PHILADELPHIA INDICMENTS, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS.
For those that have been following the Philadelphia "mob" indictment, it's just about over and done with. Most cases the government brings these days against what they label "the mafia," end before trial ever starts in the form of plea agreements. For Philadelphia it ends the culmination of a weak case against some 15 defendants, who alternatively accepted plea deals instead of a long, drawn out, expensive trial.
For whatever the reason the prosecutors and the FBI always seem to target Philadelphia alleged wiseguys as if if they are Al Capone, and as if murders are rampant, and the amount of money coming in is staggering. Meanwhile the entire state seems to bypass carjackings, multiple murders, and the zombies that reside in Kensington, which could believe it or not double for Land of the Lost, Zombieville, or worn torn Iraq. Instead the focus always seems to be on organized crime.
For me, just sitting on the outside watching, it's been said according to law enforcement that some corner drug dealers in Kensington are making north of $4,000,000 dollars a year selling junk to the whordes of zombies who have turned Kensington into something out of a science fiction novel. Instead of getting the junk and junkies off the streets, they literally open safe spots for junkies to shoot up, which has only compounded the problem. South Philly, North Philly, West Philly has it's share of problems, but the focus should be pointed somewhere else for once, instead of bothering people who really aren't compounding the problems. The problem truly is, junkie arrests don't make headlines, they don't pad prosecutor stats like the headline of "15 Mob Guys Arrested." That sells papers, that gets them notoriety, doesn't get them a blank check to repeatedly go after men who truly aren't doing anything in comparison to these street corner bums. Twice Philadelphia had to bring out New York prosecutors because theirs failed on every level to indict people. The problem isn't the amount of evidence, it's the fact that there is nothing really going on, so they have to look long and hard for informants to invent material to use. You think I'm kidding?
In the case of Philip Narducci, they used a terrorist to target Narducci. That informant was here illegally on an expired visa, who borrowed money from Narducci's wife's legitimate lending company. Keep in mind, the informant signed legal paperwork, and a lawsuit was filed against that informant to recoup the money before he decided to snitch. To make it even more laughable was the FBI stepped in and saved this bums life because Hezbollah was going to murder him. He owed a favor, and that favor was get PHIL NARDUCCI. Meanwhile the feds neglected to admit they allowed this guy to go and attempt to borrow money from a dozen others on the same lies. It was only after Phil became irate that the informant refused to pay back the loan that it became a mob case. His past haunted him to the point where it was enough to get a half assed indictment.
This case in Philadelphia was no different. Instead of using a known terrorist, they used a guy who by all accounts and proven to be someone who was selling drugs, and who was scamming and ripping off others. Ask yourself why Anthony Persiano continued to be allowed to scam others deep in 2016 a year after he became an official cooperator. Ask yourself why the Newark Division dropped investigations against Persiano. Was it because his brother was an undercover there? Was it because he was on team fed and they made those charges disappear? Any guess is good enough, but just the transcripts from the hidden wire he wore was enough to prove he was a liar in every facet. The mere fact an FBI supervisor said from day one that Persiano was a liar on every single level, and that he didn't buy a word he said, and nobody else should either, is enough for me to not buy anything he says whatsoever, but typical of the FBI they have accepted dozens of known liars throughout the years to get what they want. The emphasis on truth isn't important, it's the bulk and details of lies that do count.
This case was no different. Rats, and lies. I have spent the better part of a year, tearing through the indictment, often times ignoring any personal relationships I have with any defendant, and I am telling you, I can be blinded by loyalty and the bonds of friendships, I'm being honest, but reality in this case is, two of the defandants who I do know, did nothing wrong. They are victims of allegations, priors, and the words of one of the most incompetent rats I have ever seen in my life. Another defendant whom I won't mention is also not guilty of the bullshit Persiano claims. The taped phone call transcripts prove a lot, and they proved that many of these men were not supervising narcotics, and didn't even know what others were doing. Those are just facts. So the question is why a plea deal then? Why plead to something you didn't do?
The ends justify the means. Listen, guilt by association is one thing, not committing a crime, is another. We've seen this for an eternity now. Frank Locascio sat in prison and died there for a murder that he tried to talk John Gotti out of, he never accepted it, he never agreed with it, in fact he intentionally bemoaned Gotti for it. Tapes would prove that but somehow those tapes got lost during Hurricane Sandy. They were in some basement in some office in New Jersey, and somehow the transcripts disappeared. That murder kept Frankie Loc in prison the rest of his life. Salvatore Gravano knew Locascio was against it, knew he took no part, but for 30 years said nothing. It wasn't until the last year of Locascio's life where Gravano allegedly tried to help in the form of speaking out publicly against it, but when asked why he didn't mention that at trial back in 1991-92, his excuse was almost as repulsive as the human being he is. "They didn't ask me." That was his excuse. So he allowed a guy to sit in prison for life, because nobody bothered to ask. Hell of a guy, let me tell you. The reality is, he blamed Gotti and Locascio for his circumstances, that's all it was, zero accountability for his own bullshit.
The system, the justice system, is rigged for you to lose. In Rico cases the need for expertise and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't exist. In fact the standards for RICO convictions are less than state charges, meaning they just have to infer enough that you did it to obtain a conviction. The standards are less, and that's a certifiable fact. I'm not just saying that. They merely have to show a path of an enterprise, not certifiably so, just enough to make it possible. The value of the truth in federal cases, means nothing. Defendants are handicapped out of the gate. The first step is bail.. Rico compounds bail, often forcing defendants to put up homes as collateral. If they cannot get a house on collateral, in jail they will sit, often times the prison withholding lawyers for long stretches, or they will ship a defendant out of state to make it harder. Facts. Bail amounts are staggering, and at times even if a defendant can pony up that money, the government steps in and says they are a danger to the community. They did that in the case of Stevie Mazzone. Meanwhile from 2015-2020 while investigating him and others, he wasn't. He was only a danger to his community after his arrest. Amazing how that works. It's designed to cripple someone at every turn.
The next step is, they want to enforce things to the point where your alternative is to plea. What I find amazing is they will state in court former accusations that men were acquitted of to give the appearance that someone is a serial killer, or a lifelong criminal, or a danger, however you cannot in open court often chastise or critique an informant. His reputation is off limits, but a defendants isn't. The government has a blank check, they can try you as many times as they want, and they often will, because if they cannot cripple you by a conviction, they will bankrupt you. If they cannot bankrupt you, they will apply so many financial burdens on you, that you have to think about a plea. If they can't get you those ways, then they will lop you in with another defendant who has committed more heinous crimes. It's by design to force you to quit. Let me ask you a question, because some of you make say well "don't do the crime if you cannot do the time." If someone is regarded in the eyes of the FBI to be a danger to their community and they are so vicious that it requires a diatribe about the history of organized crime, then why do they offer plea deals? Is it because they have a heart? Is it because they truly believe these men are violent and should be behind the wall? Is it about rehabilitation? The answers are no, no and no. The simple and true answer is that, their cases are often weak, laws are constantly broken by the informants, but they can justify that for a conviction. They don't have the moral compass to see the deals they make because they don't care. It's not about justice, it's about punishment and advancement at any cost. They offers deals because the deck is stacked and they know that their precious informants won't be chastised in court. They know their informants won't have to stand for character assassinations. They know they don't have to answer for double dealing with the dregs of society. The game is rigged, and defendants start behind the eight ball, and left with either the premise of going bankrupt or having their children harassed, they have no choice but to just agree to agree.
In this case, that's what you have. It's not that the evidence was overwhelming despite what those two pinhead fan boys down in Philadelphia spew. Once again, I'll remind all of you, tapes don't mean shit, and induction ceremonies alleged or not, doesn't constitute a federal crime, despite those two ghouls drooling over that idea. The fact is, tapes do damage, but only because the government weaves a tapestry of bullshit and innuendo. If that wasn't the case why bring up organized crime and the history of it at the beginning of an indictment. Most people only understand Goodfellas, The Sopranos, what they read about and see on television. It's a warped reality, but never in an indictment or an opening statement does the government say, "But it's not illegal to be a member of any group in this country." They never have and never will. Defense attorneys do their due diligence and attempt to explain to borderline slow juries that it's not illegal, but how do you rebound from that in court? You can't. You also cannot depend on a jury to see your case differently if you are lopped next to someone whose selling drugs. I wouldn't want to be sitting next to Jeffrey Dahmer if all I did was loanshark. That's the reality, if they cannot get you to take a plea, they will stack the deck to force you to do it.
Just because you take a plea, doesn't mean you're guilty of anything. For many the ends justifies the means. If these men were so ghoulish and so dangerous, why on earth give them a break? Why give them a deal? Two answers for that are, they want to get that conviction rate up, and two, because they enhance the brutality an innuendo based on the 1930s, 1980's, and 1990's. They use a schematic, based on the past, not the present. They perpetuate stereotypes with gossip and innuendo with Hollywood flair. Bottom line. In the case of Philadelphia, it's obvious after a 5 year investigation if all they have is loansharking small time drugs and bookmaking. In other cases 5 years has wielded massive amounts of criminal acts in other organized crime cases, but in the majority of organized crime cases we haven't seen an informant continue to break the law non stop while under the FBI's watch. It happens, don't get me wrong, but in the case of this it's obscene. In the Merlino case, 94 or 114 days John Rubeo was allowed to go unfettered. He beat a woman, he erased evidence, he lied non stop. He tried to blackmail the prosecutor for more money. He continuously bemoaned Joey Merlino in jailhouse tapes, basically blaming Merlino for his own problems, saying he wanted to make millions off of the trial. He then after the trial went on a mob rat show and said he framed people for crimes they didn't do. While he was on the stand he made threats to journalists from a cell phone which the feds say he didn't have meanwhile I know he did, because prisoners locked up with him came forward to say he did, and his FBI contacts gave out information to him about journalists names and locations and social media accounts so he could threaten and harass them. This is what the FBI allows.
In this case, defendants had no alternative. A jury looks at things a certain way, and if your gonna lop a defendant with another who had no criminal conspiracy with the other, whose accused of severe crimes, and the judge won't remove him under Rule 14, then you have to see how stacked the deck is. Do you fight? Best case you get a mistrial right, then they can refile. Unless you get that acquittal the odds are impossible. So it's hope you get an acquittal, or prepare for a mistrial and keep fighting till either they offer something small, or until they bankrupt you. That's how the system is, and you cannot blame anyone for seeing it for what it is. That's why in this case you have pleas. Trust me. Too many times, people will use the excuse, "well if I didn't do a crime I wouldn't plead at all." The reality is, you would, especially when the judicial system is flawed, and juries are allowed to hear dissertations about a group, or you aren't allowed to go after the informants tapes, or words or character or crimes. If you're handicapped out of the gate, what else can you do? So for those that will say pleas mean guilt, you need to go sit and watch about three federal trials and see for yourself how the government is enabled at every turn to win. Facts and evidence should be the overwhelming factor, you should be found guilty on the merits of truth, and not on the words of another man. In this indictment, it's just that simple. The ends, justify the means. Live to fight another day.