NEW YORK — Reputed mobsters in New York City and Italy joined forces in a failed conspiracy to smuggle large amounts of heroin and cocaine, with one suspect suggesting that the drugs could be concealed in frozen fish bound for an Italian port, authorities said Tuesday.
Law enforcement officials on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean said the scheme involved Italy’s powerful ‘ndrangheta organized crime syndicate and New York’s Gambino organized crime family. A sting operation resulted in 24 arrests — 17 in Italy and seven in New York.
The investigation targeted a new cocaine trafficking route from South America to the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro, Italian anti-Mafia police said. In exchange, the Italians were to provide heroin to the American market.