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Feds arrest alleged mafia member on miami beach

Posted on March 11, 2010 3:00 AM EST

The FBI with assistance of Italian law enforcement authorities arrested key figures allegedly connected with the Mafia. The arrests come as a result of the international crackdown on worldwide organized crime syndicates. Federal agents arrested Roberto Settineri at his Miami Beach home and charged with money laundering and a slew of other federal offenses. The arrest comes after a three year investigation into Settineri's connection with the Cosa Nostra family in Italy and the Gambino crime family out of New York. The defendant will make his initial appearance in federal court with his Miami criminal lawyer. The government will most likely seek pre-trial detention because of the allegations and his connections outside the United States.

Despite facing charges in Miami, the Italian government also charged Settineri with drug trafficking, attempted murder, extortion and other offenses. Italian authorities were pleased with the arrest claiming that the Sicilian Mafia suffered a huge blow as a result of this arrest and others. They went further in saying that the joint effort has effectively broken up the Palermo crime syndicate and its links to the United States. Two other individuals were arrested in Miami along with Settineri and charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. All of the arrests were facilitated by an undercover sting operation.

While the arrests were being made in Miami, FBI agents arrested three alleged members of the Gambino crime family in New York. The three defendants were charged with extortion and obstruction of justice. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida applauded the Italian authorities' efforts in assisting the U.S. in protecting its system of justice. He also told reporters that the defendant would face charges in Miami prior to his extradition to Italy. If the federal magistrate find that Settineri is a danger to the community of flight risk, he will be held without a bond and reside in the federal detention center pending the resolution of his case. The defense attorney will argue that his client owns property in the United States and is not a flight risk. If the magistrate grants a bond, it will be extraordinarily high and the defendant will be required to turn over all travel documents including passports and visas.

The arrests of Mafia members come when the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are running on fumes prosecuting mortgage fraud, Medicare fraud, "Ponzi" schemes, and drug trafficking cases. It just goes to show that the federal government has unlimited resources and manpower to make as many arrests as they desire. The U.S. Attorney's office is probably contemplating hiring more lawyers to prosecute all of the cases floating around in the criminal justice system. While the federal government is taxed with all of the cases, the Miami criminal attorneys have more than enough work to keep them busy these days.

FBI Claims Key Mafia Takedown in Miami Beach, The Miami Herald, March 11, 2010.
Categories: Federal Crimes