Traditional organized-crime rackets like betting and construction are bleeding the New York mafia dry. But in Italy, the mobs are stronger than ever.
ROME—The New York mafia is taking a hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic after many of its money-making outlets have been shuttered.
Gambling halls, sporting events, and construction projects have long fed the Empire State gangs, but now that they are taking an “historic” blow, a law-enforcement source told the New York Post. “There’s never been a time when they weren’t making money through gambling,” the source said.
The American mafia families are also losing out on the extortion racket after restaurants and other entities close their doors under New York City’s “shelter in place” order. A halt to non-essential construction jobs, which includes transportation and port entry, has also put a dent in the U.S. mob’s profits.
While most everyone in America is sheltering in place in fear of coronavirus, some celebrities behind bars, such Bill Cosby and R. Kelly, are pressing to be released from lockups where they fear the killer virus is raging or soon will be.
On Wednesday, the 23-year-old Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine (real name Daniel Hernandez), who suffers from asthma and once was hospitalized for bronchitis, was released from a federal prison to serve the remaining four months of his two-year racketeering sentence in home confinement, according to Nicholas Biase, spokesman for the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
“The government did not oppose counsel’s motion for compassionate release because the defendant’s medical condition placed him at high risk during the coronavirus outbreak,” Biase said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.
Dawn Florio, one of his lawyers, confirmed his release to USA TODAY and said the rapper and his legal team were “super excited – ecstatic” about the news.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is questioning the constitutionality of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s directive allowing state police to stop vehicles with New York license plates.
The Democratic governor on Thursday called the measure extreme but pointed out New York City is the epicenter of the disease in the United States.
Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, says while Raimondo has the authority to suspend some state laws and regulations to address a medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution.
He says under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate “simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be.”