15 mafia members arrested in Philadelphia
On Monday, 15 Philly mobsters were arrested in one of the most substantial federal indictments of the year.
Among those arrested were Anthony “Tony Meatballs” Gifoli, 72, alleged underboss Steven “Stevie” Mazzone, capo Domenic “Mr. Hopkins” Grande, and Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio. More low-profile arrests included Louis “Louie Sheep” Barretta and Daniel “Harry” Castelli, according to the FBI. Accusations include drugs-peddling, illegal sports betting, offering loans at 400 percent interest rates, and conspiracy to kidnap a drug dealer who sold them fake narcotics to protect their reputations.
The crime family has been conducting business from Philadelphia down to Atlantic City, NJ. In regards to Mazzone’s group, according to court documents, they worked at the former Broadway Theatrical Club in South Philadelphia, an Italian restaurant in Collingswood, NJ, and a cafe in Margate, NJ.
The FBI papers in the case gave proof of preconceived notions of “the life”. They detail how in order to be a “made man,” you must be of 100 percent Italian heritage, and that death is the punishment for betraying Omertà, their code of silence. This hasn’t been confirmed, as some officials now say you only have to be Italian on your dad’s side, or at least 50 percent Italian.
The original indictment in January 2019 was expanded from four defendants to fifteen defendants with more charges. Half of the suspects already find themselves behind bars.
Michael Driscoll, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, in a statement said, “The charges unsealed today against these 15 alleged members and associates of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra show that the mafia remains a criminal presence in our city and beyond.”
“From loansharking and illegal gambling to drug trafficking and extortion, the mob continues to keep its fingers in many different pots, in its ceaseless quest for illegal profits.
“This group should’ve learned by now that the FBI is as committed to eradicating organized crime as wiseguys are to embracing it.”
These arrests show the “major downfall” of the Philadelphia mafia may not have been as major as we originally thought.