So there was a story about the FBI having pulled a big sting operation where they posed as "secure smartphone vendor" to spy on a bunch of drug dealers. Somebody made a video about it in case you care about the details https://farside.link/invidious/watch?v=P5yPBV2NKhc
What i realized is that many people seem to think the mafia operates in a manor that is invisible to the state. The obstacle the police protagonist has to overcome is discovering the mafia. When they do find them, the mafiosi get busted. And in this story this struggle was overcome via this one new honey-pot surveillance tool.
The mafia may indeed be mostly invisible to average people, but that has nothing to do with evading the state. The Mafia operates with bribes and blackmail, not stealth. A mafia operation will usually corrupt people in policing organizations like the FBI to interfere with investigations on their behalf. That can be police officers getting bribed/blackmail to make evidence disappear. One mafia org will some time rat out another, which reduces competition between mafias and quells suspicions about police corruption.
The reason why the smartphone surveillance trap was effective indicates that the mafia hasn't fully adapted to new realities, and they have yet to insert "fixers" into the FBI's IT divisions. It's not because better surveillance changed the game. The police was always able to find mafia orgs, mafia's are anything but subtle. Reminder that from the outside it's impossible to tell if this very successful operation facilitated a deeper goal of purging mafia competitors.
Lets not forget that the biggest drug trafficking mafias are spy agencies that use it to create untraceable funding for their secret spy stuff and it turns out sometimes the state is