Police officers working with the Manhattan district attorney's office searched circulation offices of The New York Times in Queens, the New York Post and the Daily News in Manhattan, and El Diario in Brooklyn, the official said, speaking to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Investigators were seeking paperwork related to the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union, which packages and delivers newspapers across the region. Calls to the union's headquarters were not answered Tuesday.
Calls to the newspapers seeking information on whether the news operations were involved were not returned. The New York Times issued a statement saying that the office of an employee at its plant in Queens' College Point area had been searched but that its news side was not part of the investigation.
No arrests have been made, and the district attorney's office refused to comment.
The 1,600-member union wields considerable power over news companies that rely on their drivers to deliver hundreds of thousands of papers each day, and allegations of connections to organized crime are not. More than a decade ago, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau charged that the union was under mob control.