Criminal accusations spanning several states and several decades, encompassing figures from seven mob families, led to the arrest of nearly 125 people on federal charges yesterday, reports the New York Times. The charges included murders, including a double homicide over a spilled drink in a bar. There were also run-of-the-mill activities associated with organized crime: racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking, money laundering, gambling, and the like.
The charges were 16 indictments handed up in federal courts in four jurisdictions. Federal officials called it the “largest mob roundup in F.B.I. history.” For Attorney General Eric Holder, it was an opportunity to preside over the kind of law enforcement operation that was once the core mission of the Justice Department, but that has been largely overshadowed by terrorism issues. Questions were raised by the diffuse nature of the indictments, which involved myriad unrelated criminal activity. The sweep began before dawn, with 800 federal agents and state and local investigators fanning out across the region.