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24 arrested in U.S., Italy on organized crime, drug offenses

Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The FBI and Italian police carried out a joint anti-Mafia raid in New York and several Italian cities that led to the arrests of 24 suspects, authorities said.

The operation, named New Bridge, targeted more than 40 people for international drug trafficking and organized crime in the two countries, CNN reported.

Italian police detained 17 people, and the FBI arrested seven, anti-Mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti said.

The seven arrested in New York -- Franco Lupoi, Dominic Ali, Charles Centaro, Alexander Chan, Christos Fasarakis, Raffaele Valente and Jose Alfredo Garcia -- were charged with narcotics trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses, a statement Tuesday from the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York said.

The suspects are associated with the 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate and were allegedly attempting to set up a cocaine route from South America to Europe, ANSA reported.

Prosecutors in Calabria began the investigation two years ago.

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