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Bonanno crime family members arrested

Jan. 27, 2012 at 6:02 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Five members of the Bonanno crime family were arrested in New York Friday on racketeering and related charges, the U.S. Justice Department said.

A 14-count indictment was unsealed in a federal court in New York charging the five Bonanno organized crime family members with racketeering, extortion, illegal gambling and conspiracy to sell marijuana, Justice officials said.

An associate of the Gambino organized crime family was charged with loan sharking.

One of the men arrested, Vincent Badalamenti, also known as "Vinny TV," is the highest-ranking member of the Bonanno family who hadn't been arrested, the department said. He allegedly oversaw the takeover of a Brooklyn bar because its owner's failed to repay a debt owed to Badalamenti.

Anthony Graziano, also known as "TG," and Nicholas Santora, known as "Nicky Mouth," were captains in the Bonanno family and former members of the Bonanno family administration, the Justice Department said.

Also accused of being a captain in the Bonanno family was Vito Balsamo, while Anthony Calabrese was accused of being a soldier in the organization.

"Members of organized crime continue to exploit their victims the old-fashioned way -- through violence, threats and intimidation," said Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "As law enforcement has so successfully done before, we will employ our own time-tested techniques to bring them to justice to account for their crimes."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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