FBI sweeps alleged New York mafia garbage racket

The FBI said Wednesday it has cleaned up a real mafia mess -- 32 alleged mobsters accused of running a racket in New York's commercial garbage industry.

The main indictment targets 12 people for "conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise that asserted illegal and extortionate control over commercial waste-hauling companies," the Manhattan federal prosecutor's office said.

Another 17 defendants in the alleged Italian-American crime outfits were charged with "individual acts of extortion, loansharking, and other crimes associated with those activities."

Of the 32, who had nicknames like "Uncle Sonny," "Papa Smurf," and Big Bill, 30 were arrested early Wednesday, prosecutors said. The other two were expected to be detained shortly.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said the charges "show the ongoing threat posed by mob families and their criminal associates. In addition to the violence that often accompanies their schemes, the economic impact amounts to a mob tax on goods and services."

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