:

* Two of the crooked city employees are known by law enforcement as full-blown Lucchese associates.

* The investigation included several landlords who own buildings in Manhattan and The Bronx -- with at least one facing certain arrest, sources say.

* About 50 search warrants were executed in city offices, mob-run social clubs, wire rooms and wiseguys' homes.

The nearly two-year probe grew out of a 2007 New Jersey case involving a Lucchese faction that ran a staggering $2 billion-a-year gambling operation and supplied drugs and cellphones to Bloods gang members in state prisons.

That probe -- which netted 32 wiseguys -- soon spread across the Hudson River into the family's Big Apple hierarchy, prompting surveillance and wiretapping by the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office, the sources said.

The probers, who made hundreds of hours of recordings, quickly found mobsters taking bets and conducting loan-sharking operations worth tens of millions of dollars.

On one of the recordings, their targets discussed a normally forbidden topic -- the names of people selected to become made members of the mob.

The eavesdroppers had hoped to discover where an induction might occur so they could take the unprecedented step of bugging the location and recording the fabled omerta oath of undying allegiance.

Instead, something more sinister emerged -- a thug said he knew a corrupt building inspector who could help with "violations" dogging an undisclosed construction site.

"I know a guy over here who can take care of it," the hood said.

Probers soon began following inspectors on their rounds and eavesdropping on their conversations with building representatives and hoods.

As the weeks passed, they captured crooked city workers taking mere $50 and $100 payoffs to ignore violations that had the potential to halt construction at several sites, most of them in The Bronx.

"They were compromising the city and their jobs for nickels and dimes," said one source familiar with the case.

Probers also watched in amazement as several inspectors brazenly sold the prescription drugs OxyContin and Vicadin -- along with small amounts of cocaine -- while on duty.

Two of the inspectors are now said to be cooperating in the investigation, the sources said.

This will be the latest scandal to rock the city's Department of Buildings, which is still reeling from its failures at the doomed Deutsche Bank tower that contributed to the deaths of two city firefighters in August 2007.



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