Corleone Mafia Boss Arrested

Gaetano Riina, accused head of the Mafia in Corleone in Sicily, was arrested along Sicily's west coast on Friday, July 1. Riina -- arrested along with other relatives -- is charged with extortion and criminal association, according to Italian prosecutors, reports ThirdAge.

Gaetano Riina is the brother of Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the boss of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra. After Toto Riina's arrest in 1993 and subsequent conviction on multiple murder charges, Gaetano Riina took control of the Mafia in Corleone, adds ThirdAge.

The 79-year-old Gaetano Riina was picked up during a dawn raid at his house in Mazara del Vallo in southern Sicily.

Authorities suspect Riina of running an extortion ring targeting shops and businesses in and around the town of Corleone -- his brother's hometown.
Gaetano Riina is the brother of
Salvatore 'Toto" Riina, who was
the boss of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.
Two great-nephews of Riina's were also arrested in the operation, the ANSA news agency reported, naming them as Alessandro Correnti, 39, and Giuseppe Grizzafi, 33, according to Monsters & Critics.

Salvatore Riina's crime family, the Corleonesi, became notorious in the 1980s and early 90s for its bloody attacks on other mob clans and also state officials, including the 1992 killings of anti-mafia magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Salvatore Riina is currently serving multiple life sentences in jail.

"This operation shows that Corleone is still an important base for Cosa Nostra," said Francesco Messineo, a chief prosecutor in Palermo, as reported by The Telegraph in England.

Authorities hope the arrest will diminish the Mafia's influence in Sicily.

Recent years have seen a series of raids and arrests of various Mafia members conducted by local police.