New York mafia families once maintained a stranglehold on local airports and now a resurgence is feared after a change in policy. The Port Authority has decided to stop running criminal background checks on new businesses and their principals applying to operate at local airports. Many now fear this will be an open invitation for the mafia to move right back in at major airports like La Guardia, JFK, and Newark. It was 25 years ago that the background checks were initiated on all new applicants or existing businesses performed by detectives and PA lieutenants to help break the mob grip.
According to reports about 5 percent of applications were being disqualified but sources say the known probe was also a big deterrent factor keeping many mob connected businesses from even applying. The New York mob control over airports in the past was depicted in the movie “Goodfellas” showing how the Lucchese family had a powerful influence at JFK. Airport businesses are allowed can interact with millions of travelers each year and could once again become a huge money maker for La Cosa Nostra.
A memo was issued by Michael A. Fedorko he PAPD Superintendent stating that the background checks were no longer required by applicable law and were eliminated effective immediately. This change was made after businesses constantly complained that the process had become much to burdensome and was taking too long to complete according to sources.
This may yet be another avenue for the mafia in New York to use to continue to rebuild itself as has seemingly been the case over the last couple years with more resources being put into counter terrorism over organized crime. We have seen the FBI squads which were assigned to monitor and investigate each of the five families of New York years ago diminished due to funding issues and now changes in mob fighting tactics such as this. This has allowed the mafia families in New York to begin to re-establish themselves and rebuild their ranks many of which now have new bosses and leadership hierarchy’s now in place. Seems like as far as mafia news goes this is another piece the mob is happy to see come about.