Friday, February 12, 2016

Third Circuit Upholds South Philly Mob Convictions

Veteran organized crime reporter and author George Anastasia (seen in the above photo) reports on the court upholding the convictions from the South Philly mob trial.

An appeals court has upheld the convictions of mobsters Joseph "Mousie" Massimino, Damion Canalichio and Anthony Staino, all of whom are serving lengthy prison sentences following their convictions in 2013.

"The evidence established that the Philadelphia (La Cosa Nostra)...exercised control over illegal gambling, bookmaking and loansharking operations, all bolstered by implicit and explicit threats of physical violence," a three-judge panel for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an opinion filed earlier this month. 

The ruling also reaffirmed the sentences of Massimino (188 months), Canalichio (137 months) and Staino (97 months) that were imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno who had presided over the controversial racketeering case.

Mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and mob capos Joseph "Scoops" Licata and George Borgesi beat the charges that were built around the testimony of cooperating witnesses and undercover FBI agents. (Ligambi and Borgesi were tried twice after the jury hung on some of the charges during the first trial.)

A seventh defendant, Gary Battaglini was also found guilty but his case remains in front of Robreno who has yet to schedule a hearing on post-trial motions Battaglini has filed, including an argument that he had ineffective counsel during the trial and that prosecutors had deliberately withheld evidence that would have exonerated him.

The appellate court ruling comes as federal and state authorities have opened a new investigation into the operations of the Philadelphia branch of Cosa Nostra, focusing on real estate, construction and mortgage refinancing businesses reportedly linked to several members of the crime family. Investigators are also revisiting the cold case files of three unsolved mob murders, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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