Thursday, January 20, 2011

A day that will go down in Mafia history

I have a fascination with organized crime in America. It started with The Godfather, and I have seen every movie on this list (and many more). I have watched the entire series of The Sorpanos, Brotherhood, and The Wire, each more than once. I have read many books on the subject, and watched countless documentaries.

So, with that background, I obviously find today's news riveting.

In an unprecedented assault against seven mob families in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, the F.B.I. and local authorities began arresting close to 130 people on Thursday on charges including murder, racketeering and extortion, people briefed on the arrests said.

The sweep began before dawn, and the targets ranged from reputed small-time book makers and crime-family functionaries to six reputed senior mob figures from three crime families, including the entire current leadership of the Colombo crime family, according to several people briefed on the arrests.

Among those charged, some of the people said, were roughly 30 made members of New York’s five crime families and the families in New Jersey and New England, along with scores of mob associates and several union officials.

The arrests, including one expected in Italy, were based on 16 unrelated indictments handed up in federal courts in four jurisdictions, several of the people said. Taken together, they amounted to the largest such sweep of organized crime figures conducted in recent history by federal authorities.

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