NOVARA, Italy, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Michele Zagaria, a convicted Italian Mafia leader on the run for 16 years, has been held in a high-security prison since his arrest this week, officials said.
Zagaria, 53, was taken into custody Wednesday by police who found him in a reinforced underground bunker in his hometown of Casapesenna, north of Naples, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. He was transported to the Novara prison in the Piedmont region.
Anti-Mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso said the arrest of Zagaria, who headed the Casalesi crime family, was akin to the capture of Sicilian Mafiosi Bernardo Provenzano five years ago after 43 years at large
"This was a momentous arrest from this point of view," Grasso told ANSA.
Zagaria, one of Italy's Top 30 most-wanted fugitives, was sentenced in absentia to multiple life sentences for murder, extortion, robbery and other mafia crimes, the news agency said.