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
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
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
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.