Magazine article The New Yorker

Roundup

Magazine article The New Yorker

Roundup

Article excerpt

It's a common refrain, among the city's armchair criminologists, that the Mob is dead in New York. So last Thursday's giant federal Mob bust--a hundred and twenty-seven people, encompassing seven crime families--elicited a special fascination. It seemed almost nostalgic, in this era of Russian "thieves in law" and Chinese Triads, to read of bad guys with names like Nooch, Jack the Whack, Fat Dennis, and Junior Lollipops.

This doesn't mean that it's back to the old days. "Organized crime doesn't pay these days. Of the guys arrested, very few of them will have made any money," the criminal-defense attorney Edward Hayes said on the day of the arrests. "I don't know why anybody does it anymore. It kills your nerves. You eat too much--you get heavy." Hayes, who had on pink socks, a pink striped shirt, a red-and-yellow paisley tie, and a brown fedora, was on his way to Brooklyn to represent a friend, "a wonderful guy," who had been arrested as part of the sting. He hoped the charge wasn't serious. The client, known as Junior, did time for holding up a bank truck. "Nobody's perfect," Hayes said. "Let's pray it's gambling."

At the Eastern District Federal Courthouse, in downtown Brooklyn, there was a festive atmosphere. "You here for the big news event?" a guard asked. "Sixth floor!" Upstairs, some sixty arraignments were taking place in a makeshift organized-crime wing. Packs of trim federal agents with buzz cuts and wearing fleece pullovers roamed the hallways. ("You can tell they're F.B.I. because they're in such good shape," Hayes said.) Family members, wearing Uggs and Fendi sunglasses, sat outside the courtrooms working their BlackBerrys. Hayes asked an assistant U.S. Attorney, Elizabeth Geddes, if his client was bailable. "Your guy is absolutely bailable," she said. "He was caught on tape vividly describing his gambling!"

Hayes joined a group of trial lawyers in the back of a courtroom. "What you got?" Jack Addesso, a large man with a deep tan, a gold watch, and salt-and-pepper hair, asked, adding, "I got eight or nine counts of credit extortion and gambling." Addesso said he felt bad for his client, who lives in Westchester and operates an Italian specialty-food business. "They came to my guy's house at 6 A. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.