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Powerful Calabrian Mafia boss Marcello “The Dancer” Pesce arrested – spent six years as a most wanted fugitive

By David Amoruso

Marcello Pesce, one of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta’s most powerful bosses, was arrested in a dawn raid on Thursday. He had been on the run since 2010 and, in absentia, had been convicted of Mafia crimes. He can now begin serving his prison sentence of almost 17 years.

Like so many of his colleagues, Pesce was found hiding out in the middle of his crime family’s territory. For Pesce that placed him in the town of Rosarno in Reggio Calabria, where police handcuffed him in the bedroom of a house where he was living – a father and son staying at the same residence were also arrested. The clan’s power is such that it controls the entire town and its 15,000 inhabitants, making it easy for men like Pesce to vanish in plain side.  

Nicknamed “U Ballerinu,” which means “the dancer,” 52-year-old Marcello Pesce leads one of the most influential ‘Ndrangheta clans in Italy. It is one of the groups in control of the port in Gioia Tauro, ensuring a steady flow of drugs from South America and other parts of the world into Europe.

Thanks to the drug money, the Pesce clan was able to expand into the northern parts of Italy, into cities like Milan and Lombardy, where it invested in real estate and set up offshoot branches involved in various crimes.

Marcello Pesce is the son of Rocco Pesce, who was also a member of the ‘Ndrangheta and was murdered while living his life of crime. Marcello’s cousin Antonino Pesce remains the clan’s official boss, but has been behind bars for some time now.

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