Antonio Cristofaro’s crocodile, a trend-setter in cost-effective muscle
While the American Mafia may be in retreat, its counterpart in Italy is still playing an up-tempo game. Take boss Antonio Cristofaro. During a search of his condo an hour outside Naples, police found a 90-pound crocodile living on his terrace. Forest service officials say it was capable of yanking off a man’s arm in one bite.
This kind of muscle comes in handy when extorting businessmen or encouraging loanshark customers to keep current on their balances. It’s also cheaper to feed than a large and menacing man named Rocco, since it lives off rats and rabbits.
Italian detectives say Cristofaro used the reptile to convince colleagues that his wishes were usually best for everyone involved, especially if they appreciated their limbs. But it’s apparently against the law to keep endangered species — or have pets than can bite off your face. He’s been charged with illegal possession of animals, which doesn’t entail a lot of bragging rights when you’re in the joint.
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