Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NYPD Dismantles OC Control Bureau... But...

In its place, the NYPD has implemented "a unified investigations model,” the NYPD's Chief of Department, James O’Neill, said in remarks during a briefing
NYPD reorganized under a "unified investigations model."

First it was the FBI -- and now it seems it's the NYPD that is reducing its focus on organized crime

As recently reported, the NYPD unit responsible for investigating the Mafia, the Organized Crime Control Bureau, has been officially gone since March 1. 

It disappeared as part of the department’s reorganization, officials told the New York Post.

In its place, the NYPD has implemented "a unified investigations model,” the NYPD's Chief of Department, James O’Neill, said in remarks during a briefing at NYPD headquarters at One Police Plaza in lower Manhattan.


“In each Patrol Borough there’s going to be an investigations chief and reporting to that investigations chief is going to be the precinct detective squads, Narco, Gang and Vice,” he said.

This means that Detective Chiefs, aka Super Chiefs, report to Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. Previously, they reported to the patrol borough's commander.

“So all the investigative entities are going to move to the chief of detectives office,” O’Neill said. ‘Basically, we’re eliminating the Organized Crime Control Bureau.”

Boyce is runnings the department’s investigative resources (except for the Internal Affairs Bureau and Intelligence, which deals with counter-terrorism).

“Narcotics is not the issue it was back 20 years ago,” Boyce said. “Now we have gangs that are driven by credit card fraud.”

Under the new system, investigators can go directly to the investigative chief and report problems with narcotics, gangs, crews and get solutions, O’Neill said.

“This will give us the laser-like focus on the issue at hand,” O’Neill said. “Sometimes that’s where the frustration was. Gang would be doing great work here, Narco would be doing great work here. But we need to better coordinate our resources to be better focused and to continue to push crime down.”

The NYPD has reported the lowest crime data in January last month and has been experiencing a decrease in shootings. The number of homicides increased in 2015 over 2014, however. 


FBI special unit C-38 played a role in many mob investigations.

The FBI's reduction
It was publicly proclaimed by no less than Attorney General Eric Holder that the FBI had dramatically reduced the amount of resources allocated to battling the New York Mafia.

This was revealed concurrently with the infamous event known as "Mafia Takedown Day," when some 120 mobsters were arrested in their bathrobes at dawn--high noon for busting down the doors of nice, well-kept suburban homes.

The FBI historically has had one squad assigned to each New York crime family, back during those decades when they systematically dismantled organized crime in the city, the so-called golden years of the mob.only two New York City-based squad.

To say it another way, the FBI mob effort has been cut in half since 2008.

Not really though.

FBI unit C-38, the DEA and the Business Integrity Commission have all been involved in mob-busting in recent years -- and have made major cases against the Five Families.


FBI Unit C-38
As for FBI Unit C-38, according to the Washington Post's Fed Page, which includes PoliticsCourts & LawPollingPower Post and White House coverage, the FBI special unit has struck a blow against two of the Five Families, the Colombos and Bonannos. Whether it is still in business is difficult to say as there are not a lot of open references to the unit on the web.

 The story was published on Nov. 12, 2013. It reported:

Relying on mobsters-turned-informants, secret recordings and painstaking, old-fashioned police work, a special team of FBI agents struck major blows against two New York organized-crime families that have been responsible for murders, extortion, labor racketeering, fraud, loansharking and other serious crimes. 
Since 2008, the FBI team known as C-38 has spearheaded the dismantling of the once mighty Colombo and Bonanno La Cosa Nostra families, with the arrests of 120 members and associates that have included the top echelons of both crime organizations. In the past several years, guilty pleas or jury convictions have been obtained for 115 of those individuals. 
“The Colombo family has pretty much been decimated. They are in complete shambles and disarray,” said Belle Chen, an assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s New York Field Office. “The Bonanno family has been severely disrupted.” 
Led by Supervisory Special Agent Seamus McElearney, the FBI team of nine agents and one analyst ended a key operational phase of a massive undercover investigation in January 2011 with the arrests of 60 members and associates of the Colombo and Bonanno families. 
These arrests were part of a multistate sweep that netted some 127 suspected members of all five of New York’s Mafia families, and included Colombo family street boss Andrew (Andy Mush) Russo; underboss Benjamin (The Claw) Castellazzo; Richard (Richie Nerves) Fusco, the consigliere; and five captains. In addition, the investigations by the C-38 team have led to racketeering convictions of many other members of the Colombo hierarchy, including former street boss Tommy (Shots) Gioeli in 2012 and former underboss John (Sonny) Franzese in 2010.
The Bonanno family also has been badly hurt, with the 2011 conviction of acting boss Vincent (Vinnie Gorgeous) Basciano for a gangland murder. Former Bonanno boss Joseph (Big Joey) Massino had secretly recorded conversations with Basciano while both were in jail, and testified against him, providing details about numerous crimes and the current structure and inner dealings of the family. 
It was unprecedented for a mob boss to testify against a family member and to secretly record conversations that were used as evidence in court.Other recent Bonanno convictions have involved other bosses, powerful captains, soldiers and associates. 
In addition to the convictions, the investigations of the two families helped solve 15 homicides, including a murder of a police officer, and aided in the recovery of two bodies of individuals who were reported missing in the 1990s, the foiling of numerous violent plots, the forfeiture of $10 million and the development of evidence that led to a local concrete workers union being put under trusteeship to eliminate control by the Colombo crime family. 
Chen said McElearney was a linchpin for massive investigations, making key day-to-day tactical and operational decisions, and engaged with his team members in convincing hardened criminals to break their oaths of silence and become cooperating witnesses.
“His experience and knowledge of the families and their culture was a key to the success of this squad,” said Chen.
McElearney said members of his team often worked around the clock, monitoring electronic surveillance, protecting mob informants as they secretly recorded conversations of their associates, preparing search warrants, handling arrests and assisting prosecutors, to put behind bars those who have preyed on the public with senseless violence. 
“By eliminating this organized crime element, we are getting rid of a menace to society—individuals who have created untold mayhem,” said McElearney. 
George Khouzami, an FBI coordinating supervisory special agent in New York, said the group took some high-risk, high-reward strategies to get mob members to cooperate and turn on their compatriots. At various stages, he said, dominos fell and members of each of the families no longer knew who to trust. 
“This was totally a team effort,” said Khouzami. 

Business Integrity Commission
The Business Integrity Commission, a city agency overseeing private garbage haulers and other businesses, sounds like the harmless name of a trade group.

As the Wall Street Journal noted
As New York City's oversight agency for private garbage-haulers, the Business Integrity Commission handles complaints that tend toward the mundane: stolen containers, illegal dumping, bid-rigging.

Yet, as it is responsible for approving things like trade-waste licenses, it also has a means to investigate organized crime members.

In this video, we see a meeting involving "recommended denial application decisions."



The BIC has its own law enforcement arm, as noted in a story about Hector Pagan, former husband of Mob Wives Renee Graziano. 

As reported, in March 2010, James Donovan was under investigation by the Business Integrity Commission when he was murdered. 

As the WSJ reported, on the day of the murder, BIC investigators were monitoring by camera a business in Gravesend, Brooklyn, where they knew Donovan made weekly transactions. According to court records, a glitch caused the camera to stop recording as the fatal robbery started. [We noticed that the story has since been changed to omit that fact. Wonder why....] However, investigators said they found surveillance footage from nearby stores and discarded cigarette butts that put the three men at the scene at the time of the murder. 

Authorities believed he was collecting insurance checks from auto-body shops for a fee and giving the shops the cash value of the checks. The shops would pocket the money without declaring it, allowing them to avoid paying taxes. The investigation found that Donovan was cashing more than $1 million worth of these checks a year through connections at check-cashing stores and clearing more than $100,000 annually from the alleged scheme. 



James Donovan.

Over the following months, investigators said, Donovan's alleged scheme was linked to dozens of companies in "Operation Tax Grab." But before any charges were filed, Donovan was killed and robbed of a combination of checks and cash. The focus of the case changed once again, and so did Mr. Donovan's role—from suspect to victim. 

Weeks later detectives followed a trail from a bank surveillance camera to find a man spotted depositing the stolen checks—and who was subsequently arrested on an unrelated narcotics charge—placed calls from Rikers Island that were ultimately traced to a parolee, Nunzio "Nicky" DeCarlo. 

Federal prosecutors identified DeCarlo as a member of the Colombo crime family when he was arrested in 1987 on racketeering charges. He was later convicted and served 18 years in prison. Those calls plus other clues, including DNA from discarded cigarette butts that Detective McMahon had collected from the scene and phone taps—another almost unheard-of tactic for the Business Integrity Commission—led investigators over the following months to three other men: Hector "Junior" Pagan, Richard Riccardi and Luigi Grasso. 

DeCarlo died in October 2010 at his Staten Island home from an overdose of drugs, including heroin, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's office. On July 11, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted Riccardi and Grasso on charges of robbery conspiracy, causing death through the use of a firearm and using or carrying a firearm. They pleaded not guilty and were ordered held without bail.


DEA
The DEA has pressed its share of mob-related indictments. With drug-trafficking a chief way mobsters can become wealthy earning untold sums in short time spans, it was known to have picked up a lot of slack by participating as well as taking the lead in drug-linked Mafia cases.

In fact sticking with the same case mentioned above, the DEA also was a factor in BIC's case. The DEA, specifically, flipped Pagan, which allowed him to snitch on his cohorts in crime for a murder he himself had committed -- the murder of Donovan.

As reported by the NYPOST.com: "The father of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano was indicted on extortion conspiracy charges, with Brooklyn federal prosecutors saying that former Bonanno crime family consigliere Anthony “T.G” Graziano had conspired to collect a $100,000 debt with the aid of several other mobsters.

Graziano, 71, at the time -- and a Bonanno captain -- recently had been released from prison -- only to be quickly ensnared in a DEA probe.

Renee Graziano’s ex-husband, Pagan - a Bonanno associate-turned DEA informant - reportedly wore a wire and secretly recorded conversations for the feds with his ex-father-in-law while discussing the collection of the loanshark debt.

The DEA was one of the chief agencies involved in the 1970s investigations of the Purple Gang

Both Meldish brothers belonged to the Purple Gang, which was known for killing and dismembering rivals as it controlled the heroin trade in Harlem and the Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s. Its members — many of whom were relatives of more established crime figures — often freelanced as “muscle” for the Luchese, Genovese and Bonanno families. Taking its name from a group of thugs that terrorized Detroit during Prohibition, the Purple Gang grew so powerful in the late 1970s that authorities feared it might attempt to become the area’s sixth organized crime family — potentially igniting an all-out mob war. 

The group murdered some 17, including at least two police informants, and dismembered many victims. They also were behind the "large-scale distribution of narcotics in the South Bronx and Harlem" as well as selling guns, allegedly to groups based outside the U.S.

Interestingly, the group is said to have had 30 "made" members," according to police reports and some 80 "associates," according to the DEA.

According to one law enforcement group, the Purple Gang supplied the drug network of black drug dealer Leroy "Nicky" Barnes with heroin at $75,000 per kilo.

The DEA, FBI and NYPD monitored the group closely in the 1970s.

A 1976 federal report cited the gang’s “enormous capacity for violence” and “lack of respect for other members of organized crime.”

The crew’s power waned in the late 1980s as members were ensnared in drug busts.

Numerous ranking Mafia members once belonged to the crew, including Bonanno boss Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso and Genovese capo Daniel "The Lion" Leo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Archive