NEW YORK – Authorities arrested dozens of people yesterday in a sweeping Mafia takedown aimed at closing the book on decades-old gangland killings and other crimes and knocking out what’s left of the once-mighty Gambino family.
A federal indictment in Brooklyn named 62 people, including the three highest-ranking members of the Gambino clan and the brother and nephew of the late John Gotti, the notorious boss who ran the family in its heyday. State prosecutors separately charged 26 others with running a gambling ring that took nearly $10 million in bets on professional and college sports.
The New York raids coincided with an Italian operation, code-named “Old Bridge” and centered on the Sicilian capital of Palermo, targeting Mafia figures who were strengthening contacts between mob groups in Italy and the United States.
Authorities said the investigations, though technically unconnected, signaled an international attempt to disrupt Sicilian ties to the Gambino family, which has been decimated by prosecutions since Gotti’s fall.
The U.S. investigation ensnared whatever members of the Gambinos hierarchy were still at liberty and will bring “closure to crimes from the past,” U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said.