For the third time in five years, the FBI is cutting the number of agents assigned to traditional organized crime cases, bringing the total to about three dozen, the New York Times says. Those agents are responsible for investigating 700 so-called made members and 7,000 associates. The number of squads focused on the city's five crime families will be reduced to two from three.
The cuts leave 60 percent fewer agents in New York City investigating the mob than in 2008, when there was — as there had been for decades — a separate squad of 10 to 20 agents devoted to each crime family. Some see the changes as a necessary reaction to the changing nature of crime and threats to the nation in a time of tight budgets. Others fear the reductions could allow the city's five weakened crime families — the Gambinos, the Bonannos, the Colombos, the Genoveses, and the Lucheses — to grow stronger.