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) -- Federal authorities arrested over 100 organized crime suspects in the northeastern U.S. on Thursday in one of the largest single-day operations against the mafia in history.

Officials have charged 127 suspects, including dozens of members and associates of the La Cosa Nostra, in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island with murder, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, extortion, arson and other crimes,

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference today.

"This is one of the largest single-day operations against the mafia in the FBI's history, both in terms of the number of defendants arrested and charged, and the scope of the criminal activity alleged," Holder said. "Defendants from numerous La Cosa Nostra families have been charged, including defendants from all five New York-based families -- the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Luchese families."

Holder believes that members and associates of the mafia are "among the most dangerous criminals in our country."

"Some allegations involve classic mob hits to eliminate perceived rivals. Others involve senseless murders. In one instance, a victim allegedly was shot and killed during a botched robbery attempt. And two other murder victims allegedly were shot dead in a public bar because of a dispute over a spilled drink," Holder said.

He said that the successful arrests sends a clear message and vowed that the U.S. Justice Department is determined to eliminate dangerous criminal enterprises and bring their members to justice.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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