Thursday, April 30, 2015

Author & Ex-FBI Agent, Robert Fitzpatrick, Charged with Perjury During Whitey Bulger Trial

A former FBI agent lied to jurors during mobster James "Whitey" Bulger's trial and overstated his professional accomplishments, including falsely claiming to be the first officer who recovered the rifle used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr., federal officials said Thursday in announcing a perjury case against him.

Robert Fitzpatrick, who was once second in command of the Boston FBI division, surrendered to U.S. marshals with his lawyer after learning there was a warrant for his arrest.

Fitzpatrick, the first witness called by Bulger's attorneys during his 2013 racketeering trial, said he tried to persuade the FBI to terminate Bulger as an informant because the mobster didn't appear to be helping its mission to gather information on the Mafia. Fitzpatrick said his bosses didn't agree with him.

Prosecutors suggested he exaggerated that claim to sell copies of a book Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down, he wrote about BulgerBetrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down.

Fitzpatrick was due to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon on six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice. His lawyer, Robert Goldstein, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the accusations.

During Bulger's trial, prosecutor Brian Kelly started his cross-examination of Fitzpatrick by asking him if he was a man who likes to make up stories. Fitzpatrick denied that.

Kelly went on to press Fitzpatrick about a claim he had made previously that he was the first officer at the scene who recovered the weapon used to kill King.

"I was the first FBI agent at the scene, and I found a rifle coming down the stairs, having just missed James Earl Ray, the shooter," Fitzpatrick said. "The rifle was in the alcove, and there's a report to that."

Kelly pressed him further: "Isn't it true that three Memphis police officers found the rifle that was used to kill Martin Luther King, not Bob Fitzpatrick?" Kelly asked.

"I found the rifle along with them. They could have been there ... but I'm the one that took the rifle," Fitzpatrick said.

Kelly then told Fitzpatrick that a report says someone else took the rifle from police officers and turned the bundle over to the FBI three hours later. "I took the bundle from the scene," Fitzpatrick explained.

Fitzpatrick also told jurors that in 1981, about six years after Bulger began working an informant, he was given the task of assessing whether the mobster was providing the FBI with useful information. The ex-agent insisted that he repeatedly sought to end the FBI's relationship with Bulger, particularly after Bulger was considered a suspect in two 1982 killings.

During the trial, prosecutors suggested that Fitzpatrick also exaggerated that claim.

The 85-year-old Bulger is serving two life sentences after his 2013 racketeering conviction tying him to 11 murders and other gangland crimes in the 1970s and '80s.

The indictment alleges that since 1998, Fitzpatrick "has falsely held himself out as a whistleblower who tried to end the FBI's relationship with Bulger." He was accused of making false statements "designed to aid Bulger's defense."

Bulger's lawyers argued during his trial that he was not an informant, and Fitzpatrick testified that Bulger denied being an FBI informant to him.

The indictment says Bulger never made that denial.

Fitzpatrick, 75, of Charlestown, Rhode Island, worked for the FBI from 1965 to 1986. In 1980, he was assigned as an assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Boston division. In that position, he supervised the division's organized crime squad.

Prosecutors say Bulger was an informant for the squad from approximately 1975 through 1990.

The indictment says that in May 1986, Fitzpatrick was demoted and reassigned to the Providence, Rhode Island, field office. He left the FBI shortly after that, in December 1986.

Walter Blackman, High Ranking Leader of the Black Disciples, Sentenced for Narcotics Distribution

A high-ranking leader of the Black Disciples street gang was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after being convicted of narcotics distribution. The defendant, WALTER BLACKMAN, 52, of Gary, Indiana, pleaded guilty in August 2014 to distribution of illegal narcotics. Today’s sentence was imposed by United States District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang. Blackman has been in federal custody since his arrest in April 2013. He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

Blackman was a high-ranking leader of the Black Disciples street gang in Chicago. He distributed drugs—including crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin—and controlled the Black Disciples gang members’ drug trafficking in the city of Chicago’s far south side, including the violence-plagued Roseland and Altgeld Gardens communities. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Blackman admitted that he had approximately 500 subordinate gang members underneath his control in his territory in “the hundreds,” being part of the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago named for the three-digit streets.

Blackman’s charges in this case, namely sixteen counts of drug distribution, are a small sample of his larger drug trafficking operation in and outside the Black Disciples street gang—an operation that encompassed multiple drug types, multiple years, and multiple states. The defendant was a repeat and large scale supplier of controlled substances, selling and distributing crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin in the Chicago area and elsewhere, including Wisconsin, to numerous wholesale customers.

The Court held Blackman responsible for distributing approximately 4,000 grams of crack cocaine, 1,000 grams of powder cocaine, and approximately 390 grams of heroin. Blackman also possessed firearms during his drug trafficking activities.

“This sentence holds the defendant accountable for the narcotics enterprise he controlled, and for his role in the accompanying gang and gun violence that harms our communities,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. “I want to thank our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners for their brave and outstanding work which has resulted in a major impact on this street gang’s narcotics operation and illegal activities,” Mr. Fardon added.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gang of Joloperro Kidnapping Crews Targeted Drug Dealers, Bookmakers and Money Launderers

The Dominican street gang in Lawrence, Massachusetts must have thought they had the perfect illegal enterprise: kidnap drug dealers, bookmakers, and money launderers, steal their cash and drugs, and then hold them for ransom—knowing that since the victims were themselves criminals, they and their families would likely never report the abductions.

The gang members—known as joloperros, or stick-up guys—were organized, armed, and violent: They often tortured their victims, sometimes with hot irons.

“They targeted anyone they thought they could make large sums of money from,” said Special Agent Jeff Wood, coordinator of the North Shore Gang Task Force, one of the FBI’s three Safe Streets Task Forces in Massachusetts.

The kidnappings began around 2010 in and around Lawrence, a largely Hispanic city and gang stronghold located about 20 miles north of Boston. The North Shore Gang Task Force—made up of the FBI, the Massachusetts State Police, the Lawrence Police Department, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, and other local law enforcement agencies—worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency to build a case against the crew.

“The victims and their families would not report the crimes,” Wood said, “because they didn’t want to admit that, yes, they were selling drugs or laundering money. And some of the victims were in the country illegally.”

The joloperros mainly targeted drug dealers, and their methods were sophisticated. They used GPS devices to track individuals, conducted surveillance to learn targets’ routes and movements, and also tried to identify dealers’ stash houses.

“They weren’t targeting street-level dealers, but rather suppliers,” Wood said. Some of the victims were selling multiple kilos of heroin and cocaine on a monthly basis.

When the actual abductions took place, the crew would grab the victim, duct tape his hands, and put a cover over his head. Victims were taken to safe houses, where they were often tortured, and large ransoms were demanded from their families.

“When we got word of a kidnapping, we would go to the family and they wouldn’t cooperate,” Wood said. But over time, using a variety of investigative techniques such as confidential sources, controlled drug buys, and other means, most of the crew was dismantled.

Last month, after previously pleading guilty to a violent 2012 kidnapping in which a $100,000 ransom was demanded, Edgar Acevedo was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Since the task force investigation began more than two years ago, approximately 20 individuals have been charged in federal court—including some of the gang’s leaders—with kidnapping-related offenses or for crimes associated with the Lawrence-based kidnapping crews. To date, nine people have pled guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and four others have pled guilty to firearm-related offenses. Several joloperros are awaiting trial.

“At one point, these kidnapping crews had a very large presence in Lawrence,” Wood said, “but their presence has decreased dramatically thanks to law enforcement intervention.” He noted that many people associate violent gangs with Los Angeles or the Southwest Border, “but gangs are just as violent and just as dangerous in upstate Maine as they are in Los Angeles. They lower the quality of life in the community they are operating in, no matter where that community is.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe

From National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer comes the gripping story of Pope Pius XI’s secret relations with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. This groundbreaking work, based on seven years of research in the Vatican and Fascist archives, including reports from Mussolini’s spies inside the highest levels of the Church, will forever change our understanding of the Vatican’s role in the rise of Fascism in Europe.

The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe tells the story of two men who came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of twentieth-century history. In most respects, they could not have been more different. One was scholarly and devout, the other thuggish and profane. Yet Pius XI and “Il Duce” had many things in common. They shared a distrust of democracy and a visceral hatred of Communism. Both were prone to sudden fits of temper and were fiercely protective of the prerogatives of their office. (“We have many interests to protect,” the Pope declared, soon after Mussolini seized control of the government in 1922.) Each relied on the other to consolidate his power and achieve his political goals.

In a challenge to the conventional history of this period, in which a heroic Church does battle with the Fascist regime, Kertzer shows how Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini’s dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. In exchange for Vatican support, Mussolini restored many of the privileges the Church had lost and gave in to the pope’s demands that the police enforce Catholic morality. Yet in the last years of his life—as the Italian dictator grew ever closer to Hitler—the pontiff’s faith in this treacherous bargain started to waver. With his health failing, he began to lash out at the Duce and threatened to denounce Mussolini’s anti-Semitic racial laws before it was too late. Horrified by the threat to the Church-Fascist alliance, the Vatican’s inner circle, including the future Pope Pius XII, struggled to restrain the headstrong pope from destroying a partnership that had served both the Church and the dictator for many years.

The Pope and Mussolini brims with memorable portraits of the men who helped enable the reign of Fascism in Italy: Father Pietro Tacchi Venturi, Pius’s personal emissary to the dictator, a wily anti-Semite known as Mussolini’s Rasputin; Victor Emmanuel III, the king of Italy, an object of widespread derision who lacked the stature—literally and figuratively—to stand up to the domineering Duce; and Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli, whose political skills and ambition made him Mussolini’s most powerful ally inside the Vatican, and positioned him to succeed the pontiff as the controversial Pius XII, whose actions during World War II would be subject for debate for decades to come.

With the recent opening of the Vatican archives covering Pius XI’s papacy, the full story of the Pope’s complex relationship with his Fascist partner can finally be told. Vivid, dramatic, with surprises at every turn, The Pope and Mussolini is history writ large and with the lightning hand of truth.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Can't Wait to Read "Doug Buffone: Monster of the Midway: My 50 Years Livin' and Dyin' with the Chicago Bears"

A beloved Bear’s tales of the epic highs and frustrating lows of the team over the last half century

In Doug Buffone: Monster of the Midway: My 50 Years Livin' and Dyin' with the Chicago Bears, author and former Bear Doug Buffone provides a behind-the-scenes look at the personalities and events that have shaped the franchise’s storied history.

Beginning in 1966, when Buffone was selected in the fourth round by the Bears, the book details his early playing days under legendary Coach George Halas all the way through the start of the new era of the franchise with John Fox. He takes readers through the exhilaration of being teammates with the legendary Gale Sayers, as well as the heartrending experience of losing teammate Brian Piccolo to cancer, which would go on to inspire the award-winning movie Brian’s Song. Before retiring as the last Bear to have played under Halas in 1980, Buffone also had the pleasure of sharing the locker room with the next superstar Bears running back, Walter Payton, helping lay the groundwork that would lead to the unforgettable 1985 Super Bowl champion squad.

Luckily, even after his playing days, Buffone never strayed far from the Bears organization, covering the team on television and radio for more than three decades. From the greatness of Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Brian Urlacher, and Matt Forte to the debacles of Rashaan Salaam, Dave McGinnis, and Mark Trestman, Buffone has seen it all, and this book gives fans a taste of what it’s like to be a part of the Bears storied history.

Two Charged for Attempting to Kill a Man Believed to be a Federal Witness Related to Sex Trafficking Organization

In a third superseding indictment unsealed, two men were charged with witness tampering by attempting to kill him and for conspiring with each other to do so. These charges were brought in addition to charges previously filed against one of the men involving a multi-state sex trafficking ring that victimized minor and adult women.

Jaquan Casanova a/k/a “Cass,” “Joffe,” “Joffy,” and “Joffy Joe,” 24, of Dorchester was charged for the first time in a third superseding indictment for tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him and for making false statements to a federal agent. Raymond Jeffreys, a/k/a “Skame Dollarz,” “Skame,” “Skamen,” “Define Dollarz,” and “Frenchy,” 27, of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Portland, Maine; and Corey Norris, a/k/a “Case,” and “Jacorey Johnson,” 25, of Dorchester, were also charged in the third superseding indictment. Jeffreys was charged alongside Casanova with tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him and with conspiring with each other to do so. In addition, Jeffreys and Norris were charged again with the multiple sex trafficking counts brought against them in previous indictments.

Specifically, the third superseding indictment charges Jeffreys and Norris with the trafficking and transportation of nine victims, six of whom were under the age of 18, for the purposes of prostitution in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Nevada, Georgia, Florida and California. The charges of tampering with a witness by attempting to kill that witness are related to this sex trafficking organization. The initial indictment in the case, returned in March 2013, charged Norris, Darian Thomson, a/k/a “Bo,” “Dee Bo,” and a woman named Vanessa Grandoit with sex trafficking of a minor from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in December 2012. According to the allegations in the third superseding indictment, in April 2013, Thomson was released from state custody on unrelated state charges in New Jersey and returned to Boston, where he was shot in the head by Casanova at the direction of Jeffreys. The third superseding indictment alleges that Jeffreys believed that Thomson had cooperated with law enforcement in New Jersey and directed the shooting of Thomson with the intent to kill him in order to prevent Thomson from providing information to federal law enforcement regarding his and Norris’ sex trafficking activities.

The third superseding indictment also re-alleges that, at various times from 2006 through 2014, Jeffreys, Norris, and others trafficked the victims for prostitution by force, fraud or coercion and, in the cases of the minor girls, knowing or in reckless disregard that they were under the age of 18. The third superseding indictment contains specific allegations regarding the sex trafficking operation, such as that Jeffreys targeted vulnerable girls and women, including those who were poor and/or homeless, drug addicts, and those who were already working as prostitutes or who had done so in the past. Many of the women either had children when they met Jeffreys and/or became pregnant with his child. Jeffreys used a variety of techniques to persuade and manipulate the women, including making promises about providing for them and their children, and then only doing so if the women performed acts of prostitution. Jeffreys used a variety of techniques to control the girls and women through force, fraud, coercion and a combination of those means, including by threatening the women that he would kill them. The third superseding indictment also alleges that Jeffreys worked with other men as “pimp partners” or “p partners” to share resources, such as car rides, hotel rooms, and payment for online advertisements. Jeffreys taught other men, including Norris and Thomson how to engage in sex trafficking, and these men became “pimp partners” with Jeffreys.

The charge of tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him or conspiring to do so provides a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Each of the charges of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of a lifetime in prison, a minimum of five years and a maximum of a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Each of the charges of sex trafficking of a minor provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of a lifetime in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Watch The History of DEA's Specials Ops Division via the @DEAEdFoundation Museum Lecture Series

DEA Museum Lecture Series

Please join the DEA Museum for the first lecture of the Spring 2015 Lecture Series.

“A Look Behind the Curtain”

The History of DEA’s Special Operations Division

Wednesday, April 22, 11:00 AM Eastern
DEA Museum HQ Auditorium

with LIVE webcast on

Operations Adam Bomb, Crystal Light, One-Eyed Mule & Angry Pirate - these are just a few of the many drug interdictions overseen by DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD). Please join us for a spirited discussion on the history of this division as we take a look behind the curtain. This program will feature panelists Michael Horn, former DEA Chief of International Operations; Joseph Keefe, former DEA Chief of Operations; Robert Nieves, former DEA Chief of International Operations; and John Wallace, former DEA Chief Counsel for International Law & Intelligence.

Sign language interpretation will be provided.

(Note:: Mark your calendar for the 2nd lecture on June 25, on Operation Tiger Trap.)

For more information, please contact the DEA Museum Education Department at 202-307-3463.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Black Souls" Italian Mafia Film Sizzles

It opens on a gray shot, with a cement shore forming the horizon between dark skies and cold water. Two men, shot from behind, stand far apart, looking like bookends in the frame. A boat approaches, and the men get in, beginning a journey across the channel and into the world of real-life southern Italian mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta.

From the opening shot, Francesco Munzi’s “Black Souls” (“Anime Nere”) is the type of film that, through intimate details and transportative landscapes, makes you feel as if you’ve been somewhere. The Italian-language mafia drama, based on Gioacchino Criaco’s novel by the same name, tells the tragic story of the Carbone brothers. Luigi (Marco Leonardi) is a muscled-up drug dealer with a penchant for goat stealing and folk songs. His brother, Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) is a smartly dressed businessman with a northern wife and a lavish home. Meanwhile, Fabrizio Ferracane convincingly emotes steel-eyed trepidation as the eldest, Luciano, a shepherd in the mountain town of Africo who is desperate to keep his hands clean and steer his foolish son, Leo (newcomer Giuseppe Fumo) away from a life of crime.

Despite his father’s stern efforts, Leo is drawn to the allure of the family business. He shoots up a bar after the owner — with whom the Carbones have a deep-seated blood feud — insults his family’s honor. Leo then flees to Milan in the hopes of becoming his uncles’ young protege, but he succeeds only in bringing the whole family back to the Calabrian mountain to settle the rivalry once and for all.

And so what begins as a transnational crime thriller develops into a family drama driven by grief. Violence darkens rather than enlivens the film, adding weight to the grudge under which the Carbone brothers seem destined to buckle. While the story tends to wander away from its focus from time to time, the familiar, lived-in quality of the set remains a constant throughout. The walls and drawers of the family home, with their old photos and yellowing obituaries, are the ghosts of generations of other black souls whose presences silently propel the film’s action.

There’s a calmness throughout “Black Souls” that separates it from glamorously violent mafia films like “The Godfather” and puts it more in line with Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah” (2008), a neorealist triumph set in a Neapolitan wasteland. While Garrone masterfully details the connection of small-time Camorra gangsters to an international crime network, Munzi does not make nearly as strong a statement on the modern global mafia, choosing instead to focus on Italy.

“I made this film in a town that legal professionals and journalists stigmatize as one of the most mafia‐ridden places in Italy, one of the nerve centres of the Calabrian ‘ndrangheta: Africo,” Munzi wrote in his director’s statement. “Africo has a very tough history of criminality, but it can help us understand many things about our country. From Africo, we have a better view of Italy.”

Munzi’s view of Italy offers a critique on the traditionalism that keeps the ‘Ndrangheta in place. While the director’s previous work in “Saimir” (2004) and “The Rest of the Night” (2008) dealt with issues of immigration, “Black Souls” explores the experience of rooted Italians clinging to old customs while grasping at opportunities to grow. He presents an Italy where omerta,  a code of silence about criminal activity, is still the law of the land, where women keep quiet unless they’re in their own sphere and where generations of men perpetuate a system of vengeance and violence. It’s an Italy with a stark urban-rural divide and seemingly few options for young people like Leo to escape their ancestrally dictated peasant lifestyles.

It’s no sexy shoot ‘em up film, but Munzi’s mafia drama is an elegant contribution to the genre. Though it takes its sweet time to develop, “Black Souls” rewards its viewers in the end with a  spectacular payoff that sizzles long after the credits run.

Thanks to Grace Lovio.

Reputed Bonanno Mobster Vinny Vertuccio Indicted for Conspiracy Connected to One World Trade Center @OneWTC

A ten-count indictment was unsealed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging the defendant Vincent Vertuccio, also known as “Vinny,” with conspiracy to defraud the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in connection with the One World Trade Center project located in lower Manhattan, and related money laundering and tax crimes. The defendant Praful Pandya, an accountant, was charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns for Vertuccio. The defendant John Servider, a lawyer, was charged with Vertuccio with conspiracy to alter, and alteration of, records for use in a grand jury proceeding. The indictment was returned under seal by a federal grand jury sitting in Brooklyn, New York, on April 8, 2015.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS), Cheryl Garcia, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations (DOL-OIG), Diego G. Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Michael Nestor, Inspector General, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Office of Inspector General (PA-OIG).

As alleged in the indictment, Vincent Vertuccio controlled and directed the activities of Crimson Construction Corporation (Crimson), a company that was awarded a contract for work at the One World Trade Center (1WTC) project in lower Manhattan worth approximately $11.4 million. In seeking the contract, Vertuccio directed an employee of Crimson not to disclose Vertuccio’s role in Crimson because of his ties to organized crime. After being awarded the contract, Crimson received more than $1.5 million in connection with the 1WTC project, of which significant sums were diverted into a bank account held by Vertuccio’s mother and used to pay for renovations to Vertuccio’s daughter’s house. As a result, Crimson was unable to meet its obligations at 1WTC and was terminated from the project. Vertuccio, with the assistance of his accountant Praful Pandya, also submitted false and fraudulent individual tax returns for tax years 2008 and 2011.

After Vertuccio became aware of an ongoing grand jury investigation into his conduct, he and his lawyer, John Servider, allegedly conspired to alter invoices and sales receipts issued by a Manhattan jewelry store so as to remove Vertuccio’s name from the records before they were returned to the grand jury.

“As alleged, Vertuccio and his team of criminal consultants, including his accountant and his lawyer, cheated the taxpayers and the criminal justice system for their own corrupt purposes. We will not tolerate self-serving exploitations of Port Authority projects. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute such criminal activity,” stated United States Attorney Lynch.

“As the federal agency responsible for investigating tax crimes, IRS-Criminal Investigation works with our law enforcement partners on a variety of complex financial fraud investigations toward the mutual goals of protecting the American taxpayer and seeing that everyone pays their fair share. When individuals divert money intended for public projects into their own pockets, they risk committing tax and money laundering crimes in the process, inviting additional criminal sanctions. These consequences are magnified by the steps they take to conceal their actions and cover their tracks,” stated IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Kitchen.

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded the Port Authority and the construction of One World Trade Center. When they learned of our investigation, they altered invoices, changed names, and doctored receipts in a vain attempt to avoid detection. We have no tolerance for the shakedown of projects,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.

“Today serves as an unfortunate reminder that as alleged in the indictment, organized crime continues to plague the region’s construction industry. Accordingly, we remain vigilant in protecting Port Authority projects and programs from fraudsters who line their pockets at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” stated PA-OIG Inspector General Nestor. Mr. Nestor expressed thanks to his law enforcement partners for their dedication and skill in the investigation of this case and commended the One World Trade Center integrity monitor whose efforts were integral in detecting some of the alleged schemes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Drug Kingpin Saul Rodriguez Seeks Deal Like That Given to Other Gangsters for Cooperating

A drug kingpin whose testimony brought down a former Chicago cop and a murderous kidnapping crew is asking for a big break in his upcoming sentencing because of his extensive work as a rat for the government, but prosecutors are balking at the request.

Saul Rodriguez — who killed at least three people, including his best friend, kidnapped dozens of people and put millions of dollars of cocaine and heroin on Chicago’s streets — is seeking a sentence like the ones given to the key witnesses who helped the government break the Chicago mob and the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico.

Nick Calabrese, the top witness in the Family Secrets case against the Chicago Outfit, got a 12 year sentence. And twin brothers Margarito and Pedro Flores each were recently sentenced to 14 years in prison for their cooperation in the investigation of Sinaloa boss Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, the FBI’s most-sought fugitive until his arrest last year. But federal prosecutors said Rodriguez, whose sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 17, should receive a 40 year prison term because of the particularly evil nature of his crimes.

“Rodriguez had his best friend, Juan Luevano, murdered and then showed up at the funeral acting like a mourner,” according to a filing in federal court in Chicago.

“Rodriguez had 29 individuals kidnapped so that he could steal drugs or money. Six of his victims were children. One was an elderly grandmother.”

In their filing, prosecutors acknowledged that Rodriguez’s help was valuable — among those sent to prison due to his testimony was former Chicago Police Officer Glenn Lewellen — but the case pales in comparison with taking down Chicago’s top mob leaders or the top drug dealer in the world.

“Though Rodriguez’s cooperation was significant, it is inapt to compare it to the Flores brothers who secretly recorded meetings with cartel leaders while in Mexico,” the government said.

“The Flores brothers helped bring down an entire Mexican drug cartel,” the government said, adding that Calabrese “cooperated for seven years, wore a wire against notorious mob killers, testified against his own family and helped solve 13 murders.”

Thanks to a plea agreement, Rodriguez avoided a life sentence, but a “40-year sentence is necessary to ensure that Rodriguez will never again terrorize others for his own benefit,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block wrote.

Rodriguez has received permission from the court to file his sentencing arguments under seal.

Thanks to Frank Main.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower

In North Africa, on the beaches at Normandy, and in the Battle of the Bulge, Dwight David Eisenhower proved himself as one of the world's greatest military leaders. Faced with conciliating or disagreeing with such stormy figures as Churchill, Roosevelt, and DeGaulle, and generals like Montgomery and Patton, General Eisenhower showed himself to be as skillful a diplomat as he was a strategist.

Stephen E. Ambrose, associate editor of the General's official papers, analyzes his subject's decisions in The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower, which Doubleday first published in 1970. Throughout the book Ambrose traces the steady development of Eisenhower's generalcy--from its dramatic beginnings through his time at the top post of Allied command.

The New York Times Book Review said of The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower, "It is Mr. Ambrose's special triumph that he has been able to fight through the memoranda, the directives, plans, reports, and official self-serving pieties of the World War II establishment to uncover the idiosyncratic people at its center. ... General Dwight Eisenhower comes remarkably alive. ...[Ambrose's] angle of sight is so fresh and lively that one reads as if one did not know what was coming next. It is better than that: One does know what's coming next--not only the winning of a war but the making of a general--but the interest is in seeing how."

This study of Eisenhower's role in the world's biggest war is absorbing as reading and invaluable as a reference.

Stephen E. Ambrose was Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center, Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, and president of the National D- Day Museum. He was the author of many books, most recently "Mississippi and the Making of a Nation From the Louisana Purchase to Today.." His compilation of 1,400 oral histories from American veterans and authorship of over 20 books established him as one of the foremost historians of the Second World War in Europe.

Is @Scientology a Religion? A Cult? or An Organized Crime Operation?

After watching "Going Clear," an HBO documentary on Scientology, I am now convinced that their "religion" is not a cult, as I had thought for many years, but actually it is an organized crime operation.

It is a "religion" founded by a huckster (L. Ron Hubbard) and is currently run by a despot (David Miscavige). Their methodology for keeping people brainwashed is simple, but there is a complex system at work to build on a brand and keep cash flowing in.

Scientology does have its cult-like qualities such as its own special lingo for simple terms such as "suppressive persons" for those who doubt them and "auditor" for a person who basically acts as a psychiatrist. But you do not amass a billion-dollar empire without instilling fear, cravenly keeping secrecy at a high level and having an effective way of getting other people's money into your pockets.

To make your way along "the bridge to total freedom" toward some sort of enlightenment, those who join Scientology have to pay to learn about your own "religion."

To talk with an "auditor" and achieve the next level in the Escher-like set of steps it takes to learn about Xenu, it will cost you. One former "auditor" said some sessions can cost as much as $1,000 an hour and people have been drained of their life savings along the way.

Just like any good crime syndicate, you want to keep your business model under wraps lest someone rat you out for being the criminal you really are while you soft-peddle yourself as some kind of saint.

Scientology has perfected the practice.

Do you see advertisements for their "religion"? Are they on street corners handing out flyers? Are their announcements in the papers or online encouraging you to come on in and see for yourself if their brand of spirituality is right for you?

Of course not.

Yet they are somehow self-sufficient enough and bring in enough business that they can remain out of the public eye while they bankrupt their own members.

Bafflingly, the Scientology movement continues to grow.

Their own website does not list how many members there are in the organization, but that "10,000 Scientology churches, missions, related organizations and affiliated groups minister to millions."

That is a pretty good-sized base in which to financially and psychologically destroy your own membership while filling your own coffers.

How do you keep from letting anyone in your syndicate change their mind and go running to the cops? You do that by blackmailing them.

The "if you rat us out we have something 10 times worse to tell them about you" gambit has been around for centuries and it is a well-documented tactic used against those who have tried to get out of Scientology. Those divisive nuggets are picked up and stored by your auditor on your journey across the bridge.

If someone on the outside tries to tell you that what you are doing is mind-bogglingly stupid, the organization is right there to tell you that they will take care of you, and that those pesky "suppressive persons" don't pay your rent and put food on the table, the organization does. They tell you that without them you would be nothing and it is the outsiders who do not understand what you are searching for.

Like any good crime syndicate, they will go after their enemies for even the smallest slight against them and look to make an example of them.

That retaliatory and vengeful stance is what got them the key piece of their empire.

During the '80s and early '90s, the group as a whole and thousands of its members sued the Internal Revenue Service with the end goal of gaining the tax-exempt status every other religious organization receives. Not declaring millions to the IRS means you get to turn those millions into billions.

Dovetail those litigation tactics with a smear campaign and the promise to drown the IRS in paper for a decade, and Scientology got what it wanted.

In 1993 the government gave it the tax-exempt status that has turned it into the biggest crime syndicate in the history of mankind. Miscavige stood in front of thousands of followers in Los Angeles in his nice crisp tuxedo and declared that "we won the war." It promptly withdrew all its litigation.

The biggest difference between an actual crime syndicate who terrorizes a city or a neighborhood is that it is stealing from and brow beating others to fill its own coffers. Scientology robs, brow beats, brainwashes and isolates its own followers while depositing their checks.

This is a "religion" that is not even a half century old and based on the ramblings of a man who wrote pulp fiction books and converted it into a theology, but in that short amount of time it has accumulated BILLIONS that is now all in the hands of Miscavige. It is all done under the guise of being a religion, when it is really a criminal operation.

Scientology is not benevolent with its money. It is not out doing good deeds in the community or giving back to those who helped build it up. It builds idyllic centers for itself and keeps every dime it brings in.

Even a criminal family tries to keep up appearances by building an addition to a church or giving back to the community on bingo night, but not Miscavige.

Hubbard went broke creating his hokum "religion" in the 1950s, but rebranded it, added some new mumbo-jumbo to it and again set forth to make money. Money was his only intent then and remains so to this day, which is at the heart of every criminal organization around the world.

Thanks to Matthew Fahr.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

976 gang members and associates arrested during @ICEgov surge #ProjectWildfire

Nearly 1,000 gang members and associates from 239 different gangs were arrested in 282 cities across the U.S. during Project Wildfire, a six-week operation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The operation targeted transnational criminal gangs and others associated with transnational criminal activity.

“Criminal gangs inflict violence and fear upon our communities, and without the attention of law enforcement, these groups can spread like a cancer,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “That’s why ICE works with law enforcement partners around the country to stamp out gang activity wherever it takes place.”

Project Wildfire was a surge operation led by the HSI National Gang Unit and ran Feb. 23 to March 31. HSI special agents worked with 215 state, local and federal law enforcement partners, including ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), to apprehend individuals from various gangs.

This operation was part of HSI’s Operation Community Shield, a global initiative, where HSI collaborates with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to combat the growth and proliferation of transnational criminal street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs in the United States and abroad. Through its domestic and international Operation Community Shield task forces, HSI leverages its worldwide presence and expansive statutory and civil enforcement authorities to mitigate the threats posted by these global networks, often through the tracing and seizing of cash, weapons and other illicit proceeds.

Most of the individuals arrested during Project Wildfire were U.S. citizens, but 199 foreign nationals were also arrested, from 18 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Of the individuals arrested, 976 were gang members and associates. HSI agents also arrested – or assisted in the arrest – of 231 other individuals on federal and/or state criminal violations and administrative immigration violations, for a total of 1,207 arrests. Of the total 1,207 arrested, 1,057 were males and 150 were females.

Of the 976 gang members or associates arrested: 913 were charged with criminal offenses and 63 were arrested administratively for immigration violations; 650 had violent criminal histories, including 19 individuals wanted on active warrants for murder and 15 for rape or sexual assault; and 199 were foreign nationals, of which 151 were gang members and gang associates.

The majority of arrestees were affiliated with the Sureños, Norteños, Bloods, Crips, Puerto Rican-based gangs and several prison-based gangs.

Enforcement actions occurred around the country, with the greatest activity taking place in the San Juan, Dallas, El Paso, Los Angeles and Detroit HSI areas.

Enforcement actions conducted during Project Wildfire include:

  • In Puerto Rico and central Florida, 46 members of the Zorrilla criminal organization were arrested for various charges of manufacturing and distributing narcotics, money laundering and other related criminal activity.
  • In Lubbock, Texas, HSI special agents and task force officers arrested 122 known or suspected gang members and associates from the Bloods, Crips Rollin 60s, Mexican Mafia, Sureños, West Texas, Raza Unida, Aryan Brotherhood, White Aryan Resistance, West Side, Gangster Disciples, Peckerwood, Texas Syndicate and West Texas Tango.
  • In the Detroit area, HSI special agents and task force officers arrested 89 gang members and associates with ties to gangs such as the Latin Counts, Folk Nation, Sureños and Atherton Terrace.
  • In the Chicago area, HSI special agents arrested 30 gang members and affiliates with ties to the Sureños 13, Latin Kings, La Raza, Conservative Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, 4 Corner Hustlers, Maniac Latin Disciples and the Vice Lords.
  • In California’s Imperial Valley, HSI special agents arrested 28 individuals, including 10 documented gang members of the Brole, North Side Centro, West Side Centro, South Side Centro and Pilgrim Street gangs.

HSI special agents also seized 82 firearms, 5.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, 7.8 kilograms of marijuana, 5.6 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of heroin, $379,399 in U.S currency, counterfeit merchandise with a manufactures suggested retail price of $547,534 and five vehicles during Project Wildfire.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Inspector Johnny Garces Admits Conspiring to Rig Contractor Selection Process for Community Development Projects

An inspector at the Union City Community Development Agency (UCCDA) admitted conspiring with contractors to rig the selection process for home improvement, sidewalk replacement and other projects, causing losses of at least $400,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Johnny Garces, 52, of Union City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiring with others to obtain by fraud funds provided by Union City.

According to documents in this case and statements made in court:

Between April 2007 and July 2011, Garces was an inspector at the UCCDA, a government agency that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under a federal block grant that provides money for home improvement projects, sidewalk replacement and other projects.

From 2007 through 2011, Garces conspired with contractors Joseph Lado, 66, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Leovaldo Fundora, 53 of Guttenberg, New Jersey, and others to rig the selection process for HUD-funded projects through false and misleading bids. In addition to instructing Lado and Fundora to submit phony, higher bids from competitors, Garces also fabricated higher bids from numerous fictitious companies so that Lado, Fundora and others would secure the projects.

The conspiracy charge to which Garces pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Garces is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2015. Lado and Fundora have both pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme and await sentencing.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Why have so many Muslim states become hotbeds of organized crime?

Why have so many Muslim states become hotbeds of organized crime? Neil Thompson’s answer looks beyond depressed economies, faltering dictatorships and human rights abuses. Indeed, he sees too many individuals that have become corrupted by the countless opportunities that conflict provides.

Whenever a state collapses into civil war or economic anarchy, its organized crime groups find plenty of opportunities to grow in influence. This was the case in Albania in 1996-1997 when a series of pyramid schemes collapsed the economy. In the ensuing riots the government collapsed, the army and police disbanded and the mounting unrest allowed protesters to storm government arms depots. One crowd looted up to 500,000 rifles and other pieces of military equipment from the southern city of Lushnje. The stolen arms were promptly sold on the black market and the availability of plentiful supplies of cheap weapons and ammunition was a major spark for the start of war in neighboring Kosovo the following year. By 1999 transnational organized criminal gangs had helped change the supposedly sacrosanct lines of European borders. It was a seminal moment for a still under-appreciated non-state actor - globalized transnational criminal networks. The next might be provided by the Islamic world.

On Western Doorsteps

Westerners living in developed countries are often insulated from the reality of modern organized crime’s strength because the hubs of transnational criminal operations tend to be located in countries with weak economies and fragile state institutions. Consequently, too many Western analysts continue to see transnational criminal groups as a second tier threat, and focus instead on more obvious dangers such as militant Islamist networks or state-backed rebels fighting ‘proxy wars’. Yet, wherever state structures are unable to contain them, criminal groups have found spaces to expand and to diversify. This is as true in the globalized offline world as it is in the virtual spaces of the internet.

From the emergence of Eurasian mafias as ‘ mid-wives of capitalism’ in the post-Soviet space to the rise of Somalia’s pirate bands, organized criminal networks have an insidious ability to surprise the West with their arrival, the forms they assume and the unique challenges they pose to democracy and peace. Take the case of Mexico, a democratic middle-income country on the border of the world’s strongest military power. The US-backed war against its drug cartels has raged for almost a decade now and claimed the lives of over one hundred thousand people.

Currently the depressed economies and faltering dictatorships of the greater Middle East are primarily seen as a serious threat to international and regional security because they have created self-funding networks of violent religious extremists such as the so-called Islamic State. Another familiar consideration is the gross human rights abuses carried out by the security services of many regional governments. Yet, this analysis misses a potential third source of destabilization - networks of mafia-like groups whose roots lie inside state security services and/or the Islamist groups opposing them.

Many already-powerful Middle Eastern state agents have become thoroughly criminalized by the opportunities the chaos of war affords, in a region notorious for impunity. For instance, Egypt’s ex-President Hosni Mubarak and his sons were released from prison in January 2015, four years after their convictions on a variety of serious criminal charges, including conspiracy to murder, while in office. Meanwhile much of the revenue for Islamist groups like Islamic State is generated by proceeds from criminal activities or from taxing criminal groups. Consequently, the consolidation of war economies mean that criminal networks currently created or sponsored by the state or Islamist groups might well outgrow their origins and original purposes. The danger here is that these groups will not disappear when a conflict ends. Indeed, historical experience from conflicts in places like Colombia suggests that they adapt and persist in new forms.

Further Fallout

In a globalizing world, the networking impulses that have created transnational supply chains stretching thousands of miles for contraband goods are sure to blur the distinctions between state and non-state actor, law enforcer, rebel and criminal. Moreover, the unsettled end periods of military conflicts are often marked with a crime wave as individuals turn skills learned during war to private use. With poor economic prospects, a large black market economy and large numbers of guerrillas, paramilitaries, soldiers and secret policemen looking for new opportunities, the chances of an explosion in organized crime across the Middle East are high, to say the least. The overall failure of the Arab Spring will also play its part. So will the region’s youthful population, persistent high unemployment and geographical proximity to the European market. And let’s not forget about pre-establishment of human-trafficking involving countries like Libya, as well as high levels of corruption and impunity in the region’s state structures.

Conflicts also lead to the development of lawless zones that shelter criminal networks - as well as insurgent groups - from law enforcement activities. According to the Fund for Peace’s (FFP) Fragile States Index 2014, Syria, Libya, Yemen and several other countries with significant Muslim populations fall into the worst categories, indicating that the state no longer controls all its territory. In others, such as Egypt and Algeria, central authority is either compromised or very weak. A good example of this is Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, long a source of marijuana to European markets. There are nearly 40,000 outstanding warrants hanging over the heads of Bekaa residents. Yet, by retreating to the northern reaches of the valley local clans involved in drug farming have managed to defy Lebanon’s ineffective central authorities. In addition, the Hezbollah leadership has distanced itself from direct leadership of the clans but continues to demand a political, rather than legal, solution to the problem.

Wars also strengthen indigenous criminal organizations and weaken the state institutions charged with combating them, as resources are diverted into fighting insurgencies. Criminal growth can be partly be tracked by the increase of corruption, an inevitable side-effect of an increase in black market opportunities. Out of 174 nations, Transparency International’s 2014 corruption ratings rank Yemen at 161, Iraq at 170, Libya at 166 and Syria at 159. Scores in all four countries have fallen since 2012 and all four are still the scene of armed conflict and political instability.

Indeed, the effects of corruption and insecurity do not remain limited cleanly by borders but spill into neighboring states. NATO member Turkey has had a long history of oil-fuelled corruption dating back to the 1990s ‘Oil for Food’ UN program. Today Islamic State middlemen sell oil to smugglers, who bribe their way past Turkish gendarmes at the border and sell it to Turkish businessmen. The black market fuel is then sold onto the Turkish consumer at a fraction of its true worth. These transactions fuel attacks like the one that killed Saudi General Oudah al-Belawi, commander of border operations in Saudi Arabia’s northern zone in January. Organized crime in Turkey has therefore facilitated Islamist terrorism on the Saudi border, while Islamic State has helped corrupt to Turkey’s nascent democracy.

From East to West

Yet, unlike their European and Latin American, Italian counterparts, Islamic criminal enterprises have so far attracted little Western attention as an issue separate from terrorism. Nonetheless organized crime is an entrenched part of the political economy of many Muslim states. For example, an Afghan narcotics boom has already occurred according to the BBC as last year’s opium harvest reached a record high. The UN valued the 2013 crop at nearly $3bn (£1.86bn), up 50% from 2012. Indeed, cultivation has been rising since 2010, a reflection of the fact that Afghanistan currently produces more than 80% of the world's opium.

At the opposite end of the Islamic world are West Africa’s cigarette and cocaine smuggling operations – a very lucrative trade that is dominated by criminalized Islamist networks. These have grown out of the defeated remnants of Algerian jihadist groups, much as leftist insurgent groups have come to play an important in the drugs trade in Latin America. Interestingly, the jihadist considered to be at the forefront of these activities, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, was once considered a minor threat and a pragmatist because his criminal business interests seemed more pressing to him. However, these same interests gave him the means to launch a devastating attack on the In Amenas gas plant in 2013.

It could also be claimed that the persistence of tribal or clan-based identities in parts of the Islamic world can geographically limit some present criminal operations. For example, as mentioned above, the farming families involved in the marijuana trade in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley rarely leave it due to many active warrants for their arrest outside the valley. Yet, just as the Middle East has already produced several multinational global terrorist networks there might also come a time when its criminal elements are clearly capable of reaching the same level of development. Meanwhile, the wars affecting the area have ironically given Middle Eastern criminal groups a larger global diaspora to blend in with and recruit from, facilitating a growth of operations outside their home countries.

This does not just include Western states, some of whom have been criticized for accepting few regional refugees, but also neighboring Muslim nations. Displaced Syrians now make up a quarter of Lebanon’s population for example. As far back as 2013, a UNHCR report found organized crime networks operating easily in the biggest Syrian refugee camp, Za'atari in Jordan. From Slow Boil to Breaking Point also described how Syrian refugees were paying up to $500 to middlemen to be 'sponsored' by Jordanian citizens. This entitled them to live outside of the lawless and overcrowded sites they found themselves in – it also represented another revenue stream for criminal groups. Criminal networks have also begun exploiting Syrian refugees by using them as drug mules. There has been a large spike in seizures of narcotics in neighboring countries according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime network.

A Grim Outlook

Four years after the start (and apparent collapse) of the Arab Spring, Western headlines still focus on the security threat of revolutionary Islamist militant groups. But there is no reason to suppose the emergence of factors favorable to the growth of mafia-type groups in the Islamic world will not also impact upon the West (and the rest) in the future. The toxic combination of broken economic and political systems, geographical proximity to lucrative European black markets, and a youthful and often traumatized population is an open invitation to criminal groups already operating in a vacuum of state authority. Similar circumstances produced generational crime waves of extraordinary virulence in the former Soviet Union and Latin America, which those areas are still coping with today. It’s entirely possible the Middle East is poised to follow in their footsteps.

Thanks to Neil Thompson.

Neil Thompson is researcher for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and an Editor and contributor to the Future Foreign Policy Group. He holds an MA in International Relations of East Asia from the University of Durham.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Due to Alliances Builit in Prison, Organized Crime is Alive and Well with Diversity and More Ethnicity

Organized crime is alive and well in New Jersey, despite ongoing efforts by law enforcement, in part because there are so many criminal enterprises from all over the world operating in the Garden State.

According to the FBI’s Newark Division, crimes in New Jersey are being committed by organized crime groups that span the globe including: La Cosa Nostra, also known as the Sicilian Mafia, Asian groups, African criminal enterprise groups and the Russian and Eurasian mobs.  New Jersey is also seeing crime activity from Balkan organized crime groups, which includes people who emigrated from Albania, Macedonia and Yugoslavia. In addition, the FBI is also monitoring more organized crime groups coming from the Middle East.

All of these mobs are driven to make money, but they’ll do it in different ways, according to Anthony Zampogna, FBI supervisory special agent in New Jersey and program coordinator for organized crime.

“You see La Cosa Nostra with the traditional gambling, loan sharking, extortion (and) truck hijackings. Those are some of the hallmarks of that group, but a lot of the health care fraud we see or insurance fraud (is) through Russian organized crime, and a lot of the solicitations for fraudulent investments that we see (is) emigrating from groups out of Africa,” Zampogna said.

He pointed out many ethnic mobs in New Jersey become involved in the drug trade, and frequently violence is threatened or used.

“In many cases mobs are not really any different than gangs. They use the same tactics and commit the same kinds of crimes, and we also see overlap where a lot of times they’ll work together,” Zampogna said. ”You’ll see a Russian group or an Italian group working with what is traditionally looked at as a street gang, the Bloods or the Crips.”

Many times these alliances are built in prison, according to Zampogna, where leaders of mobs and gangs will spend time together and continue the relationship once they get out.

He noted when ethnic mobs first came to this country they stuck together because they only trusted people they knew, but now they’re all branching out.

Zampogna said if you count the smaller organized criminal entities that are operating in the state, there are dozens of ethnic mobs in New Jersey.

Thanks to David Matthau.

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