FBI Does Number On New York's 5 Infamous Crime FamiliesBy Irene Cornell

NEW YORK (CBS New York/AP) — Thursday was a good day for federal agents and bad day for the mob.

In the morning the FBI made arrests from New England to Florida. In all, 127 mafia members and associates were charged with a wide range of crimes — some going back 30 years, CBS 2’s John Slattery reports.

It was the largest mafia bust in FBI history. The massive operation targeted the country’s most notorious crime families, all part of the network known as La Cosa Nostra. Many of the arrests were in Brooklyn, but they occurred throughout New York City, in New Jersey and New England. One person was arrested in Italy.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa with Assisstant Director of the FBI Janice Fedarcyk

WCBS 880 Reporter Irene Cornell says leadership of Colombo, Gambino families hit hard

Among those arrested in New Jersey were reputed associates of the Genovese crime family, some of whom also served as officials of longshoremen’s unions.

The charges are listed in 16 indictments charging hundreds of made men with murder, racketeering, gambling, narcotics, trafficking and extortion. The charges cover decades worth of offenses, Holder said, including “classic mob hits to eliminate perceived rivals,” a killing during a botched robbery and a double shooting in a barroom dispute over a spilled drink. Bobby Vernace, of the Gambino leadership, is charged in a 1981 murder in Woodhaven, Queens.

“The reality is that our battle against organized crime enterprises is far from over,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference in Brooklyn. “This is an ongoing effort and it must and will remain a top priority for all of us in law enforcement.”

The takedown was another blow to New York’s five Mafia crime families. Federal probes aided by mob turncoats have decimated the families’ ranks and resulted in lengthy prison terms for several leaders.

On Friday, a federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced John “Sonny” Franzese, 93, to eight years in prison for extorting Manhattan strip clubs and a pizzeria on Long Island.

Federal prosecutors had sought at least 12 years behind bars for the underboss of the Colombo crime family — in effect, a life term. To bolster their argument, they had an FBI agent testify that Franzese bragged about killing 60 people over the years and once contemplated putting out a hit on his own son for becoming a government cooperator.

In October, Mafia turncoat Salvatore Vitale was sentenced to time served after federal prosecutors praised his total betrayal of his own crime syndicate — and after he apologized to the families of his victims. Authorities said he had a hand in at least 11 murders, including that of a fellow gangster in the fallout from the infamous Donnie Brasco case.

The evidence provided after his arrest in 2003 helped decimate the once-fearsome Bonanno organized crime family, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres said.

“The Mafia today is weaker because of his cooperation,” Andres said. “Mr. Vitale provided lead after lead. … The results speak for themselves.”

Some of the accused mobsters have colorful nicknames like “Vinny Carwash,” “Tony Bagels,” “Johnny Pizza,” “Lumpy,” “The Bull” and “Meatball.”

But agents also nabbed top members, including the reputed head of New England’s crime family, Luigi Manocchio. He’s accused of collecting protection payments from strip club owners.

High-ranking Gambino and Colombo associates were charged with carrying out hits on members of their own family. Some of the alleged killings were almost casual.

“Two other murder victims allegedly were shot in a public bar because of a dispute over a spilled drink,” Holder said.

Since the death of Gambino crime boss John Gotti, top members of La Cosa Nostra have kept a low profile but stayed active.

Said Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Division: “Just as the retirement or resignation of a corporate CEO does not spell the end of the company; neither does the incarceration of a mob boss or key executive mean the dissolution of their family.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (194)
  1. j says:

    Well, well, well, now if only the FEDS would go after the notorious bloods, crips and latin kings with = fervor!

    1. USAFLgirl says:

      and let’s not forget the illegal aliens…..could you imagine how many jobs THAT would create for us Americans??

      1. Eric says:

        None, because we’re too spoiled to work those jobs.

  2. bob says:

    ok they got the Gangsters…. now its time for the Banksters who have stolen a million times more money then these poor guys….

  3. Just An Idea says:

    Hey, lets have the arrested mob plow our streets…

    1. Big Vinnie Testosteronie says:

      LOL! Work release for the mob.

  4. Vinnie says:

    This isnt how they do it in the movies

  5. Troy says:

    The real criminal is our Government

    1. No more dreams says:


    2. Vince says:

      WHAT ABOUT THE “JEW MAFIA” You never hear them being arrested! That must have something to do with our Jewdicial system!

    3. Jessyo says:

      I definitely agree. They are so corrupt and all they want to do is oppress the citizens.

      1. Jessyo says:

        *My comment was meant to describe our government and local authorities

  6. charles andrews says:

    Its something the Obma adm is doing to change the news away from the debt and healthcare

    1. Jimmy says:

      I find it interesting that Chicago mobdom was not mentioned in all this. Could it be they orchestrated this to eliminate their competition? Hmmmmm

      1. Carolyn says:

        beautiful observation.

  7. G says:

    This is how is works, trickle down economics style. Go after the organize crime gangs, the big bosses that control the drugs for example. Then the unorganized gangs that depend on these losers, become losers them selfs. EZ enough for everybody? Not to say the FBI is a perfect organization either, but they play a better role then the rest in my eyes.

    1. Tom Peters says:

      Duh, that make no sense at all, and you trust the FBI…weren’t they the ones that were accused of killing Kennedy? Oh yeah, trust the government

  8. Chris25 says:

    wat about mike “the situation”?

    1. lauren g says:

      I think “the situation” should run the new york mob….he’s cute, hot and business smart. Come on FBI man, try messing with Snooki and the Situation!

  9. Senator Big Nose says:

    Interesting. This is funny stuff. Let’s arrest some old italians that can’t even breath…Hey, we can pick on them…One FBI agent asks, “Hey, what about the LA Gangs and the Mexican and Russian Mobs?”…Senior agnets reply, “Leave them alone, those are real threats to us. We can’t fight those guys, they’re real threats to national security…. too tough for us.” At least the Italian mob only goes after their own kind, but the mexican cartels will take judges, police officials down without a thought.

    1. joan says:

      good point

  10. Johnny "Long John" DeVito says:

    Simple Economics. When they brought Gotti down they SAID they crippled the mob. Now 10 plus years later they’re doing and saying the same thing. Bull. Arrest 100 members, there are 200 waiting to get in. Arrest those 200, and 400 are waiting to get in. Crime is not finite, it’s infinite. As long as there is economic gain, rapid unemployment, government corruption…crime at every level, social, governmental, political will exist. They haven’t done anything except open up a can of worms for new criminals to step in.

    1. Mike O'Reilly says:

      How TRUE this point is. Remember when the brought the Teflon Don down, “Today we have crippled the Italian Mob”. Nonsense. Now they say it again. How can a people respect the very government that preaches ethics when they are involved in criminal unethical behaivor and corruption!

  11. Joe Joe Beans says:

    Oh good. Now that we rounded up 127 Italians…Let’s go after the real mobsters in this country…OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. Interesting, while the rest of us struggle with taxes, social security benefits, health benefits, gas prices, Isn’t it comforting to know that our tax dollars pay our senators their own retirement plans, medical plans that are separate from what you and i get? I thought, pardon me but they worked for us? FBI…what a bunch of KGB agents…Go after the real criminals, the federal government.

    1. Joseph Didonato says:

      Couldnt have said it better myself!!!!!

    2. anthony says:

      The is so true. We need honest people in government whom do not care about getting rich and famous but making our country a better place to live for all.

  12. Pres Omama' wife says:

    Oh, praise be to the good Lord…I feel so much safer now that the streets are rid of thos bad bad men…OH God, I don’t know, I looked in my 401 K that was with Madoff Securities, my entire retirement is gone…Oh Lord, My husband has been out of a job for a year now and his medical and insurance benefits are gone, Oh Lord, the man that shot the politicain, China owns the US, the mexican mobs, child pornography rings, drugs, 70,000 gang bangers, corrupt politicans, 20 million americans unemployed, 30 million with no health benefits, corrupt government through and through, kennedy assasination, asian and mexican mob cartels…but oh oh good lord, thank goodness those men are off the street. Those bad italian men.

    1. USAFLgirl says:


  13. Joey Baggadonuts says:

    Where would feel safer? Living in Howard Beach, Bensonhurst or East New York? I’m opting for the first 2, Choose carefully, your life may depend on it.

    1. Devenio says:

      East New York or Bedford Stuyvesant. According to crime stats, both are safer that Howard Beach and Bensonhurst

  14. Ellen says:

    A question here. Who would you prefer to live with , the Mafia or street gangs? Me maybe would rather live among Mafia thugs then street gangs. At least the Mafia doesn’t go after one unless they have a reason while street gangs seem to go after a person any person young or old no matter what . Me, I’ll take the Mafia over street gangs any time of the day.

    1. CaptAmerica says:

      You still believe that “Robin Hood” BS?? Grow up.

    2. Gary says:

      I guess Ellen missed the part in the article that mentions the double shooting in a bar over a spilled drink.

  15. danny says:

    The numbers concern me. 800 fed’s and police to get 100 mobsters? Really?! How about working like the rest of us. Doing more with less. I wonder how much $$$ was spent, what with overtime and all.

    1. Sus McJames says:

      GREAT POINT. I work in corporate america and my co managers are doing the job of three to four people. No Wonder this country is broke…The Government is not out to serve and protect you…they’re out to serve and protect their own interest. It’s all going to burst soon enough. The roman empire lastes 300 years and America is on the verge of total breakdown. They spend money they don’t have and then come to you and me and say we need more money, PAY UP…if that’s not mob like I don’t know what is! Try messing up on your IRS tax return and i guarantee you the IRS Mob will be knocking on your door, with a BILL and LATE FEES…That’s about as mob like as you can get!

    2. anthony says:

      I love this comment. So true.

    3. Bill Brasky says:

      So we should just let them break the law because it costs too much money to investigate their crimes??? That is some pretty effed up logic there.

  16. Captain Obvious says:

    FBI trying to get some good press here. Going after the Italian mob catches more attention than other nationalities.

    The FBI likes to talk about how they have crippled the Mafia. They haven’t. They are still running very strong in NY and North Jersey.

    How about putting that same level of focus on the extremely violent street gangs. That seems like a better use of resources. Won’t get the same kind of press that the Mafia gets, but you may save more lives.

    1. Senator from New York says:

      Well Said!

  17. Fluffy Stools says:

    Do you think they’ll ever catch Bin Laden? Makes one think ……

    1. Jimmy says:

      I often thought that was the reason the Bin laden threat was missed. FBI agents were busy trying to get publicity and make a name for themselves by busting the Mob.

  18. liwingnut says:

    Next – Bloods and Crips ?
    After that – Latin Kings ?
    After that – Russians ?
    After that – Irish cops ?
    After that – Union leeches ?
    etc, etc,etc

  19. Bernie Madoff says:

    You have to keep an eye on those Italians, they will steal anything.

    1. Donald Trump says:

      Hey Bernie, Where is my 300k investment at? I have not heard from you in awhile…go figure…must be the italians. “When in doubt or need a PR lift, blame the italians.

    2. ted says:

      Maddof was a jew moron just like the rest of teh banksters that have stole TRILLIONS SO FAR.

      This is nothing but a diversion to make you think the government is doing something. The government is owned by the banksters..

      1. Sam Kay says:

        Hey moron antisemite, I thought Madoff is in prison for life, isn’t he? Was he released?

  20. rocco says:

    Oh good, I feel much safer now!

  21. Jimmy says:

    What about the Union mobs?

  22. anthony says:

    some of these comments sound like the italian version of a black drug dealer handing out turkeys at thanksgiving and every idiot in the hood loves them for wrecking lives- nothing impressive about these goons- lets hope they don’t have a jury of morons.

  23. john doeno says:

    this sounds like LIKE LAZY police work! you pick on old guys (not really THAT dangerous) and LET the RUSSIAN MOB (VERY DANGEROUS) and other FOREIGN Terrorists Mobs ROAM our AMERICAN Streets! HURTING Law enforcement system FOR SURE! PATHETIC!!!

    1. Mark Sawyer says:

      No John I’m afraid you’re wrong. The Mafia are just as murderous as any ethnic gang but they have learnt to box clever – they keep their activities under the radar as much as possible and these days tend to get picked up for low-level racketeering and they often get off these charges. People make the mistake of thinking that because the Mob aren’t leaving bullet ridden bodies around any more that they aren’t serious players. I’m afraid to say that they very much are and that’s why the FBI works so hard to keep on top of them. However, even a big bust like this will do little to harm their overall capability

      1. President of Mexico says:

        Mark, pull your head out of your ass. Youre comparing the italian mob to the russian mob and the mexican mobs. When was the last time the FBI did anyting like this to the Russian or Mexican mobs? Are you in reality? You think the italian mobs are more of a threat than the Russian and Mexican mobs? Do you read the freakin news reports coming out of Mexico. Mess with the Mexicans and they’ll kill you where you stand, civilian or not…Drugs…Who the hell do you think runs all that shid…Wake up….it’s a PR Move

      2. Mark Sawyer says:

        I’m not worried about Mexico Pres, I’m worried about NYC. The Mexicans and Russians are obviously very violent and dengerous but they don’t have the indidious level of influenece in unions and industry that the Mob has.

  24. Michael says:

    Remember This
    FBI Means:

    And MAFIA Means:

    And MAFIA Spelled Backwards Is AIFAM

    And DONUTS Spelled Backwards Is STUNOD
    And Thats What They (The FBI) Are.

  25. lithvak says:

    the guy’s 93, do you think he’s worried about going to prison

    1. Homeless Man says:

      Prison will probably be the best place for him, health care, three square meals a day, Hmmm. I’m homeless….how do i get that same deal?

  26. thorn25 says:

    Hey Billie, you think you might want to spell Assistant WITHOUT 4 Ss??

  27. Solo 1 says:

    charges will not stick. The acting bosses are to old to be contained in prison. Most charges will not stick. How typical Forever Bother the Italians… extortion, gambling, prostitution, narc’s. This Arrest is just a example of the FBI pan handling the mob for there extortion money. The Government hate the mob bc the mob governized thr own community and they cant bank off it.

  28. Joey Knuckles says:

    lolwut? Whats the Mafia? Ive never of this. Organized crime?? What?

  29. Mark Sawyer says:

    There are some very ill informed comments here. The Italian Mafia is alive and well and keeps a low profile but it still has a frightening amount of influence and keep fingers in so many pies that they take money out of the pockets of every single New Yorker in one way or another. They are the definition of ‘organised crime’ as opposed to gun toting hoodlums, and law enforcement has to be constantly vigilant to stay on top of what is still a large and dangerous criminal empire

  30. coco says:

    Go to Brooklyn and chase the Russian mafia–the Italian are nothing comparing to those guyes

  31. Steve says:

    Are the banks next?

    1. Jane G says:


  32. Nick says:

    Yeah, arrest the 90 year olds. That’ll show them.
    They just cleared the way for fresh blood to come in.

    FBI = Fumbling Bumbling Idiots.

  33. Roy says:

    Now if the FBI could take down the Russian Mob,The Korean Mob, The Vietnamese Gangs..and on and on

    1. get the real criminals says:

      get the wall street gangsters!

      they are the thugs stealing bundles of our cash

  34. joe z says:

    I guess they were able to round up these guys because they didn’t have to share information with other agencies. They had info on Bid Laden, but chose to keep it to themselves because they didn’t want other agencies taking the glory. They sacrificed American lives because of a political move. The FBI makes all the mod guys look like small change.

  35. Vinnie says:

    these men are criminals , no doubt about it
    they made their beds
    but lets face it these guys are so much much easier to infiltrate and
    surveil compared to the Latins , Russians and Asian gangs
    the days of the Italian mob rule is over
    in their prime they were untouchable
    now fat easy targets

  36. Steve says:

    It figures that the Wonder Boy Eric Holder has gone after the dog with the least teeth!!!
    How about the real Bad Boys???
    MS-13 and The Russian Mob etc. etc.

  37. JOHN says:


  38. Big Len Stizzy says:

    The world is full of rats.

    1. B. Madoff says:

      How True…well said…and RATS are everywhere, in politics, in business and in the corporate sectors. You can’t trust anyone today…especially the GOVERNMENT!

  39. John Doono says:


  40. plumber says:

    y dont they concentrate on the chinese there taking over the country with knock offs

  41. fed up says:

    how about Brighton Beach Russian Mafia and don’t forget NYS Senator Carl Kruger helping to put Rasputin night club back in business after Board of Health closed it down.

  42. OMERTA says:

    the fellows will be back o0n the streets before sunset

  43. White Trash says:

    Remember these gangs aka Mafia are more entrenched. Peoples pockets get picked without them knowing about it. Labor, clothing, garbage, food industry and etc. Before people point to minority gangs these are Italians and Irish.

  44. Know your facts says:

    The FBI does go after gangs. They had a huge sweep in Newburgh New York. Do your homework before you post.

    1. Outer Limits says:

      They still need to do more in Newburgh. The level of violence there is out of control.

  45. Someone says:

    This is what they said in 97 “the fall of the last mafia empire” Well things always seem to move on to bigger and better.

  46. sawney bean says:

    The younger gangs are more violent, but as long as they primarily prey on the poor nobody really cares. The mob gets people upset because they get involved with middle-class people.

  47. Carlos Liriano says:

    the feds are not crazy to go after the gangs, they have better guns and they love to used them.
    so they not even are looking to tangle with the likes of the crips or the bloods

    1. Chaz says:

      You’re a REAL moron.

    2. jojo says:

      ooo ya they have better guns…the mafia has much more money power…the crips n bloods can’t organize a basketball game and their supposed to organize their crime haha dum moolies

      1. Lesbian says:

        Jojo. What the hell are you talking about. when the la riots hit the police wouldn’t even go into south LA. Oh yeah, they pose no threat to law enforcement…yeah that makes sense.

  48. Ho-hum says:

    Meanwhile, the MS13 continues to fart in your general direction.

  49. Just Me says:

    LOL Big deal you got a few boy scouts go after the real gangs or are you guys not man enough

    1. Carlos Liriano says:

      just me, they are no longer boy scouts, they are old and clumsy scouts, they got caugh

    2. jojo says:

      boy scouts??? these guys have been duckin the feds since they were 16 years old there now like 60 so for all u crips and bloods out there take notes

      1. Noah Fing-Whey says:

        Another way to look at this is that it took them 45 years to run them down.

    3. Lesbian says:

      So True…they rounded up a bunch of ol wise guys…try mess’n with the LA crips and bloods…now these band of good guys won’t take the nonsense. Most cops I know are only tough when they have a gun and badge on, but most are wimps when alone…I know…I work out at the gym with them…they’re nothing but a bunch of men with ego self esteem issues

      1. Quattro says:

        The Crips and Bloods are nothing but hooldums. They can easily be annihiliated if the government wanted to do so. Most gangs operate in open so they are easy to control.

        The Mexicans gangs are really like the Siciilian Mafia. Supremely well organized, violent, and most importantly, secretative. Though we know of them, we know little about them. That is what makes them so scary. They are basically Al Queda, but without the religious fervor.

  50. jim says:

    Easy targets. Go after the gangs.

    1. Just Me says:

      Guess we were thinking on the same page

      1. MIKE T says:

        LA has 7 0 , 0 0 0 gang members with guns. Try messing with them. Point well taken

      2. Devenio says:

        Forget the gangs. Go after those Wall Street crooks. One guy on Wall Street steals more in one day that any mafia group could steal in a lifetime – but somehow for them its legal. America Land of the Free – if you can pay for it.

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