Long time mobster Benjamin “The Claw” Castellazzo has been sentenced to 63 months in prison on racketeering charges.
Castellazzo currently holds the rank of underboss or second in command in the Colombo crime family according to authorities. He pleaded guilty on charges of mob extortion linked to a dispute over a red sauce recipe he claimed L&B Spumoni Gardens restaurant had stolen. Castellazzo also admitted to the shakedown of a local construction company. Along with the 63 month sentence he will also have to pay $400,000 in restitution and once released serve 3 years of probation.
This is another successful conviction by law enforcement in its assault on the Colombo family and New York mafia in general. The Colombo family has seen much of its hierarchy convicted over the last year and many wonder about its current stability. With a magnitude of turncoats from with in the mafia family the feds have been able to dismantle its leadership and put many of the families key earners behind bars. Will be interesting to see if the Colombo’s can stem the tide in 2013 and attempt to rebuild its ranks.