On Wednesday, nearly two dozen members and associates of the Luchese crime family were arrested. The federal charges against these individuals include racketeering, wire fraud, possession of a weapon, gambling, narcotics, and murder.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan told NBC New York that 15 people were taken into custody on Wednesday. Four others were already in custody on other charges.
A photo of the indictment was also shared on Twitter Wednesday morning by NBC’s Tom Winter.
‘NBC News: Here’s the listing of the Luchese crime family members who were charged today. Names include Paul Cassano aka “Paulie Roast Beef.”‘
NBC News: Here's the listing of the Luchese crime family members who were charged today. Names include Paul Cassano aka "Paulie Roast Beef" pic.twitter.com/5l20Ibt4t2
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) May 31, 2017
All but two of the men listed above face life in prison if convicted. They have been accused of engaging in a “17-year-long pattern of crimes that included extortion, money laundering, trafficking in contraband cigarettes and the attempted murder of informants.”
Many major news outlets have reported on the arrests that took place on Wednesday. However, they have neglected to mention the fact that President Trump has also been loosely linked to the Luchese family.
Palmer Report first pointed out the link between the recently indicted family and the president, referencing a report from PolitiFact that was published last year after former Republican candidate Ted Cruz accused Trump of having mafia ties.
According to PolitiFact, Trump World Tower was built with the help of the Quadrozzi Concrete Company. The head of the company, John Quadrozzi Sr., was linked to the Luchese family in the early 1990s and was later indicted for making illegal payoffs to the mob.
Clearly, the connections between Trump and the mafia are not as consequential as, say, his links to Russian oligarchs — as PolitiFact noted, he may not have even been aware of their existence before the report was published. However they’re still worth noting, especially in light of today’s arrests.
Despite the lack of mention about Trump’s minimal involvement, people throughout New York are still celebrating the indictment of so many members of the Luchese family. Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in statement about the arrests:
‘As today’s charges demonstrate, La Cosa Nostra remains alive and active in New York City, but so does our commitment to eradicate the mob’s parasitic presence. The defendants allegedly used violence and threats of violence, as the mob always has, to make illegal money to enforce discipline in the ranks and to silence witnesses.’
FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney also commented on the message the indictment sends to other organized crime families:
‘Organized crime families believe their way of life is acceptable and continue to show through their criminal behavior that they don’t plan to stop. Their crimes aren’t victimless, and this case proves they’re willing to use murder and many other violent tactics to enforce their dominance.’
A news report about today’s arrests can be seen below, courtesy of NBC New York.
Featured Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.