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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And I'm Michele Norris.

If you have any doubt, there is proof today that organized crime is not dead. Federal prosecutors indicted 62 people suspected of being associated with the Gambino, Genovese and Bonanno organized crime families. At a news conference in Brooklyn, U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said the investigation solved crimes that go back more than 30 years.

NPR's Margo Adler has the details.

MARGO ADLER: The charges in the 170-page indictment include the murder of Albert Gelb, the state court officer, gunned down in 1976; and Jose Delgado Rivera, an armored truck guard, shot and killed during a robbery in 1990. U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell.

Mr. BENTON CAMPBELL (U.S. Attorney): Toward use of accomplished witnesses and other investigative tools, today we are able to bring closure to crimes from the past that have never been forgotten.

ADLER: But much of the indictment involves more recent crimes. Gordon Heddell, inspector general U.S. Department of Labor, told the Brooklyn news conference the Gambino family profited from extortion rackets that involved construction, trucking, contracting and even a proposed NASCAR raceway instead an island. According to Heddell, the Gambino family…

Mr. GORDON HEDDELL (Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor): …caused the theft of union dues and embezzled health and pension funds directly impacting the welfare and the futures of many American workers.

ADLER: The news conference included several U.S. attorneys, representatives from the police, the FBI, and Andrew Cuomo, New York State's attorney general, who said this about organized crime.

Mr. ANDREW CUOMO (Attorney General, New York State): We like to think that it's a vestige of the past. It's not. It is as unrelenting as weeds that continue to sprout in the cracks of society.

ADLER: A spokesman for the FBI said the agents had arrested several of the highest ranking members of the Gambino family. The arrest in the New York area were also linked to a series of raids in Italy, targeting alleged members of mafia families involved in drug trafficking.

Margo Adler, NPR News, New York.

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