Dismantling organized crime in New York

dismantling organized crime in New York. More specifically, the article concerns itself with the efforts made by a team of FBI agents to effectively bring to an end the illegal operations of two of New York’s most prominent organized-crime families. Authored by the Partnership for Public Service in conjunction with the Washington Post, the article appeared on the November 12th 2013 online version of the Washington Post. The article in question is titled; Striking a Major Blow Against two New York Organized Crime Families. The link to the article has been given in the references section of this text.

According to the FBI (2013), “in the recent years, the face of organized crime has changed, and the threat is broader and more complex than ever.” As the FBI further points out, organized crime in the U.S. can be split into four key groupings. This includes; groups of mobsters that came to America after the Soviet Union collapsed, drug trafficking groups from some countries in Africa, crime rings from Asia, and Eastern European-based criminal enterprises. As the author of this particular article points out, the organized crime families targeted by the FBI included the “Colombo and Bonanno La Cosa Nostra families.” To dismantle the crime rings, the special team of FBI operatives had to rely on secret recordings, informants (some of whom were mobsters), and what the author refers to as “old-fashioned police work.” The said crime families have over time been involved in a wide range of criminal activities including but not limited to loan sharking, extortion, and even murder.

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Christened team C-38, the FBI team involved in the dismantling of the said criminal enterprise comprised of ten individuals – nine agents and an analyst, with Supervisory Special Agent Seamus McElearney, being in charge of the entire team. According to an FBI agent overseeing operations at the FBI New York Field Office, the undertaking by the FBI agents had seen the decimation of the Colombo family and the severe disruption of the Bonanno family. In what comes as a surprise, a former boss of the Bonanno family even went as far as testifying against the crime family’s acting boss. According to the author of the article, the move by a mob boss to testify against another (from the same crime family) is largely unprecedented. It is important to note that in addition to the decimation and dismantling of the criminal enterprises, the ensuing investigations according to the author have also shed light on some other crimes that had, until now, remained unsolved. Further, as a result of the efforts by the FBI agents involved in the case, numerous violent plots have also been foiled.

As the FBI points out on its website, “dismantling and disrupting major international and national organized criminal enterprises is a longstanding area of FBI expertise.” Indeed, according to McElearney, the team involved in bringing to an end the illicit activities of the two murderous organized-crime families “often worked around the clock, monitoring electronic surveillance, protecting mob informants as they secretly conversations of their associates, preparing search warrants, handling arrests, and assisting prosecutors…” amongst other things. As yet another FBI officer, George Khouzami, points out, the FBI team involved in the operation also embraced a number of high-risk strategies in an attempt to ensure the full cooperation of mob members being used to infiltrate the organized crime enterprises. In the final analysis, the move to cripple the organized crime groups was timely. Going forward, the FBI should continue using every tool at its disposal to cripple both international and transnational organized crime enterprises. The need to closely work with the relevant international partners in fighting organized crime cannot also be overstated.


FBI. (2013). Organized Crime: Overview. Retrieved from: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/organizedcrime/overview

The Partnership for Public Service. (2013, November 12). Striking a Major Blow Against two New York Organized Crime Families. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/striking-a-major-blow-against-two-new-york-organized-crime-families/2013/11/12/d14cc33a-4ba9-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html

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