Nearly 50 arrested in East Coast mob sweep

NEW YORK, Aug. 5 (UPI) — A federal indictment was handed down Thursday, charging 46 reputed members of some of the largest organized crime families in the country with loan-sharking, extortion, gun-running and various violent acts.

Federal prosecutors said a multi-year investigation using an undercover FBI agent had revealed the “East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise” to be a wide-ranging criminal network that operated from Massachusetts to New York City, Philadelphia and Florida.

But U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara of New York, said despite leaders of many of the families — alleged members of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno and Philadelphia organized crime families — being in prison since the 1980s and 1990s, the families continued to manage criminal operations that resembled Hollywood mob movies, including arson, extortion, illegal gambling and loansharking.

“Today’s charges against 46 men, including powerful leaders, members and associates of five different La Cosa Nostra families, demonstrate that the mob remains a scourge on this city and around the country,” Bharara said.

Federal prosecutors said they next will go after the families profits from the operations including properties using the federal forfeiture law.

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