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Feds Charge ‘Tony Meatballs’ and Other Philly Mobsters With Drug Trafficking

Kate Briquelet
·3-min read
John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images

“Joey Electric,” “Louie Sheep,” “Tony Meatballs” and a dozen other operatives of a Philadelphia mob crime family were indicted last week on charges including racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, extortion, and drug trafficking.

A superseding indictment unsealed today reveals how members and associates of the Sicilian Mafia organization La Cosa Nostra, ages 33 to 81, worked to “reclaim territory in Atlantic City by extorting local bookmakers and loansharks” and distributed cocaine, oxycodone, heroin, fentanyl, and other illegal drugs.

According to federal prosecutors, the mob also conspired to kidnap or murder a drug dealer who sold members fake methamphetamine. The purpose of the abduction plot was “to protect the reputation of the Philadelphia LCN,” the indictment says.

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Throughout 2016 and 2017, LCN members allegedly collected debts from loans that had annual interest rates as high as 156 percent to 400 percent. In one case, 70-year-old defendant Joseph Malone directed an unindicted co-conspirator to attack a victim to collect a loan-sharking debt, specifically ordering the stooge to “go over there with a baseball bat and hit” the unnamed borrower, the indictment states.

And, the indictment adds, alleged mobster Victor “Big Vic” DeLuca, 56, “made implicit threats” to another unidentified borrower “about what would happen if he failed to repay” the loan with 400-percent interest.

Prosecutors also describe how underboss Steven Mazzone, capo or “captain” Domenic Grande, and Salvatore Mazzone participated in a “making ceremony” in August 2015, when “several new soldiers” showed up to a home in South Philly to be initiated into the mob. “As part of a making ceremony, a soldier swears allegiance to LCN over and above all other interests and obligations, including his biological family,” the indictment says. “He swears a vow of secrecy, agreeing not to divulge LCN business to non-members, or even to acknowledge the organization’’s existence.

“He also agrees to commit violence on behalf of LCN if necessary,” the filing adds. “By rule, a made member of LCN must be male and of 100% Italian ancestry.”

As part of the seven-count indictment, 10 men are charged with racketeering conspiracy, including Malone, DeLuca, Steven “Stevie” Mazzone, 56; Salvatore “Sonny” Mazzone, 55; Grande, 41, with sobriquets including “Mr. Hopkins” and “Dom14”; Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio, 60; Louis “Louie Sheep” Barretta, 56; Kenneth “Kenny” Arabia, 67; Daniel Castelli, 67, also known as “Cozzy” and “Butch”; and Carl Chianese, 81.

Steven Mazzone, Grande, Malone, Barretta, and 72-year-old Anthony Gifoli (“Tony Meatballs”) are charged with conducting an illegal gambling business.

Mazzone is also accused of conspiracy to make extortionate extensions of credit and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion alongside multiple other defendants for each charge. Grande and several other men also face a charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

The original indictment—filed under seal in January 2019 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania—charged Arabia, Castelli, Daniel Malatesta, and Daniel Bucceroni with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Arabia and Bucceroni were charged with a single count of cocaine distribution.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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