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Alleged mob bosses among 18 indicted

U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf
U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf

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Federal prosecutors arrested 18 members of the Bonanno organized crime family with the help of Bonanno family insiders. WCBS' John Slattery reports (January 21)
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• Read the superseding indictment: U.S. v. Urso, et al. (FindLaw, PDF)external link
Brooklyn (New York)
Crime, Law and Justice
Organized Crime

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Eighteen people federal prosecutors identified as members of the Bonanno crime family were indicted Tuesday on racketeering and conspiracy charges, including involvement in 15 killings.

The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn identified two of those charged, Anthony Urso and Joseph Cammarano, as the acting heads of the crime syndicate.

Urso and Commarano each faces four counts of racketeering conspiracy, including extortion, loan-sharking, and the 1990 slaying of Bonanno family associate Anthony Tomasulo.

U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf called the investigation "the broadest and deepest prosecution ever of a New York City-based organized crime family."

Prosecutors said the investigation was helped in part by the cooperation of a "made" member of the Bonanno family, who recorded conversations with Urso and Cammarano.

"With unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Bonanno family's administration, we had front-row seats, listening as these career criminals described murdering innocent victims in a desperate effort to salvage their crumbling criminal enterprise," Mauskopf said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Tomasulo was killed when he refused to pay a portion of illegal gambling proceeds.

Urso and Cammarano were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon. They face life in prison if convicted. Eight former or acting Bonanno family "captains" are also charged in the indictments.

In January 2003, prosecutors indicted Joseph Massino on racketeering charges, which also included murder.

Prosecutors say Massino led the Bonanno family before Urso became acting boss. Massino's trial is scheduled to begin in April.

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