FBI and ITALIAN POLICE COMBINE IN MAFIA DRUG BUST
Source of story FBI
Twenty-four defendants with ties to powerful Italian organized crime syndicate known as the ‘Ndrangheta arrested in coordinated U.S.-Italian Takedown.
‘Ndrangheta member, Gambino, an associate Bonanno, and four others were charged in United States with drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms offenses.Investigation reveals ties to Mexican drug cartels and corrupt Italian Port Officials.
The FBI and Italian police have arrested dozens in connection with a transnational heroin- and cocaine-trafficking conspiracy linking Italy’s ‘ndrangheta syndicate with the notorious Gambino and Bonanno crime families in the United States.
Nighttime raids carried out in southern Italy, the United States and Canada early Tuesday netted 24 people — including seven in New York: ‘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 ‘Ndrangheta is an exceptionally dangerous, sophisticated, and insidious criminal organization with tentacles stretching from Italy to countries around the world,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said “The defendant Lupoi sought to use his connections with both ‘Ndrangheta and the Gambino crime family to extend his own criminal reach literally around the globe. Today, thanks to the vigilance and sustained cooperation of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners in Italy, the ‘Ndrangheta’s efforts to gain a foothold in New York have been dealt a lasting blow.”
Using wiretaps and an undercover agent named “Jimmy,” the FBI said it was able to infiltrate the Brooklyn-based mob and stop “a plot to transport 500 kilograms of cocaine, concealed in frozen food, in shipping containers from Guyana to Calabria.”
Investigators estimated the street value of the cocaine after cutting would have been about 750 million euros, or $1 billion.
In Italy, 17 others were arrested in connection with the alleged drug ring. The massive joint operation targeted the breakup of a new trafficking route into the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro. More than 150 anti-mafia police participated in the predawn Italian raids. The operation, was known as “New Bridge.”