Last year’s major indictment against 46 alleged mobsters and associates who were part of what the feds have called the East Coast LCN Enterprise continues to fall apart amid investigations into FBI misdeeds according to a Gang Land News report.
Federal prosecutors have decided to drop the top charges like racketeering conspiracy against most of the defendants including alleged Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph Merlino and Genovese family capo Pasquale Parrello. The defendants will be allowed to agree to plea deals to lesser crimes they have been charged with like illegal gambling and health care fraud among others instead of the racketeering conspiracy which would have potentially carried with it significantly longer prison sentences.
If these new plea offers are approved by Justice Department bosses both Joey Merlino and Patsy Parrello the two main mafia bigwigs in the case will be among those who benefit the most. It was an ongoing FBI inquiry into potential wrongdoings by three New York agents that prosecutors alerted defense attorney’s to a month ago that has at least in part led to these new developments. According to a discovery letter sent to defense attorneys, an administrative inquiry was launched by the FBIs Inspection Division to look into seven general areas of potential misconduct by two case agents and a supervisory special agent. Among the allegations against the three agents is the mishandling of interactions and evidence collected by cooperating witness John (J.R.) Rubio.
According to the report, numerous investigative reports and recordings made by Rubio were intentionally withheld from the FBIs internal computers while other were restricted without approval in an effort to keep other field offices from accessing any data relevant to the NY investigation. This would have prevented agents from the Miami and Philadelphia field offices from piggybacking off the NY probe by trying to make cases against Merlino and his cohorts that he met with in those cities along with New York during the investigation. There were also various other areas of possible wrongdoing with the handling of Rubio and the evidence he was collecting that the defense could have used to call into question his honesty and the integrity of the entire prosecution.
A large part of the case against Merlino and Parrello is tied to wiretap evidence collected by Rubio all of which could have potentially been compromised. According to the feds Skinny Joey and Patsy along with Eugene (Rooster) O’Nofrio also a Genovese family capo were leaders of this East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise. The organized crime entity which may or may even exists in the real world allegedly contained members and associates from multiple New York mafia families and Merlino of the Philadelphia mafia family. What was once seen as a blockbuster indictment seems like it may end up being nothing more than another case botched by the feds?