The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that ten reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family of La Cosa Nostra, including its top leaders, have been charged for multiple crimes related to shaking down a New York-based labor union.
The Colombo family is one of the “five families” of the Italian-American Mafia that historically controlled organized crime in New York City.
Authorities said a 19-count indictment was unsealed in a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday, charging a total of 14 defendants with various offenses, including labor racketeering and extortion. Thirteen of the defendants had been arrested at the time the charges were announced.
According to The New York Daily News, “The Colombo hierarchy took a major hit,” reporting, “Family head Andrew (Mush) Russo, 87, underboss Benjamin Castellazzo and consigliere Ralph DiMatteo were among those arrested.” They were all charged with racketeering, along with alleged Colombo captains Theodore Persico, Jr. (nephew of former longtime Colombo boss Carmine Persico), Richard Ferrara, Vincent