The FBI arrested 19 suspected members of the New York City crime family that inspired the Academy Award winning 1990 crime movie “Goodfellas.”
Federal agents arrested the 19 men, closely associated to the Lucchese crime family, on charges ranging from racketeering, wire fraud, possession of a weapon, gambling, narcotics and murder. Fifteen of the men were arrested Wednesday, while 4 were already in custody on other charges.
The FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force and the New York Police Department (NYPD) executed the arrests.
The defendants include street boss Matthew Madonna and underboss Steven Crea Sr. Four suspects are Capos, which are ranked just below the underboss, and another five are soldiers. The remaining men are associates of the crime family.
Those arrested include Paul Cassano, aka “Paulie Roast Beef”and Joseph Datello, aka “Joey Glasses.” The Lucchese crime family is one of the five established mafia families in New York City. News of the arrest is a reminder that organized crime is alive and well in the Big Apple.
“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,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said, according to NBC 4 New York. “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.”
The arrests also highlights the unsolved 1978 airport heist that inspired “Goodfellas.” The Lucchese family is suspected to be involved in the infamous armed robbery, where $6 million was stolen from truck transporting currency via Lufthansa.
“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,” said FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney, according to NBC 4. “Their crimes aren’t victimless, and this case proves they’re willing to use murder and many other violent tactics to enforce their dominance.”