The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday that the entire administration of the Luchese Family, 19 members in total, are being charged for their alleged roles in racketeering, murder, narcotics, and firearms offenses.
The arrests – including captains, soldiers, and associates – were part of a multiagency effort conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Waterfront Commission of the New York Harbor.
Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York, noted the impact that the Luchese Family had on the New York City area.
“The Luchese Family and its associates are alleged to be linked to guns, drugs, racketeering, and murder. They are also alleged to have used their criminal enterprise to launder money, tamper with witnesses and extortion,” said Melendez. “It is clear that this ‘family’ business is of no benefit to its community or to this great city. HSI will continue to strengthen its partnership with the FBI and NYPD to ensure that alleged criminals like the Luchese Family face the consequences of their actions.”
Authorities arrested 15 of the 19 defendants on Wednesday; the other four defendants were already in custody. Seventeen of the defendants, if convicted, are facing life sentences.
Those charged in the superseding indictment are (potential sentence):
- Matthew Madonna, 81, Life
- Steven Crea Sr., 69, Life
- Joseph DiNapoli, 81, Life
- Steven Crea Jr., 45, Life
- Dominic Truscello, 83, Life
- John Castelucci, 57, Life
- Tindaro, Corso, Life
- Joseph Venice, 56, Life
- James Maffucci, 69, Life
- Joseph Datello, 66, Life
- Christopher Londonio, 43, Life
- Paul Cassano, 38, Life
- Terrence Caldwell, 59, Life
- Vincent Bruno, 33, Life
- Brian Vaughan, 51, Life
- Carmine Garcia, 65, Life
- Richard O’Connor, 63, Life
- Robert Camilli, 60, 20 Years
- John Incatasciato, 42, 20 Years
The members of the Luchese Family worth noting are Matthew Madonna, the alleged street boss; Steven Crea Sr., the alleged underboss; Steven Crea Jr., an alleged captain; and Joseph Dinapoli, the alleged consigliere of the Luchese Family.
La Cosa Nostra is considered by authorities to be alive and well in the U.S.:
La Cosa Nostra operates through entities known as “Families.” In the New York City area, those families include the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, Colombo, and Decavalcante Families. Each Family operates through groups of individuals known as “crews” and “regimes.” Each “crew” has as its leader a person known as a “Caporegime,” “Capo,” “Captain,” or “Skipper,” who is responsible for supervising the criminal activities of his crew and providing “Soldiers” and associates with support and protection. In return, the Capo typically receives a share of the illegal earnings of each of his crew’s Soldiers and associates, which is sometimes referred to as “Attribute”.
Each crew consists of “made” members, sometimes known as “Soldiers,” “wiseguys,” “friends of ours,” and “good fellows.” Soldiers are aided in their criminal endeavors by other trusted individuals, known as “associates,” who sometimes are referred to as “connected” or identified as “with” a Soldier or other member of the Family. Associates participate in the various activities of the crew and its members. In order for an associate to become a made member of the Family, the associate must first be of Italian descent and typically needs to demonstrate the ability to generate income for the Family and the willingness to commit acts of violence.
In August 2016, Breitbart reported the FBI arrested 46 alleged members of the Italian mafia along the east coast of the U.S. accused of “engaging in extortion, arson, fraud, illegal gambling, firearms trafficking and assault.”
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.