Organized Crime “We’re bigger than US Steel.” -Meyer Lansky
I. History of the Mafia (Mob, Cosa Nostra) A. Roots in Sicily 1. Italian immigration to NYC, early 1900s. 2. Some brought mafia ties, victimized other Italians. B. Prohibition, 1920’s 1. The mob made millions on bootlegging, gained strength 2. Violence between mob families attracted police attention C. The Commission (founded in 1931) 1. Created by Lucky Luciano 2. Beginning of the Five Families (Profaci, Bonanno, Luciano, Lucchese, Gambino) 3. Like a board of directors for the mob a. Highly organized b. Enormous influence c. Smooth leadership transitions
II. Structure of the Mafia Family (Borgata) A. Boss (Godfather) B. Underboss C. Consigliere(Counselor) D. Capos (Captains) E. Soldiers (Made Men, Decini, Men of Honor) F. Associates/Wannabes
III. Rules A. Omerta: Absolute loyalty to family, never rat. B. Parentage wholly from Southern Italy or Sicily C. Cannot add membership--only replace those who die. D. Mafia is a lifetime obligation. E. The family comes before your own family. F. Do not fool with the wives or girlfriends of made men. G. Maintain yourself with respect at all times. H. Do not deal in narcotics, etc. (Frequently broken, and it’s often the weak link) I. A made man can only be killed on the orders of his boss or if he breaks a mafia rule. J. Police and other law agents can not be “whacked”, unless they are dirty.
IV. Mafia Business A. Extortion (protection money) B. Illegal gambling and bookmaking C. Loan Sharking D. Union racketeering E. Prostitution F. No bid contracts G. Political machines H. Front businesses to appear legit and launder illegal money 1. Restaurants, garmentfactories, construction companies, etc.
V. Law Enforcement Response A. 1930’s-Thomas Dewey, DA in NYC. Put Lucianobehind bars. B. FBI--mostly ignored the mob up until the 1970s. C. Robert F. Kennedy went after the mafia as attorney general in the early 1960’s. 1. Did his work play a role in his brother JFK’s death? D. RICO Act, 1970 (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) 1. Must prove a pattern of racketeering activity 2. Has been used successfully to prosecute and weaken mafia families. a. Donnie Brasco
VI. Donnie Brasco Bonanno Crime Family: Philip Rastelli (Boss) Sonny “Red” Indelicato (Caporegime) Sonny “Black” Napolitano (Capo) Ben Ruggiero (Soldier, made man) Donnie Brasco (Associate, Undercover FBI agent) Joe Pistone aka Donnie Brasco, FBI undercover assignment 1976-1981