NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Several reputed high-ranking members of the Bonanno crime family have been arrested and charged with racketeering and extortion, officials said.
Those arrested include Vincent “Vinny TV” Badalamenti, 53, the highest-ranking member of the family, captains Anthony “TG” Graziano, 71, and Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora, 69, acting captain Vito Balsamo, 55, and soldier Anthony Calabrese, 44, the FBI announced.
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Reputed Gambino crime family associate, 35-year-old James LaForte, was also arrested in the joint FBI and DEA raids carried out early Friday on Staten Island and Long Island, officials said.
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Sources told 1010 WINS the sweep came about with the assistance of alleged informant Hector “Junior” Pagan, the ex-husband of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano. She is the daughter of Anthony Graziano, who was among those arrested.
Prosecutors unsealed a 14-count indictment charging the defendants with racketeering, extortion and illegal gambling. LaForte is also charged with loansharking.
The suspects are expected to be arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court on this afternoon.
“The top echelon of the Bonanno crime family was taken down today,” DEA Special Agent In Charge Wilbert Plummer told 1010 WINS. “These arrests prove that the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force is cleaning up the streets of New York.”
The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation that has resulted in the prosecution of more than 175 members and associates of the Bonanno family.
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