In a joint FBI-Drug Enforcement Agency bust early morning today, federal agents arrested and charged several high-ranking members of the Bonanno crime family, including the father of Mob Wives star Renee Graziano. According to reports, the bust is thanks in part to former mob associate-turned-DEA informant, Hector "Junior" Pagan, who is Renee's ex-husband and has appeared on the series numerous times.
Among the others arrested were acting captain Vito Balsamo, Bonanno family capo Nicholas Santora, soldier Anthony Calabrese, and member Vincent Badalamenti. Graziano was already in police custody after a prior conviction, but he was charged in court along with the others arrested today.
According to law enforcement officials, they were all charged with "racketeering, extortion, illegal gambling, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana," and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Recent episodes of Mob Wives had shown a reconciliation between Pagan and Renee, but according to Renee's Twitter account, that was all before the bust. "Aj n I stand behind MY FATHER TG and only MY FATHER wht ur r cin on tv was shot prior 2 jr becoming a ci We have no contact w jr!!!!!!!!" Additionally, she tweeted, "MY father would die and rot in prison 4 ratting anf that's how his life style shld b WHOEVER comitts the crime DOES the time."
Graziano was indicted just last week for separate charges of extortion, after Pagan reportedly wore a wire and recorded his conversations with him about collecting a loan shark debt.
[via New York Post]