Colombo crime boss arrested as feds take down one of famed five families in fraud, corruption raid

Reputed street boss of the Colombo crime family Andrew 'Mush' Russo, 85, was arrested in an early-morning raid Tuesday over fraud and corruption

Reputed avenue boss of the Colombo crime household Andrew ‘Mush’ Russo, 85, was arrested in an early-morning raid Tuesday over fraud and corruption

The reputed boss of the Colombo crime household and his high henchman have been amongst 13 alleged mobsters arrested in an early-morning raid Tuesday in New York and New Jersey over fraud and corruption, federal officers mentioned. 

Andrew Russo, 87, and his underboss, Benjamin Castellazzo, 83, have been scooped up by federal brokers and New York police, together with seven different members of the Colombo crime household, together with three of the crew’s captains, a U.S. legal professional spokesperson mentioned. 

Russo’s consigliere, Ralph DiMatteo, 66, was additionally charged in the 19-count indictment, however continues to be at giant. 

High-ranking capos Theodore Persico, Jr., 58, Richard Ferrara, 59, and Vincent Ricciardo, 75, have been among the many arrested, booked on racketeering costs, together with Colombo soldier Michael Uvino, 56, and associates Thomas Costa, 52, and Domenick Ricciardo, 56, the spokesperson revealed. 

The costs in the 19-count indictment in opposition to the crime relations concern a number of schemes in a long-running marketing campaign to infiltrate and take management of a Queens-based labor union and its affiliated well being care profit program, and to a conspiracy to commit fraud in reference to office security certifications. 

The indictment alleges that Russo, Castellazzo, DiMatteo, Ferrara, Persico, Uvino and Vincent and Domenick Ricciardo colluded with fellow defendants Erin Thompkins, 53, and Joseph Bellantoni, 39, amongst others, to plan a scheme to launder cash from union healthcare contracts and funds by means of varied channels, and ultimately to the Colombo crime household’s leaders

‘Today’s costs describe a long-standing, ruthless sample by the administration of the Colombo crime household, its captains, members and associates, of conspiring to exert management over the administration of a labor union by threatening to inflict bodily hurt on one of its senior officers and devising a scheme to divert and launder vendor contract funds from its well being care profit program,’ Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis mentioned of the high-profile arrests.

‘In addition, for their very own enrichment, the defendants conspired to have interaction in extortionate loansharking, cash laundering and fraud, as effectively as drug trafficking.’

Benjamin 'The Claw' Castellazzo, 82, Russo's underboss, was also arrested in the raid

Benjamin ‘The Claw’ Castellazzo, 82, Russo’s underboss, was additionally arrested in the raid

 ‘This Office and its regulation enforcement companions are dedicated to dismantling organized crime families, eliminating their corrupt affect in our communities and defending the independence of labor unions.’ 

The feds additionally arrested a soldier for the Bonanno household, John Ragano, who’s charged with loansharking, fraud and drug-trafficking offenses. 

Ragano is accused of main a scheme to subject fraudulent office security coaching certifications to building employees, in response to the indictment.

Rather than present candidates the right coaching, Ragano allegedly falsified federal paperwork, indicating tons of of employees accomplished obligatory security programs that they didn’t truly full – and even attend.

Instead, varied defendants used Ragano’s pseudo-schools to conduct conferences involving Sicilian mafia members and to retailer stashes of unlawful medication.

Two different unidentified males have been additionally arrested in the raid, the spokesperson mentioned. 

‘Everything we allege in this investigation proves historical past does certainly repeat itself,’ FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll mentioned regarding the indictment. ‘The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and effectively.’ 

‘These troopers, consiglieres, underbosses, and managers are clearly not college students of historical past, and do not appear to understand that we’ll catch them. Regardless of what number of occasions they fill the void we create in their ranks, our FBI Organized Crime Task Force, and our regulation enforcement companions, are positioned to take them out once more, and once more.’ 

The feds also arrested a soldier for the Bonanno family, John Ragano, who is charged with loansharking, fraud and drug-trafficking offenses

The feds additionally arrested a soldier for the Bonanno household, John Ragano, who’s charged with loansharking, fraud and drug-trafficking offenses

According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators dedicated and are charged with a wide selection of crimes – together with extortion, loansharking, fraud and drug trafficking – on behalf of the Colombo organized crime household.

The doc asserts that Russo, Castellazzo, and DiMatteo, as effectively captains Persico, Ferrara and Vincent Ricciardo, initiated direct threats of bodily hurt, to regulate the administration of the labor union that they have been focusing on, and influenced selections that benefitted the household. 

High-ranking capo Theodore Persico, Jr., was also among the 13 alleged mobsters arrested

High-ranking capo Theodore Persico, Jr., was additionally among the many 13 alleged mobsters arrested

According to the U.S. legal professional’s workplace, Colombo captain Ricciardo and his cousin, affiliate Domenick Ricciardo, have collected a portion of the wage of a senior union official for roughly twenty years, threatening the high-ranking official and his household with violence – and even homicide – if he didn’t adjust to the household’s calls for.

In 2019, the household sought to divert greater than $10,000 per thirty days from the union’s healthcare system on to the administration of the Colombo crime household. 

Prosecutors even allege that as lately as June 21, Ricciardo was recorded throughout a telephone name threatening to kill the labor union official if he did not play ball. 

‘I’ll put him in the bottom proper in entrance of his spouse and children, proper in entrance of his f—–g home,’ Ricciardo says in the disturbing recording described in the indictment.

‘I’m not afraid to go to jail, let me inform you one thing, to show a degree? I’d f—–g shoot him proper in entrance of his spouse and children, name the police, f–k it, let me go, how lengthy you assume I’m gonna final anyway?’

The suspects are anticipated to be taken to federal court docket in Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon and can seem earlier than a decide by way of videoconference to face the slew of costs in opposition to them, together with labor racketeering involving a number of predicate acts of extortion conspiracy, tried extortion and extortion, extortionate assortment of credit score conspiracy, extortionate assortment of credit score and cash laundering conspiracy.   

Unlike the others, Ricciardo was arrested in North Carolina and shall be arraigned in Charlotte, additionally Tuesday afternoon. 

Carmine Persico, former boss of the Colombo Crime Family, and Russo's cousin, died in 2019

Carmine Persico, former boss of the Colombo Crime Family, and Russo’s cousin, died in 2019

Russo, recognized as ‘Mush,’ is a cousin of former Colombo household boss Carmine Persico, and first rose to prominence in the household when he was promoted to appearing underboss in 1973. 

Russo was sentenced to 14 years in state jail in November 1986, till his launch in July 1994, below particular parole circumstances. 

After his launch, Russo was named avenue boss, whereas Persico’s son, Alphonse ‘Allie Boy’ Persico, served as appearing boss.

During his reign, he introduced the then-warring Colombos again from the brink after a devastating civil struggle, however was arrested once more in 1996 by the FBI, who slapped him with racketeering costs, claiming he illegally managed and oversaw Long Island’s rubbish hauling business. 

In August 1999, Russo was convicted of jury tampering and sentenced to 57 months in jail, compounded by 123 months for each parole violation and his involvement in the racketeering case.

In 2010, at 76 years outdated, Russo once more took over the household as avenue boss after his parole expired, succeeding the incarcerated Ralph DeLeo. 

In 2013, he was sentenced to a different 33 months in jail.

Carmine Persico, nicknamed the Snake, died in 2019. 

Who have been the Colombo crime household?

The Colombo Crime Family is the youngest of the large five families which run the organized mafia in New York.

It was initially acknowledged as the Profaci Crime Family, with Joe Profaci main the household following the assassinations of Giuseppe ‘Joe The Boss’ Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano.

Profaci dominated the household till the Nineteen Fifties when inside feuds led to a few conflicts.

The first was led by Joe Gallo, however this revolt died down after Gallo was arrested and Profaci died from most cancers.

The household remained divided till the Nineteen Sixties when Joseph Colombo assumed management, nevertheless, after he was shot in 1971 following Gallo’s launch from jail, a second household struggle broke out.

Colombo loyalists below the command of Persico defeated the Gallos and exiled them to the Genovese household.

A 3rd inside household struggle ultimately broke out in the Nineteen Nineties when appearing boss Victor Orena tried to grab energy whereas Persico was in jail.

The household was divided in two, and ended after two years when Orena was imprisoned. 

Persico continued to guide the household till his dying behind bars in 2019. 


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