Two local men, including the former head of the mob in New England, were among 127 alleged mobsters and their associates arrested today, the biggest mob bust in recent history.
The arrests hit all five major crime families in New York and also netted Luigi “Baby Shanks” Manocchio, who authorities say ran the mob in New England for years.
Manocchio, 83, was arrested in Florida and charged with shaking down Providence strip clubs.
At a press conference in Brooklyn, US Attorney Eric Holder said the alleged crimes of those arrested “include numerous violent and illegal acts, from murder and narcotics trafficking toe extortion, illegal gambling, loan sharking and labor racketeering."
Manocchio, who was identified at the press conference as the former head of the mob in New England, and an associate, Thomas Iafrate, 69, were indicted on charges they extorted protection money from Providence strip clubs including the Satin Doll and the Cadillac Lounge.
FOX Undercover reported in 2009 that Manocchio stepped aside as head of the mob in New England, clearing the way for Boston’s Peter Limone to take over.
Since then, Limone was indicted on gaming and extortion charges. He narrowly avoided prison time after pleading no contest to them.
Back in New York, authorities warned that the mob's influence hasn't gone away.
“Even more of a myth is the notion that the mob is a thing of a past. That La Cosa Nostra is a shadow of its former self,” said the FBI’s Janice Fedarcyk.
Manocchio is expected to be arraigned in Providence sometime next week. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine on each of the two charges he faces.