According to New York City police officials, U.S. and Italian agents broke up a large cocaine ring operation that was being run out of a city pizzeria. During the sting, 13 Italians were arrested with alleged links to organized crime.
The FBI and agents from Italy’s SCO police apprehended the men when they were asleep in the middle of the night. Their homes are located in Calabria, a southern Italian region. They were charged with conspiracy to run an international drug trafficking ring, according to police.
The cocaine ring was found after a year-long investigation that was named Operation Columbus. The operation was led by FBI agents in Brooklyn. The area in which they found the cocaine ring is where the Italian mafia group “‘Ndrangheta” lives, all of whom are related to the families in Sicily’s Cosa Nostra.
The drug trafficking network allegedly made shipments from Costa Rica to and U.S. and even Europe. During the raid, authorities seized six pistols, a shotgun, and around $100,000. Evidence found by the Italian investigators shows that Gregorio Gigliotta, 59, a Calabrian-born man, was the network’s kingpin. The ring was run out of “Cucino A Modo Mio” (I Cook My Way) pizzeria in Queens.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Alex Smith – Creativecommons Flickr License