In an assault against seven mob families in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, the FBI and local authorities began arresting about 130 people today on charges including murder, racketeering, and extortion, the New York Times reports. In a sweep that began before dawn, targets ranged from small-time book makers and crime-family functionaries to six reputed senior mob figures from three crime families, including the entire current leadership of the Colombo crime family.
Among those charged were about 30 made members of New York's five crime families and families in New Jersey and New England, along with mob associates and several union officials. The arrests were based on 16 unrelated indictments handed up in federal courts in four jurisdictions. Taken together, they amounted to the largest such sweep of organized crime figures conducted in recent history by federal authorities. The federal government has declared victory over the mob in the past, but tenacious and formidable organized crime families have endured, albeit weaker and with less influence. The arrests were announced by Attorney General Eric Holder at a news conference in Brooklyn.