Rome police evict, plan to demolish alleged mobsters' homes

ROME (AP) — Rome city officials have sent in 600 police officers to evict a purported crime family from eight villas that were allegedly built without authorization decades ago.

Mayor Virginia Raggi called the evictions and planned demolition of the Casamonica family villas an "historic" day showing Rome was bringing legality back to the area.

Raggi was at the scene Tuesday after police stormed the homes, some of which featured life-sized porcelain statues of leopards and gilded horses.

She accused the Casamonicas of replacing public authorities in the area and of "terrorizing" honest Romans.

The Casamonica clan made headlines in 2015 when it staged an elaborate, Hollywood-style funeral for its boss, complete with a horse-drawn carriage, flower petals tossed from a helicopter and the theme music from "The Godfather" playing outside the church.