New York, NY -- Thirty-two people from New York and New Jersey are charged with mob-driven shakedowns in the private trash-hauling industry.
A federal indictment identifies 12 of the defendants as either official members or associates of the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese organized crime families.
The crime families have a long tradition of infiltrating and extorting trash collection companies.
Court papers allege the extortion ring controlled several trash-hauling companies in Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties in New York. It also targeted companies in Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey.
They allegedly used threats of violence, along with other tactics.
Authorities say that at one point, two defendants didn't think they were getting paid fast enough. They stole a garbage truck and kept it until they got their illicit fees.