According to sources in South Philadelphia and the newest edition of the cult classic Mob Talk Sitdown video blog hosted by award-winning journalists and Philly mobologists Dave Schratwieser and George Anastasia, Bruno-Scarfo crime family old timer Francis (Faffy) Iannarella is back in the fold in high-end mob affairs out of the City of Brotherly Love (you can watch the latest Mob Talk Sitdown here). The 70-year old wiseguy has been spotted in frequent company with modern-day leaders of the Philly mafia recently, even appearing at a meeting of top syndicate brass earlier this month.

Iannarella did three decades in federal prison for a racketeering and murder conviction (he’d eventually have the homicide thrown out on appeal and be found not guilty in a second trial). He walked free in the winter of 2016 and is no longer on parole. Sources claim Iannerella may be getting a crew to run and could be acting as a conduit between current crime family administrators and button men from the past, like him, paroled from federal custody in the last decade.

Before being locked up in the late 1980s, Iannarella was a captain under Atlantic City-based mob don Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo, who oversaw a volatile era in the Philly underworld where bodies were dropping on a regular basis and treachery loomed large. A U.S. Marine vet, Iannarella was a suspect in at least four Scarfo era gangland slayings. His father was one-time Philly mob soldier Frank (Snuffy) Iannarella.

Current reputed Philly mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino got hit with a two-year prison sentence this past week on gambling charges stemming from a plea deal tied to a racketeering case that went to trial and wound up with a hung jury. Merlino, 56, lives most of the year in Florida, but was at the meeting Faffy Iannarella was observed attending in the first week of October, per Schratwieser and Anastasia. Last weekend, Merlino threw his wife a glitzy 50th birthday party in Philadelphia in which virtually the entire crime family (including Iannarella) as well as representatives from other regional crime syndicates (New York, Boston, etc.) came bearing expensive gifts and tribute envelopes.

Iannarella used to report to Merlino’s dad and Scarfo’s eventually-deposed underboss Salvatore (Chucky) Merlino. In the years directly after the elder Merlino was demoted, Iannarella was one of those tasked with looking after mob activity in South Philly on a day-to-day basis for the bloodthirsty Scarfo — the pair can be seen together in this article’s cover photo.

In his younger years, Iannarella was known as a “hitter.” The FBI believes Iannarella was involved in the murders of mobsters John Calabrese (1981), Robert Riccobene (1983), Sammy Tamburrino (1983) and Frank (Frankie Flowers) D’Alfonso (1985). Authorities tag Iannarella as the trigger man in the Calabrese and Riccobene murders and a co-conspirator in the others.

Calabrese was a South Philly drug dealer who fell out of favor with the Scarfo gang. The Calabrese hit got Iannarella “made,” per court testimony, inducted into the mob. Riccobene, a lieutenant in a rival Philly mob contingent led by his big brother, Harry (The Hunchback) Riccobene, was executed in front of his mother, who looked on in horror and was struck in the face with the butt of a shotgun, allegedly by Iannarella as he fled on foot.

Tamburrino, an associate of the Riccobene brothers, was killed just weeks before Riccobene, with his mother watching on as well and Iannarella allegedly acting as the getaway driver. D’Alfonso was a stubborn Scarfo rival gunned down on the streets of South Philly in broad daylight for continually rebuffing Little Nicky’s extortion efforts in a slaying Iannarella was convicted of taking part in at a 1989 trial but acquitted in a 1997 retrial. Scarfo died in prison last year at 87.

Related Post

Leave a Reply