New York News
'Donnie Brasco' underboss among arrests in mob bust
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A mob underboss jailed after his crime family was infiltrated by the FBI agent dubbed "Donnie Brasco" was arrested Friday morning as part of a large federal drug bust.
Authorities say 68-year-old Nicholas "Nicky Mouth" Santora was one of five people taken into federal custody by DEA agents on racketeering charges.
Santora is a reputed Bananno family crime boss who went to prison after an FBI agent posing as a gangster talked his way into the Mafia. The stunning breach inspired the 1997 film "Donnie Brasco."
Santora was not killed, as depicted in the movie, but instead was sent to federal prison for 15 years. He was released in 2009.
Undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone, dubbed "Donnie Brasco," infiltrated the family by posing as a gangster in the late 1970s. In the federal takedown that followed, Santora was charged with participating in a racketeering conspiracy that included the murder of three rival gangsters in a struggle for control of the Bonanno family.
Also arrested were top reputed Bonanno crime family members Anthony "TG" Graziano and Vinny Badalamenti.
Alleged Bonnanno soldiers Vito Balsamo and Anthony Calabrese were also taken into custody, as well as Gambino family associate James LaForte.
The arrests come in part from information provided by DEA informant Hector Pagan, who is the boyfriend of "Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano. Renee Graziano is the daughter of Anthony Graziano.
Pagan, a former Bonanno associate, reportedly wore a wire and secretly recorded conversations for the feds with his ex-father-in-law while discussing the collection of a loanshark debt.
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