Friday, February 8, 2008

Scores arrested in Mafia raids in U.S., Italy

A crackdown on organized crime on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday resulted in more than 80 arrests, according to a report by Julian Gavaghan of the U.K.'s Daily Mail. The FBI made 62 arrests in New York and New Jersey. Twenty more arrests were made in the Sicilian capital city of Palermo. The coordinated raids were part of an operation named, "Old Bridge."

Authorities in both countries claim that the Mafia has been trying to strengthen its trans-Atlantic ties and work on cooperative ventures, including money-laundering and narcotics smuggling.

A report by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News indicated that the New York-based Gambino Crime Family was the focus of the law enforcement action. Authorities say they are charging the family's acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico (left), underboss Dominic "Italian Dom" Cefalu and consigliere Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo with racketeering offenses, including murder and extortion. Also arrested was alleged family "street boss" Francesco Cali.
Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo, Joseph's brother and alleged member of the organization's ruling committee during John A. Gotti's tenure as acting boss, was charged but remained at large, according to a story by William K. Rashbaum of the New York Times. Gotti relatives Vincent Gotti and Richard G. Gotti also face charges.

Charges are outlined in a 170-page federal indictment filed in New York. According to the indictment, several men linked to the Bonanno and Genovese Crime Families were also charged, as were a number of individuals in the construction industry and connected with locals of the Teamsters and Laborers unions.
"It is simply wrong to suggest that La Cosa Nostra... is no longer a threat to public safety or the economic vitality of New York City," said Mark J. Mershon, director of the FBI's New York office.

Murder accusations are related to the deaths of court officer Albert Gelb in March 1976, Michael Cotillo in November 1977, Salvatore Puma in July 1983, Louis DiBono in October 1990, Jose Delgado Rivera in December 1990, Robert Arena and Thomas Maranga in January 1996.
Gelb, who once arrested Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia, was shot to death four days before he was scheduled to testify against Carneglia. Carneglia is charged with committing five of the seven murders noted in the indictment.

The indictment also charges the defendants with gambling, loansharking, mail fraud, securities fraud, misuse of union funds and other offenses.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.