ANOTHER DELAY IN PHILLY, MERLINO READY TO GET OUT.
Updated: Jul 26
It's been the longest, yet albeit strangest indictment I have ever seen in Philadelphia. Nothing I have ever seen, at least organized crime wise, has been more strange then those prior. Holdups, accusations, and raids and arguments have headlined the "Philly Mob" indictment.
One of the bigger arguments has been the tapes, and everything that includes exculpatory evidence. One of the reasons why the government has been contesting the handing over of evidence is out of fear that the informants in this case would be outed.
The mere fact, that everyone knows that Anthony Persiano is an informant, is nothing new. The claim the government made was that they feared retribution from those left remaining on the streets toward their informants. It was a heated and argued stance from the defense and the prosecution. What the defense wanted was the ability to send the information to their clients, and the government didn't want any printed materials to be handed over or seen, without the defendants being in the lawyers office.
To put reference, there was a case here in New York, with a mobster who allegedly killed three or four people, and they didn't seal that paperwork. So why in this case? There is no violence of record within the indictment. This is why there was such an argument. The government feared, that a similar situation such as the case against Phillip Narducci, who then was accused of extortion, and there were sealed documents released to the public, which the FBI jerk off John Han, blamed me for. The accusation was that, I acted somehow complicit with Phil in releasing the documents in some sort of cloak and dagger mission. It led to hearings and warrants for the "collection of all my electronic devices in my home." I don't know if they ever came, because I went on vacation. In any event, in the indictment in this case, they used that reference to defend their stance to seal all documents.
Then it happened. Jerry Capeci of Ganglandnews.com released sealed documents. The government then leaped onto it, and argued heavily that this is exactly what they were talking about. It would force the judge to agree, and now everything within the case, is slammed shut. Some of the defendants made arguments that "Jeff Canarsie from Mob Talk Radio," had outed the informant in the case months prior, and that this was not a well kept secret. While I agree with the argument, the problem is, giving that information to Jerry Capeci, and it's widely believed the attorney in the case did it, at least according to the government, and any hopes the defendants had in not having to go directly to their attorneys office multiple times a week was off the table. You still have two defendants in this case, who don't have a single violent charge in the indictment, still being forced under house arrest. My argument is, you can seal the paperwork all day, but there is nothing stopping defendants from telling people what's going on in their case. So I fail to see why on any level a piece of paper is going to damage a rat.
There then was a raid on Anthony Nicodemo's fathers house. Nicodemo is currently in prison for alleged murder charges. His father, is not a street guy, not anything other than just someone's father. The FBI raided his house, looking for specific documents, which the feds have said was related to bookmaking. They raided the house, got whatever they thought they needed and went away. To date, NO CHARGES have been filed against anyone, and word is a low level street garbage pail junkie dropped info to the feds in order for them to attain that warrant. It's repulsive to bother an elderly man, it truly is. Whether this is by design to apply false pressure on Nicodemo behind the wall or not, I don't know, but I can tell you this much. Anthony Nicodemo is a stand up guy. He's doing his time, minding his own business. These are the games the feds play. It led to a lot of speculation with attorneys here in New York and Philadelphia that a superseding indictment could be coming, or that they would just add more charges. In either case, nothing has been filed.
There was supposed to another hearing last week, or a week and half ago, however that hearing was pushed back. It seems like every time these guys are gearing up, the feds pull the carpet, and delay. To date, as far as I know, tapes and stuff have been sent to attorneys but I am hearing it was at least a month ago at a snails pace. How can you defend yourself that way? In any event they have pushed this latest hearing to September, and it's expected at that time the defendants in this case will find out when they are going to trial. I would expect, and I could be wrong it will be after the holiday season into March or April before they get to even trying the case. Covid and the feds dragging their feet has this trial moving incredibly slow. If I had to bank on the reason why, is that the feds expected either another informant( there are allegedly three to five in this case) to provide more than the previous one has. In the indictment and preceding pages, the feds claimed they had active informants still on the streets, so is the number of three to five or six accurate? Not sure. I know that they lopped all their goodies into the Persiano wagon, and it's not gonna help the feds one bit.
PLEA DEALS? That's logically what people will ask. For starters, whatever any defendant has to decide for himself, is his call. I know for instance that just on small charges you're looking at 4-6 and that's with no priors, so when you look at some of the other charges and the defendants past, some are looking at serious serious time. I took a plea deal myself in my twenties, so I know how it goes, but there is one thing, I would never ever take a plea on, and that's drugs. Not that I was ever involved in drugs, but you know that is such a shit charge, and if you look at the indictment, and negate the tapes or whatever they have or think they have, there seems to be a very very wishy washy type of statements, and I personally believe that one or two they accuse of being involved and green lighting it, had no idea what was going on behind their backs, and the recorded conversation transcripts from a prior indictment prove that. So no, I don't buy any of that. So whatever anyone decides is their business, not mine, but sometimes you got no choice but to razzle dazzle, but I expect, that if their are any negotiations about deals, none of these guys are gonna accept drugs as a part of any deal, because what one person does away from the other in my opinion isn't a crime. In fact, one guy, whom I know, very well, has nothing to do with drugs, whatsoever. The mere fact the feds alleged he said "meth" on some tape, or at least that's what they think they heard, is a fucking joke. This guy, and I'd put my life on the line, NEVER under ANY circumstances, would sell a drug, snort a drug, touch a drug. He's ANTI-DRUG. Always has been. Of all the drugs, METH? Really? Rookie day for the feds. So we will see what happens in September and my hope, is that at least in the interim that two of these guys can get the hell off house arrest. This is not the trial of Al Capone, despite South Philly prosecutors wanting it to be.
JOEY MERLINO INCHING CLOSER TO EXIT.
Joey Merlino is due to get off house arrest on July 27th. It's been a long two years for Merlino, who served a brief stint in prison before being released back home, only to wait out the remaining portion of his sentence. For those that don't know, he was doing time for a gambling charge. Yes, Gambling! Unreal isn't it? You place a bet, you win a bet, you don't pay tax, and you go to prison. The feds alleged in case against Merlino that he was the alleged boss of the Philadelphia mafia was an active participant in a medical cream fraud enterprise. His case would be declared a mistrial, and the government folded up it's tents and agreed to only charge Joey with Gambling. He wasn't happy about the end result, but Joey is a "roll-the-dice-" type of guy, and the best result, he got. It's worth noting that the judge overseeing that case, didn't believe that Merlino was in the mafia anymore, and didn't believe that he was the ring leader of anything but his own choices. However, in a funny twist, the informant in that case JR RUBEO, who failed as a witness on every level, got himself in a jam by doing a podcast with another informant, and impugning his own testimony in another case, and lying throughout the show causing the judge in the case(the same judge in the Merlino case) to go nuts on him in court. He should have gone back to prison, but Judge Sullivan sighting his medical issues, added more probation time and gave him the tongue lashing of his life, where Rubeo who was pretending to be wealthy had to admit he was pretty much on welfare and was creating a very false public image of himself. In any event, Joey will be able to go wherever he wants and talk to whomever he wants in just a few days, and I'm happy for him, because I cannot imagine sitting at home non stop and the only conversation I can have is with the seagulls and the awful sports scores.(Cue up cursing at the Mets losing again). Welcome Back Joe!!!