The Chicago Syndicate: Steven Mazzone

Showing posts with label Steven Mazzone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steven Mazzone. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2020

Tony Meatballs, Louie Sheep and Joey Electric, Among 15 Reputed Mobsters with #Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges #Mafia

A superseding indictment was unsealed today against 15 defendants, including alleged members and associates of the South Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey-based criminal organization La Cosa Nostra (LCN), popularly known as the ‘mafia’ or ‘mob.’ The superseding indictment charges various crimes including racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, and drug trafficking.


Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Special Agent in Charge Michael Driscoll of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office made the announcement.

The defendants charged in the seven-count superseding indictment are: 
  • Steven Mazzone, aka “Stevie,” 56;
  • Domenic Grande, aka “Dom,” “Mr. Hopkins,” “Mr. Brown,” and “Dom14,” 41; 
  • Joseph Servidio, aka “Joey Electric,” 60; 
  • Salvatore Mazzone, aka “Sonny,” 55; 
  • Joseph Malone, 70; 
  • Louis Barretta, aka “Louie Sheep,” 56; 
  • Victor DeLuca, aka “Big Vic,” 56; 
  • Kenneth Arabia, aka “Kenny,” 67; 
  • Daniel Castelli, aka “Danny,” “Cozzy,” aka “Butch,” aka “Harry,” age 67;  
  • Carl Chianese, age 81; 
  • Anthony Gifoli, aka “Tony Meatballs,” 72; 
  • John Romeo, 58; 
  • Daniel Malatesta, 75; 
  • Daniel Bucceroni, 66; 
  • John Michael Payne, 33.

According to court documents, the Philadelphia LCN is one of a number of LCN organized crime families based in various cities throughout the United States. The purpose of the LCN in Philadelphia and elsewhere is to make money through the commission of various crimes, including illegal gambling, loansharking, drug trafficking, and extortion.

Like other LCN families, the Philadelphia LCN is operated through a defined hierarchical structure, including a Boss, an Underboss (Steven Mazzone), and Captains (Grande), who oversee “crews” consisting of “soldiers” and “associates.” As detailed in the superseding indictment, soldiers are members of the family who have been formally initiated through a ritual called a “making ceremony,” during which they swear allegiance to LCN above all else, take a vow of secrecy about the organization (the Code of Silence or “Omerta”), and agree to commit violence on behalf of the LCN if necessary. After this ceremony, these men (who must be of 100 percent Italian ancestry) are then referred to as “made members” of LCN. Associates are men who engage in criminal activity on behalf of LCN but who have not been formally “made,” either because they are up-and-coming and aspire to full membership, or because they are ineligible to be made because they lack fully Italian ancestry. Made members and associates who break Omerta are looked upon unfavorably as “rats” and may be targeted for death by other members of the group.


As described in the superseding indictment, the Philadelphia LCN sought to use its reputation and influence to exercise control over criminal rackets like sports bookmaking and loansharking operating in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, particularly Atlantic City. During a period beginning in August 2015, 10 of the defendants allegedly conspired to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Philadelphia LCN through both a pattern of racketeering activity and through the collection of unlawful debts. The remaining five defendants are charged with allegedly committing a variety of other offenses, including conducting an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to make extortionate extensions of credit, and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, in partnership with other members and associates of the Philadelphia LCN.

As alleged in the superseding indictment, on Oct. 15, 2015, defendants Steven Mazzone, Grande, and Salvatore Mazzone participated in a “making ceremony” (as detailed above) in a South Philadelphia residence, during which several new soldiers were inducted into the Philadelphia LCN. The superseding indictment describes the various acts allegedly committed by the defendants and others as members of the group including the distribution of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and oxycodone pills; the disbursement and collection of tens of thousands of dollars of unlawful bookmaking and other debts ‘owed’ to the group at interest rates as high as 400 percent; and even an alleged conspiracy to kidnap or murder a drug dealer in order to protect the reputation of the Philadelphia LCN after the dealer sold members of the group fake drugs.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Is the Philadelphia-South Jersey Mob in Decline?

Joseph Ligambi, reputed boss of the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob, heads a criminal organization that has nearly as many active members in jail as it does on the streets.

Decimated by a 20-year onslaught of federal prosecutions, bloody internecine power struggles, and turncoat testimony, the local branch of La Cosa Nostra - which in the 1980s had roughly 80 members - now has a base of about 20 "soldiers." And nine of them are in prison.

Simply put, the Philadelphia Mafia has fallen on hard times. It is no longer the dominant player in the underworld, and is dwarfed in size by some of the area's more violent drug gangs.

That's the picture that has emerged based on a crime-family organizational chart compiled by the Philadelphia Police Department and introduced as evidence at an ongoing hearing into a casino service-industry license for Joseph N. Merlino, cousin of jailed Philadelphia mob leader Joseph S. "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

The hearing, before a Casino Control Commission examiner, resumes today. Joseph N. Merlino is scheduled to testify by the conclusion of the proceedings this week.

Merlino, 42, and his mother, Phyllis, head Bayshore Rebar, a Pleasantville construction company that has twice been denied a service-industry license because of suspected mob ties.

The hearing has included testimony from an ex-FBI agent called as a witness for Merlino who has said that, based on his knowledge and on information from mob informants, he does not believe Merlino, his mother, or Bayshore have organized-crime connections.

Other former agents also are expected to testify on Bayshore's behalf.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has presented law enforcement testimony, surveillance reports, and videos it contends show a continuing organized-crime association.

It is in that context that a picture of the beleaguered Philadelphia-South Jersey mob has emerged.

The chart compiled by the Intelligence Unit of the Philadelphia Police Department has provided a graphic outline of the current structure of the crime family.

Sgt. Daniel McCullough, a unit supervisor, testified for the DGE and noted that Ligambi, mobster Martin Angelina, and other high-ranking members of the organization are under constant surveillance by Philadelphia police or other law-enforcement agencies.

McCullough said he could not testify about specifics without "jeopardizing ongoing investigations." But he did present an overview of the crime family.

His remark underscored reports from other law enforcement sources that the Ligambi organization is the target of an FBI racketeering probe.

The Police Department chart used by the DGE included color photos of most of the key figures in the organization along with their birth dates, addresses, and criminal identification numbers.

Ligambi, who turned 70 last month, is listed as the boss. Angelina, 46, is the acting underboss.

Michael Lancellotti and Anthony Staino are said to be capos, or captains. Staino's data includes the designation "South Jersey."

The nephew of onetime high-profile mobster Ralph "Junior" Staino, Anthony Staino lives in the Swedesboro area and, according to authorities, oversees the mob's South Jersey interests.

He and Angelina have been spotted meeting on a regular basis with Ligambi, according to police. Staino's meetings often take around 6 a.m. as Ligambi walks his dog in the Packer Park section of South Philadelphia, where he lives.

Another major figure, Steven Mazzone, onetime underboss of "Skinny Joey" Merlino, is listed on the chart as a member of the "Merlino faction" but has no rank.

Police sources say this reflects the fact that Mazzone, on supervised release for a 2001 racketeering conviction, has remained low key and has not been spotted meeting with organization members.

Angelina, who was convicted in the same racketeering case, was jailed twice for violating terms of his supervised release. Philadelphia police surveillance reports of Angelina meeting with Ligambi were used to support those violation charges.

According to the organizational chart, the crime family currently is operating without a "consigliere," or counselor. That post is listed as vacant.

The soldiers listed on the chart are John Ciancaglini, Anthony Nicodemo, Martin Curro, Nicholas Olivieri, Frank Gambino, Anthony Pungitore Sr., Anthony Pungitore Jr., Gaeton Lucibello, and Joseph Stanfa, son of jailed mob boss John Stanfa.

The younger Stanfa's designation may simply be a matter of record-keeping. Most sources say he has been "shelved" and not actively involved since his father lost a mob war in 1994 to the organization's Merlino faction.

Three other "inactive" soldiers are listed: Nicholas Milano, a hit man who served nearly 20 years on murder and racketeering charges and who is the brother of mob informant Eugene "Gino" Milano; Luigi Tripodi, a onetime soldier with the Stanfa organization; and "Junior" Staino, a larger-than-life wiseguy who was recently released from prison and who, at 77, is reported to be in poor health.

The jailed members shown on the chart are "Skinny Joey" Merlino; George Borgesi, who is Ligambi's nephew; former Ligambi underboss Joseph Massimino; convicted drug dealer Damion Canalichio; former Stanfa soldier Vince Fillipelli; and four members of the Scarfo organization convicted in a 1988 racketeering case: Frank Narducci, Salvatore Scafidi, Joseph Pungitore, and Charles Iannece.

Thanks to George Anastasia

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