It has been better than a dozen years since former Philly mob hit man Pete “The Crumb” Caprio became a turncoat against his fellow wiseguys.
At one time a feared captain in the Philadelphia mafia Caprio has now been used multiple times by prosecutors to tell jurors of his criminal exploits and that of others. Once again Caprio was called on testifying in the latest Philly mob trial against reputed acting boss Joseph Ligambi and six other members and associates. Caprio is the latest to hit the stand in a line of former mobsters turned rat used by prosecutors in the trial so far.
Caprio testified that he met with Ligambi and and reputed mob captain George Borgesi routinely in 1999 and 2000 to discuss mob business. He also admitted to knowing Joseph “Scoops” Licata another defendant in case and like Capri a member of the Philly mob North Jersey crew. Most of the questions from the prosecution had to do with Capri’s knowledge of the Mafia more then his direct contact with the defendants. Jurors got a perspective that Capri gained from a long life of crime which led him into the mob.
Capri became a made man in the Philly Mafia in 1982 at a ceremony presided over by then mob boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo in Atlantic City. He said he was driven to the induction ceremony by Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino who he would testify against years later. Capri testified that after Merlino’s arrest in 1999 Joseph Ligambi became the acting boss of the Philadelphia crime family and his nephew George Borgesi became the families consigliere.
But in 2000 Capri said he has his own plans and plotted to have Ligambi , Borgesi , and then reputed underboss Steven Mazzone killed and he would take over the Philly Mafia family. He said the hit on all three mobsters was sanctioned by the Gambino and Genovese crime families of New York. Capri said he had selected the gunmen for the hit and was searching for a location to bury the bodies when he was arrested by the feds. He was confronted by FBI agents with recordings made by Phil “Philly Faye” Casale another mob turncoat. Instead of facing life in prison Capri said he decided to cooperate and admitted his role in the murder plots and to the murder of an man in 1975. He received a 75 month prison sentence and was placed into the witness protection program.