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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Reputed Philadelphia mob boss arrested

PHILADELPHIA — FBI agents fanned out across the Philadelphia areaon Monday morning, arresting alleged Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “”Uncle Joe”” Ligambi and 10 reputed associates on charges of racketeering, gambling, extortion and loan sharking.

The arrests and charges against two others already in custody capped a 5-year investigation targeting Ligambi and his organization.

The gambling charges contained in a 50-count indictment unsealed Monday center around a sports gambling and illegal video poker machines.

No actual violence is alleged.

Also charged were Joseph Massimino, Anthony Stanno Jr., George Borgesi, Martin Angelina, Gaeton Lucibello, Damion Canalichio, Louis Monacello, Louis Barretta, Gary Battaglini, Robert Verrecchia, Eric Esposito and Robert Ranieri.

Canalichio and Borgesi, who is Ligambi’s nephew, are currently serving prison terms for previous convictions.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said the indictment, which was handed up in January, illustrated the “”systematic manner in which the organized crime family has sustained itself.””

Ligambi, 71, has been the alleged mob boss since 2001, when Joseph “”Skinny Joey”” Merlino was convicted of racketeering.

Ligambi, a former soldier in the Nicodemo “”Little Nicky”” Scarfo crime family, has kept a low profile, avoiding the media spotlight and the celebrity that marked Marino’s reign as mob boss.

He served 10 years on a murder charge until the conviction was overturned and he was released in 1997.

Memeger, who prosecuted Merlino, repeated words he used in that trial to describe organized crime, saying it “”instills fear, exerts power and makes money.””

While the indictment does not allege actual violence, the indictment reports taped conversations in which threats of harm or death are made.

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