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This Undercover FBI Agent Posed As A Jewelry Thief For Six Years And Successfully Took Down Over 100 Mafia Members And Associates By 1981

serpeblu - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

In the 1970s and ’80s, five mafia families ruled the streets of New York. Their presence and activities sparked terror and chaos in the area.

A group of FBI agents were tasked with taking the mobsters down, a highly dangerous mission that required a lot of courage, deception, and meticulous strategy.

One of the most famous agents involved in this takedown was Joseph D. Pistone. He infiltrated the Bonanno crime family under the alias Donnie Brasco. Starting in 1976, Pistone, an experienced undercover agent, posed as a jewelry thief to gain the trust of key members of the mafia.

Initially, the undercover operation was meant to last just six months, but he quickly discovered that it wasn’t nearly enough time for him to get introduced to the top guys. However, no one had anticipated that the operation would last as long as it did.

For six years, Pistone built up his reputation within the mob, abandoning his personal life in the process. He was forced to cut ties with his family in order to protect them.

He made friends with influential figures like Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero and Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano, gathering vital information about the crimes the mafia committed, all without blowing his cover.

During his time in the mob, Pistone told a lot of convincing lies and made moves with extreme care and caution. The smallest slip-up could cost him his life. Eventually, he was considered for initiation as an official member of the mafia.

Pistone’s infiltration provided the FBI with a lot of insight into the leaders and the inner workings of the mafia in New York, as well as Florida and Michigan.

The operation concluded in June 1981 after the FBI decided that it was too much risk to allow Pistone to continue remaining undercover. Ultimately, the operation led to more than 100 federal convictions of mafia members and associates.

serpeblu – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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