By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
After years of anticipation the Feds finally brought another indictment against the hierarchy of the Philadelphia Mafia family this week. Fifteen alleged leaders, members, and associates of the South Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey-based mob were hit with a variety of charges including racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, and drug trafficking.
“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,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “This group should’ve learned by now that the FBI is as committed to eradicating organized crime as wiseguys are to embracing it.”
From underboss to soldier and “Joey Electric” to “Tony Meatballs”
Among the defendants are high-ranking mobsters like alleged former acting boss and current underboss Steven Mazzone (recent photo above and old one on the right); Mazzone’s brother Salvatore, a soldier; and 55-year-old capo Domenic Grande. They are joined by 60-year-old Joseph Servidio, known as “Joey Electric”; 70-year-old Joseph Malone; 56-year-old Louis Barretta, who goes by the nickname “Louie Sheep”; 56-year-old Victor DeLuca; 67-year-old Kenneth Arabia; 67-year-old Daniel Castelli; 81-year-old Carl Chianese; 73-year-old Anthony Gifoli, known as “Tony Meatballs”; 58-year-old John Romeo; 75-year-old Daniel Malatesta; 66-year-old Daniel Bucceroni; and 34-year-old John Michael Payne.
Plot to kill drug dealer
According to prosecutors, the Philadelphia crime family was involved in various criminal rackets like bookmaking, running an illegal gambling business, drug dealing, and loansharking in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, particularly Atlantic City.
- READ: Philly underboss “Crazy Phil” Leonetti talks about hanging out with Meyer Lansky, calls Merlino a “lowlife”
Their involvement in the drug trade showed they were in it for the long haul. They are charged with the distribution of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and oxycodone pills. When a drug dealer sold one of the mobsters fake narcotics, the Mafia family plotted to retaliate by kidnapping or murdering the man in order to show the streets what happened when you messed with the Philly crime family.
Opening the books
While running these criminal activities, the Philly Mafia also found time to open the books and initiate some new members into the family of La Cosa Nostra. On October 15, 2015, Steven Mazzone, Domenic Grande and Salvatore Mazzone allegedly participated in a “making ceremony” in a South Philadelphia residence, during which several new soldiers were inducted into the Philadelphia family.
“Thanks to the dedicated and courageous efforts of federal law enforcement over the past several decades, the Philadelphia mob isn’t what it used to be, and thank God for that,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “But it is still a problem and is still allegedly committing serious federal crimes, which is why we at the Department of Justice are focused on stamping it out. We will not rest until the mob is nothing but a bad memory.”
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