With the recent acquittal and release of reputed Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph Ligambi and the unsettled state of the crime family the big question is who takes control of the organization. There seems to all of a sudden be a number of guys back on the streets in Philadelphia who may feel that they deserve a shot at the top spot. There could be as many as three different factions which include more then a dozen mobsters ready to form alliances and make a play for control of the Philly underworld. It has been years since this many key players in the Philly mob have been out of prison and back in the game. Some believe a deal could be made and everyone be happy taking their cut and get back to business but the organization is not what it once was and the shrinking pie of profits to be made could cause a problem.
According to mob sources Steven Mazzone held the rank of acting boss as reputed boss Ligambi was imprisoned and at trial. Mazzone along with George Borgesi also released last week and John Ciancaglini all close associates of former Philly mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino currently living in Florida as he finishes out a stint of supervised release. Some mob insiders believe Mazzone and company may be holding down the fort in Philly under Merlino’s lead from Florida. Merlino is adamant that he has nothing to do with the mafia anymore but many believe he could simply be lying low for now. There are also several wiseguys that were part of the Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo regime that were convicted back in the 1980’s that have been released and are back in Philly. Among those Scarfo loyalists is Philip Narducci who many feel could be next in line to take over as boss of the Philly mafia backed up by rest of the Scarfo faction.
“Philip Narducci – front row left”
With Ligambi back on streets and seemingly part of the landscape once again many wonder if he doesn’t try and exert some influence and take back his seat at the top if the old Merlino faction guys side with him. He could also decide to align himself with one of the other possible camps along with a couple other remaining veteran mobsters and tip the scales in their favor. One thing is for sure there are more potential leaders on the streets in Philadelphia then there are openings for boss. Is there enough even left of the mafia in Philadelphia to be worth fighting for is another real question. Will we see a peaceful solution and a working agreement or another mafia war ?