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

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gambinos and Colombos Besieged By Rats

Even Michael Corleone never took out this many members of the Five Families.
Federal agents in New York pulled off the biggest one-day Mafia roundup in US history yesterday, simultaneously bringing the hammer down on more than 120 reputed wiseguys -- a takedown so enormous it required a Brooklyn Army fort to book them all.
The mob-crippling wave of arrests -- for crimes including murder, racketeering, drug-dealing, union extortion, robbery and loan-sharking -- targeted members of every one of the notorious Five Families of New York, as well as New Jersey's DeCavalcante crew and the Patriarca clan that lords over New England.
The 127 defendants, among them top bosses and consiglieres, were charged in 16 separate indictments stemming from investigations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Rhode Island and New Jersey. It was a show of brute force by the Justice Department that was intended to put the Mafia on notice of the government's goal of gutting gangland.
"Today's arrests and charges mark an important step forward in disrupting La Cosa Nostra's illegal activities," said US Attorney General Eric Holder in Brooklyn as nearly all of the arrested mob captains, soldiers, associates and wannabes were booked and fingerprinted in the US Army's Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge.
"This largest single-day operation against La Cosa Nostra sends the message that our fight against traditional organized crime is strong and our commitment is unwavering."
The indictments promised to cripple the already-reeling Colombo crime family, threatened to take out a key Gambino leader with bombshell wiretap evidence and aimed to pry the Genovese clan's vice-like grip on New York's shipping industry.
Another indictment accuses longtime Patriarca boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, 83, of nearly two decades of crimes, including shaking down porno shops and nightclubs in Providence, RI.
Sources familiar with the cases predicted that many of the accused will become cooperating witnesses and further decimate the Gambinos and Colombos.
The Colombo family's entire not-already-imprisoned leadership was arrested -- street boss Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo, acting underboss Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo and consigliere Richard "Ritchie Nerves" Fusco -- along with four family captains and eight soldiers.
One busted capo was Theodore "Skinny" Persico Jr., a former member of the clan's ruling panel and the nephew of imprisoned-for-life family boss Carmine "The Snake" Persico.
An informant used in the case secretly recorded conversations with Russo, who is charged with committing the 1993 murder of underboss Joseph Scopo during the Colombo family's bloody internal war, a source said.
The arrests left just a measly 50 "made" members of the Colombos on the street -- a number that puts them dead last among New York's organized crime families.
The Gambino crime family was also badly bitten by a rat.
The informant, identified as "CW-1" in court documents, had for "several decades been a close and trusted criminal associate of Gambino consigliere Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo, 69, rising capo Alphonse Trucchio, 34, and other defendants busted yesterday.
The informant -- identified by a source as a member of Trucchio's crew named Howard Santos -- became a cooperating witness in 2009 after Santos was busted with several other Gambino associates for an electronics heist, and he wore a recording device during meetings with his gangland friends, a court filing said.
"CW-1 made over 140 . . . recordings of many of the defendants," the filing said.
Corozzo was in prison -- where he will remain until June -- for racketeering crimes while Santos was making the recordings, but the rat's wire caught "numerous co-conspirators of Corozzo's . . . discussing Corozzo's mob activities," which, according to the indictment, include racketeering involving murder, cocaine trafficking, assault, arson and loan-sharking.
Santos also caught ruling Gambino member Bartolomeo "Pepe" Vernace, 61, on tape "discussing the Gambino family's affairs and Vernace's role in the family," court filings state.
Vernace was charged in another indictment yesterday for conspiring to murder the two co-owners of the Shamrock Bar in Woodhaven, Queens, who were slain in 1981 after a dispute involving a drink spilled on reputed mobster's girlfriend.
Trucchio -- whose dad is the imprisoned-for-life Gambino capo Ronald "One Arm" Trucchio -- is heard on a tape made by Santos "directly discussing his own crimes, including narcotics trafficking and crimes of violence," filings said.
And in one tape, Trucchio crew member Todd Labarca -- who was arrested yesterday in the 2002 murder of fellow Gambino associate Marty Bosshart -- indicated "that Trucchio received credit within the mob for orchestrating" that murder.
Another indictment yesterday targeted members of the Genovese family for extorting members of the International Longshoremen's Association union and controlling and influencing that union and companies that work on piers in New York and New Jersey.
Court papers accused Genovese soldier Stephen Depiro of managing the family's machinations on the New Jersey's piers, including its annual Christmastime extortion of ILA members after dockworkers received a portion of royalty payments from shipping companies.



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