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Alleged New York Mobster and Others Arrested


March 20, 2002
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Alleged New York Mobster and Others Arrested

The New York Times

NEW YORK (AP) - The reputed No. 3 man in the Bonanno organized crime family and a dozen other alleged mobsters were arrested and charged with murder and other crimes dating to 1984.

Authorities said the move dealt the biggest blow to the secretive Bonannos since the family was stung by the infiltration of an undercover FBI agent in the mid-1980s in the "Donnie Brasco" case.

Anthony Graziano and the other defendants -- including a captain, acting captain and five soldiers in the Bonanno family -- were arrested during pre-dawn raids at their homes Tuesday, authorities said.

They were charged with murder, drug trafficking, extortion and other crimes.

Indictments unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday identified Graziano, 61, as the "consigliere" of the Bonannos.

In that position, "Graziano has access to the full resources of the Bonanno crime family, which includes more than one hundred soldiers and countless associates who make money through crime, and who are capable of extreme violence," court papers said.

Prosecutors allege Graziano ordered the murder of two associates of the Colombo crime family to avenge a 1994 shooting at a Bonnano-controlled nightclub on Staten Island.

The killing was carried out by a bloodthirsty crew of cocaine dealers in Brooklyn run by Graziano, then a Bonanno captain, court papers said. The crew allegedly committed numerous slayings and acts of torture: One victim was burned with a blow torch, another was dragged around a room by noose around his neck.

If convicted, Graziano could face life in prison. A call to his attorney was not immediately returned.

Prosecutors said Graziano rose to third in command following the 2001 racketeering indictment of his predecessor, Anthony Spero. A jury convicted Spero last April of ordering three mob-related murders, loansharking and gambling; he is awaiting sentencing.





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