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Tag: five families

Mob Expert Picks Top Mob Stories of 2011

Joseph Massino/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As New York mobster stories go, there seemed to be no shortage in 2011. Mob expert Jerry Capeci should know.

Capeci, a former New York Daily News reporter, runs the website Gang Land News. On Thursday, he picked the top mob stories of 2011.

Hands down, he writes, the top story was the Mafia Takedown arrests of 127 wiseguys and “various  cohorts.”

Runner up story, Capeci writes, was the appearance in April in fed court in Brooklyn of ex-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino on the witness stand at the capital murder trial of successor boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano.  Massino made history, becoming the first mob boss from one of the 5 New York crime families to take the witness stand for the feds.

Though Capeci  picks the massive takedown in January as the top mob story of the year, he is not without some skepticism.

On the day of the announcement, Capeci writes that the “feds put on an overblown dog and pony show at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn in a pretty transparent effort to send a message to mobsters that they were still a top priority of the federal government.”

“Six weeks later, as Gang Land reported on March 3, the priority claims went down several notches when it was learned that FBI bosses had combined the five squads that had been investigating the Five Families into three, and cut the number of mob-busting agents by 25%, to about 45, the lowest number since the days of J. Edgar Hoover.”

Gang Land News website

FBI Agent Calls Staffing Against NY Mob “Dangerously Low”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is the N.Y. FBI allocating far too little to fight the five Organized Crime Families?

The answer is a definite Yes, according to a story by mob expert Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News.

The site reports that the number of agents investigating New York wiseguys is at an all time low. One agent, the site reports, calls it “dangerously low.”

Still, Gangland reports that “G-men and women from other federal agencies have jumped into the fray to fill the void against the thousands of wiseguys and associates of the infamous Five Families.”

An example, according to the site, were the arrests last week by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Diplomatic Security Services (DSS) agents with the State Department arrested three wiseguys and four associates of the Gambino and Bonanno crime families on racketeering charges.

Gang Land reported that the FBI has reduced the number of squads that investigate the Five Families to three and the number of agents trying to keep tabs and arrest 700 made men and 7000 associates to about 45.

“It’s pretty obvious that there are other people locking up people that we used to lock up,” one veteran agent who has worked on mob squads for more than a dozen years told Gang Land. The agent called the number of FBI agents going after the mob “dangerously low.”

“In terms that the numbers-crunching bureaucrats can understand,” said the agent, “it’s impossible for 45 agents to do the work that 65 or 70 – or even more – were doing without losing effectiveness.”

“Across the U.S. the mob’s influence and power is not what it used to be, even in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

But New York is different,” the agent said, according to Gang Land News. “They are still a viable force here. But for some reason the organized crime emphasis here is on non-traditional OC, not the LCN,” which is FBI-speak for La Cosa Nostra.

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin told Gang Land News: “The FBI’s allocation of resources isn’t etched in stone. We continually monitor and assess how best to deploy agents and other resources. We’re continuing to address the threat posed by organized crime in New York, including the five La Cosa Nostra families. But we have to do that with finite resources, spread across all of our investigative programs.”

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