A total of 19 alleged mobsters and associates were arrested in the joint operation on Wednesday. Among those arrested was Tommy Gambino a high ranking member of the Gambino Family. Inzerillo clan members Giovanni Buscemi, Francesco Inzerillo, and Tommaso Inzerillo among others were busted along with the mayor of the province of Palermo town of Torretta Salvatore Gambino. Buscemi is the alleged acting boss of the Inzerillo clan according to reports. Police said in a statement that the operation shed new light on the connection between the Sicilian Mafia in Palermo and the New York Mafia namely the Gambino Family.
The links between the two mafia families were sustained on the American side by former Gambino family leader Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali and Tommy Gambino among others. Cali was gunned down outside of his home in Staten Island back in March. Decades ago the powerful Inzerillo clan lost a bloody battle with the Sicilian boss of bosses Salvatore “Toto” Riina. Clan leader Salvatore Inzerillo was murdered and the Inzerillo crime family was decimated.
“Tommaso Inzerillo” (right)
Survivors Tommaso and Francesco Inzerillo fled to the United States in exile. Multiple family ties between the Inzerillo’s and the Gambino’s made them natural allies. With the backing of the powerful Gambino family, they returned to Sicily in the early 2000s intent to bring the Inzerillo clan back to power. According to authorities they have indeed reconstructed their stronghold in Palermo.
The alleged mafia bosses and underlings are charged with mafia association, aggravated extortion, and fraud. Authorities claim they have infiltrated a wide range of businesses including wholesale food supplies, gambling outlets, and online betting. The Cosa Nostra clan seemed well on its way to reclaiming its influence and territory.