An ex-son-in-law of late New York mob boss John Gotti was arrested in Ohio on Wednesday in what police described as a scheme to scrap stolen cars.
Carmine "The Bull" Agnello was charged with theft, money laundering and conspiracy in connection with the alleged car-scrapping operation.
He was also charged with drugging race horses before competition, animal cruelty and "corrupting" sports following an investigation by Cleveland police and the Cuyahoga County prosecutors office, authorities said.
The charges were brought as part of an 18-month investigation called "Operation Goodfella."
"We are not going to let the Mafia sink their teeth back into Cleveland and make this into an outpost for their New York-based corrupt enterprises," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement.
Police said they found multiple firearms and $45,000 cash in a search at Agnello's home in Bentleyville, Ohio, about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland, and also found evidence of illegal dumping at his scrap metal business in Cleveland.
Cleveland police said they had been investigating scrap metal yards after very few vehicles were recovered despite a spike in car thefts in the past three years. They focused on Agnello's yard because of the large amount of cars it processed.
Police accused Agnello of defrauding a regional scrap metal processor of more than $3 million since 2014 by weighing down stolen scrapped cars with dirt.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted police as saying Agnello paid teenagers to steal cars, usually for $20 or $25 per vehicle, and bring them to his business.
Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Edward Tomba said Agnello, who is in his mid-50s, had been convicted in New York on federal charges in 2001 similar to those brought by Cleveland and served seven years in prison.
Agnello and Gotti's daughter, Victoria Gotti, star of the reality program "Growing Up Gotti," divorced in 2002.
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