127 'mobsters' arrested in biggest ever blitz on New York's crime empires | Daily Mail Online

By Daily Mail ReporterCreated: 09:15 EST, 20 January 2011

A remarkable FBI organisation chart which reveals the hierarchy of the main New York mafia families was revealed yesterday after federal agents made more than 100 arrests in the biggest organised crime crackdown in history.

The colour-coded chart shows how the syndicates' organisation bears more of a resemblance to a corporate line-up than that of notorious crime families.

The red bars highlight the leading figures that were arrested yesterday in New York, New Jersey and New England.

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Crime families: This remarkable FBI chart names members of the seven families linked to the Mafia

Who's in charge: The colour-coded chart shows the hierarchy of some of the most feared Mafia families in New York - the boss, underboss, captains and soldiers are depicted on different levels of the chart

Among them are street boss Andrew Russo and acting underboss Benjamin Castellazzo from the Colombo family, and Bartolemeo Vernace and Joseph Corozzo from the Gambino family.

The 'boss' is seen as the undisputed leader of the organisation with the underboss a powerful second-in-command.

The green colour-coded panels depict those of the captains in the crime families. Also known by their Sicilian name of 'capos', captains are similar to a military captain who commands his soldiers.

The Mafia are known for using colourful nicknames and among those accused are monikers such as 'Tony Bagels', 'Johnny Pizza', 'The Bull', 'Meatball', 'Jack The Whack' 'Junior Lollipops' 'Bobby Glasses', 'Vinny Carwash' and 'Lumpy'.

Gangster: Reputed Colombo family member Angelo Spata, centre, leaves Brooklyn federal court on bail

Arrested: Federal agents question a shackled Mafia suspect in New York yesterday after the dramatic raids involving up to 800 officers

Seized: Federal agents process the suspects in at the army base after the raids in New York City and New Jersey

Shackled: A suspected member of one of the New York crime families is led away by a female FBI agent

Along with high ranking members of the some of the most feared families, union officials and two former police officers were also arrested.

It is the FBI's biggest ever raid on New York's organised crime families.

Most of the 127 arrests were made in New York City, New Jersey and New England on charges of murder, extortion and drug trafficking. One arrest was made in Italy.

Powerful leaders of the Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno and Colombo families, along with the DeCavalcante of New Jersey, were among those arrested.

They were being held at Fort Hamilton, an U.S. Army base in Brooklyn because there was no police station big enough to hold them.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a press conference that the charges cover decades worth of offences, including hits to eliminate rivals, a killing during a botched robbery and double shooting in a ballroom dispute over a spilled drink.


Name: BARTOLOMEO VERNACE, 61. Known as 'Bobby Glasses'Title: Ruling Panel, Gambino FamilyCharge: Extortion and racketeering

As a member of the administration of the Gambino family he was said to be involved at the highest level in dispersing funds illegally obtained from extortion and racketeering.

Also charged with conspiracy to murder John D'Agnese and Richard Godkin in 1981, two men who were gunned down in the Shamrock bar in Queens - allegedly over a spilled drink. Though Vernace was initially identified as being one of the three who carried out the killings, he managed to escape prosecution for nearly two decades. Name: JOSEPH CORROZZO,Title: Consigliore, Gambino FamilyCharge: Racketeering and drug distribution

He was allegedly involved in distribution of tonnes of marijuana and cocaine throughout the US.

Name: LOUIS MASTRANGETOTitle: Captain , Gambino FamilyCharge: Racketeering and drug distribution

Said to be involved in running illegal gambling dens in New York City and the distribution of drugs.

Name: ALPHONSE TRUCCHIO, 34Title: Captain, Gambino FamilyCharge: Racketeering

Allegedly the youngest man ever inducted into the Gambino family as a 'made man'.

He is the son of a former Gambino captain Ronald Trucchio, known as 'One-Armed Ronnie' after his arm was partially paralysed in a car accident. Alphonse is believed to have helped run a $30million-a-year illegal betting operation. Trucchio has already served time for racketeering after his arrest in 2002.

In addition to the charges against the senior mafiosos at the head of the Gambino and Colombo families were charges against a mafioso whose reach extended beyond New York:

Name: LUIGI MANOCCHIO, 83Title: Former leader of Patricara Family in New EnglandCharge: Extortion and extortion conspiracy

He was arrested in Florida where he was allegedly collecting 'protection' money from strip clubs in Fort Lauderdale.

Usually based in Providence, Rhode, Island, and is alleged to used intimidation and implied threats to induce owners and operators of adult bookstores and strip clubs in Providence to provide 'protection'.


Name: ANTHONY RUSSO, 55. Known as 'Big Anthony' Title: Acting Captain, Colombo FamilyCharge: Murder

Russo is alleged to have ordered the murder of Joseph Scopo in the 1993 during a vicious power struggle for control of the Colombo family. Name: BENJAMIN CASTELLAZZO, 73Title: Acting underboss of the Colombo FamilyCharge: Racketeering and racketeering conspiracy

As the No. 2 in the family it alleged it was his responsibility to collect money from businesses seeking protection. Name: RICHARD FUSCO, 74. Known as 'The Claw'Title: Consigliore of Colombo FamilyCharge: Racketeering and racketeering conspiracy

He is alleged to have held one of the senior positions in the family and ruthlessly carried out the orders of Russo. He is a former friend of singer Frank Sinatra. Name: THEODORE PERSICO Jr, 46. Known as 'Teddy'Title: Former ruling panel, Colombo FamilyCharge: Extortion

He is accused of being involved in an extortion scheme on a trucking company removing debris from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks. He was secretly recorded threatening company employees after they failed to pay.

Name: JOSEPH CARNA, 47. Known as 'Junior Lollipop'Title: Captain, Colombo FamilyCharge: Extortion

With other senior members of the Colombo family he was said to be involved in laundering money from illegal gambling operations.

Name: DENNIS DELUCIA. Known as 'Fat Dennis' or 'The Beard'Title: Captain, Colombo FamilyCharge: Extortion and racketeering.

He is accused of being involved with helping to launder money gained from illegal gambling activities in New York.

Name: REYNOLD MARAGNI, 54Title: Captain Colombo FamilyCharge: Racketeering and extortion.

Based in Florida he was allegedly involved in money laundering for the Colombo family.

Name: ANDREW RUSSO, 79. Known as 'Mush'Title: Street boss of Colombo Family in New YorkCharge: Conspiracy to commit extortion

He was allegedly involved in money laundering for the family.

Anatomy of the mob: This flowchart, published on the FBI website, details the hierarchy of a New York organised family and the military-style roles of its members

Authorities say the massive investigation was aided by informants who recorded thousands of conversations by suspected mobsters.

Federal agents said those taken into custody ranged from small-time bookmakers and crime family functionaries to a number of senior mob figures and several corrupt union officials.

The murder charges are believed to date back to the 1980s and 1990s.

Many of the charges are expected to relate the Mafia families' multi-million dollar incomes from union corruption, loansharking and gambling.

Other charges include corruption among dockworkers who were forced to kick back a portion of their holiday bonuses to the crime families.

Holder called the arrests an 'important step forward in our nation's fight against organised crime.' He added that it will 'disrupt' the mafia.

One of the defendants is a former New York City police officer.

A source told the New York Post that 'basically the whole administration of the Colombo family' had been targeted.

Huge investigation: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder holds a press conference to detail the charges against the crime families that span decades and include murders, robberies and drug offences

Among those arrested was believed to be Bartolomeo Vernace, a captain in the Gambino family.

Also arrested was Luigi Manocchio, the reputed head of New England's Patriarca crime family.

He was arrested in Fort Lauderdale and is accused of collecting money from owners of strip clubs.

Also arrested was Thomas LaFrate, who worked as a bookkeeper for strip clubs and set aside money for Manocchio, prosecutors said..

In a statement, Diego Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge with the FBI in New York, said: 'Early this morning FBI agents, along with our law enforcement partners, began arresting over 100 organised crime members for various criminal charges.'

Described as the biggest Mafia crackdown in New York history, the simultaneous raids represent a massive blow to the five organised crime families who have controlled many parts of the city for decades.

Arrested: Among those seized in the raids was alleged mobster Luigi 'Baby Shanks' Manocchio

The mafia empires have been decimated by federal probes in recent years and have seen many of their leaders jailed for lengthy prison sentences after informants testified against them.

Last week 93-year-old Colombo boss John 'Sonny' Fanzese was jailed for eight years for racketeering charges.

Federal prosecutors were seeking a jail term of at least 12 years for the underboss of the Colombo crime family.

An FBI agent testifed that Franzese had bragged about killing 60 people over the years and once thought about putting a hit on his own son for co-operating with the government.

Mafia turncoat Salvatore Vitale was sentenced to time served in October after prosecutors praised his co-operation with authorities and his betrayal of his criminal group.

Assistant U.S. attorney Greg Andres said that Vitale's evident helped to crush the Bonanno crime family after providing useful information upon his arrest in 2003.

'The mafia today is weaker because of his co-operation', Mr Andres said. 'Mr Vitale provided lead after lead. The results speak for themselves.'

There had been concerns of a possible resurgence or organised crime in the city leading up to the arrests.

Acting Lucchese family boss Alphonse D'Arco admitted to 'co-operating with the federal government from 1991.

Gambino family leader Salvatore 'Sammy The Bull' Gravano also became an informant that year and provided information in return for a reduced sentence.

This testimony led to notorious kingpin John Gotti finally being convicted. He had been known as Teflon Don for his ability to not have charges against him stick using loopholes in the law.

In 2008, more than 80 suspected members of organised crime gangs were charged.

Among those targeted was John 'Jackie the Nose' D'Amico and other alleged leaders of the Gambino crime family after a series of raids in the U.S. and Italy.

Today's takedown has eclipsed that of the highly publicised assault on the Gambino crime family in 2008 when 62 suspects were arrested.

Temporary: The alleged mobsters are being held at Fort Hamilton army base in Brooklyn until they appear at a hearing

Mob movie: The 1997 film Donnie Brasco starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino is said to have been inspired by the Mafia's Bonanno family detailing how an FBI agent was able to work undercover with the mob and almost became a 'made' man

The FBI has aggressively pursued and convicted leaders of New York's five main Italian mob families in the past.

But ambitious underlings have gone on to fill the vacancies, said Janice Fedarcyck, head of FBI's New York office.

'We deal in reality, and the reality is that the mob, like nature, abhors a vacuum', Ms Fedarcyck said.

But federal agents have recently managed to better infiltrate the Mafia by grooming a crop of mafiosos who were willing to wear wires and record their fellow gangsters.

The turncoats' testimony was then used against mob figures in return for a more lenient sentence in their own cases.

Thousands of conversations were recorded and investigators also tapped several mobsters' phones.


The Lucchese crime family was originally put together by Gaetano 'Tommy' Reina in the early 1920s until his murder in 1930.

Gaetano 'Tommy Brown' Lucchese took control in the 1950s and teamed with Carlo Gambino to control crime in New York City together.

The family profited from labour and construction racketeering, illegal gambling, loansharking and murder for hire.

The Lucchese family is deemed the smallest of the five crime families with 100 members but is not the weakest.

The New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family was the main inspiration for HBO show The Sopranos' DiMeo crime family.

Victor Amuso, 76, (pictured) remains the official boss of the Lucchese family despite serving life in prison.

Acting Lucchese boss Alphonse D'Arco admitted to 'co-operating with the federal government' from 1991.


The Genovese crime family has been nicknamed the Ivy League and the Rolls Royce of organised crime.

They found new ways to make money in the past few years by using the housing spike to conduct a number of mortgage frauds.

The group was founded by Lucky Luciano but in 1957 it was renamed after Vito Genovese - he was extradited from Italy to New York and acquitted of the 1936 murder that drove him into exile.

The family was run for years by the 'Oddfather' Vincent 'the Chin' Gigante (pictured) who pretended he was insane and walked dishevelled around Greenwich Village wearing a bathrobe and talking to himself.

When Gigante died in 2005, power went to Daniel 'Danny The Lion' Leo.

The FBI convinced Genovese mobsters Anthony Arillotta and Felix Tranghese to become government witnesses.


The DeCavalcante crime family is the leading mafia clan in New Jersey despite operating in New York City.

It maintain a strong relationship with many of the Five Families in New York plus crime families in Philadelphia, Providence and most of New England.

They have profited from labour racketeering, hijacking and murder for hire.

The clan has its origin in the Prohibition era with a variety of members taking the leading role as head of the family. In 1964, Simone DeCavalcante became it's head. DeCavalcante was seen as an 'old school' and calculated Don whose character resembled the Don Corleone character in the Godfather trilogy.

A heating and air conditioning company was used as a legal front for the illegal dealings and he was nicknamed 'Sam the Plumber'.

Acting boss Francesco 'Frank' Guarraci was promoted in 2006 after Stefano 'Steve the Truck Driver' Vitabile was sentenced to life imprisonment.


The Colombo crime family is the youngest of the 'Five Families', originally formed in 1928 by Joseph 'The Olive Oil King' Profaci.

The family has endured three family wars over the years - the second of which brought the family under the power of Joseph 'Joe C' Colombo.

The third war erupted in 1991 when member Joseph Orena undermined Carmine Persico who was in prison - the family split into two separate factions.

Twelve family members were killed in the in-fighting and the family never fully came back to prominence.

The family recently turned to Ralph DeLeo to run the family for imprisoned Persico.

Two years ago several members of the Colombo family were indicted on multiple racketeering charges  and three murders dating back to the family wars.

Capo Dino Calabro (pictured) became a government informant last year after facing trial for murdering a New York police officer.


The Gambino crime family prides itself on being one of America's most notorious criminal empires.

The family's rein can be traced back to the Italian mafioso in the early 20th century.

Its main criminal activities include racketeering, extortion, money laundering and prostitution.

The family's rise to power in America started in 1957 when Albert Anastasia was assassinated while sitting in a barber chair in Manhattan.

Carlo Gambino is believed to have helped organise the hit to take over the family.

Infamous John Gotti (pictured) proclaimed himself the leader of the Gambino family in 1985.

Gotti was nicknamed Teflon Don because charges against him did not stick for years but he was finally sentenced to life in prison in 1992 and died in 2002.

The movie Goodfellas based some of its characters on members of the Gambino family.


The classic Mafia movie Donnie Brasco tooks its inspiration from the reign of terror imposed by the Bonanno crime family.

The New York criminal empire was named after Joseph Bonanno (pictured) and was the first family to be expelled from The Commission for actively dealing in heroin.

The Commission is the council of the crime bosses brought together to maintain order in the Mafia.

Bonanno boss Joseph 'Big Joe' Massino was boss from early 1990s to 2004 - he then became the first official boss from New York to become an informant.

Massino turned against members of his own family to avoid the death penalty.

Donnie Brasco is the story of how an FBI agent was able to work undercover with the Bonanno crime family and almost became a 'made' man.

The family became the top New York crime family but defections have left it less powerful.