A new look into the inner workings of the Mafia is part of newly unsealed court documents associated with a recent international drug bust.
Investigations by the FBI in New York targeted alleged members and associates of the Bonanno crime family and Gambino crime family of the New York Mafia while a parallel RCMP investigation targeted members of the Ndrangheta in Canada exposing links between the criminal organizations. According to these court documents, the FBI was able to covertly record audio and video of an unnamed man believed to be a confidential informant being inducted into the Bonanno family during a 2015 ceremony in Canada. Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde said: “The recording of a secret induction ceremony is an extraordinary achievement for law enforcement, and deals a significant blow to La Cosa Nostra.”
One of the men present at the ceremony can be heard saying “The reason why we’re here is from this day forward, you’re gonna be an official member of the Bonanno family,” according to court documents. Reputed Bonanno family captain Damiano Zummo was cited as saying “From this guy, this guy, this guy, everybody approved it, so from this day forward, you’re a member of the Bonanno family. Congratulations.” The 44-year-old Cosa Nosa capo went on to say “You only answer to the Bonanno family.” He also introduced the man who was actually making the recording to a “friend of ours with the Bonanno s .”
Zummo has been charged with drug dealing, weapons possession, and loansharking and has been held without bail. He and one of his co-defendants suspected mob associate Paul Ragusa allegedly sold approx $40,000 of cocaine out of a Gelato shop in Manhattan. Ragusa was also captured on a separate recording offering to whack someone with an ice pick although has yet to be charged with anything relating to that statement. He is also being held without bail. These joint investigations into organized crime have shed more light on the ongoing connections between the mafia in Canada and New York. To get a mafia induction ceremony on video is certainly a new high for law enforcement and a new low for the mob!