Friday, December 7, 2012

On Trial For Gambling, But Targeted For Murder

Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the federal organized crime trial in Philadelphia for

He's charged with gambling and evidence played at a racketeering conspiracy trial Thursday tied him to a South Philadelphia social club where the mob did business.

But Damion Canalichio, a co-defendant of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and five others, is seen as much more than a bookmaker and video poker machine operator by the FBI. He is, they and Philadelphia police sources believe, the potential linchpin to solving one of three gangland murders for which no one has been charged.

Canalichio, they believe, knows the details behind the gangland slaying of John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto in November 2003. And that, say several sources, is why he is sitting at the defense table with Ligambi and the others in a racketeering case that defense attorneys have described as a run-of-the-mill gambling investigation.

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