April 26, 2002 |
The lead defendant in the case has been identified by investigators as the current underboss, or number-two man, in the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob. The gambling and loan-sharking operation that he and several codefendants allegedly ran has been described as a criminal enterprise linked to "La Cosa Nostra. " But a prominent criminal defense attorney wants a Superior Court judge to bar any references to the Mafia from the multicount indictment around which the case is built.
July 18, 2013 |
REPUTED MOB soldier Damion Canalichio was sentenced yesterday to 11 years in prison for racketeering, a break from the 20 years sought by federal prosecutors. They describe Canalichio, 43, as a "made" member of Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra , and say he collected debts as part of the group's gambling and loan-sharking activities. Canalichio's lawyer, Margaret Grasso, called his crimes nonviolent, and said he hopes to return to life with his wife and four daughters in Turnersville, N.J. His sentencing yesterday comes after mob underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino was sentenced last week to more than 15 years after being convicted of the same racketeering charge.
September 12, 1987 |
Ronald "Cuddles" DiCaprio, a South Philadelphia man identified by prosecutors as a mob associate, was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for violating federal racketeering law by participating in a 1983 murder and in a marijuana-selling scheme. "The overwhelming fact here is that this was a conscious, deliberate, premeditated act on your part," U.S. District Judge Joseph L. McGlynn Jr. said before imposing the maximum sentence permitted by law. "Your conduct was such that it was abhorrent to society.
May 30, 2014 |
A REPUTED mob soldier was sentenced yesterday to 27 months in prison for running an illegal gambling business. Eric Esposito, 43, of Philadelphia, was convicted Feb. 21 after a weeklong trial for running the business on behalf of the city's La Cosa Nostra family at the First Ward Republican Club in South Philadelphia, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The club is unrelated to the Republican Party. The business used video poker machines, which prosecutors had said sometimes brought in $2,000 a day. As part of the sentence, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno also ruled yesterday that Esposito must pay a fine of $4,000 and serve three years of supervised release.
October 10, 2014 |
Former Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino insists he has kept out of trouble since he got out of prison and moved to Florida three years ago. Federal authorities call that story laughable. The 52-year-old ex-don, they alleged in a court filing Wednesday, began violating the terms of his probation within weeks of his 2011 release - meeting with members of La Cosa Nostra even as he was living in a federal halfway house meant to ease the transition back to postprison life.
April 7, 1992 |
Bowed and bloodied by a series of successful prosecutions and a decade of internecine turmoil, the Philadelphia branch of La Cosa Nostra has been forced to reorganize and could emerge as the prototype American Mafia family of the 1990s, according to a Pennsylvania Crime Commission report made public today. And if it does, the report notes, it will probably have a strong Sicilian accent. "A reorganization and, perhaps, a return to tradition is taking place in the Philadelphia Family and others as well," the report says, adding that "La Cosa Nostra may emerge as far more powerful, effective and insulated.
April 27, 2002 |
The mob references go; the nicknames can stay. That's what a state Superior Court judge in Camden County ruled yesterday after hearing arguments about references to La Cosa Nostra and to defendants' so-called street names in a 14-count gambling-related racketeering case now pending before him. Judge Samuel D. Natal, accepting the arguments of defense lawyer Mike Pinsky, said references to the Mafia, La Cosa Nostra, and organized crime were...
August 30, 1989 |
In a dramatic turnabout, young associates of La Cosa Nostra are believed to be obtaining cocaine from the Junior Black Mafia, according to authorities. This would be the final break in the decades-old tradition of the South Philadelphia-based Italian Mafia controlling criminal rackets in most of the city's black neighborhoods. The Junior Black Mafia is a violent network of loosely affiliated black drug organizations that cooperate in buying and distributing up to 150 kilograms of cocaine and crack a week, some of it to the remnants of Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo's crime family.
April 22, 2001 |
Former mob boss Ralph Natale stepped down from the witness stand on Thursday after spending 14 days giving a federal jury a candid look at the inner workings of the Philadelphia mob. It wasn't a pretty picture. Already considered one of the most dysfunctional mob families in America, the criminal organization depicted by Natale was a picture of disorganized organized crime, a slap-dash outfit motivated by greed that failed at nearly every enterprise except murder. "La Cosa Nostra is a descent into hell," the nattily dressed and smooth-talking Natale said in one of his first and most dramatic remarks after taking the stand in the racketeering trial of his onetime underworld ally, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, and six codefendants.
September 30, 1993 |
I'm waiting for the next "Name the Don" contest in the Daily News inviting readers to submit funny nicknames for some prominent Junior Black Mafia member, or some big Latino drug lord, or perhaps some Asian gang leader. Of course, I realize that I wait in vain; such off-handed reporting of the crime that so plagues these communities would be considered far too insensitive to appear in a "People Paper" like the Daily News, and rightfully so. Yet day after day, I see one crass headline after another making a circus of the violence and bloodshed currently plaguing South Philadelphia.