A dozen Colombo crime family members indicted

BROOKLYN - Just months after the Gambino organized crime family was taken down, 12 members of the Colombo criminal clan were indicted Wednesday by federal prosecutors and the FBI.

Charges ranged from racketeering to extortion and drug trafficking. But the most serious charge was leveled against the acting crime boss Thomas ?Tommy Shots? Gioli, who faces several counts of murder, among other criminal activities.

Two of the defendants named in the indictment are already in prison. Five others face anywhere from five to 40 years behind bars, and the others, including Gioli, face a life sentence.

One of the murders Gioli is accused of took place in Brooklyn in 1991. According to federal prosecutors, Gioli and other Colombo members killed Frank Marasa in retaliation for his involvement in the murder of another Colombo affiliate.

The early 1990s was a particularly turbulent time for the Colombo clan, when a bloody war for control of the criminal organization claimed many lives.

Prosecutors say Wednesday?s indictments, combined with previous arrests of other Colombo family members, has dealt a significant blow to the family and its operations, and it may start to dismantle.

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