The nephews of Gaetano Badalamenti operated pizzerias - and distributed heroin - out of small mid-western towns. The Sicilians dominated the heroin trade, while the American mobsters received a cut for allowing the Sicilians to operate in their territory. Manufacturers of cheese, olive oil and tomatoes could also be useful export vehicles for smuggling drugs into the United States. Joe Pistone, an FBI agent who infiltrated the Bonanno family, quoted one Bonanno member: The zips are Sicilians brought into this country to distribute heroin. They set up pizza parlors, where they received and distributed heroin, laundered money. The zips were clannish and secretive - the meanest killers in the business.
The Pizza Connection
akahige writes "In what can only be described as a massive turning of the karmic wheel, Darl McBride (SCO), Robert Brazell (founder of Overstock.com), Stephen Norris (an investment capital guy), and Bryan Cave (former Pelican Equity attorney) are all listed as defendants in a lawsuit filed that alleges they conspired to steal trade secrets from Pelican Equity which they used to establish Talos Partners, a stock lending business. Among the charges are fraud, conspiracy, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Groklaw posted about this last night and has since pulled the story, though the PDF of the complaint is still available, and there's a summary on Courthouse News Service."
Hugh Pickens writes "Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts has introduced legislation that would roll back a ban on Internet gambling enacted when Republicans led Congress. The legislation would allow the Treasury Department to license and regulate online gambling companies that serve American customers. Frank's bill has roughly two dozen co-sponsors and the backing of the The Poker Players Alliance, with over a million members. But opponents are mobilizing to defeat the bill including social conservatives and professional and amateur sports organizations, which say more gambling opportunities could threaten the integrity of their competition. 'Illegal offshore Internet gambling sites are a criminal enterprise, and allowing them to operate unfettered in the United States would present a clear danger to our youth, who are subject to becoming addicted to gambling at an early age,' says Representative Spencer Bachus, Republican of Alabama and the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee. Another powerful roadblock could be the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. 'Gaming is an important industry to the state, and anything that affects it will be reviewed carefully,' says Reid's spokesman."