On Friday, previously convicted, alleged mob boss, Joey Merlino, was again convicted by the court to return back to prison for four more months. According to the court, Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino was in violation of his parole, for which his lawyer stated that the courts were pursuing his client, “to the grave.” Many in the courtroom apparently thought that the sentence was unfair, as this was Merlino’s first and only reported violation of parole since his release in 2011. But the courts stand firm on their decision leaving Merlino no choice but to serve another four months.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s “Skinny Joey” was involved in the mob La Cosa Nostra in Philadelphia. In 2001 he was convicted for racketeering and spent a decade in prison. According to sources, La Cosa Nostra (translated in Italian to “our thing”) was a mafia / mob that started in Sicily, that is most active in the American cities of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, New England, Detroit, and Chicago. Merlino was supposedly a major player in the Philadelphia area. According to suspicion, Merlino was believed to come from a long line of family ties to the mob, and it was believed that he played a large role in the mafia, supposedly as their boss, while leading them in extortion, bookmaking, drug trafficking, etc.
He had already spent much time behind bars before his conviction in 2001. Due to his mob ties, he had actually got into a lot of trouble with authorities for which he was convicted. Some of these charges include aggravated assault and robbing an armored car. Now he is charged with violating parole, the lesser offense of all other charges.
According to evidence brought about against Merlino, he had recently met with Johnny Ciancaglini, a former co-defendant who was also charged with racketeering, on June 18. Obviously, taking any part in his former life of crime, would be a violation of his parole, but, while on defense, he stated to the court that he did not officially meet Johnny Ciancaglini, but rather, he bumped into him at a cigar bar in Boca Raton, Florida. The prosecuting attorney stated that this incident was a night on the town with mob buddies. But Merlino’s lawyer argued that it was nothing more than contact for a couple of minutes, at most. Even Ciancaglini’s wife testified that the so-called meeting was not an actual meeting. The problem comes, however, at the fact that Merlino did not report this apparent meeting to his parole officer, making the evidence work against his favor. Joey stated that he simply forgot about the run in.
Merlino has been supposedly working to stay out of any legal trouble, as his lawyer stated that he was actually planning to work at a restaurant, which uses his name. But FBI agents who were following the alleged former mob boss, state differently, as they were the reason this case was brought to court in the first place.
According to officials who testified five FBI agents were tailing Joey on the night in question, when they said that he met in a VIP room with Johnny at a place called Havana Nights. As previously mentioned, many testified to the contrary, but the judge Barclay Surrick ruled against Merlino and sentenced him to four more months in prison.
By Crystal Boulware