Italy, FBI crack down on Mafia clan with Gambino ties

Suspect Salvatore Gambino, center, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Suspect Antonino Lo Presti, center, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Suspect Tommaso Inzerillo, right, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Suspect Antonino Fanara, center, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Suspect Rosario Gambino, center, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Suspect Thomas Gambino, right, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)

ROME — Italian police and FBI agents have cracked down on a Palermo-area Mafia clan with ties to the U.S.-based Gambino crime family.

Police said that around 200 officers including FBI agents fanned out in Sicily and in the New York area Wednesday, arresting 18 suspects in Italy and one in the United States.

Palermo Police Chief Renato Cortese told reporters that members of the Sicilian Passo di Rigano crime clan had settled in the U.S. in the 1980s after surviving a turf war with the Corleone crime clan, which emerged victorious over the Inzerillo crime family in the Palermo area.

Some survivors apparently returned to Italy after the weakening of the long-dominant Corleone crime family. Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the Corleone clan chieftain, died in an Italian prison in 2017.

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