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More Mafia indictments in New York

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The underboss and seven other reputed members of the Luchese and Genovese mob families were indicted Thursday on charges of extortion, loansharking, drug trafficking and conspiring to transport the proceeds of securities frauds.

The indictments name a total of 19 defendants, including Luchese underboss Steven Crea, also known as "Stevie Wonder," and Dennis Peterson, an attorney charged with using "implied threats" -- his own words as recorded on FBI videotape -- to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal loans and interest on those loans.

Peterson has been attorney for a number of organized crime figures in the past, including reputed Colombo family underboss John DeRoss, who also was indicted Thursday on charges that had led to his arrest last month.


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In addition, court documents unsealed Thursday revealed that former acting Luchese boss Joseph Defede had pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy charges involving murder, loansharking, extortion, gambling and money laundering but will cooperate with the government as a witness in trials of his former henchmen.

The other alleged Luchese gang members indicted were "capo" Dominic "Crazy Dom" Truscello and "soldiers" Joseph "Little Joe" Dibenedetto and Domenico "Danny" Cutaia. Crea and Truscello were charged with conspiring to extort New York City construction firms; Cutaia and Dibenedetto with loansharking.

Ten others, including four Luchese associates, were charged with drug trafficking.

Four reputed Genovese mobsters were charged with conspiring to transport the proceeds of fraudulent sales of SureQuest Systems Inc. stock -- John "Johnny Gags" Gagliardi, Charles "Chuck White" Delmonico, Charles "Slim" Tourine and Dominic "Dickie D" Dimare.

"These arrests demonstrate that law enforcement simply will not allow La Cosa Nostra to exert its extortionate grip on legitimate business activity in New York City, whether it be on Wall Street or in the construction industry, and will continue to attack and dismantle these criminal enterprises as long as they continue to prey on the residents of the New York metropolitan area," said U.S. Attorney James Comey.

"The recent cooperation of the Luchese family acting boss is another example of La Cosa Nostra's crumbling wall of silence and represents a stinging blow to any efforts by the Mafia to regain the power it has lost over the past several years."




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