The New England Mafia is not what it used to be, reports the Boston Globe. The family’s reputed underboss, Carmen “The Cheese Man” DiNunzio, is accused of personally delivering a $10,000 bribe to a near stranger who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. Some of his underlings have supplemented their incomes by shoplifting, and one aging soldier was spotted peddling electric toothbrushes on a street.
The local Mafia, which traditionally denounced drugs, now tolerates addicts in its ranks. Some members of the old guard have turned down promotions or become inactive because they fear going back to prison or have lost faith after seeing Mafiosi around the country break omerta, the code of silence, and turn informant or government witness, police said. FBI agent Jeffrey Sallet of Providence said that La Cosa Nostra, commonly known as the Mafia, “has less of a talent pool to pull from because of ethnic neighborhoods disappearing.”