Ten members of NYC crime family arrested including 87-year-old boss
Members of a New York City crime family threatened violence, pressured workers and pocketed phony “pension” payments in a two-decade plot to seize control of a city construction union and its lucrative employee health insurance program, prosecutors alleged in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday.
Ten members of the Colombo crime family, including 87-year-old boss Andrew “Mush” Russo, were charged in connection with the scheme, which prosecutors said had all the major trappings of Mafia-type shakedowns seen in TV shows like “The Sopranos” and movies.
Prosecutors said crime family members pressured the union to steer health plan business to pals, sought at least $10,000 (£7,200) per month in kickbacks and threatened to kill a union official if he didn’t comply, telling an associate on a recorded telephone call in June: “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A 75-year-old mafia boss was arrested in Charlotte and charged with multiple crimes including racketeering as several other members of the Colombo crime family were arrested in New York and New Jersey Tuesday, authorities said.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Vincent “Vinny Unions” Ricciardo, 75, was arrested and will be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler in federal court in Charlotte.
In federal court in Brooklyn, a 19-count indictment was unsealed charging 14 defendants, including 10 alleged members and associates of the Colombo crime family of La Cosa Nostra and a member of the Bonanno organized crime family, with various offenses including labor racketeering involving multiple predicate acts of extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and extortion, extortionate collection of credit conspiracy, extortionate collection of credit and money laundering conspiracy, prosecutors said.
A notorious Sicilian Mafia killer dubbed the “people slayer” — who admitted to a role in more than 100 killings, including a boy who was dissolved in acid — was freed from Italian prison Monday after serving just 25 years.
Giovanni Brusca, 64, who turned from La Cosa Nostra hitman to government informant was cut loose from Rome’s Rebibbia prison, sparking outrage from elected officials and the families of his victims, the BBC reported.
The notorious killer had a hand in several of the Italian mafia’s most infamous slayings, including the 1992 rubout of anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, who was blown up along with his wife and three bodyguards as they were driving near Palermo.
The Italian mafia has hundreds of members in Germany pulling strings in the international drug trade. The latest major trial shows how lengthy legal procedures and lenient verdicts are no match for organized crime.
Fourteen defendants face an array of charges in court in the western German city of Düsseldorf, and the main ones pertain to the trafficking and sale of cocaine. Well over half a ton of cocaine: 680 kilograms (1,499 pounds) all told, being sold at prices of up to €36,000 (roughly $43,000) per kilo.
Five are suspected members of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta syndicate and all 14 reside in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Their passports reveal NRW’s ‘Ndrangheta as an international employer: Italian, German, Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan, Portuguese. Translators from Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey are on hand in court.
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Sicilian procession for brother of Cosa Nostra boss Luigi Sparacio claimed to have broken Covid-19 safety laws
Italian prosecutors are investigating the funeral of the brother of a former Sicilian mafia boss for allegedly breaching Italy’s coronavirus lockdown.
Photographs showed a funeral procession in Messina attended by dozens of people. Family and friends gathered on the streets to accompany the coffin carrying Rosario Sparacio, 70, the older brother of Luigi Sparacio, who was considered one of the most important heads of the Cosa Nostra in the 1990s and who eventually turned supergrass.
The news, first reported by the newspaper La Gazzetta del Sud, has sparked a row in Italy where since the beginning of March a government decree has banned all religious gatherings, including funerals and weddings, in order to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In the cities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, coffins are awaiting burial, held in churches, and the corpses of those who have died at home are being kept in sealed rooms.