Italian police said they have arrested a top mafia boss from the southern province of Puglia.

Francesco Campana, 38, was taken into custody early Saturday in the town of Oria, near Brindisi in Puglia (or Apulia) on the southeastern Italian mainland.

Campana had already been sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for his association with the Sacra Corona Unita.

He did not resist arrest and is believed to be the top boss of his crime organization.

Roberto Maroni, Italy’s Interior Minister, said Campana's arrest represented a “major blow” against the Sacra Corona Unita (United Sacred Crown) crime family.

According to media reports, local police official Francesco Barnaba said Campana was considered the most dangerous mobster in the group. Last December, police arrested two dozen other figures allegedly at the top of the organization.

Not as well known as the Sicilian mafia, the 'Ndrangheta in Calabria or the Napoli Camorra, Sacra Corona Unita is believed to focus on contraband cigarettes and smuggling from the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

The Italian government has been stepping up its offensive against organized crime groups, by making many arrests and seizing their ill-gotten gains.
Just last week, police grabbed nearly $300-million in assets from the 'Ndrangheta.

Campana had been a fugitive for years, but reportedly never left Puglia.