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NYC Shoemaker Admits Shop Was a Mafia Front

'Sal the Shoemaker' pleads guilty to running illegal gambling operation

(Newser) - A former shoemaker has pleaded guilty to allegations that he ran an illegal gambling operation for the Mafia out of his shop in Brooklyn. Salvatore Rubino, also known as "Sal the Shoemaker," admitted in court to running card games and operating illegal gambling machines inside his former shoe...

Italy to Take More Children From Mafia Families

Program places seized children in foster care to break criminal cycle

(Newser) - Italy has decided to broaden its effort to break the cycle of organized crime by intervening in a most drastic way: by seizing children without warning to place them in a life away from their mafia families. The program, which has been in use in the Calabria region since 2012,...

Italian Priest Had a Literal Poisoned Chalice

Officials believe he was targeted for denouncing mafia

(Newser) - A Catholic priest in southern Italy says he had a poisoned chalice—and it wasn't a figure of speech. Father Felice Palamara halted an evening mass in Vibo Valentia, Calabria, on Saturday to contact police after he noticed a strange smell coming from the chalice of wine and water...

It's an 'Amount of Drugs Never Seen Before in Galicia'

Some of the cocaine was sandwiched between pieces of frozen tuna

(Newser) - Spanish authorities have confiscated 11 tons of cocaine and arrested 20 people tied to Balkan mafias in two different operations against the smuggling of the illegal drugs inside shipping containers, Spain's National Police said Tuesday. Police said the 16,500 pounds (or roughly 8 tons) of cocaine seized by...

Goodfellas Mobster Dies at 86
Goodfellas Mobster Dies at 86

Goodfellas Mobster Dies at 86

Vincent Asaro was accused of helping to plan the real-life 1978 Lufthansa heist

(Newser) - In a memorable scene in Goodfellas, "Layla" plays as the bodies of numerous mobsters killed to cover up the 1978 Lufthansa heist are shown. But Vincent Asaro, long known for sticking to the Mafia's "code of silence," was not among them. Asaro, a close associate of...

Just Months After Capture, the 'Last Godfather' Dies
Mob Boss 'Took
With Him His Secrets'

Mob Boss 'Took With Him His Secrets'

Sicilian 'last Godfather' Matteo Messina Denaro, 61, dies just months after his capture

(Newser) - An infamous Italian mob boss who was captured in January after 30 years on the run has died. Officials tell Reuters that 61-year-old Matteo Messina Denaro, known as the "last godfather," has succumbed to colon cancer, after falling into a coma on Friday from which he never emerged....

Mobsters 'Thrilled' at Giuliani Charges

'The Messenger' reports mafia is 'thrilled' former prosecutor is now the target of RICO law

(Newser) - Long before he joined up with Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani used the RICO Act to go after the mafia in New York City. As the BBC notes, the young US Attorney wielded the racketeering law to obtain indictments against 11 mob leaders and associates back in the 1980s. Now that...

Mafia Boss Escapes Prison on Rope Made From Sheets

Italian prison officials say Marco Raduano took advantage of staff shortages

(Newser) - A reputed Mafia boss escaped from an Italian prison Friday, and it's no mystery how. A surveillance video captured 40-year-old Marco Raduano climbing down a makeshift rope made from knotted bedsheets before jumping to the ground outside the maximum security prison Badu 'e Carros in Sardinia. In the...

Inside Mob Boss's Hideouts: Cellphones, Viagra

2 hideouts found in close proximity, just 5 miles from Matteo Messina Denaro's birthplace

(Newser) - Italian police have uncovered two hideouts believed to have been used by Cosa Nostra mob boss Matteo Messina Denaro toward the end of his 30 years on the run. Car keys in his possession during his arrest on Monday led authorities to a home in the Sicilian town of Campobello...

What Gave Away One of Italy's Biggest Mob Bosses

Matteo Messina Denaro's sickness led cops right to a Sicilian health clinic

(Newser) - In a story that seems made for Hollywood, Italian police this week captured one of Italy's most famous fugitives: Matteo Messina Denaro, who helped lead the Cosa Nostra mob syndicate even as he was on the run for the past three decades. And it was a routine, somewhat expected...

Mafia Boss Busted After 30 Years on the Run

Matteo Messina Denaro, now 60, nabbed in a medical clinic in Sicily

(Newser) - He was, as the Guardian puts it, one of the most-wanted criminals in the world. But after 30 years on the run, the elusive mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has finally been caught. Italian police nabbed him in the most humdrum of settings—the 60-year-old was visiting a medical clinic...

Former Mafia Boss 'Cadillac Frank' Is Dead
Former Mafia Boss
'Cadillac Frank' Is Dead

Former Mafia Boss 'Cadillac Frank' Is Dead

New England kingpin Salemme died in prison at age 89

(Newser) - Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, the once powerful New England Mafia boss who was serving a life sentence behind bars for the 1993 killing of a Boston nightclub owner, has died at the age of 89. Salemme died on Tuesday, according to Bureau of Prisons' online records, per the AP...

The Hit That Killed Mobster Was Ordered by His Own Son

Anthony Zottola was found guilty, as was the man who actually fired the shots

(Newser) - Update: The son of a mobster was on Wednesday convicted of ordering the hit that killed his own father. Anthony Zottola, the 44-year-old son of Bonanno crime family associate Sylvester Zottola, was found guilty of conspiracy, murder-for-hire, the murder of his father, and the attempted murder of his older brother,...

Anti-Mafia Prosecutor Shot Dead on Honeymoon

Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci was killed in Colombia hours after pregnancy announcement

(Newser) - A Paraguayan prosecutor known for fighting against organized crime was shot dead Tuesday while vacationing in Colombia on his honeymoon, hours after his wife posted a pregnancy announcement. "The best wedding gift ... the approaching life that is a testimony to the sweetest love," read the caption of the...

Cops Nab Fugitive Mafia Boss Thanks to Google Street View

Convicted killer Gioacchino Gammino had fled Italy for Spain

(Newser) - An Italian mafia boss and convicted murderer who escaped from prison in Rome 20 years ago has been arrested in Spain—thanks in part to a sighting on Google Street View. Authorities say they already believed 61-year-old Gioacchino Gammino to be hiding in Spain, though the sighting of him and...

Cops Seize Hundreds of Dormice, Ruin Mafia Banquet

Animals were found during drug raid in Italy

(Newser) - Police in Italy may have spoiled some mobsters' banquets when they raided a cannabis farm. Authorities say the Saturday raid in southern Italy found dormice in cages and more than 200 that had been frozen and packaged for sale or consumption, the BBC reports. The animals, a protected species in...

Mafia Boss Look-Alike Seized at Gunpoint, Thrown in Prison

Attorney blames Italian authorities for mix-up in the Hague

(Newser) - An Englishman who traveled to the Netherlands to take in a Formula One race got more excitement than he bargained for when he was mistaken for an Italian Mafia boss, wanted for more than 50 murders. The 54-year-old, identified by his attorney as Mark L., was seized at gunpoint by...

Alleged Mobster Covered His Face on YouTube Videos, Forgot His Tattoos

Tats were visible on cooking show of alleged 'Ndrangheta gangster from Italy, hiding in DR

(Newser) - Come for the pasta making, stay for the arrest. Since 2014, Marc Feren Claude Biart, a purported member of Italy's infamous 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate, has been on the run from authorities in his home country after allegedly taking part in a Dutch cocaine trafficking operation. The BBC reports...

Judges Overturn Music Ban for Jailed Mafia Boss

Law can't take away that 'residual personal freedom,' judges in Italy say

(Newser) - Even Mafia bosses have the right to music, judges in Italy have ruled. Domenic Strisciuglio, who has been in prison since 1999 for crimes including murder, has won a legal fight to be allowed to listen to music in his solitary prison cell, the Guardian reports. Judges in Sardinia ruled...

Mob Allegedly Plotted to Kill Mayor, Her Family

Virginia Raggi says she's become a target of organized crime

(Newser) - The mayor of Rome announced Monday that the mob was plotting to kill her and her family, Reuters reports. Virginia Raggi said in a pre-recorded TV interview that she has been fighting powerful organized crime families that operate in the city, and that the Casamonica family targeted her after she...

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