The Philadelphia mafia remains at least by traditional mob standards to be a dysfunctional family as various factions try and coexist on the streets. According to sources, this hasn’t stopped the Philly mob from adding to its ranks with a recent making ceremony led by alleged boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.
At least three new members were inducted into the mafia in Philadelphia, according to sources one of which was somehow related to Phil Narducci. With the current instability within the family, the move to induct one of Narducci’s guys seems to be a sort of goodwill gesture to keep things peaceful. Even with the addition of some new blood the family remains fractured into various factions representing two different eras of the crime family’s history according to Scott Burnstein and his Gangsterreport.
The Scrafo era mobsters from the 1980’s are separated into two faction, one led by Phil Narducci and another by Joseph “Joey Pung” Pungitore. The Merlino faction from the 90’s which was once whole has now been split into two camps, one backing alleged family boss Joey Merlino and another backing former Merlino consigliere George Borgesi. Recent tensions between Borgesi and former underboss Marty Angelina caused a break in the Merlino faction according to reports. Sources confirm that Merlino tried to mediate the dispute unsuccessfully among the childhood friends after Borgesi requested permission to kill Angelina for moving in on his rackets while he was in prison. Borgesi is believed to now be establishing a power base mostly backed by non-made guys outside of South Philly.
Things remain quiet overall as the factions have peacefully co-existed so far with acting boss Steven Mazzone as a sort of intermediary between the key players in Merlino and Narducci who have never seen eye to eye. The feds maintain that Merlino is currently the official boss of the family with Mazzone serving as acting boss handling day to day operations while John “Johnny Chang” Ciancaglini serves as underboss. Former acting boss Joseph Ligambi and veteran mobster Joseph “Chickie” Ciangcaglini both serve as dual consigliere’s. Although it seems with the various factions that have developed the Philly mafia may not be fully functioning along the lines of the traditional mafia structure.
Merlino remains in Florida, where he has lived since his release from prison in 2011 but has made several trips back to Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore in the last few months now that he is off parole and has no limitations. Although some believe he is being influenced by some of his key people to spend more time in Philly overseeing things on the streets. It seems the mob in the City of Brotherly Love is a powder keg which could explode at any time and with the history of this Cosa Nostra family it would be a surprise to no one if things eventually became violent.