2007_03_coppola.jpgThe most excitement many people see around 74th Street is when Fairway's checkout lines do not snake out the front door. But yesterday, federal investigators revealed that Michael Coppola, a NJ mobster also known as "Mikey Cigars," was apprehended after a young agent saw him on 74th Street near Amsterdam. The feds had been in the area on a tip, and the Post reports that a "relatively new FBI agent suddenly spotted a pedestrian who bore a 'remarkable likeness' to the elusive gangster." The man had gone into a market, and another investigator who went in the store to check him out confirmed that it was the Genovese crime family member.

Coppola was part of the mob hit on Johnny "Cokes/Coca-Cola" Lardiere in Bridgewater, NJ back in 1977. The police never had enough information to charge Coppola, until a mobster squealed in 1996 and police tested hair found at the scene. Coppola has been on the run the past 10 years, but apparently still wielded influence over NJ mob activities.

All this talk about NJ mobsters has us thinking about the Sopranos, which is filming its final season. The town of Bloomfield, NJ had originally rejected a filming permit, because it found the portrayal of Italian-Americans offensive, but then the town relented. Here's video from Vanity Fair on its April photo shoot of the TV mob family. And the season premiere in on April 8.