U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that 800 federal agents and police officers have arrested more than one hundred organized crime associates. It’s the largest Mafia crackdowns in FBI history, the agency said. The charges include murder, racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking, money laundering, gambling and other activities associated with organized crime.
Among the 127 arrested are small-time bookmakers, mob middle managers and leaders of both the Colombo and Gambino crime families, authorities said. According to prosecutors, 34 made members of New York’s five crime families were arrested, and most are being held without bail after pleading not guilty.
By striking at the heads of New England crime families, authorities hope to reduce drug trafficking and racketeering throughout the country. They also believe the impact will be long-lasting. Organized crime has declined over the past 20 years. Officials concede, though, that organized crime has proved to be “remarkably resilient,” and some have privately stated they believe organized crime is making a comeback in some lines of business, according to the New York Times,
Attorney General Holder also announced an organizational change at the Justice Department. The Organized Crime and Racketeering Section and the Gang Unit will merge, putting more resources to work on cases like this.
Some of the crimes the defendants have been accused of are notorious — the double shooting over a spilled drink — and the cases will likely garner a great deal of media attention. The nation, even the world, will watch as the real Michael Corleones of the world stand trial.
Resource: New York Times “Nearly 125 Arrested in Sweeping Mob Roundup” 01/20/11