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Gangsters Inc.’s February newsletter

February 2014

By David Amoruso

Dear members of Gangsters Inc.,

Better late than never, here is your monthly newsletter in which we detail last month’s stories. And boy did February pack a lot of heat. The biggest news by far was the arrest of the world’s richest and most powerful drug lord “El Chapo” Guzman. We were on top of his arrest as well as the shocking story that the DEA worked in some kind of partnership with Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel to bust rival drug cartels.

The arrest of “El Chapo” was the second big win for law enforcement in February. Earlier that month, authorities in the U.S. and Italy announced the completion of Operation New Bridge which broke up a drug pipeline between the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and New York’s Gambino crime family. If you thought American La Cosa Nostra was dead, then think again, because with the help of its brothers from the old country they are still a dangerous force.

Case in point: Gambino crime boss Domenico Cefalu. Born and raised in Sicily he now heads the powerful New York family and is seen as one of the main forces behind the intimate links between the American mob and the Mafia in Italy. We wrote a profile on him and detailed his rise to power.

Though, American La Cosa Nostra’s power has dwindled in recent decades, thanks to Hollywood it can still count on the largest ‘fan’ base any crime group ever had. Newspapers sell more copies with a mobster on the front page. And television and movies? Fuggedaboutit.

That is why the news that the owner of the real life Bada Bing strip club made famous by The Sopranos had turned rat was all over the New York and New Jersey tabloids and networks. It was art imitating life imitating art. The public loves it! The Genovese crime family not so much, as the rat was an associate of theirs.

In the end, the case isn’t that big. Nothing like what Sicilian boss of bosses Matteo Messina Denaro was up to in Trapani. Sentenced in absentia to life in prison, the young mob boss rules the island’s Mafia while running from the law. And as the law closes in on him he seems to become agitated. A local prosecutor has been threatened, his office bugged and broken into, and seeing that Messina Denaro was involved in the Mafia’s campaign of terror against the Italian State one can only hope things stay quiet there in Trapani.

A place where despite rumors of the contrary did go quietly and smooth is Socchi, Russia. Though many hotels weren’t finished and freedom of speech did not exist, the 2014 Winter Olympics passed by without a hitch. It did however put a spotlight on Russia’s criminal elite. Men like mob boss Gafur Rakhimov whose intimate knowledge of sports and bribes was responsible for bringing the Winter Olympics to Socchi.

With these men now exposed, journalists and authors will soon dig up more proof of crimes and questionable behavior. As they always do.

February saw two new books by men like that. One book, by Canadian author Pierre de Champlain, focuses on the history of organized crime in Montreal. As a former RCMP intelligence analyst De Champlain has witnessed the Mafia up close and personal and knows many of its dirty secrets and tricks.

The other book deals with the life and disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa. Author William Hryb posted an excerpt of his book at Gangsters Inc.

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