Bonanno Family Members Indicted in 'Old School' NYC Rackets

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 09:59 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Following a two-year investigation, nine reported members of the infamous Bonanno crime family were indicted in New York Tuesday and face "old-school" mob charges ranging from union control and loan sharking to extortion and drugs.

"Many mistakenly believe that the mob has disappeared entirely except if you watch HBO," Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a news briefing, referring to "The Sopranos." "But we know in fact this is not the case. Times have changed since Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, but organized crime still exerts a corrupting influence in our city."

Prosecutors say a Bonanno crew, working under mob boss Nicholas Santora, ran a multimillion-dollar online sports betting operation, made plans to sell hundreds of thousands of erectile dysfunction and Oxycodone pills online, conspired to control a Long Island Teamsters union, and operated a number of loan-sharking and gambling scams, the New York Times reported.

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"The organized crime activity described in the indictment is as old as the Bonanno crime family and as relatively new as online betting and trafficking in highly addictive Oxycodone," New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement. "Either way, it's corrosive to society and lines the pockets of those who use or sanction violence to enrich themselves."

All the defendants in the case were charged with enterprise corruption, New York state's version of the federal racketeering charge, among others including grand larceny and usury. The corruption charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.

The alleged captain, Santora, 71, pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in Brooklyn last year and was sentenced to 20 months in prison. He is serving his sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa., and did not appear in court on Tuesday, though he was included in the indictment, the Times said.

The Bonanno crime family is one of the infamous Five Families that have dominated organized crime in New York City for nearly the past century, according to CBS News York.

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The other New York crime crews include the Colombo, Gambino, Genovese, and Lucchese families, whose ranks have also been decimated in recent years by the justice system.

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