Bonanno Street Boss Thomas DiFiore out of Lufthansa Case


Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore the alleged acting street boss of the Bonanno crime family caught a break with latest ruling that he will not stand trial along side his fellow mobsters on Lufthansa heist charges. A judge ruled that the charges of extortion that Tommy D and Bonanno soldier John “Bazoo” Ragano are facing are not of the level of the charges the other defendants are charged with in the Lufthansa indictment. The other defendants including Bonanno capos Vincent Asaro and son Jerome Asaro will stand trial separately for an array of racketeering charges including murder.


Thomas Di Fiore is escorted by FBI agents from their Manhattan offices in New York

“Thomas DiFiore”


DiFiore and Ragano are facing extortion charges stemming from a loansharking scheme they allegedly operated last year. Their trial has been scheduled to start in January of next year. The real losers in the latest ruling are the both Asaro’s who will now endure two trials one along side DiFiore and a second trial on their own. Jack Bonventre also a defendant and alleged Bonanno family capo also losses out as he will stand trial along side the rest in at least two separate trials also.


The judge said the charges connected to the Lufthansa robbery and the 1969 murder ordered by Jimmy Burke along with other murder charges could pose a risk of prejudice against defendants not charged in those crimes so decided on separate trial. The latest ruling will definitely have mob boss DiFiore breathing a little easier as trial approaches.



Feds want to revoke Joey Merlino’s probation


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino the former boss of the Philadelphia mafia is set to come off of supervised probation in a matter of days but the feds are trying to change that. Merlino could be heading back to prison for violating the terms of his supervised release back in June of this year. He is prohibited from associating with organized crime figures or any convicted felons. But on June 18 the feds conducted surveillance of Merlino meeting with ex-cons down in Boca Raton.


joey merlino

“Joey Merlino”


He met with Philly mafia captain John Ciancaglini and two other men identified as Brad Sirkin and Frank Fiore both also with criminal records. The foursome had dinner at an Italian restaurant and then had drinks in the Havana Nights Cigar Bar & Lounge VIP area according to court documents. It is still unclear as to why the feds were doing surveillance on Merlino or the late night meeting.


Authorities also claim Merlino also committed another parole violation back in May when he refused to answer some questions about one of his business transactions asked by his supervision monitors. The former mafia boss has sworn off the mob life since getting out of prison. Many believe he could still be the head of the mob in Philly calling the shots from Florida with his old crew controlling things on the streets back home.


Many wondered if he would make a return to Philadelphia once his supervised probation has ended and take back control of the La Cosa Nostra family hands on. But rumors are that Joey has plans to open up a high end Italian restaurant down in Boca and go straight making it possibly his permant home. If the feds can make these probation violations stick his plans what ever they were would be changing.



Joey Merlino going straight down in Boca with new restaurant ?


Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino has been the topic of discussion when it come to the Philadelphia mafia since his release from prison back in 2012 after serving 14 years. The former boss of the Philly mob has been in Boca Raton since his release on supervised release which ends next month. He has been rumored to still be the head of the mob family in Philly and many have speculated he could return once his supervised release ended and he was free of any stipulations. Merlino has maintained since he was released that his life in the mafia was over and he was out of the life one reason being as he stated “there were too many rats around”.


skinny joey merlino

“Joey Merlino”


Now it seems Merlino may be staying down in Boca instead of returning to Philadelphia and maybe getting into to the restaurant business. Sources in Boca are reporting that former mob boss Skinny Joey and a group of investors are planning to open a high end Italian style place. It is still unconfirmed and neither Merlino or his attorney have commented on or confirmed the business venture. No information is yet available as to a name but rumors of the location being  39 SE First Avenue in Boca have surfaced.


Merlino making Boca his permanent home and getting into the restaurant business may be a clear sign that he is out if the mob life and the Philly mob is moving on with out him. But many believe he may still be pulling the strings from down in sunny Florida while members of his old crew including alleged acting boss Steven Mazzone handle things on the streets.


But it seems like a return to Philly may not be part of Merlino’s plans and maybe age and wisdom has convinced him that its time to get out while he still can. Besides it doesn’t seem like there is all that much left of the Philly mafia to be worth fighting for and with old Scarfo era mobsters back on streets there could be even more competition for control of that shrinking pie.


Ndrangheta mafia meeting secretly recorded


Ndrangheta also known as the Calabrian Mafia were secretly recorded having a meeting in the town of Frauenfeld in Switzerland by Swiss and Italian police. The meeting of a dozen of so alleged Calabrian mafia members has given what authorities are calling an valuable insight into the expansion of the Ndrangheta and its rituals. The meeting was recorded as part of a two year long investigation which ended with the arrest of 18 alleged mobsters. The mafia gathering could of been a scene right out of The Godfather.


Antonio Nesci nicknamed “Cucchiaruni” which in Calabrain dialect means “Swiss mountain” the assumed boss is seen in video telling his fellow mobsters about the background of the local clan. He says the organization has been established since the 1970′s in the small Swiss town and tells younger members to respect the “clean” reputation that the mafia has built there. He also refers to the regulations of the Ndrangheta which date back to the 1800′s.


Nesci also says decision of murder and extortion must be referred to those in the organization that are specifically designated for those tasks in a chilling reminder of mob uncompromising violence. He says “You can work in everything – extortion, cocaine, heroin,” to his fellow members. The Swiss cell has been linked to the Fabrizia clan and Mazzaferro clan back in Italy.


It is believed that Nesci would report directly to the Fabrizia clan boss Giuseppe Antonio Primerano. The Fabrizia clan boss is said to have links to the head of the Ndrangheta or “Capocrimine” Domenico Oppedisano. The 83 year old was said to have been appointed to what the is equivalent to the “boss of bosses” in Cosa Nostra back in 2009. He was arrested back in 2010 and is now serving a 13 year sentence on charges of mafia association but maintains.



Feds hope to flip Philly mafia associate Ronald Galati


Ronald Galati has been charged with murder solicitation and insurance fraud and the feds hope the severity of those charges may influence him to flip. Although he is not a made man in the Philadelphia mafia Galati has long had mob ties and was known to welcome mobsters pack from prison with jobs at his garage. He is accused of ordering a failed hit attempt on Andrew Tuono and staging bogus car wreck scene’s to defraud various insurance companies. He was convicted back in the 1990′s for insurance fraud charges but kept quiet and did his time.


ronald galati


According to a grand jury witness against him Galati was quoted as saying “I live my life to cheat insurance companies. My high every day is to cheat insurance companies”. The three hit men he allegedly hired for the Tuono hit Jerome Johnson, Alvin Matthews, and Ronald Walker are believed to now be cooperating with authorities. It would seem that the deck is definitely not stacked in Galati’s favor would be decide to go to trial.


Prosecutors claim he has close ties to high ranking Philly mob members like Joseph Ligambi , Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, and George Borgesi among others. These close friendships definitely make him a target for the feds to turn especially now that he faces such stiff charges with what seems like a solid amount of evidence. Ligambi’s son was also one of the men charged along with Ronald in the 69 count indictment.