New York (CNN) - In one of the largest single-day operations against the Mafia in FBI history, federal agents working with local law enforcement fanned out across Italy, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island to arrest 127 people allegedly involved in organized crime, officials said.
Alleged members from the five prominent New York families - the Gambino, Colombo, Bonanno, Genovese and Lucchese families - were arrested Thursday, based on 16 indictments in four different jurisdictions, Attorney General Eric Holder said during a news conference in New York.
"Today's arrests and charges mark an important step forward in disrupting La Cosa Nostra's illegal activities," he said, referring to the criminal organization by its Italian name.
Ninety-one members and their associates, including one in Italy, were charged with federal crimes that include conspiracy, arson, extortion, narcotics trafficking, illegal gambling, labor racketeering and murders that date back as far as 1981, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement.
Eliot Spitzer is a former prosecutor and the co-host of CNN's "Parker Spitzer." He talks about the arrests with Kiran Chetry and T.J. Holmes on American Morning.