The feds' raids and arrests this morning didn't just capture the NJ mayors and officials (past and present)—there are rabbis, relatives and apparently an organ dealer! A total of 44 people were arrested in a "broad-ranging corruption and international money laundering investigation."

The NY Times sets it up: "It began with bank fraud charges against a member of the insular Syrian Jewish enclave centered on the seaside town of Deal, N.J. But when that man became a federal informant and posed as a crooked real estate developer offering cash bribes to obtain government approvals, the case mushroomed into a political scandal that could rival the most explosive and sleazy in New Jersey’s recent past."

The Star-Ledger has a list of the arrestees, who include alleged bribe-taking politicians "Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith (D-Hudson), Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean), Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell. The FBI and IRS investigation also ensnared rabbis from the Syrian Jewish communities in Deal and Brooklyn." As for the organ dealer, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn was charged with "conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant, at a cost of $160,000 to the transplant recipient." (Apparently he was going to buy one for $10,000—nice profit!). Here's a picture of the raid in Brooklyn.

You can read the complaints against the arrestees here. The U.S. Attorney's Office said that this was a dual track probe. On the public corruption side, the FBI arrested 29 individuals, including Assemblymen and mayors for bribery—for instance, Hoboken mayor Peter Cammarano said on May 19, before a run-off, "I could be indicted and still get ..85-95% of the vote," and took $10,000 from a cooperating witness, telling him, "We're going to be friends for a long time." The FBI also arrested those involved with a international money laundering rings, including five rabbis and their associates. The U.S. Attorney criticized the clergymen for "cloak[ing] their criminal activity behind" rectitude.