The latest episode of Mob Talk Sitdown featuring mafia experts George Anastasia and Dave Schratwieser takes a closer look at the evidence against Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph Merlino.
The guys discuss the evidence and how it could effect Joey not only in this East Coast LCN Enterprise case but also any future indictments that could develop in Philly. Prosecutors recently released transcripts of a secretly recorded conversation by mob rat John Rubio between Joey Merlino and New York mafia capo Eugene Onofrio where Joey brags about how easy it is to kill someone. There are no murder charges in the current indictment but these tapes could certainly damage the character of Merlino at trial.
Prosecutors released the transcripts as a response to motions filed by the defense to have the charges against Merlino dropped. According to Anastasia and Schratwieser, there could be something brewing by the feds in Philadelphia and this tape could be even more damaging to Joey in a trial that included charges tied to some of the still unsolved mafia murders. At this point, the current NY case involves no violent crimes but the feds in Philadelphia would certainly like to build a larger case against the flamboyant Cosa Nostra boss. If a case is being built in Philly it could include not only Joey but also other members of the organized crime family there. In the NY indictments, the feds claimed that Merlino was actively working to rebuild the Philly mafia.
The East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise case of which Merlino is a part of was severely weakened by an internal probe into the potential mishandling of a mob informant and key evidence leading to sweet plea deals for most of the defendants. Merlino decided to take the fight to the feds and refused to agree to any plea offers potentially forcing the feds to drop the charges. It now seems like the feds are willing and ready to take their shot at Joey in the court room regardless of the previous problems and their case could be bolstered if they have even more evidence contained in the remaining conversations recorded by Rubio which have yet to be released. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for the end of August for pre-trial motions and the actual trial has been moved to January of 2018.