The Philadelphia mafia has been oddly quiet of late as mobsters from various factions have seemingly found a way to coexist. The Philly mob today has more made guys on the streets then it’s seen in years including a fully functional hierarchy a fact that often has led to disharmony.
The return to the streets of Scarfo era mobsters including Phillip Narducci and Joseph “Joey Pung” Pungitore has seemingly not been as disruptive internally has many predicted. According to some reports reputed Philly mafia boss Joseph Merlino is still firmly in charge despite reports to the contrary anchored by his inner circle leading what many believe is a sort of family resurgence. Although Merlino has denied any involvement with organized crime since his release from prison.
Merlino continues to run things from down in Florida according to mob sources and has guys from Philly making trips down monthly keeping him in the loop. Over the last few months, Merlino has hosted a series of meetings in Florida with top mobsters including Joseph Ligambi, George Borgesi, and Steven Mazzone. He has also made multiple trips back to Philly and is expected to spend some of the summer in South Jersey and on the Jersey Shore. One gangsterreport source was quoted as saying “He’s got his finger on the pulse…. he uses different guys for different jobs. Believe me, he knows what’s going on with everybody in Philly and still has the final say. I don’t care where he’s living, he could be spending the year on the moon, Joey’s in charge.”
“Memorial Day: Steve Mazzone(L) and Joey Merlino(R)”
Dysfunction has long been the calling card of the mafia in Philadelphia and if Skinny Joey is in fact still in charge and can be credited with the recent harmony one has to wonder how long can it last. Appointments of well-respected mobsters to the family hierarchy like Joseph “Chickie” Ciancaglini, Ligambi, and Mazzone have definitely played a hand in keeping the peace. But law enforcement has kept a close eye on Merlino since his release along with the rest of the Philly mafia and may have a hand in disrupting things sooner rather than later. Whether or not Merlino is still the boss still varies depending on who one talks to but either way the Cosa Nostra family in Philly is back!