More than 40 suspected mob members – most allegedly belonging to four major New York City crime families – were arrested in a massive bust across five states on Thursday morning carried out by the FBI and NYPD.
Purported Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Merlino was also nabbed in the dragnet while vacationing at his Florida summer home, The New York Post reported. But most of those rounded up are alleged to be soldiers or associates in the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno families.
Also on Thursday, the grandson of infamous mob boss John Gotti, who is also named John Gotti, was arrested in New York with six others on state narcotics charges, WNBC reported, citing law enforcement sources. Gotti, 23, was alleged to have sold oxycodone and other prescription pills.
Gotti’s arrest doesn’t appear connected to the larger mob bust.
An indictment alleges the defendants put aside family animosity and joined forces, becoming “members of an organized criminal enterprise” known as “East Coast LCN Enterprise.”
Some of the crimes alleged to have occurred included extortion, arson, operating illegal gambling businesses, health care and credit card fraud, selling untaxed cigarettes, assault and firearms trafficking.
The charging document lists the given names and several colorful nicknames for numerous defendants, including: Anthony “Tony the Wig” Vazzano, Anthony “Tony the Cripple” Cassetta, Pasquale “Mustache Pat” Capolongo and John “Tugboat” Tognino.
Another suspect, Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello, was accused of ordering an associate to attack a panhandler outside his Bronx restaurant and “break his knees.” Investigators said the man was attacked with objects including glass jars and steel-tipped boots.
Other suspects were reimbursed for paying doctors kickbacks to prescribe “expensive compound cream,” court documents showed.