A total of 127 defendants have been named in 16 indictments in the US after one of the largest Mafia takedowns in FBI history. Among those arrested in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island were union officials, two former police officers and a suspect in Italy.
High-ranking members of the Gambino and Colombo crime families and the reputed former boss of organised crime in New England also were named in the indictment. The arrest sheets listed colourful nicknames - Bobby Glasses, Vinny Carwash, Jack the Whack, Johnny Cash, Junior Lollipops - and catalogued murders, extortion, arson, drug dealing and other crimes dating back three decades, The Press Association says.
"Arresting and convicting the hierarchies of the five families several times over has not eradicated the problem," said Janice K. Fedarcyk, the head of the New York F.B.I. office, calling it a "a myth" that the mob is a thing of the past.
At the news conference, Mr. Holder also announced that the Justice Department was merging its Organized Crime and Racketeering Section with its Gang Unit, a move he said would provide more-experienced prosecutors and increased resources for cases like the one announced on Thursday.
Some federal, state and local law enforcement officials have privately expressed concern about a possible resurgence in some quarters of the influence of organized crime after two decades of decline, New York Times reports.