Excerpted from Wikipedia:
“The Pizza Connection Trial stands as the longest criminal jury trial in the federal courts in U.S. history. The trial began on September 30, 1985 and ended with convictions of all but one of the 22 defendants on March 2, 1987.
Scope of the trial
The trial centered on a Mafia-run enterprise that distributed vast quantities of heroin and cocaine in the United States, and then laundered the cash before sending it back to the suppliers in Sicily. The U.S. defendants utilized a number of independently owned pizza parlors as fronts for narcotics sales and collections – hence the name “Pizza Connection”. Evidence at the trial proved that the enterprise shipped no less than $1.6 billion of heroin to the U.S. between 1975 and April 1984. Arrests of scores of conspirators were coordinated in the U.S., Italy, Switzerland and Spain on April 9, 1984, following the capture of Gaetano Badalamenti and several family members the previous day in Madrid, Spain. Badalamenti was the former boss of the Sicilian Mafia, and a key supplier of heroin and cocaine to the U.S. Mafia distributors.
The arrests were carried out by U.S. authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Customs Service and the New York City Police Department, who worked in extremely close cooperation with the Italian National Police and prosecutors, as well as the Swiss authorities. The arrests followed a two-year investigation carried out by U.S. and Italian authorities who shared highly sensitive information and agreed to coordinate their efforts to strike the U.S./Italian mafia-narcotics business.
The prosecution in the United States was led by Louis J. Freeh and Richard A. Martin. Mr. Freeh, who later became a federal judge and Director of the FBI, was named the lead investigator during the two-year investigation that led to the arrests. At trial, Mr. Martin, who later became Special Representative of the U.S. Attorney General based in Rome, Italy, was designated lead counsel. He and Mr. Freeh shared responsibilities for the prosecution and were assisted by Robert C. Stewart of the Department of Justice, Robert B. Bucknam and Andrew C. McCarthy, both Assistant United States Attorneys in the Southern District of New York. For their efforts, each member of the prosecution team received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.
Rudy Giuliani, who later became Mayor of New York City, was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New Yorkduring the investigation and trial of the case, and provided critical support and assistance to the prosecution.
Giovanni Falcone was a Sicilian-born Italian prosecutor who uncovered the Italian side of the Pizza Connection. Falcone’s tireless efforts to pursue the Sicilian mafia included the use of Sicilian mafia cooperators T. Buscetta and S. Contorno and others which culminated in the conviction of more than 350 mafia members in the historic “Maxi-Trial”. After those convictions were affirmed by Italy’s highest court, Falcone was murdered on May 23, 1992 when a sophisticated mafia plan succeeded in blowing up a section of highway where Falcone and his wife were driving. Falcone’s efforts are recounted in the book Excellent Cadavers, by Alexander Stille.
Paolo Borsellino, also Sicilian-born and a colleague of Giovanni Falcone, pursued the Maxi-Trial with him. After Falcone’s murder in May 1992, Borsellino immediately began to investigate the killing, but was also murdered by mafia members on July 19, 1992, when a bomb was detonated as he approached his mother’s apartment in Palermo.
Giovanni De Gennaro, a leading investigator for the Italian National Police, De Gennaro worked closely with Falcone and Borsellino to secure evidence of heroin trafficking by the Sicilian mafia, and coordinated the cooperation of T. Buscetta, S. Contorno and many Sicilian mafia members who testified in the Maxi-Processo. It was De Gennaro who brought Buscetta back from Brazil, saved him from his suicide attempt and persuaded him to testify against his former mafia partners. De Gennaro later became Chief of the Italian National Police and is currently Undersecretary of State for National Security.
Carla Del Ponte and Paolo Bernasconi were prosecutors in the Ticino region of Switzerland, where members of the Pizza Connection used bank accounts to launder narcotics proceeds. Relying on the U.S./Swiss Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance, Del Ponte and her colleague Paolo Bernasconi authorized the delivery of those bank records to the U.S. authorities, and later supervised the prosecution of the 4 defendants arrested in Switzerland. Paolo Bernasconi was promoted to the position of Attorney General of Switzerland, and Ms. Del Ponte succeeded him in that position when he returned to the private practice of law. In 1999 Ms. Del Ponte joined the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”) where she served as the chief prosecutor in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”). She has been Switzerland’s Ambassador to Argentina since January 2008.“. Creative Commons, Last Accessed 9 Dec. 2016: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizza_Connection_Trial (Emphasis our own).