July 14, 2010 |
Police in Italy swooped upon the powerful 'Ndrangheta mafia Tuesday, arresting more than 300 people — including the group's suspected top boss — and seizing millions of dollars in assets, in one of the biggest operations against organized crime in the country's history. About 3,000 police officers fanned out across the nation in the early morning sweep, which caught some suspects still in bed. Although the 'Ndrangheta is based in the Calabria region in the south, many of the arrests took place in the north, around Milan, where the group has increasingly shifted its operations.
February 21, 2010 |
Here are some tips gathered from my trip last fall to western Sicily: Pack cottons and sunglasses. Summer lasts six months a year and is hot and uncomfortable. Expect almost everything to be closed from 1 to 5 p.m., when Sicilians take cover from the furnace outside by clamping their windows shut and pulling down the shades. Read "The Leopard," Giuseppe di Lampedusa's elegy to the waning 19th century in Sicily; "The House by the Medlar Tree: I Malavoglia," a gaunt little classic by Giovanni Verga about the island's hopeless poor; "Fire Under the Ashes," James McNeish's 1965 biography of Danilo Dolci, the Gandhi of Sicily; "Last Godfathers," an all-too-vivid history of the Sicilian Mafia, by John Follain; "On Persephone's Island," Mary Taylor Simeti's ode to the natural rhythms of the island; and every mystery novel by Andrea Camilleri, featuring the Sicilian gourmand and gumshoe Salvo Montalbano, that you can get your hands on. Be mindful of the stories they tell, but don't be paralyzed about what people say about the dangers and hardships of traveling here.
November 16, 2009 |
Police have captured one of Sicily's top Mafia fugitives, dealing a stiff blow to the island's Cosa Nostra crime syndicate, Italian officials said. Convicted mobster Domenico Raccuglia has been on the run for 15 years. He was arrested in an apartment in a tiny town near Trapani, where he is believed to have had his power base, police said. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni described Raccuglia as Cosa Nostra's No. 2, and hailed his arrest as delivering "one of the hardest blows" to the Sicilian Mafia in the last few years.
June 17, 2009 |
Italian police said they have arrested 13 people suspected of helping a top Mafia fugitive hide, communicate with other mobsters and conduct his business. Investigators said that with the arrests they are closing in on Matteo Messina Denaro, a fugitive who is among a handful of mobsters vying to take over the Sicilian Mafia. Most of the arrests were carried out in Trapani, a city in western Sicily that is the power base of Messina Denaro. "He's the last of the great fugitives," said Giuseppe Linares, the top police official in Trapani.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2008 |
A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Wednesday gave a temporary reprieve to Rosario Gambino, a convicted heroin trafficker with alleged ties to the Gambino crime family who had been ordered deported to Italy. A Los Angeles immigration attorney filed a petition with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after Immigration and Customs Enforcement tried to deport Gambino on Tuesday night. Gambino was returned to a detention facility in New Jersey because of health concerns, his attorney said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2004 |
Gaetano Badalamenti, 80, once described by federal authorities as the "boss of all bosses" of the Sicilian Mafia, has died, a Justice Department spokesman said Friday. No date, place or cause of death was given, but Badalamenti had been housed at the Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Mass., which treats inmates with serious illnesses. Badalamenti was a ringleader in a $1.65-billion heroin and cocaine smuggling operation that used pizzerias as fronts to distribute the drugs from 1975 to 1984.