Indictment unsealedTuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade-long ploy to extort a union.
More than a dozen reputable Colombo crime family members, including all 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 an enforcement official of laws that had been informed of the case. Another was due to surrender to authorities on Tuesday, and another defendant was on the run in Florida, another official said.
The indictment accuses Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade plan to extort an anonymous union that represented construction workersction, using threats of violence to secure payments and close contracts that would benefit the crime family.
The charges are an ambitious effort by the office of the US attorney in Brooklyn to take down what was once one of the city's five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the Mafia, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan sharking and forging federal documents on occupational safety.
In a court file, prosecutors described a series of interceptions of appeals among members of the organization, writing that the tapes "clearly show that the Colombo crime family is thriving and continues to engage in 'pers crimes'. prosecutors demand the detention of most of the accused, who are due to appear inbefore a judge Tuesday afternoon.
William K. Rashbaum contributed reports.