NEW YORK (AP) – Federal authorities have charged 32 people, including a dozen alleged mobsters and associates, with using threats of violence and shakedowns to control garbage pickup routes in New York City’s suburbs.
FBI agents arrested 30 of the defendants on Wednesday on racketeering conspiracy, extortion and other counts during morning raids around the city and its northern suburbs, as well as in New Jersey. Two more were expected to surrender later in the day.
An indictment identifies 12 of the defendants as either official members or associates of the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese organized crime families. The crime families have a long tradition of infiltrating and extorting trash collection companies at a cost partly borne by paying customers.
“In addition to the violence that often accompanies their schemes, the economic impact amounts to a mob tax on goods and services,” George C. Venizelos, head of New York’s FBI office, said in a statement.
Court papers allege the extortion ring controlled several trash hauling companies in Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties in New York, and in Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey. The men extorted protection money from the companies and told them which routes they could use, the papers say.
If any of the controlled companies broke the rules or an outside company sought to compete by offering lower prices or better service, those companies would “face threats of, and actual force or fear of economic reprisal,” the papers say.
Two defendants, angered that they weren’t getting their illicit cut of hauling fees quickly enough, stole a garbage truck and kept it until they were paid, the papers say. In another instance, the ring swiped garbage containers from a competitor in New York and repainted them for use by a mob-controlled hauler in New Jersey, they add.
The investigation also resulted in separate conspiracy charges accusing three defendants of buying hundreds of thousands of contraband cigarettes from a government cooperator in Lyndhurst, N.J., in 2010. Two were charged also with transporting stolen goods _ a hot dog cart ripped off in Orangeburg, N.Y., the same year.
At a hearing on Wednesday afternoon, the defendants crowded into a Manhattan courtroom, where it appeared that most would be released on bails set at $1 million and lower.
Some of the men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of racketeering conspiracy.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon