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Busting the Mob

The United States v. Cosa Nostra

James Jacobs, Christopher Panarella, Jay Worthington

Publication Year: 1994

Since Prohibition, the Mafia has captivated the media and, indeed, the American imagination. From Al Capone to John Gotti, organized crime bosses have achieved notoriety as anti- heroes in popular culture. In practice, organized crime grew strong and wealthy by supplying illicit goods and services and by obtaining control over labor unions and key industries.

Despite, or perhaps because of, its power and high profile, Cosa Nostra faced little opposition from law enforcement. Yet, in the last 15 years, the very foundations of the mob have been shaken, its bosses imprisoned, its profits diminished, and its influence badly weakened.

In this vivid and dramatic book, James B. Jacobs, Christopher Panarella, and Jay Worthington document the government's relentless attack on organized crime. The authors present an overview of the forces and events that led in the 1980s to the most successful organized crime control initiatives in American history. Enlisting trial testimony, secretly taped conversations, court documents, and depositions, they document five landmark cases, representing the most important organized crime prosecutions of the modern era—Teamsters Local 560, The Pizza Connection, The Commission, the International Teamsters, and the prosecution of John Gotti.

Published by: NYU Press


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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiv

The purpose of this book is to put the extraordinary law enforcement attack on Cosa Nostra since the late 1970s "on the record" for present and future generations of students, scholars, and others interested in organized crime in America. Despite, or perhaps because of, the magnitude of this attack, few scholars have immersed themselves in the most important period of...

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pp. xv-xvi

The roots of this book lie in my mid-1980s collaboration with the New York State Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) on an investigation of corruption and racketeering in the New York City construction industry (see Corruption and Racketeering in the New York City Construction Industry, Ne w York University Press, 1990). I owe a great debt of gratitude to my colleagues on ...


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1. Introduction

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pp. 3-28

For most of the twentieth century, what has been called the "Mafia," "Cosa Nostra," or simply "organized crime" seemed as inevitable as increased taxes. Some Mafia chieftains even attained widespread public notoriety and were treated like folk heroes in their neighborhoods, cities, and beyond. People who understood power and "the way things worked" in New York and other ...


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2. Teamsters Local 560: United States v. Local 560 (IBT): Appendix A. United States v. Local 560, Opinion of Judge Harold A. Ackerman; Appendix B. United States v. Local 560 and Michael Sciarra, Opinion of Judge Dickinson Debevoise; Appendix C. I

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pp. 31-78

United States v. Local 560 (IBT) is the most important civil labor racketeering case ever brought by the Justice Department against a union local.1 Local 560 broke new ground because it was the first time the Department of Justice brought a civil RICO action against a labor union. Unlike a traditional organized-crime criminal prosecution, this suit did not aim for a ...

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3. The Commission: United States v. Salerno: Appendix A. United States v. Salerno , Indictment ; Appendix B. Testimony of FBI Agent Joseph Pistone; Appendix C Testimony of Angelo Lonard; Appendix D. Testimony of ]ames Costigan; Appendix E. Prosec

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pp. 79-128

United States v. Salerno aimed to fell all of New York City's Cosa Nostra leaders with a single stroke. The indictment charged the bosses of New York City's Cos a Nostra crime families and several of their subordinates with constituting and operating a "commission" that served as a board of directors and supreme court for the mob. In proving its case, the government sought ...

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4. The Pizza Connection: United States v. Badalamenti: Appendix A. Prosecutions Opening Statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stewart; Appendix B. Testimony of Tommaso Buscetta ISO; Appendix C. Testimony of Agent Frank Tarallo 1SS; Appendix

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pp. 129-166

United States v. Badalamenti exposed a heroin-trafficking conspiracy that emerged in the aftermath of the breakup of the French Connection in the early 1970s.1 The case came to be known as the "Pizza Connection case" because several of the defendants used pizzerias as fronts for engaging in heroin distribution. It was the longest organized-crime trial and culminated ...

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5. Teamsters International: United States v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters: Appendix A. Congressional Petition to Justice Department; Appendix B. Association for Union Democracy, Letter to Members of Congress; Appendix C. Deposition of

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pp. 167-210

United States v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the Department of Justice's most ambitious labor racketeering suit and perhaps the most far-reaching effort at institutional reform through litigation ever attempted. The civil RICO suit charged Cosa Nostra members and the Teamsters' general executive board (GEB) with running the nation's largest union as a ...

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6. The Dapper Don: United States v. Gotti: Appendix A. United States v. John Gotti et al., Indictment; Appendix B. United States v. Salvatore Gravano, Plea Agreement; Appendix C. United States v. Gotti and Locascio, Attorney Disqualification Ruli

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pp. 211-257

United States v. Gotti was the culmination of a determined government effort to convict a mob boss who, in the public mind, had come to symbolize the power and persistence of organized crime. The prosecution's success depended in part, however, upon the cooperation of a mob defector who, on the basis of his record, warranted the most serious government attention and ...


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7. A Post-1980 Bibliography of Organized Crime: Appendix A. Organized Crime Strike Force Cases, 1981-1989; Appendix B. Articles, 1980-1993; Appendix C. Books,1980-1993; Appendix D. Government Hearings and Reports, 1980-1993

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pp. 243-268

Part 3 includes four organized-crime bibliographies from 1980.* As we emphasized in the preface, scholarship on organized crime is difficult to carry out. Data are neither reliable nor readily available. There is no ongoing government data collection and no opportunity for participant observation. The explosion of government activity in the 1980s has generated an enormous amount of raw material that has scarcely...


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pp. 269-276

E-ISBN-13: 9780814743959
E-ISBN-10: 0814743951
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814741955
Print-ISBN-10: 0814741959

Page Count: 292
Publication Year: 1994

OCLC Number: 45730033
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Busting the Mob

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Subject Headings

  • Racketeering -- United States.
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America -- Trials, litigation, etc.
  • Organized crime -- United States -- Bibliography.
  • Mafia trials -- United States.
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