In a court indictment on Tuesday, members of the Bonanno family were charged with taking their criminal business online to turn a quicker profit.
Outside of facing the more traditional charges, which include extortion, loan-sharking and union control, a court indictment has accused nine members from the Bonanno family of illegal operations online. Unsealed in a Manhattan court on Tuesday, the indictment charges the members with running a multimillion-dollar online sports betting operation in Costa Rica. Certain members were also involved in a plan that would involve the sale of "hundred of thousands of" erectile dysfunction drugs on the Internet, according to The New York Times.
Nicholas Santora, known as Nicky Mouth, is believed to have headed the operations. Santora is an "old school" mobster who first rose to prominence in the 1970s alongside Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano, Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero and Joseph "Big Joey" Massino. In the 1997 filmed titled "Donnie Brasco," the New York based mobster was depicted by actor Bruno Kirby. It is believed that Santora, 71, has been the reputed underboss of the Bonanno family since 2007.
Details of the case on Tuesday served as a reminder that organized crime, although largely reduced for several years, is still a problem in New York City.
"Times have changed since Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, but organized crime still exerts a corrupting influence in our city," Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Manhattan district attorney, said at a news conference for the FBI. With 60 percent fewer agents covering mob families since 2008, he added "that many mistakenly believe that the mob has disappeared entirely."
The indictement included a total of nine men, eight belonging to the Bonanno family. Seven of those men were arrested on Tuesday morning.
Santora, who plead guilty to a federal extortion charge in Brooklyn last year and was sentenced to 20 months in prison, did not appear in court.