New York Prosecutors Take On the Gambinos

February 19, 2008 11:42 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Prosecutors claim success after entering indictments against more than 60 alleged New York mobsters. But some say only legal reforms will reduce crime.

30-Second Summary

After one of the biggest mob investigations in New York history, federal prosecutors on Feb. 7 charged dozens of reputed Gambino crime family members with murder, racketeering and extortion.

The indictments coincided with Operation “Old Bridge,” an Italian investigation targeting Sicilian mobsters with ties to America.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said, "Today we serve notice that anyone who aspired to a position in organized crime will meet the same fate.”

But some experts said the arrests just prove how strong the Mafia is.

“Even spectacular busts won’t end mob influence unless government presses for reforms that transform the very nature of the construction business,” argues City Journal Senior Editor and Manhattan Institute fellow Steven Malanga.

Bipartisan efforts to reform state contracting laws have been stuck in the legislature since last summer.

Previous enforcement actions may have merely pushed problems from one construction-related trade to another, says Toby Thacher, a former School Construction Authority official. “Anybody who says the mob is no longer involved is clueless about how this industry operates,” Thacher told the Daily News.

Malanga also warns that new mobs with Asian and Eastern European ties threaten to take over racketeering.

Prosecutors agree that the war against organized crime is not over.  “We can’t declare victory and walk away,” former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthau said.

Headline Links: Mobsters indicted

Background: Operation ‘Old Bridge’ and public construction law

Opinions & Analysis: How badly was the mob hurt?

Related Topics: Italian-U.S. Mafia

Reference: Organized crime in America


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