14 Mobsters Arrested in Decades-Long Construction Union Shakedown

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Robison Wells
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The Colombo crime family targeted a construction union in Queens (the union remains unnamed in the unsealed court paper). Mobsters demanded monthly payments from the union’s health fund. Andrew Russo made the list of defendants. He acted as the alleged boss of the family, accused of taking $10,000 a month from the union fund.

In addition to racketeering charges, prosecutors alleged that mobsters took out a contract to kill one senior labor official after threatening and extorting him. According to recordings and wiretaps, Colombo captain Vincent Ricciardo made threats to kill the man in June.

“I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Ricciardo allegedly said.

Other allegations against the crime family include selling fake Department of Labor cards that falsified occupational safety training course certifications at bogus schools. In addition, the school addresses led to storage sites for illegal drugs and fireworks.

Though the crimes with the health fund have only been going on since 2019, other illegal activities date back more than 20 years. Prosecutors charged fourteen Colombo mobsters with crimes in New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

Mob involvement in construction and unions interweaves with New York’s history. In November of last year, the New York City District Council of Carpenters announced its intention to root organized crime from its organization.

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