More than a dozen prominent members of Colombo’s criminal family, including all of the Mafia clan leaders, were charged Tuesday in a massive labor racketeering case brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
All but two of the men were arrested in the early hours of Tuesday in New York and New Jersey, according to a law enforcement official who had been briefed on the case. Another was due to surrender to authorities on Tuesday, and one defendant was on the run in Florida, a second official said.
Indictment accuses Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade ploy to extort an anonymous union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and close contracts that would benefit the family of crime.
The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn to wipe out what was once one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, the indictment accuses several misdeeds often associated with the Mafia, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan sharking and falsifying federal work safety documents. .
In a court file, prosecutors described a series of intercepted calls among members of the organization, writing that the recordings “clearly show that the Colombo crime family is thriving and continues to engage in various crimes.” Prosecutors are calling for the detention of most of the defendants, who are due to appear before a judge on Tuesday afternoon.
William K. Rashbaum contributed reports.