Cops Seize $2.6M from Calabrians Linked to Operation New Bridge

Home of the boss of the Ursinus clan in Calabria.
Earlier this month police in Reggio Calabria seized €2 million ($2.6 million) worth of property from alleged members of the Ndrangheta, specifically the Ursinus di Gioiosa Jonica clan, arrested in February of this year as part of Operation New Bridge,  a drug smuggling operation that tied the Calabrian Mafia in with both the Gambino and Bonanno crime families.

The operation is noteworthy because it spotlighted a $1 billion global drug ring that included members of both the Ndrangheta and associates of the New York Mafia -- specifically associates of the Gambino and Bonanno families.

As reported, following a two-year probe that involved wiretaps and an undercover American agent, law enforcement officials in a coordinated effort launched predawn raids in both Calabria, Italy, and Brooklyn, New York, to smash apart a $1 billion global drug ring that included members of both the Italian Ndrangheta and associates of the New York Mafia -- specifically associates of the Gambino and Bonanno families

More than 20 were arrested. In the U.S. one Ndrangheta member was arrested, as well as the two Mafia associates, and four others related to the various groups involved in the ring.

A 15-count indictment identified the suspects as Ndrangheta member Raffaele “Lello” Valente, Gambino associate Franco Lupoi, Bonanno associate Charles “Charlie Pepsi” Centaro, as well as Dominic Ali, Alexander Chan and Christos Fasarakis, all of Brooklyn, and Jose Alfredo “Freddy” Garcia of New York.

In Italy, as reported, state police in Reggio Calabria and the central service operating state police, working in cooperation with police from the headquarters of Benevento and Catanzaro, seized the assets at the request of the anti-mafia prosecutor in Reggio Calabria; the order specifically stated assets worth a total value of €2 million were to be seized from those "already affected by detention order made ​​under the note police operation called  New Bridge."

The team from Benevento seized property from Charles Bright, 49, and Francis Vonella, 27, who were both arrested on Feb. 11, along with fours other alleged members of the Ursinus di Gioiosa Jonica (aka, the Reggio Calabria Mafia family), which reportedly has ties to the Gambino family in New York.

Among the properties closed by police were a bar in Montefalcone di Val Fortore, a garage, an apartment, and a building located in Catanzaro; four bank accounts were also seized.

Investigations into the finances of many of the alleged mobsters indicated the amount of euros spent were "considered disproportionate to the revenue declared to the tax authorities." IlQuotidianodellaCalabria reported.


  1. I noticed that some Italian names in your article have been translated into English. Be nice if we could see the real names.

  2. Wow things just continue to get worse for the bonanno family


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