The reputed octogenarian boss of the Colombo crime family and his top two aides were busted Tuesday morning on racketeering and extortion charges over their menacing move to seize control of a local labor union, court documents charge.
Family head Andrew “Mush” Russo, 87, underboss Benjamin Castellazzo and consigliere Ralph DiMatteo were among those arrested as the Colombo hierarchy took a major hit, according to a federal indictment. The 14 suspects also included four captains in the crime family, including the nephew of legendary boss Carmine “Junior” Persico, with one defendant still at large, authorities said.
In addition to racketeering, the charges included loansharking, money laundering, drug trafficking and a construction safety scam, officials charged. According to the indictment, alleged family captain Vincent Ricciardo callously threatened to murder a construction union boss who was forced to surrender a portion of his annual income to the mob.
“[The union head] knows I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids, right in front of his f—ing house,” Ricciardo was quoted as saying in court papers. “You laugh all you want, pal, I’m not afraid to go to jail. Let me tell you something, to prove a point? I would f—ing shoot him right in front of his wife and kids. Call the police.
“F—k it, let me go. How long you think I’m gonna last anyway?”
The Colombos first started the shakedown in 2001 of the union representing…