The FBI arrested almost 130 suspected organized-crime members from seven different mob families in what it’s calling “the biggest Mafia roundup in New York history.” In addition to the entire current leadership of the Colombo crime family, the arrests, which happened in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, also included members of all four other New York families — Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno — along with members of the Jersey-based DeCavalcante family. The charges ranged from racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking, arson, drug trafficking, and money laundering to five murder allegations, “including a 1981 double homicide over a spilled drink in the Shamrock Bar in Queens,” reports the Times. A dozen of the indictments naming 80 of the defendants were handed over in Brooklyn today. Last week, John “Sonny” Fanzese, a Colombo underboss, was sentenced to eight years for shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs in Manhattan. Today’s raid marks a renewed interest in organized crime, which tends to move in cycles depending on the strength of the families. Law enforcement’s focus declined after a string of victories in the nineties and after 9/11. And although the mob’s influence has waned, officials says it’s still entrenched in a number of major construction unions as well as on the waterfront.
Yoo-hoo, David Simon. Sure, the whole in-depth psychological portrayal of a single New Jersey crime family ship may have sailed. But think about it — seven families, brought out from the shadows of the underworld. Equal parts true crime, legal procedural, family drama, and modern-day tri-state Boardwalk Empire, and eighties throwback. It’s ripped from the headlines, the strip clubs have been upgraded from the Bada Bing! to the high-class West Side Highway establishments, plus there are enough moving parts to rival The Wire. That’s got to have more Golden Globe potential than a bunch of jazz musicians in New Orleans.