Forty six people were detained after anti-Mafia police raids in eastern Sicily today, according to reports from the Associated Press and ANSA. Italian police say reputed Catania crime boss Vincenzo Santapaola was among those arrested.
"We are dismantling the clans piece by piece," said Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato in a prepared statement. "The bosses can no longer fool themselves: We will get them one by one."
In the raids, police seized weapons and drugs and ledgers of extortion fees and salaries related to the Santapaola organization. The suspects face charges of Mafia association, drug trafficking and extortion.
Officials believe that Vincenzo Santapaola succeeded his father Benedetto Santapaola as chief of the Catania Mafia. Benedetto was arrested more than a decade ago.
- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.