State authorities say they have crippled a highly organized and violent criminal enterprise with mob ties that operated throughout eastern Massachusetts, handing up indictments against 31 people and seizing stashes of drugs, weapons and cash.
“This is a major strike at a large organized crime network involved in drugs, gambling, loansharking and violent enforcement, all of which we believe caused a threat to public safety,” state Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a press conference today.
At the head of that network, officials say, is New England Mafia captain Mark Rossetti. His right hand man, they say, is reputed mob soldier Darin Bufalino, who FOX Undercover first reported was arrested Wednesday night.
Authorities displayed seized evidence that included a kilogram of heroin, 200 pounds of pot, guns, knives, a pipe bomb wrapped with nails and close to $1.5 million in cash.
The seizures and arrests had a “tremendous” impact on organized crime in Massachusetts, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.
“The battle always goes on. But this is a major development with respect to putting a dent in the activities of organized crime in Boston and New England,” he said.
The investigation by state and local police also saved lives, Blodgett said.
“What they've done is prevent murders from happening. That was going to be unless this had happened the way it did. We were going to see murders in this state,” he said.
But the attorney for defendant Joseph Giallanella says his client is innocent and the case is more about grandstanding before the Nov. 2 election.
“This is like a soup with all the wrong ingredients in it. They don't mix together. And for political purposes and for public relations purposes the government wants it to be bigger than it is,” said defense attorney Bob George.
A spokeswoman for Coakley dismisses that criticism, pointing out the investigation actually started last year in Essex County and that her office only got involved when the alleged criminal activity moved outside that county.
FOX Undercover has also learned that when State Police showed up at Darin Bufalino's house to arrest him, they found a doormat with the words "come back with a warrant" written on it.
They didn't have to come back. They already had the warrant.