Joint US-Italy crime sweep bags 2 dozen, including Gambinos, Bonannos

Joint US-Italy crime sweep bags 2 dozen, including Gambinos, Bonannos

Rome (CNN) — Members of the powerful Gambino and Bonanno crime families were among 24 people arrested Tuesday in New York and several cities in Italy in a major anti-mafia raid, authorities said.

The FBI and Italian police carried out the raid as part of operation “New Bridge,” which targeted more than 40 people for international drug trafficking and organized crime in connection with the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, officials added.

Italian police arrested 17 suspects, anti-mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti told reporters at a news conference in Rome.

The FBI arrested seven people in New York in a coordinated raid, he added, including members of the Gambino and Bonanno families.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York named the seven suspects as ‘Ndrangheta member Raffaele Valente, also known as “Lello,” Gambino associate Franco Lupoi, Bonanno associate Charles Centaro, also known as “Charlie Pepsi,” Dominic Ali, Alexander Chan, Christos Fasarakis, and Jose Alfredo Garcia, also known as “Freddy.” …

The operations in Italy were carried out in the southern region of Calabria, home of the ‘Ndrangheta syndicate, and in the cities of Naples, Caserta, Torino, Benevento and Catanzaro. The Italian mafia family involved in the alliance, or “bridge,” with the Gambino family, is called Ursino Ionica.

Tuesday’s operation was the first ever jointly run by U.S. and Italian police targeting the ties between the two countries’ ‘Ndrangheta mafia families, investigators said.

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