FBI: Case Closed for Entire Colombo Administration

Andy Russo during an earlier arrest. He was among those arrested
in January 2011.

The FBI said it has arrested the "entire" current Colombo crime family administration, as the last of 38 guilty pleas was entered into at Brooklyn federal court by family associate Angelo Spata.

The Colombo hierarchy case launched in January 2011, so-called Mafia Takedown Day, with a series of FBI raids that set a record as the single largest one-day operation against the Italian-American Mafia.

"Those who have pleaded guilty include the members of the entire administration of the Colombo organized crime family..., as well as numerous leaders, members and associates of the Colombo family," the US Attorney's Office said in a statement. All of them face 20 years in prison, the maximum based on sentencing guidelines. They also will surrender $5.6 million of their illicit proceeds.

Andrew Russo, former street boss of the Colombo crime family, Benjamin "The Claw" Castellazzo, acting underboss, and Richard Fusco, the consigliere, all pleaded guilty.

According to reports, reputed Colombo soldier Ralph Scopo Jr., was the "last wiseguy standing," as the Daily News reported. He is the 39th Colombo to fall in this case; however, he refused to take a plea. [It was not revealed if any of the remaining 38 refused a plea, though that seems likely that Scopo is the only one bringing the Feds to trial.]

However Scopo has a reason for refusing a plea.

Scopo, 63, suffers from health issues, specifically liver problems, and can't stand trial on extortion charges relating to the Cement and Concrete Workers Union Local 6A because of that, Scopo claimed in court filings,  the News reported.

Individuals admitted to various crimes: racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, racketeering, and extortion conspiracies. 

Fusco admitted conspiring to extort money from the Gambinos. Two other defendants admitted to administering violence to collect debts.

"The dwindling strength of all five La Cosa Nostra families is cause for optimism that their pernicious influence in various industries -- and their violence in pursuit of that influence -- will become a thing of the past," said FBI assistant director-in-charge Mary Galligan.