Joseph Merlino heads back to prison


Joseph Merlino is headed back to prison today this time in Miami for a four month stint on charges that he violated his supervised release. He was convicted back in 2001 on charges of racketeering and was under supervised release down in Florida. He was caught by authorities meeting with Philly mobster John “Johnny Chang” Ciancaglini at a cigar bar down in Florida in June in direct violation of his release situation.


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“Joey Merlino”


Is Joey Merlino still the boss of the Philadelphia mafia ? Well according to Joey he has retired from the life and maintains no more mafia ties but the feds don’t seem so convinced. Seems the feds still believe that Skinny Joey is still tied directly into things in Philly and is running things using his right hand man and childhood friend Steven Mazzone as acting boss.

Melino with his typical flair tweeted “I’ll be in great shape for when I get out on Cinco de Mayo,” referring to his upcoming prison stint. He also found a way to get a plug in for his newly opened restaurant down in Florida tweeting “I can’t wait to go,” he texted. “I need a vacation after working so hard at the best restaurant in Florida, Merlino’s Restaurant.”



Steven Mazzone keeping Philly Mafia at peace for now


According to the feds they still believe the Philadelphia mafia is led by Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino from Florida although the man on streets running day to day operations is Steven Mazzone. Whether or not Joey Merlino is currently running things may be up for debate but there is no doubt the respect level for current acting boss Steven Mazzone is holding the Philly mob together. Mazzone is said to be respected across the board by various factions now in play in the Philly underworld and along with his current under boss John “Johnny Chang” Ciancaglini seem to have control of things but many wonder for how long according to author Scott Burnstein and his Gangsterreport.


steven mazzone 2

Steven Mazzone


Mazzone seems to have plenty of support from a loyal inner circle and is firmly in control at the top but a faction of 1980’s era mobster are back on streets and despised the former Merlino leadership. Many believe this could eventually lead to unrest in the cities underworld sooner or later. Mazzone has been the long time right hand man of Merlino which was despised by the old school wiseguys now being called the Scarfo faction some of which are reportedly led by Phil Narducci. Seems for now the Narducci lead contingent is operating autonomously and kicking up a piece out of respect for Mazzone even with though they are at odds with Merlino and Johnny Chang.

Former acting boss Joseph Ligambi has seemingly taken a lesser role in the family now believed to quietly be holding the number three position under Mazzone and Johnny Chang in somewhat of a consigliere role. But it seems that long time Philly mafia capo Joseph “Chickie” Ciancaglini wants back in now back on streets from a long prison stretch. The father of current under boss Johhny Chang Ciancaglini was released this spring and is a highly respected member of the mafia in Philadelphia and may be in line to take a role in the current administration. It is believed that Ligambi is ready to step down and go into at least partial retirement and surrender his post to Chickie if he so desires it.


joseph chickie ciancaglini

Joseph (Chickie) Ciancaglini


According to many mob insiders Chickie has enough respect on the streets that if he wants back in he could fill any of the positions in the current administration. As the family dynamic in the Philly mob continues to change it will be interesting to see how long everyone remains happy and peaceful. The current leadership base of the family definitely has to be very diplomatic with the multiple factions all wanting a piece of the pie as the possibility of blood shed over old and current grudges remains a possibility.



Joey Merlino to enjoy holidays and new restaurant before prison stint


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino the former and possibly current Philadelphia mafia boss will have a chance to enjoy the holidays with his family and his brand new restaurant before heading off to prison. He was sentenced to four months in prison for violating the terms of his supervised release by meeting with a fellow mobster and other known criminals down in Florida. He was scheduled to begin his sentence this week but a judge ruled to have the beginning of his term pushed back to after the holidays.


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“Joseph Merlino”


Prosecutors captured Merlino meeting with Philly mob capo John “Johnny Chang” Ciancaglini down in Boca Raton which was a direct violation of terms of his parole from his 2001 racketeering conviction. But his lawyer claims the meeting was nothing more then a chance and casual encounter and not a planned meeting by his client hence it was not a parole violation. The Third Circuit Court will now have some added time up until January 5 the new date for Merlino to begin his prison term to rule on his appeal.

Joey Merlino is also celebrating the opening of a restaurant down in Boca Raton which carries his name “Merlino’s” in which he is also works as the maitre’d backed by a rich family friend. The recipes he says are from his mother Rita and the restaurant seems to be off to a fabulous start. Skinny Joey is said to be greeting diners with hugs, kisses, hand shakes and of course great tables around the room with his usual flair. When asked if he would share some of the recipes Merlino said “I went to jail for not telling,” he quipped. “I’m not giving up a recipe. I’m not telling.” The menu includes great sounding dishes like veal South Philly ($32), sauteed in brown gravy with sausage, mushrooms, hot and sweet peppers, and garlic and linguine crab gravy ($24) – blue crab, sauteed onions, basil, parsley, and fresh tomato sauce.


Joey Merlino at restaurant

“Joey Merlino out front of Merlino’s Restaurant”


It is believed by many including some in law enforcement that Merlino may still be in control of the Philly Mafia from down in Florida using members of his old crew to handle things on streets back home. The current street boss Steven Mazzone is a long time close associate of Merlino although Joey ever since his release has maintained that he is out of the life and happy down in Florida.


Joey Merlino headed back to prison for parole violation


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino the former boss of the Philadelphia mafia is headed back to prison after being sentenced to 4 months on a parole violation. Merlino now has 30 days to report to prison to begin serving his sentence. He was sentenced at a parole hearing today in Philadelphia for meeting with fellow mobster John Ciancaglini and other felons down in Florida.


Merlino in front of court room in Philly

“Joey Merlino outside Philly Court House”


Now after he serves this four months he will come out a free man under no more supervised release restrictions. So the feds win another small victory against Skinny Joey and it will be interesting to see what Merlino does once he is released and off restrictions. Will he go back to Boca Raton and live the good life away from the Philly mob or will he return to Philadelphia and get back into the game ?


FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV


Is Joey Merlino still the boss of the Philadelphia Mafia ?


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino the former and possibly current boss of the Philadelphia Mafia returned to Philly recently for a probation revocation hearing leaving many wondering what is Joey’s current status when comes to La Cosa Nostra in Philly. Since his release from prison Joey has been seemingly living the good life down in Boca Raton, Florida and when asked has maintained that he has given up on the mob and is out. But many people from law enforcement to mob buffs find it hard to believe that Joey no longer has a hand in things.


skinny joey merlino

“Joey Merlino”


From this recent hearing we know the feds have been keeping a close eye on Merlino since his release and claim he met with fellow Philly mobsters and other criminals in a violation of his probation down in Florida. Many believe this is yet another sign that Joey is still the current boss of the Philly mafia running things through his close associate and current acting boss Steve Mazzone. He took over as acting boss following the indictments of former boss Joseph Ligambi and most of his administration many of which were convicted.


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“Steven Mazzone”


But the John Gotti of Passyunk Avenue says after doing 14 years behind bars and now on other side of 50 says he has no desire to go back. He and his lawyer say he has a fresh start down in Florida and although he misses his family has no plans to return to Philly. It seems like he is on the verge of opening up a restaurant down in Boca with some investors if he beats the parole revocation case back in Philly.


Merlino's Restaurant

“Upcoming Merlino Restaurant in Boca”


A secretly taped conversation the feds have from back in 2010 between Joseph Ligambi , Philly mob capo Joseph “Scoops” Licata, and others in which Joey is possibly mentioned as still being the actual boss of the mafia in Philadelphia is another smoking gun for many. Many believe including some in law enforcement that Ligambi was simply handing day to day operations acting as boss for Merlino while he was away. So what do you think is Joey Merlino still the boss of the Philly mob ?


Is Joey Merlino still the boss of the Philly Mafia ?

  • Yes (41%, 67 Votes)
  • Probably (33%, 54 Votes)
  • No (15%, 25 Votes)
  • Probably Not (11%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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