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The FBI and Italian police carried out a raid that was part of operation “New Bridge.” According to CNN News, 24 people were arrested in the raid which included members of the powerful Gambino and Bonanno crime families. Authorities reported the major anti-mafia raid, targeted more than 40 people for international drug trafficking and organized crime. Anti-mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti and Italian police carried out the raid arresting 17 suspects, Roberti told reporters at a news conference. Historically, the Gambino family had had ties with the Sicilian Mafia, Cosa Nostra.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York charged seven suspects, naming ‘Ndrangheta member Raffaele Valente, also known as “Lello,” Gambino associate Franco Lupoi, Bonanno associate Charles Centaro, also known as “Charlie Pepsi,” Dominic Ali, Alexander Chan, Christos Fasarakis, and Jose Alfredo Garcia, also known as “Freddy.” The men are charged with drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses.


According to investigators, the operation was the first ever coordinated and run by U.S. and Italian police targeting the ties between the two countries’ ‘Ndrangheta mafia families. The Italian mafia family involved in the alliance, or “bridge,” with the Gambino family, is called Ursino Ionica.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch reported that “The ‘Ndrangheta is an exceptionally dangerous, sophisticated and insidious criminal organization, with tentacles stretching from Italy to countries around the world.”

It has been reported that the illegal traffic of drugs between the United States and Italy that was stopped by police could have earned the mafia millions of euros. $7 million in cocaine was seized in connection with Mexican drug cartels operating in Guyana. According to CNN, mafia families of the “new continent” are still seeking and relying on “old country” connections which are why investigators named the operation “New Bridge.”

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In April of 2010 alleged Gambino crime family member Onofrio Modica, was arrested on counts including murder, racketeering, and prostitution of minors and trying to locate and intimidate a sequestered jury.

And back in November 30, 2011, Federal agents arrested members of the Gambino and Bonanno crime families who were allegedly involved in a sex trafficking ring. Among the 20 people arrested was reputed Gambino crime family leader Alphonse Trucchio, on a host of charges that included visa fraud, marriage fraud and transporting illegal aliens. According to federal prosecutors, the defendants would provide women to owners and operators of strip clubs in Queens and Long Island and would charge the clubs “protection” money. Just to note, Queens locals pretty much understood and were not in ignorance about the situation.

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