FBI agents escort unidentified suspect in Manhattan.

Federal agents arrested Anthony Delvescovo, the 51-year-old director of tunnel operations for Schiavone Construction Co., as part of a broad offensive against mob-related racketeering. Federal prosecutors have not yet described his possible connection to organized crime but they did provide some information about alleged threats and intimidation against a subcontractor as part of an alleged extortion scheme.

Officials of Schiavone could not be reached for comment at the company's Secaucus, N.J. headquarters.

The arrest was part of a sweep of 62 individuals indicted Feb. 7 by federal officials for alleged crimes ranging from loansharking and embezzlement of union funds to murder. Defendants include key members of the Gambino crime family as well as Louis Mosca and Michael King, laborers' union officials in Jersey City, N.J. and Queens, N.Y., and key officials of a New York City-based Teamsters' union local. Defendants are charged with a total of 80 counts in the 170-page indictment.

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  • According to the indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., "The charged crimes date back three decades and reflect the Gambino family's corrosive influence on the construction industry in New York City and beyond, and its willingness to resort to violence, even murder, to resolve disputes in dozens of crimes of violence dating from the 1970s to the present."

    Separately, on Feb. 7, Michael Annucci, a shop steward for the New York City District Council of Carpenters, was found guilty in federal district court in Manhattan on charges related to his role in a scheme to defraud its benefit fund of nearly $500,000. He was also an executive delegate from Local 157 and a member of the council's trial committee, which imposed discipline on carpenters who broke union roles, says the U.S. Attorney's office.

    Federal officials claim Delvescovo also used the name Anthony Delvecchio. In the indictment, federal officials claim Delvescovo and others used threats and intimidation to extort cash from an unidentified Schiavone subcontractor during the period from February 2005 through last month. Michael King, a 41-year-old shop steward of the Building, Concrete, Excavating and Common Laborers union Local 731 based in Queens, N.Y., was also charged. That 4,000-member local is affiliated with the Laborers' Union International of North America, based in Washington, DC.

    Mosca, 62, was identified in the indictment as business manager for Laborers' Local 325, which has about 500 active members. He is charged with mail fraud and embezzlement of union funds, among other crimes.

    Delvescovo could not be reached for comment. He is believed to be one of 55 persons now in federal custody. A spokesman for the laborers union declined official comment.

    Delvescovo appeared to be a rising star at Schiavone Construction, which was acquired in December by Spanish contracting giant Grupo ACS, which also owns Dragados, the Madrid-based contractor that has partnered with the US firm in recent years on major infrastructure work.

    According to a biography on the Schiavone website, Delvescovo joined the contractor in 1986, after graduation from the New Jersey Institute of Techology in Newark, N.J. He advanced to project superintendent on the Brooklyn Water Tunnel No. 3 project in 1993 and in 1999, was promoted to project manager on the expansion of Carnegie Hall. Delvescovo was named an ENR Newsmaker in 2002 for his work on that complicated tunneling project.

    He continued as project manager on the Manhattan section of NYC's Water Tunnel No. 3, where he is responsible for all tunneling and shaft construction operations, according to the website.

    The indictment points out the Gambino family's profitable connections from extortion rackets at a number of New York City area projects, including a planned NASCAR racetrack in Staten Island and the Liberty View Harbor condo complex in Jersey City. Trucking firms that hauled dirt and debris from these and other sites were controlled by the family or extorted by its members, according to authorities. The indictment notes that subcontractors of joint venture Granite/Halmar were among those shaken down.

    The indictment "represents a significant milestone toward eradicating a far-reaching and insideous conspiracy involving some of the largest construction companies in New York City that are owned, controlled and/or influenced by the Gambino organized crime family," says Gordon Heddell, the U.S. Dept of Labor Inspector General. "Many of these construction companies allegedly paid a 'mob tax' in return for 'protection' and permission to operate."