FBI Arrests Dozens of Alleged Mobsters in Extortion Probe

More than two dozen alleged mobsters associated with three of New York's five organized crime families were rounded up by the FBI Wednesday morning in connection with an ongoing investigation into the carting industry, authorities said.

A total of 32 people were charged in 3 indictments unsealed today, including several members and associates of the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese crime families. They are accused of  racketeering, extortion and other crimes as part of organized crime’s alleged continuing effort to control segments of the commercial waste hauling industry in the New York City metropolitan area, prosecutors said.

Thirty defendants were arrested early today by the FBI and Westchester County Police Department and two others are expected to surrender this week.

According to the three indictments, the defendants allegedly operated a racketeering enterprise that exerted control over several legitimate waste disposal businesses and enforced “property rights” over trash pick-up routes that the hauling companies could use.  

They also allegedly extorted payments from the waste disposal companies in exchange for protection by individuals associated with organized crime.  By enforcing the “property rights” the defendants excluded competitors that might offer lower prices or better service.  

One of the waste hauling companies extorted by the defendants was owned by a person who cooperated with investigators, prosecutors said.

“The indictments show the ongoing threat posed by mob families and their criminal associates," FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said.  "In addition to the violence that often accompanies their schemes, the economic impact amounts to a mob tax on goods and services." 

The suspects were expected to appear in federal court later Wednesday.
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