Italians Dig Mob Boss Out of Bunker

By Will Herbst 12/07/11

Michele "Twisted Head" Zagaria ran a family that makes huge profits from drug trafficking and extortion.

Zagaria was on the run for 16 years.
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An Italian mafia boss has been captured after police drilled through 16 feet of reinforced concrete to breach the underground bunker where he was hiding. Michele Zagaria, head of the Naples-based Casalesi crime family, which integrates profits from drug trafficking and extortion into classical mafia fronts like waste management and construction in Italy and overseas. He's known as “Twisted Head,” due to a reputation for cruelty that shocks even hardened members of the Camorra. Together with his brother Pasquale, Zagaria became the “king of tendering” in construction, winning public contracts for a high speed train, a new prison, the local rail line and a NATO radar base. He'd been on the run for the past 16 years and was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for murder last year. Police informants say Zagaria enjoys a few lines of cocaine now and then—a strict taboo within the Camorra. Ever image-conscious, he reportedly liked to greet his employees accompanied by a tiger on a leash.

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