As many as 18 mob arrests in Italy and United States
ROME – The Ndrangheta mafia affiliated group is being hunted down and arrested in both Calabria and New York, police reported on Tuesday. Investigations of the organized crime group were started in 2020 by the FBI in the United Sates. The investigations uncovered a series of extortions that took place in New York City.
The conference of state court administrators (COSCA) in New York partly dismantled the organized crime group, linking to the Italian Belvedere Spinello, and further arrests pursued in Calabria. Public prosecutor in Caranzaro, Nicola Gratteri, ordered for the Ndrangheta’s satellitie group in New York to be investigated, and 18 arrests have followed. 200 agents from the COSCA teamed with the FBI to head the investigations in New York.
The Italian Americans that were arrested are: Domenico Barbaro, Rosario Barberio, Fortunato Barone, Virgilio Antonio Bruno known as 'Egidio', Francesco Comito known as 'Capa 58', brothers Michele Antonio Comito known as 'Totonnello' and Michele Antonio Comito known as 'Totonno', Salvatore Comito called 'U scienziato', Umberto Comito, brothers Luigi Corigliano called 'Capa ianca' and Luigi Corigliano called 'Catammino', Martino Corigliano, Pietro Corigliano, Patrizia Cundari, Pietro Marangolo, Pantaleone Marino, Gabriele Stefanizzi and Giuseppe Martino Zito called 'U' Curnacchia'.
The men have been charged with different levels of mafia-type conspiracy. Many charges are drug related, the criminal group supposedly distributing cocaine, marijuana, and hashish. Investigations also revealed possession of illegal weapons and ammunition. Extortion charges were pressed in conjunction with the other felonious crimes.
Extortion was the most profitable activity for the criminal organisation, the entrepreneurial victims of the group never alerted police or pressed charges on the criminals during the period of extortion. Searches carried out by FBI personnel in Manhattan included persons under investigation in a related criminal case. The proceeds of the extortion activities were used to feed a 'common fund' managed by the head of the family, dividing up the illegal proceeds to be divided according to precise agreements and based on the criminal depth of the recipients.
As for Calabria, Ndrangheta linked persons in Italy were also receiving and transporting the illicit drugs and weapons sent by the New York group. Cocaine and marijuana received by their fellow mafia members has been distributed around the Crotone province in Calabria, further involving Italian police. Weapons have been seized by Calabria police, and searches have revealed that the Calabrian province has been under monopoly type rule by the Comito family. To enhance their control over the Italian and American areas, the family has committed acts of intimidation and terrorism, including a bomb attack on a vending machine.
The investigations found that the members of the criminal association had at their disposal an unspecified number of firearms, including pistols and rifles, in order also to strengthen the operational capabilities needed, and arrests persist.
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