Northeast overrun by suspected mobsters, 100 arrested

Some are calling this latest take-down "one of the largest ever round-ups of organized crime"


Tom Hays
January 20, 2011 8:01PM (UTC)

Federal agents have arrested more than 100 suspected mobsters in another major blow to New York's five Mafia crime families.

The FBI said most of the arrests were made Thursday morning. Many were in Brooklyn, but they occurred throughout New York City, in New Jersey and New England. Charges include murder, extortion and narcotics trafficking.

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The takedown was the result of multiple investigations. Federal probes aided by mob turncoats have decimated the families' ranks in recent years and have resulted in lengthy prison terms for several leaders.

On Friday, a federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced John "Sonny" Franzese, 93, to eight years in prison for extorting Manhattan strip clubs and a pizzeria on Long Island.

Federal prosecutors had sought at least 12 years behind bars for the underboss of the Colombo crime family -- in effect, a life term. To bolster their argument, they had an FBI agent testify that Franzese bragged about killing 60 people over the years and once contemplated putting out a hit on his own son for becoming a government cooperator.

In October, Mafia turncoat Salvatore Vitale was sentenced to time served after federal prosecutors praised his total betrayal of his own crime syndicate -- and after he apologized to the families of his victims. Authorities said he had a hand in at least 11 murders, including that of a fellow gangster in the fallout from the infamous Donnie Brasco case.

The evidence provided after his arrest in 2003 helped decimate the once-fearsome Bonanno organized crime family, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres said.

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"The Mafia today is weaker because of his cooperation," Andres said. "Mr. Vitale provided lead after lead. ... The results speak for themselves."

 


Tom Hays

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