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Entries in Mob (3)

Tuesday
Feb142012

Las Vegas Opens New Mob Museum

Hemera/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- The opening of The Mob Museum of Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day is no coincidence: It’s the 83rd anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, when seven mobsters were gunned down in a Chicago alley. In fact, among the museum’s artifacts is the brick wall where the shootout took place.

Las Vegas has a deep history, as well as a love-hate relationship, with organized crime. One of the museum’s exhibits details the illegal skimming of profits of a casino’s earnings, which was commonplace in Las Vegas for decades.

The creators of the museum, however, are quick to deny that the museum glorifies mob culture. Instead, they say the exhibits focus on the real story of the mob and how law enforcement battled organized crime.

The $42 million, 17,000-square-foot Mob Museum is housed in the former federal courthouse and United States Post Office in downtown Las Vegas and is the second mob-themed attraction in Sin City. The first was the Mob Experience at the Tropicana, which shut down amid financial problems. It is scheduled to open again under the name Mob Attraction, but the date is unknown.

Admission is $18 for adults; $12 for children ages 5 to 17.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan242012

Dad Who Turned in Son for Filmed Beating Says Punishment Too Harsh

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago father who turned his teenage son over to the police after he was seen as part of a mob in a video beating and robbing a fellow 17-year-old believes that the legal system is treating his son too harshly.

Michael Palomino, who has been a sheriff's deputy of 30 years, turned in his son Raymond after he identified him in a YouTube video stomping, punching and slamming another boy to the ground, along with six other teens. All of the attackers covered their faces with hoods or masks during the attack last Sunday afternoon, except Palomino.

In the video the six attackers are seen beating and robbing a teenager of Asian descent in an alley behind a Chicago elementary school. They shout profanities and racial epithets while he is kicked and punched. The video received close to half a million views, and relatives of the 17-year-old who saw the clip informed the teenager's dad.

"As soon as I saw the video I had to call 911, the police department," Michael Palomino told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday.  "I did what was right as a parent…I am in law enforcement myself.  The right thing was to turn him in."

He says it was especially gut-wrenching for him because of the decision he was forced to make after he saw the video.  And while he doesn't regret his decision, he says the consequences for his son's behavior are too harsh.

Police have charged Raymond Palomino, 17, as an adult with one count of robbery and one count of aggravated battery.  Three 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and one 15-year-old girl have also been charged as juveniles in connection to the case.  Authorities are not releasing their names because they are minors, and they have been turned over to a juvenile detention center.

"They are trying to make him look like he is the aggressor in the whole video, and he is not.  He is 17 and they are trying to make an example of him," Michael Palomino told ABC News.

Police disagree, however, and say this is a case of mob mentality.

"This is very clearly mob type of behavior.  They get a lot of courage when its six or seven beating up one person.  And this just isn't tolerable," Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

Raymond Palomino is being held on a $100,000 bond.  His dad, a single father, can't afford to bail him out.

During a court appearance Monday, Judge Sandra Ramos refused Palomino's lawyers' request to drop the bond, and denied a request to release Palomino on electronic monitoring, according to ABC News affiliate WLS-TV.´╗┐

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Expert: Mob Takedown Shines Light on Fading, Aging, 'Pathetic' Mafia

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When more than 125 suspected mobsters were rounded up in the biggest anti-mob operation ever by the FBI Thursday, a quick glance at both the names of those arrested -- sporting nicknames like "Meatball" and "Junior Lollipops" -- and the ages of the high-value targets -- none younger than 60 -- give the impression that the once almighty La Cosa Nostra has fallen on hard times.

"[The mob] is not monolithic and I think there are a lot of reasons for that," mob expert and author George Anastasia told ABC News. "Part of it is effective prosecution, which this is an example of... But also, the mob is getting old."

According to the FBI, there were six major players arrested in the 127-man round-up including the former boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra, a street boss for the Colombo family, and two consiglieres -- suspected right hand men to mob leaders. Of those six, the average age was 72.

Another reason for the mafia's apparent decline is the death of "omerta" -- the code of silence. Snitches like Sammy "The Bull" Gravano helped bring down big mob figures like John Gotti in the past and Janice Fedarcyk, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York Division, said informants were "integral" to Thursday's massive bust.

Fedarcyk said Thursday the cases were "the cumulative result of years of investigative work, including the development of key cooperating witnesses -- a trend that has definitely been tipping in favor of law enforcement."

"Thirty or 40 years ago, organized crime, La Cosa Nostra, was a major player in the underworld. Their impact was greater, they made more money and the public payed a bigger price for what they were doing... As they've gotten hit again and again and again with indictments and prosecutions and as they've turned on one another, their influence has deteriorated and they don't have the same kind of impact they used to have," Anastasia said. "They just don't have the power."

Former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said the Italian mafia has been losing turf to more vicious gangs and even terrorist organizations -- leaving the mob a shadow of its former self.

"Unfortunately, they seem to be pathetic, because the world they controlled no longer exists," Garrett said.

Anastasia said the other reason the traditional mob is slowly fading into the background is that any intelligent, skilled would-be members are choosing legitimate jobs in medicine and law, rather than aspiring to be "wise guys."

"The guys in the mob today are the guys who can't make it anywhere and they're not as smart as the guys say 40 or 50 years ago," Anastasia said.

But while diminished, Anastasia said the mob is still dangerous, especially the alleged leaders arrested Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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