When the Mafia Serves Espresso within the Courthouse

It was really an episode involving Mr. Pennacchio that helped set off the inquiry.

Mr. Pennacchio and a companion had competed for a similar courthouse cafe contract, submitting an enchantment after they misplaced. He then obtained, in a hall of the courthouse, a warning from a clan member to again off, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

Investigators who adopted up started to suspect that the brand new bar possession was a entrance. The police put in bugs and cameras within the cafe and began wiretapping suspects, getting a clearer image of the household’s actions. Amongst different issues, they mentioned, the clan managed a gaming cafe and was behind a jewellery retailer theft within the metropolis.

Prosecutors mentioned that they let the mobsters suppose they had been outsmarting the authorities.

“If a legal from one other group goes there and sees they’re managing the courthouse cafe,” Mr. Curcio mentioned, “they have to suppose, ‘Man these guys are good.’”

He mentioned that “legal status” was in all probability the principle cause that the household had sought management of the cafe.

Basilio Pitasi, a lawyer for Saverio Riviezzi, who the prosecutors declare is the clan’s boss, mentioned that the household was not a Mafia group. He added that Mr. Riviezzi had already been cleared of such allegations previously.

Mr. Pitasi mentioned that the so-called Riviezzi clan — which authorities say ran the cafe — didn’t management any territory or function “subtle intimidation,” two components that he mentioned had been basic to defining a mafia group.

Rev. Marcello Cozzi, president of a suppose tank, the Heart for Research and Analysis on the South, mentioned that the Mafia households in Basilicata, together with the Riviezzis, are “younger in comparison with different Mafias in Italy that return over 150 years.”

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