What the Mafia's Been Doing Lately....

New York’s mob families are truly living undercover these days, in a manner that almost seems to hearken back to the pre-Apalachin years.

New York’s mob families are truly living undercover these days, in a manner that almost seems to hearken back to the pre-Apalachin years.

An interesting report was quietly published following Vincent Asaro's startling acquittal that took a look at how the mob is trying to "invisibly" earn today.

“They don’t want the notoriety they once had," Inspector John Desenopolis, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division, known as OCID, told the PIX report.  “These are secret societies that have learned,” Desenopolis added. “We were able to put people away for long periods of time. They realized, and learned how to adapt.”

The Mafia "radically" modified its ways of earning. It stopped killing people, for the most part. (There's always an exception to the rule.) As a result, new mob prosecutions have certainly slowed down.

This alone is a marked change from the 1980s and 1990s especially, when it seemed mobsters were ducking and firing and dying on a daily basis, as the Andrew DiDonato and Bath Avenue Crew stories illustrate. For example, from DiDonato's story, typical for that time and place:

Little Nicky supported his crew, wanted the Luchese member dead. To get around attempts by a Luchese capo (Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso) to save the guy in a sit down, the word was put out that whoever the Luchese gunman had killed, he had not been associated with Little Nicky and his crew. 
Corozzo, who had a lot on his plate, kept his eye on how his crew handled this particular piece of work. 
"If this happened to a friend of Lenny [DiMaria] and me, the guy that did it would be dead already,"Little Nicky told Andrew one night when he was annoyed the hit was taking too long.
The "mark" was finally shot down, but as fate would have it, Andrew wasn't with the crew on the night they got him. 
That killing was part of a larger ongoing battle between Little Nicky's crew and the Luchese family crew. But the hit was more significant in that it sent a message to other crews and crime families: Little Nicky had a crew of killers under his auspices.

All that said, however, it does not mean that the mob can't muster up some muscle when needed.

“Traditional organized criminals in New York City are still engaged in violent crimes like extortion,” Inspector Desenopolis said. “They’re involved in gambling, prostitution, drug sales and pill diversion.” meaning the illegal sale of prescription medication, versus straight-up narcotics, like cocaine and heroin, which the mob has sold since the beginning. I've heard it was once a requirement

Also assisting the mob is the unending war on "terror," which has reduced the FBI's focus on the Mafia in New York.

“There’s no question the FBI has downgraded the importance of going after the wiseguys in New York,” Jerry Capeci, the don of mob scribes, said.

 “They used to have five squads to go after the five crime families. They now have two.”

Bonanno mobsters in 1981...

Still, the FBI did a damn good job prior to 9/11. “In the last 15 to 20 years, a lot of top mobsters have flipped and cooperated,” Capeci noted. “All of these factors have combined to make the mob much less influential than it ever was before.”

At the same time, the mob rebuilds and finds new profit centers.

“We also see some mortgage fraud cases,” Inspector Desenopolis said. “And Internet gambling.”

The mob will make a buck wherever there's illicit demand is the bottom line. Make pot legal, they'll just sell more of something else.* Maybe fake virgin olive oil, which supposedly has a higher markup than the most addictive narcotic available: Heroin.

* Finally corrected!!!