Is former reputed Philadelphia mafia boss Joseph “Skinny Joe” Merlino back in the game ? Well it seems the FBI thinks so after a memo released by anti-secrecy group Wikileaks and an FBI alert which were ob
tained by a private intelligence firm in Texas were leaked. A confidential alert was issued by the FBI to law enforcement officials that Merlino while settling into a halfway house in South Florida after his 12 year prison term may be in contact with some of his old associates and possibly setting up shop in Miami.
“Skinny Joe Merlino”
The Situational Information Report was put out last June by the FBI’s Miami office and stated “As of March 2011, former Philadelphia (La Cosa Nostra) crime family boss, Joseph ‘Skinny Joe’ Merlino, appears to be restoring and developing significant relationships for a potential South Florida crew. He may become involved in activities such as illicit bookmaking/Gambling again”.
The feds also believe that Merlino may once again be grabbing a foothold on the Philadelphia mafia family through long time friend and associate Steve Mazzone. Sources believe that Mazzone is currently running the Philly mob after mob boss Joe Ligambi and other high ranking members were jailed awaiting trial for charges of racketeering. The Alert issued in June also named several people that have ties to Organized Crime in Philly that Merlino may contact in South Florida like Philip “Disney” McFillin and John “Jack” Manfredi. There was also speculation that Merlino could reach out to Anthony Accetturo Jr a solider in the Lucchese crime family crew in New Jersey for muscle.
But officials with Philadelphia law enforcement say the Miami report was not shared with them and one official said he doubted the scenario as it was laid out. The Source said he would expect Merlino to reconnect with the Philly mob but most of the names mentioned didn’t strike him as being very fruitful and the whole thing sounded a little off base. But Merlino is prohibited from associating with known felons as he is still on federal supervised release for three more years so he may be trying to keep things hidden if he is really the power running things in the Philly Mob behind Mazzone. Lawyer for Merlino said that the FBI’s allegations are completely false and nothing more then guesswork , his activities in Florida are completely legitimate.