Dozens of Alleged Mobsters Nabbed by Feds
NEW YORK (CBS NEWS)-- More than 40 alleged mobsters were charged Friday in a broad-based organized crime bust, according to the FBI.
The FBI says members of reputed mafia crime families, including the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno families, were arrested in New York and Florida. The suspects allegedly operated as a part of a massive East Coast syndicate known as the "East Coast Enterprise."
The families allegedly formed an unusual alliance and joined forces or conducted overlapping business, CBS New York reported. Members reportedly used coded language to arrange meetings at highway rest areas and restaurants.
Federal prosecutors say members operated along the East Coast including in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida and were involved with firearms trafficking, extortion, illegal gambling, health care fraud, credit card fraud, assault and other offenses.
An indictment in Manhattan federal court said the criminal activities were mostly based in New York.
The indictment lays out a organizational structure made famous through generations of mafia movies and high-profile criminal trials: each "family" was organized into "crews" or "regimes" of suspected mob members, each with a leader known as a "caporegime," "capo," "captain" or "skipper." Each crew member or "soldier" allegedly carried out criminal activities for the enterprise and received protection from their "capo."
The highest-ranking members of the family were dubbed "the administration," the indictment says -- the head of the family, or "boss," would be assisted by an "underboss" or "consigliere."
A local focus of the investigation was an apparent gambling operation known as the Yonkers Club where poker and dice tournaments were held, reports CBS New York.
The enterprise allegedly sought to gain power, cash and territory through intimidation, violence, and threats of physical and financial harm. In some cases, the indictment alleges, suspected members assaulted or destroyed the property of people they thought jeopardized the enterprise's activities.
The indictment charges 46 people. By 10 a.m., some 41 of those charged were in custody, according to CBS New York.