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

Monday, March 7, 2011

FBI cuts Mafia Investigators

The FBI says it is "Mission Accomplished." But the feds may be going down the same dangerous path that led to the post-9/11 renaissance of New York's Mafia.
The New York FBI division, riding a wave of goodwill and big headlines after the largest roundup of wiseguys in American history six weeks ago, has quietly shaken up its Organized Crime Branch.
The move dramatically cut the number of agents assigned to investigate the Five Families at the core of La Cosa Nostra.
"We're shifting some bodies around," said FBI spokesman Jim Margolin. "There have been inroads made, measurable progress in reducing the effectiveness of [the] families. For now, there is a feeling that some resources should be shifted."
John Hartmann
John Hartmann
Soon after the Jan. 20 arrests of 127 alleged mobsters and associates, the G-man overseeing the FBI's Organized Crime branch in New York was moved and the bureau ended its tradition of operating a squad for each of the Five Families. Now, the feds have three Mafia squads in total, with the rest of those agents assigned to investigate so-called "emerging" organized-crime elements, like Albanian thugs.
"We're not folding up the program," Margolin insisted. "We're constantly in the process of allocating resources where the perceived need is the greatest." Sources inside the FBI and other federal agencies told The Post they fear the shakeup will let the families regroup.
They said fewer agents translates into fewer cases that can build on the January takedown that lopped off the top leadership of the Colombo family and may have crippled the Gambinos.
Some Mafia watchers pointed out that the last two times the New York FBI scaled back the mob beat -- in the late 1980s and then after 9/11 -- the families regrouped.
"New York's five Mafia families have taken advantage of every FBI cutback," said Mafia chronicler Selwyn Raab.
After the 2001 terror attacks, more than 75 percent of the bureau's Mafia agents were reassigned to counterterror and national-security cases.
"9/11 was a godsend to the mob, providing all families with a reprieve when they were on the ropes," Raab said.


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