A reputed Gambino crime family soldier from Glen Head is among 32 suspects federal authorities rounded up Wednesday in a massive crackdown on mob-run trash-hauling companies in New York and New Jersey.
Anthony Bazzini is facing up to 40 years in prison on federal racketeering and extortion conspiracy charges. The 53-year-old suspect was scheduled to be arraigned with most of his co-defendants at Manhattan federal court.
“Organized crime has many victims—in this case small business owners who pay for waste removal, potential competitors and the communities infected by this corruption and its cost,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Prosecutors and FBI investigators alleged Bazzini was among alleged mob soldiers who took control of an unnamed waste removal company that a cooperating witness had incorporated.
Bazzini was involved in loansharking, mail and wire fraud and stolen property offenses in order to enhance the mob’s power, line their pockets and keep its victims in check by threatening economic and physical harm, authorities said.
The suspect, who was among a dozen of the 32 defendants facing the top charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, is accused of dictating which trash pick-up stops that companies could use and extorting payments in exchange for “protection.”
By enforcing purported “property rights” over the routes, the suspects excluded competitors, in effect imposing a criminal tax on businesses and communities, authorities said. They also allegedly stole property of competitors and defrauded customers.
Aside from the Gambino family, suspects include members and associates of the Genovese and Luchese—three of the five organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra that coordinated through the use of “sit-downs,” authorities alleged.