The "Westies"—Manhattan's "Irish Mafia," notorious for running loan-sharking and extortion rackets in the West Side neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen 20 years ago—have suddenly resurfaced with a highly sophisticated scheme using a fleet of private jets to smuggle high-grade cannabis from Northern California to cities across the country, authorities told the New York Post.
At the head of the gang's Manhattan operation is John Bokun, whose uncles, Billy and namesake John were prominent Westies before the neighborhood was gentrified and turned upscale, authorities said. The younger Bokun lives in what is now known as the West Side's Clinton neighborhood, and is accused of using his Dassault Falcon executive jet to distribute top-grade hydroponic cannabis across the country. He was recently indicted by Long Island federal prosecutors on trafficking charges. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents said they secretly observed Bokun loading his Falcon at an unnamed airport somewhere in the Emerald Triangle. ICE agents were waiting for him as he stepped off his jet after it landed in Farmingdale, LI, and watched as the plane was unloaded, Assistant US Attorney Christopher Ott told a federal judge. Authorities seized $500,000 worth of cannabis.
Bokun's lawyer, Joseph Conway, told the Post: "Mr. Bokun has entered a not-guilty plea, and he looks forward to addressing all of the charges in court." (NY Post, Feb. 20)
Graphic by Global Ganja Report