The only thing better than a mafia film is the real thing being played out in the news. That happened today.
I love dark and sinister mob films, and rank “The Godfather” as one of the ten best films ever made. The whole genre of such films has legions of fans as we all try to better understand the murky world of organized crime. As we know from the movies, and from the decades of such stories as the one being reported today in the news, there is no end to the mafia. It can be slowed and contained to some extent but it morphs along the way and survives.
It is remarkable how the the real world of the five famed crimes families on the east coast took a beating today. Question is which snitches will sleep with the fish before the week is out. Or have I just watched too much Robert DeNiro over the years?
I don’t think so.
Federal agents conducted a series of early morning raids Thursday targeting at least five organized crime families in a major sweep across New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, according to sources with direct knowledge of the case.
One hundred-twenty seven people connected to the Gambino, Colombo, Bonanno, Genovese and Lucchese families have been charged with murder conspiracy, arson, extortion, narcotics trafficking, illegal gambling, labor racketeering and murders that date back as far as 1981, the sources said.
One hundred ten of those people — including several high-ranking family members — have already been arrested, the source said.
Television images showed several men handcuffed and hand-checked by federal agents in an apparent gymnasium in the Fort Hamilton neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
New York Times reports.
The sweep began before dawn, and the targets ranged from reputed small-time book makers and crime-family functionaries to six reputed senior mob figures from three crime families, including the entire current leadership of the Colombo crime family, according to several people briefed on the arrests. Among those charged, some of the people said, were roughly 30 made members of New York’s five crime families and the families in New Jersey and New England, along with scores of mob associates and several union officials.
The arrests, including one expected in Italy, were based on 16 unrelated indictments handed up in federal courts in four jurisdictions, several of the people said. Taken together, they amounted to the largest such sweep of organized crime figures conducted in recent history by federal authorities.
By taking out the leadership of the Colombos and charging large numbers of reputed crime figures from the other families, the F.B.I. and federal prosecutors hoped the case would have a significant impact on organized crime. But one official noted that senior prosecutors and F.B.I. officials have declared victory or sought to write the mob’s epitaph many times in the past. Yet many tenacious and formidable organized crime families have endured, albeit weaker and with less influence, using violence and the threat of violence to amass wealth and influence.