Federal law enforcement authorities Tuesday arrested 17 members of one of New York City's most notorious crime families. Prosecutors hope the arrests will help crush the crime syndicate's grip on labor unions and businesses on the waterfront.
The 68-count indictment brought by federal prosecutors against 17 members and associates of the Gambino family reads like a laundry list of mob-related crimes: racketeering, extortion, witness-tampering, wire-fraud, loan-sharking, operating illegal gambling businesses and money-laundering.
Tuesday's arrests came after three years of investigation by the federal law enforcement authorities and the New York State Organized Crime Task Force.
At the heart of the probe were the activities of the Genovese and Gambino crime families on the New York and New Jersey waterfronts. Alan Vinegrad, acting U.S. Attorney, says the arrests are significant.
"Today's charges, together with the prosecution of the Genovese family leadership, present a historic opportunity to deliver, perhaps, the most powerful blow yet to organized crime's control over the New York waterfront," he said.
Three of the 17 men arrested are close relatives of convicted mob boss John Gotti, who is currently serving a life sentence for a 1992 mob-related murder.
Federal officials say the arrests are another important step in wrenching the longshoreman labor unions from the control of the Gambino or Genovese families.