NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 120 organized crime associates face charges including murder, extortion and narcotics trafficking in one of the largest Mafia crackdowns in FBI history, prosecutors announced Thursday.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference Thursday in New York City that the 127 defendants include high-ranking members of the Gambino and Colombo crime families and the reputed former boss of organized crime in New England. All five of New York's five major crime families were targeted.
The charges cover decades worth of offenses, he said, including "classic mob hits to eliminate perceived rivals," a killing during a botched robbery and a double shooting in a barroom dispute over a spilled drink.
More than 100 of the defendants were arrested Thursday as some 800 federal agents and police officers made busts in several states. One person was arrested in Italy.
Other charges include alleged corruption among dockworkers who were forced to kick back a portion of their holiday bonuses to the crime families.
Holder called the arrests "an important step forward in our nation's fight against organized crime."
Authorities say the investigation was aided by informants who recorded thousands of conversations by suspected mobsters.