F.B.I. investigations & indictmentsEdit
Corrado "Junior" Soprano has been a major target of the F.B.I. throughout the series. At the end of the first season, the titular head of the DiMeo/Soprano family was indicted on federal racketeering charges, partly on information derived from snitch Jimmy Altieri. The Bureau attempted to flip Junior and get him to testify that his nephew, Tony Soprano, was the street boss and, in fact, the de facto head of the family. However, being both "old school" and loath to admit that his nephew held the real power, Junior refused. Junior's trial unfolded over the ensuing three seasons of the series.
In the fourth season, the F.B.I. inserted an agent into Junior's physician's office as a nurse - Junior used the office to conduct meetings while under house arrest. Junior learned of this from his attorney and ended his practice of meeting there. After unsuccessfully arguing that he lacked capacity to stand trial as a result of a fall he suffered on the courthouse steps, Junior was able to obtain a mistrial in the fourth season finale thanks to a hung jury which was tampered with by Junior's lieutenant, Bobby Baccalieri. The government quickly announced its intention to retry Junior. However, Junior's mental condition has taken a turn for the worse and he was rendered unfit to stand trial.
At the end of the fifth season, the F.B.I. conducted a raid on the home of John Sacrimoni, the boss of the Lupertazzi crime family (Brooklyn), while Sacrimoni was having a meeting with Tony Soprano. Soprano was not a target of the raid and was able to escape unscathed. It was revealed that Jimmy Petrille, the Lupertazzi family Consigliere, had been an F.B.I. informant for some time. On the strength of his information, the government undertook major indictments against the Lupertazzi family that would have reached the former boss, Carmine Lupertazzi, himself if he had still been alive. Sacrimoni, the new boss, was held in federal custody awaiting a major Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act trial. His lawyer negotiated a 15-year sentence in exchange for asset seizures and an allocution.
The Organized Crime Division of the F.B.I.'s New Jersey office has had Tony Soprano in its crosshairs since the show's inception, yet has been unable to make anything stick against the New Jersey boss.
In the first season, after Tony survives an assassination attempt, the Bureau attempts to flip Tony by revealing to him that it was his uncle and his mother who had orchestrated the foiled hit. Tony, however, refuses to break omerta and seeks his own kind of revenge.
In the second season, Tony and soldier Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero murder mob associate Matthew Bevilaqua in an abandoned shack in Hacklebarney State Park after Bevilaqua attempted a hit on Christopher Moltisanti. Unbeknownst to Tony, a civic-minded civilian was at the park that night, heard the gunshots, and saw Tony drive away, and reported what he saw to the local police. However, the witness recanted when he learned that Tony was in the mob, and Tony was able to evade any charges.
It is also revealed in the second season, that Big Pussy, perhaps Tony's best friend, had been an F.B.I. informant for several years. A major plot point during the season involves Tony's suppressed awareness that his friend is a rat and his reluctance to face that unsavory fact. For his part, Bonpensiero's feelings oscillate from extreme guilt over betraying his close friend to bitterness towards Tony over being passed over for promotion (which, ironically, was because of Tony's suspicions that Pussy was a rat) to touches of Stockholm Syndrome, resulting in delusions of one day having a career in law enforcement. Ultimately, in the second season finale ("Funhouse"), Tony lures his friend out to sea under the pretense that he needs his opinion on a boat he's considering buying. There, Bonpensiero is confronted and executed by the three men who once considered him a "brother": Tony, Silvio Dante, and Paulie Gaultieri.
Tony, however, ran into trouble when his mother was detained at airport security for using tickets he gave her from the Scatino bust out. The F.B.I. acquired a search warrant for the Soprano home and found the rest of the tickets from the bust out in Tony's Chevy Suburban. On the eve of his daughter's high school graduation, Tony was taken into federal custody. Tony made bail and, ultimately, was able to beat the charges (although this is never explicitly shown).
With their major asset within the DiMeo family, Pussy Bonpenseiro, eliminated, the feds took a new approach in the third season in their efforts to build a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case against Tony Soprano. After getting a warrant to wire the Soprano home, agents broke in while the family was out and place a bugged lamp in the basement, where Tony would often discuss business. However, the plan was derailed when Meadow Soprano, during an argument with her parents, took the lamp to use in her dorm room at Columbia University.
The Bureau then targeted Adriana La Cerva as a possible conduit through which it could ensnare and flip her fianceé, Christopher Moltisanti, to testify against Tony. Special Agent Debora Ciccerone was sent in undercover to get close to Adriana in hopes of gaining information that could be used to turn Christopher. However, the operation came to an abrupt end when Adriana broke off her friendship with Ciccerone, whom she believed had attempted to seduce Christopher. The feds, however, brought Adriana in and presented her with an ultimatum: either turn informant or be sent to prison on drug charges.
Adriana selected the former option. For the most part, Adriana avoided giving up any serious information to the Bureau, primarily because Christopher didn't share the details of his work with her. Nevertheless, the situation proved to be a tremendous strain for Adriana, who would develop irritable bowel syndrome because of her duplicity. In the next-to-last episode of the fifth Season, Adriana was caught on tape (the F.B.I. had her club under surveillance) disposing of evidence in a drug-related homicide that occurred at her club. The Bureau brought her in and threatened to give her up to the Long Branch Police Department as an accessory to murder unless she gave the F.B.I. full cooperation in its investigation of Tony Soprano, including a requirement that she wears a wire. Adriana offered a counter proposal: she claimed Christopher was unhappy with his place within the family and that she could get him to flip if they were given immunity and relocated to another part of the country. The government agreed.
Adriana revealed to Christopher that she had been working as a government informant, and Christopher, awash in anger and shock, responded by strangling and nearly killing his fianceé. Christopher then broke down sobbing and apologized to Adriana. After discussing their possible future in the witness protection program all night, Christopher left his apartment to get some fresh air, leaving Adriana under the impression that he would cooperate. Ultimately, Christopher's loyalty to the family won out over his love for Adriana. Christopher informed Tony of Adriana's status as a rat, and Tony then telephoned Adriana and told her that Christopher had attempted suicide. Tony sent Silvio Dante to pick her up under the pretense Silvio would take her to Christopher. Instead, Silvio drove Adriana out to the woods and executed her.
In the sixth season's first episode ("Members Only"), longtime rat Raymond Curto died of a stroke in the front seat of F.B.I. Agent Robyn Sanseverino's car. Curto is known to have been an informant since at least the beginning of the third season ("Proshai, Livushka"). His final act was to pass on a recording of Tony discussing the Angelo Giacalone murders that may have needed some explanation by Curto himself to be of any use.
In that same sixth season episode, it was revealed that DiMeo soldier Eugene Pontecorvo was an F.B.I. informant. However, Pontecorvo committed suicide at the end of the episode after both Tony and the Bureau refused his requests to retire with his family to Florida. It is not known how long Pontecorvo was an informant or what information he gave the F.B.I.
In the final episode of The Sopranos, "Made in America", it is revealed that Carlo Gervasi (cousin to the late Burt Gervasi) agreed to testify against Tony Soprano. It remains unclear if Carlo Gervasi had been an informant for some time or rather he had been pressured by the F.B.I. using his son's recent legal troubles as a bargaining tool. The ramifications of his testimony and the futures of both him and Tony were left a mystery.