Two reputed mobsters from Long Island were arrested Wednesday for allegedly smuggling cocaine across the US-Canada border following a two-year investigation that netted an audio recording of a mafia induction ceremony, federal authorities said.
Damiano Zummo, a 44-year-old acting captain in the Bonanno crime family from Roslyn Heights, and Salvatore Russo, a 45-year-old associate of the family from Bellmore, were charged with narcotics trafficking in Brooklyn federal court.
“The recording of a secret induction ceremony is an extraordinary achievement for law enforcement and deals a significant blow to La Cosa Nostra,” said Bridget Rohde, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Prosecutors said the duo was among nine members of the mafia arrested after authorities acted on evidence provided by confidential informant who became full-fledged member of the Bonanno family. Two Gambino crime family members from Brooklyn were also arrested in the probe.
In one transaction, Zummo and Russo sold more than a kilogram of cocaine inside a Manhattan gelato store on Sept. 14, authorities said. Zummo is also charged with laundering more than $250,000 in cash by providing business checks issued to a fictitious consulting company that purported to bill the company for its services, according to investigators. Zummo took a fee of about 10 percent for each transaction.
Zummo and Russo each face up to life in prison, if convicted.