Friday, March 4, 2011

Feds; mafia no longer top priority

John Marzulli,daily news. The FBI'S New York bureau has downsized its organized-crime squads just two months after its massive gangster takedown.

There had been a separate squad of agents assigned to probe each of the city's five families.

A reorganization of the mob section, first reported by the website Gangland News, has led to a merger of the Bonanno and Colombo squads - and the Luchese squad teaming up with a unit investigating Eastern European crime crews.

In all, the number of FBI agents dedicated to busting organized crime dropped to 45.

The formidable Genovese and Gambino crime families still merit their own FBI squads, sources said.

"We're continuously re-evaluating how to assign resources, and the recent changes are designed to prevent inroads made by emerging crime groups," said FBI spokesman James Margolin.

Still, former organized crime-busters fear the changes will lead to a resurgence of the Mafia, noting that the Bonanno family rose from ashes a generation ago after it was decimated by undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone.