A serious dent was made in a notorious Russian crime syndicate that operated out of Brighton Beach and Coney Island yesterday when nine members of the Eastern European gang, Thieves in Law, were arrested, according to U.S Attorney Robert L. Capers.
The nine “Thieves” are being nabbed with 10 charges, including racketeering, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, and selling marijuana, according to prosecutors.
“This drug investigation’s path uncovered an alleged Russian organized crime syndicate operating in Brighton Beach and Coney Island, NY,” said James Hunt, DEA special agent-in-charge. “As history often repeats itself, racketeering, loansharking, extortion, and illegal gambling are just some of crimes the defendants are charged with committing here in Brooklyn, similar to crimes committed by the Thieves in Law in the former Soviet states.”
According to prosecutors, the Thieves in Law helped the Brooklyn gangsters extort victims around the world. They tracked down a person who owed the Brooklyn mobsters $200,000 in Israel, and other family members in Russia.
One of the nine was previously arrested for a similar charge and deported back to Ukraine in 2005. However, Aleksey Tsvetkov claimed he was tortured when he was back home and was allowed back into the US under asylum.
Leonid Gershman, Renat Yusufov, Igor Krugly, Vyacheslav Malkeyev, Isok Aronov, Yusuf Pardilov, and Librado Rivera were also among the people indicted yesterday, according to prosecutors. The top dog of the group was also indicted but remains at large, according to officials.
The Russian is mob is nothing new to this neighborhood, and is something we’ve reported on in the last month.