A number of high-ranking Colombo crime family members — including 87-year-old street boss Andrew “Mush” Russo, 83-year-old underboss Benjamin “Benji” Castellazzo and another 87-year-old underboss — were arrested early Tuesday by the NYPD and FBI in connection with a wide-ranging labor racketeering and extortion fraud scheme, according to prosecutors.
The 19-count indictment unsealed later Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court charges a total of 14 defendants, including 10 members and associates of the Colombo crime family, with multiple schemes in a long-running effort to allegedly infiltrate and take control of a Queens-based construction labor union and its affiliated healthcare benefit program.
They are also accused of conspiring to commit fraud in connection with workplace safety certifications. A Bonanno crime family solder has also been named in the case. Russo faces charges of racketeering, as does Castellazzo and consigliere Ralph DiMatteo. Alleged Colombo crime family captains Theodore Perisco, Jr., Richard Ferrara and Vincent Ricciardo are charged with racketeering, along with solder Michael Uvino and associates Thomas Costa and Domenick Ricciardo.