Only when the Americans and Italians pooled their findings did they grasp what was going on. In 1983 the Italian police summarized their investigations in the Bono+159 report. The report identified [BadWord] and Caruana as the pivot of the well organized network moving heroin up to the US and the money down. It was the first time the clan was thoroughly examined. In fact, the police had uncovered part of the supply line for the Pizza Connection. But, while the US Pizza Connection trial resulted in the conviction of a significant segment of the network the authorities didn't find the real link between North-America and Sicily. (48) That missing link was to be found in Venezuela, where the [BadWord]-Caruana clan had set up their headquarters at the start of the 1970s, buying hotels and founding a string of businesses in Caracas and Valencia.
The most intriguing of the dozens [BadWord]-Caruana enterprises was a cattle-breeding company on an extended ranch in the state of Barinas, close to the Colombian border. It had its own private airstrip. A special task-force of the Venezuelan intelligence-service DISIP looked at this farm called Ganaderia Rio Zapa, established in 1971. (49) The shareholders of the firm represented the creme-de-la-creme of Mafia heroin-movers in those days:
(NOTE, NO BONNANOS AS FAR AS IMPORTATION, LAUNDERING, THEY ONLY COME INTO PLAY ONCE THE STUFF GETS TO NEW YORK FOR DISTRIBUTION...)
* Salvatore 'Cicchiteddu' Greco, the former head of the overall Commission of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, and one of the pioneers in the international heroin trade (50); * Nick Rizzuto, a lieutenant in the Montreal-based Cotroni Family, but highly independent and in fact subordinate to the Sicilian Mafia (i.e. [BadWord]-Caruana); * Antonio Napoli, a high-ranking made member of the New York Gambino Family and 'the biggest mover of junk to the United States' (51); * John Gambino, a relative of Carlo Gambino and boss of the Sicilian faction of the New York Gambino Family (52); * Brothers Angelo and Francesco Mongiový, figure-heads of the [BadWord] in Caracas and Italy's financial centre Milan. According to a DEA report, Angelo's son Nino Mongiový married Paolo [BadWord]'s daughter and was the 'super manager for drugs of all kinds passing through Miami'. (53)
The DEA spotted them investigating the Napoli brothers of the Gambino Family in New York. Antonio Napoli had moved to Venezuela and was a partner in a [BadWord] business. At the time DEA headquarters figured the trail irrelevant; nevertheless, special agent Tom Tripodi was sent to Caracas. DEA-analyst Mona Ewell told reporter Claire Sterling that Tripodi "came back with the whole thing." (54)
"We saw the [BadWord] and the Caruanas. The security around their homes was incredible... They had control in Venezuela like you wouldn't believe... We saw their businesses, all fronts for paper-shuffling. What these people handled was the money. Their names had been coming up for years on the money. Historically, they worked the money. They did it for cocaine as well as heroin ... It was a tremendous operation, and it was going on a long, long time... In my opinion, that's still the key. They're the people with the money; they've been in the business of narcotics the longest."
The implication, as Italian investigator Alessandro Pansa has noted is that "Venezuela has its own Cosa Nostra family as if it is Sicilian territory ... Until this day, the structure and hierarchy of the Mafia has been entirely reproduced in Venezuela ... The clan has direct links with the ruling Commission of the Sicilian Mafia, and are acknowledged by the American Cosa Nostra." Pansa claims that they are the funnel for the Gambino Family. Indeed, according to Tommaso Buscetta, it was the all-powerful New York Mafia boss Carlo Gambino himself who sponsored the acknowledgement of the [BadWord]-Caruana Family. (55)