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Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Agents have announced they've made arrests in a Mafia sweep with new indictments against the Acting Boss of the brutal Bonanno crime family and nine other members of La Cosa Nostra Mafia from various families.
Ten total members who are described as all being “leadership roles” of the crime families are now in custody following a widespread investigation which was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York, who were working jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
The 10 Mobsters are being charged with racketeering and other offenses in connection with the activities of the organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra.
The indictments state that the eight members of the Bonanno Family: Acting Boss Joseph Cammarano, Jr., Consigliere John Zancocchio, Joseph Sabella, George Tropiano, Albert Armetta, Domenick Miniero, Joseph Santapaolo, and Simone Esposito; all have been charged with a major racketeering conspiracy involving a brutal and violent crimes.
Those crimes committed by the Mobsters include extortion, loansharking, wire and mail fraud, narcotics distribution, and conspiracy to commit murder.
In addition, Genovese Family member Ernest Montevecchi is charged with participating in that conspiracy alongside the other families.
Luchese Family member Eugene Castelle is also charged with conspiracy to commit extortion.
Armetta is also charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same.
The 58-year-old Bonanno Crime Boss Cammarano is the son of a reputed mob underboss who died in prison, and the Navy veteran is believed to have taken over the Bonanno family in 2015.
“The members of this criminal organization have pending charges from drug dealing and fraud to loansharking and conspiracy to commit murder,” said Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in charge of HSI New York. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and dismantle criminal organization like La Cosa Nostra and the Bonanno family.”
Nine of the ten mobsters named in the indictments were taken into custody on Friday to face United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses today , according to the<a href="https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/acting-boss-bonanno-organized-crime-family-and-9-other-members-la-cosa-nostra-indicted"> Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release</a>, and Santapaolo was brought before the United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Monday.
The cases against the La Cosa Nostra Members have been assigned to United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.
The press release on the indictments went on to state the following:
<blockquote>”As alleged in the indictments unsealed today in a Manhattan federal courtroom, La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”), also known as the “Mob” or the “Mafia,” operates through entities known as “Families.” In the New York City area, there are five LCN Families, namely, the Bonanno Family, the Genovese Family, the Luchese Family, the Colombo Family, and the Gambino Family. Members and associates of one La Cosa Nostra family at times work together with other La Cosa Nostra families in jointly undertaken criminal ventures.”</blockquote>
<blockquote>”The Bonanno Family, like other LCN Families, operates through a group of individuals known as “crews,” each of which are led by a “capo” or “captain.” The crews are composed of “made” members, called “soldiers,” and trusted non-members called “associates.” Above the Capos are the highest-ranking members – the Boss or Acting Boss, the Underboss, and the Consigliere, or counselor – who oversee the Family.”</blockquote>
<blockquote>”At times relevant to the indictment, the defendants held the following positions with their respective LCN Families: Cammarano was a captain and the Acting Boss of the Bonanno Family; Zancocchio was a captain and the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; Sabella was a captain of the Bonanno Family; Tropiano was a soldier and an acting captain of the Bonanno Family; Esposito was the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; Miniero, Santapaolo, and Armetta were soldiers in the Bonanno Family; Montevecchi was a soldier in the Genovese Family; and Castelle was a soldier in the Luchese Family.”</blockquote>
<blockquote>”Count One of the indictment charges Cammarano, Zancocchio, Sabella, Tropiano, Armetta, Miniero, Santapaolo, Esposito, and Montevecchi with participating in a racketeering conspiracy. Count Two charges Armetta with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same. Count Three charges Cammarano, Zancocchio, Sabella, Tropiano, Miniero, and Castelle with extortion conspiracy.”</blockquote>
58-year-old Acting Boss of the Bonanno Crime Family Joseph Cammarano Jr. aka “Joey C”, is charged with RICO Conspiracy and Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison for each count.
60-year-old John Zancocchio aka “Porky” is charged with RICO Conspiracy and Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison for each count.
52-year-old Joseph Sabella is charged with RICO Conspiracy and Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison for each count.
68-year-old George Tropiano aka “Grumpy” is charged with RICO Conspiracy and Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison for each count.
58-year-old Albert Armetta aka “Al Muscles” is charged with RICO Conspiracy and Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison for each count.
85-year-old Dominick Miniero is charged with RICO Conspiracy and Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison for each count.
66-year-old Joseph Santapaolo aka “Joey Blue Eyes” is charged with RICO Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison.
47-year-old Simon Esposito is charged with RICO Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison.
72-year-old Ernest Montevecchi aka “Butch” is charged with RICO Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison.
57-year-old Eugene Castelle aka “Boobsie” is charged with Extortion Conspiracy facing 20 years in prison.
The 16-page indictments against the Mafia only further serve as a reminder that La Cosa Nostra is alive and well inside of America.
Many of the members taken into custody will be released via a bond, and business will continue as usual until their eventual sentencing.
The impossibility of bringing down the Mob, is in part due to the ready-to-go replacement system from the younger membership of the crime families.
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