Tag Archives: mafia

United States Indicts 10 Mafia Suspects

Acting Boss of Bonanno organized crime family and 9 other members of La Cosa Nostra indicted for racketeering and related charges

 

NEW YORK — Following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York working jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), 10 individuals are being charges with racketeering and other offenses in connection with the activities of the organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra.

The indictment charges eight members of the Bonanno Family: Acting Boss Joseph Cammarano, Jr., Consigliere John Zancocchio, Joseph Sabella, George Tropiano, Albert Armetta, Domenick Miniero, Joseph Santapaolo, and Simone Esposito, all with with racketeering conspiracy involving a wide range of crimes, including extortion, loansharking, wire and mail fraud, narcotics distribution, and conspiracy to commit murder. Genovese Family member Ernest Montevecchi is charged with participating in that conspiracy as well. Several of the defendants and Luchese Family member Eugene Castelle are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion. Armetta is additionally charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same.

“The members of this criminal organization have pending charges from drug dealing and fraud to loansharking and conspiracy to commit murder,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and dismantle criminal organization like La Cosa Nostra and the Bonanno family.”

Of the 10 defendants charged in the indictment, nine were taken into federal custody Friday. Santapaolo was presented this morning before a United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The rest of the defendants will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses later today. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

As alleged in the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”), also known as the “Mob” or the “Mafia,” operates through entities known as “Families.” In the New York City area, there are five LCN Families, namely, the Bonanno Family, the Genovese Family, the Luchese Family, the Colombo Family, and the Gambino Family. Members and associates of one La Cosa Nostra family at times work together with other La Cosa Nostra families in jointly undertaken criminal ventures.

The Bonanno Family, like other LCN Families, operates through a group of individuals known as “crews,” each of which are led by a “capo” or “captain.” The crews are composed of “made” members, called “soldiers,” and trusted non-members called “associates.” Above the Capos are the highest-ranking members – the Boss or Acting Boss, the Underboss, and the Consigliere, or counselor – who oversee the Family.

At times relevant to the indictment, the defendants held the following positions with their respective LCN Families: Cammarano was a captain and the Acting Boss of the Bonanno Family; Zancocchio was a captain and the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; Sabella was a captain of the Bonanno Family; Tropiano was a soldier and an acting captain of the Bonanno Family; Esposito was the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; Miniero, Santapaolo, and Armetta were soldiers in the Bonanno Family; Montevecchi was a soldier in the Genovese Family; and Castelle was a soldier in the Luchese Family.

Count One of the indictment charges Cammarano, Zancocchio, Sabella, Tropiano, Armetta, Miniero, Santapaolo, Esposito, and Montevecchi with participating in a racketeering conspiracy. Count Two charges Armetta with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same. Count Three charges Cammarano, Zancocchio, Sabella, Tropiano, Miniero, and Castelle with extortion conspiracy.

Below is a chart containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/acting-boss-bonanno-organized-crime-family-and-9-other-members-la-cosa-nostra-indicted

Arab ‘mafia’ infiltrates German police, state services – German police union official

Powerful Arab criminal clans are actively trying to plant their members into Berlin’s police and other state services, a local German Police Union head has claimed. He went on to say the mafia gangs are seeking to control police actions.

Large criminal networks of migrant descent are seeking to provide some of their members access to the inner workings of state services, Bodo Pfalzgraf, the head of the Berlin branch of the German Police Union, told the German broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday. “The truth should be revealed,” he said.

“There are clear indications that big Arab clans have a [infiltration] strategy and try to keep certain family members away from criminal activities so that they could later infiltrate state services,” Pfalzgraf explained as he appeared on ZDF’s ‘Morgen Magazin’ program. The migrant mafia has “a vital interest in first-hand knowledge of how the state works, how the police operate and when searches [and raids] are conducted,” he said.

Read Full – https://www.rt.com/news/409276-arab-mafia-german-police/

THE MAFIA AND A NIGERIAN GANG ARE TARGETING REFUGEES IN SICILY

They’ve fled violence, poverty, and terrorism – and made the often perilous journey across the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. But for the more than 100,000 migrants who’ve arrived in Italy so far this year, the life that awaits them can be almost as dangerous as the one they left behind.

This is particularly true for economic migrants, who don’t have the same legal status as refugees, and aren’t given the same work permits or financial aid to help them survive. Barred from the legal workforce, and with few financial options, many are targeted by criminal gangs — supported by the Italian mafia — and thrust into a life of sex slavery and drug trafficking.

That’s what VICE News discovered after visiting Ballarò, a small market area, and traditional mafia stronghold near Palermo, Sicily, where the infamous Cosa Nostra mafia syndicate continues to wield power.

Full Read – https://news.vice.com/story/the-mafia-and-a-nigerian-gang-are-targeting-refugees-in-sicily

Over 20 arrested in major anti-mafia sweep in Lombardy

Police placed 27 people under investigation as part of a major anti-mafia operation in Lombardy in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A town mayor is among those accused of corruption in the investigation into ties between the ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan and the worlds of business and politics.

Edoardo Mazza, the mayor of Seregno in Monza province representing Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, was placed under house arrest. Mazza is accused of corruption for awarding construction contracts to groups linked to the ‘Ndrangheta, according to Rai News.

In total, 21 people were arrested, while three were placed under house arrest and another three also face charges. The charges include extortion, abuse of office, bodily harm, drug trafficking, and bribery, all of which are aggravated due to the connection to aggravated crime.

The investigation, which has been coordinated by Milan’s anti-mafia authority (DDA) and prosecutors in Monza, northeast of Milan, began in 2015 and included arrests across the Lombardy region, in Monza, Milan, Pavia, Como and Reggio Calabria.

The stronghold of the ‘Ndrangheta is in Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, but arrests over the past two years show it is operating in northern Italy.

Police believe it has grown bigger than the more well known Sicilian and Neapolitan mafias through its successful cocaine trafficking from Latin America.

Full Read  – https://www.thelocal.it/20170926/over-20-arrested-in-major-anti-mafia-operation-in-lombardy

POPE FRANCIS VS. THE MAFIA: WHY REAL-LIFE TONY SOPRANOS MAY HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ‘THE FAMILY’ AND THE CHURCH

For decades, mafia movies and television shows, from The Godfather to The Sopranos, have extensively detailed not only rampant sin but also devout Catholicism. For real-life Tony Sopranos, though, that connection could soon be a thing of the past, leaving them with a straight choice between organized crime and organized religion.

Pope Francis’ campaign against corruption took a step forward Saturday when the Vatican released a statement announcing its intention to set up a legal doctrine targeting those guilty of corruption and mafia association. The statement came following the Vatican’s hosting of the first ever “International Debate on Corruption,” featuring around 50 people, including anti-mafia magistrates, victims and officials from the United Nations and multiple countries.

“We conceived of this meeting to face a phenomenon that leads to the trampling of the dignity of people,” Cardinal Peter Turkson said. “Therefore it is up to us, and this Dicastery, to be able to protect and promote respect for the dignity of the person. And for this reason we seek to attract attention to this matter.”

On the same day as the conference, Turkson’s book on corruption called Corrosion was published. The foreword was written by the Pope, who in 2014 in a mass in Calabria told mobsters they were excommunicated.

“We must all work together, Christians, non-Christians, people of all faiths and non-believers, to combat this form of blasphemy, this cancer that weighs our lives,” Francis wrote in the foreword.

Read Full – http://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-mafia-corruption-soprano-626976