- Joseph Ax, Reuters
[url=http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/57a35700ce38f236008b4be2-960/screen shot 2016-08-04 at 10.53.30 am.png] [/url] Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities arrested more than 40 alleged Mafia members across five states early Thursday on charges of racketeering, extortion, loan sharking, smuggling, arson and gun trafficking, among others.
A federal indictment unsealed in New York tied 46 defendants to four of the city's five major Mafia outfits: the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno families. Other accused mobsters were part of the main Philadelphia family, according to the indictment.
Law enforcement agents swept up more than 40 defendants in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida, an FBI spokeswoman said.
In a second indictment unsealed in Massachusetts on Thursday, two of the defendants were accused of working for the Genovese family and charged in a separate extortion scheme, along with three other members of the family.
The New York defendants, with nicknames such as "Rooster," "Tony the Cripple" and "Mustache Pat," used violence, threats and the destruction of property to intimidate their neighborhoods, according to authorities.
In one instance, several defendants attacked an individual they believed was panhandling outside a restaurant owned by one of the mobsters, using glass jars and steel-tipped boots, prosecutors said. In another incident, some defendants set fire to a car parked outside a rival gambling club.
The various schemes extended from New York to Costa Rica, including running sports gambling rings, selling untaxed cigarettes and making fake credit cards, the indictment said.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)