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Handsomely Paid Out Of South Philly: Snippets Of FBI Transcripts Provide Added Insight Into Innerworkings Of Bruno-Scarfo Mob

July 5, 2022 — New glimpses into the power Philadelphia mafia underboss Steven (Handsome Stevie) Mazzone wields in the Bruno-Scarfo crime family were shown in Mazzone’s sentencing memo in the form of fresh wiretap transcripts revealing discussions related to Mazzone’s role running gambling and shakedown affairs on behalf of the family. The wildly popular and always suave 58-year old Mazzone recently pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and is ready to report to prison to serve four years on the case. Below are the new tidbits in the feds’ case against Mazzone, who has been in a leadership position in the Philly mob since the 1990s.

Mazzone speaking candidly in October 2015 of his desire to reclaim mob turf in Atlantic City and use one of his favorite enforcers and old-time intermediaries Kenny Arabia to get the job done.

“We got to get ahold back in AC, buddy. Thats what i want. Thats what i want done. Gotta to get that back, period. Plant the flag again. I mean we have a few guys out there right now, ya know. I’m going to have you out there. You’re going to have a couple more guys with you. You’re going to have my guy Kenny Arabia with you, too, cuz. I want you do something for me. I want you to do me a favor and put him out there. Kenny’s good people……There’s a guy there now and he is pushing big money out there. I can’t get nobody to get the hooks into him. If you can help, if you can guide him. He’s going to be there. You never have to worry about Kenny.”

On March 25, 2016, Mazzone tells a wired wiseguy about his sports betting business going through his longtime right-hand Lou (Louie Sheep) Barretta at a meeting held at Stokes Sports Bar in South Philly.

“This is Louie Sheep. He’s my main man. All the action goes through him.”

On June 20, 2016, Kenny Arabia is recorded by a mob figure (identified as “CS”), discussing gambling money always flowing up to Mazzone.

KA: That all goes to our guy.

CS: Yeah, right.

KA: Yeah, that all goes to Stevie. You know, our people.

CS: Ain’t they have to go through our house, the Philly house?

KA: Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s him. Louie (and his people) handles the phones.

CS: Thats what I mean, edging off. We’re going to edge off (the bets) right?

KA – We ain’t edging off to nobody. We’re going to keep it all. And we’re going to give it to him (Stevie).

On June 22, 2017, Mazzone’s former father-in-law Joe Malone is caught trying to collect a gambling debt on Mazzone’s behalf.

“I need the money by 1 o’clock every Saturday. I settle up with these guys every Saturday at 1. Listen, I ain’t mad at you. These guys are breathing down my neck. My son-in-law is breathing down my neck.”

*Kenny Arabia died of natural causes last year at age 67. He was indicted alongside Mazzone and 15 other Philly mobsters in a November 2020 federal indictment and was out on bail awaiting trial when he passed.

When Making Your Bones Goes Wrong: La Eme Hit Man “Dopey” Hinojos Has Promotion Derailed By Murder Conviction

July 4, 2022 — Robert (Dopey) Hinojos was on his way to becoming the Mexican Mafia’s main “outside” enforcer and a future shot caller. Now, any ascension of his in the organization will strictly be of the “inside” variety.

The 41-year old “Dopey” Hinojos earned induction into La Eme by killing South Central L.A. Mexican Mafia soldier Hector (The Parakeet) Velasquez in Paramount, California in the spring of 2016. He was found guilty of shooting Velasquez to death back in April and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Mexican Mafia or “La Eme” was founded in a California state prison system juvenile detention facility during the late 1950s and by the 1970s, the organization had moved its operations to the “outside,” beyond prison walls, and forged alliances with other criminal groups on the street to enhance its profile of power. The majority of La Eme’s biggest bosses reside behind bars.

Hinojos is part of the small Brown Nation crew, a feeder gang for the Mexican Mafia. While Hinojos was doing 15 years in prison for armed robbery and drugs, he rose through the ranks of Mexican organized crime at the side of a number of La Eme shot callers. According to court filings, Hinojos garnered favor with these shot callers by assuming control of an extortion racket and turning it into a cash cow for La Eme coffers.

Upon his release from prison in December 2015, Hinojos was tasked with “making his bones,” so he could be officially inducted into the Mexican Mafia. His target: The man they called The Parakeet.

Hector Velasquez was a prominent member of Compton’s 155th Street Gang — South Central L.A.’s main La Eme-affiliate faction — and in a dispute with Mexican Mafia brass over extortion territory, per sources. Velasquez met Dopey Hinojos at a Denny’s restaurant for breakfast on May 13, 2016. An hour later, Hinojos unloaded his gun into Velasquez from his black-colored Chrysler 300 sedan on a Paramount, California street corner. Court records indicate

that Velasquez thought Hinojos was being sent by La Eme shot callers to help him collect a debt.

Recordings of Hinojos on the phone in the days surrounding the Velasquez homicide show him discussing a “big promotion” at work with both his girlfriend and his mother. Hinojos was “made” into La Eme shortly after he murdered Velasquez, sponsored by Jose (Joker) Gonzales of Big Hazzard and Mike (Fly) Torres of the San Fernando Valley, two of the most powerful Mexican Mafia skippers today, per court filings in his case.

Keeping Up With The Combs’: P-Diddy’s Dad Killed In ’72 NYC Drug Deal, Ran With Harlem Crime Lord Legends Lucas & Barnes

July 2, 2022 — Sean (Puffy) Combs is the quintessential hip-hop mogul and the epitome of New York entrepreneurial spirit. His dad, Melvin (Pretty Melvin) Combs, was the quintessential hustler in Harlem in the 1970s. According to DEA documents and federal court records from the era, Pretty Melvin Combs worked closely with Harlem dope-slinging titans like Frank Lucas and Nicky Barnes. He was killed back in the winter of 1972 when “P-Diddy” was just two and a half years old.

Puffy Combs, 52, pioneered the shift in mainstream music from pop to rap in the 1990s, creating careers for iconic recording artists Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Mase and Lil’ Kim as a transcendent impresario producer while making a name for himself as a best-selling rapper later in the decade as well. Soon, he parlayed his music empire into sizable business interests in a variety of other successful ventures capitalizing on his easily digestible brand of classy, cool and hip.

Fast-living “Pretty Melvin” Combs was shot to death behind the wheel of his Cadillac near Central Park on January 26, 1972 in what he thought was to be a drug deal, however, was in actuality an ambush. Two months earlier, he had been busted by a team of undercover feds for possessing five pounds of heroin and $45,000 in cash.

There were rumors circulating that Pretty Melvin was cutting a cooperation deal. Those rumors have never been confirmed.

The narcotics-trafficking organization that the stylish and handsome 33-year old Combs belonged to was led by Willie (J.C.) Abraham and headquartered out of his Gold Lounge in Harlem on Seventh Avenue. The Abraham organization was dismantled shortly after Combs’ still unsolved murder. Abraham and a half-dozen associates were found guilty in a drug-conspiracy case at a federal trial in 1973. Authorities considered J.C. Abraham responsible for ordering the hit on Combs, but never had enough evidence to charge him, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

Abraham was a contemporary and sometimes partner of Frank Lucas and Nicky Barnes, the premier African-American drug kingpins in Harlem at the time. Pretty Mevin Combs would often act as a go-between for Abraham sending messages to Lucas and Barnes, per DEA informant files. Combs owned a controlling interest in a local taxi cab company and would frequently conduct business in a taxi that he would drive himself for work assignments, according to NYPD drug unit files.

Lucas and his Country Boys Gang were chronicled in the 2006 movie American Gangster starring Denzel Washington. The more sophisticated and ruthless Barnes was dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by the New York press and founded “The Council,” a mafia-inspired board of directors comprised of Harlem dope barons sharing proceeds, territory and resources.

Abraham’s crew clocked five million per year in profits from pushing heroin in Harlen, Bronx and suburban Westchester. Abraham traced his roots in the Harlem drug game all the way back to Ellsworth (Bumpy) Johnson in the 1950s and 60s. Johnson was the city’s most notorious African-American crime boss ever, having made his reputation for toughness in the policy lottery wars in the years following Prohibition and then leveraging contacts he made during his prison stays with members of the Five Families into an elite, untouchable status for himself few in Big Apple gangland circles outside the Italian mafia could match at his peak.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Lucas came up through the ranks of the New York underworld as Johnson’s driver and bodyguard. Johnson died of a heart attack in July 1968 at age 63 as he ate a late-night meal in a favorite Harlem diner of his. Johnson was backed by the Genovese crime family. Nicky Barnes cultivated strong relationships with mobsters behind bars and used contacts in the Colombo and Lucchese crime families for his supply needs.

Much like Barnes, Abraham’s organization maintained tight links to New York mob networks for its supply line, specifically plugs he had in the Colombo and Gambino crime families. Federal surveillance logs and court filings tie Abraham and his lieutenants, including Pretty Melvin Combs, to Alphonse (Funzi) Sisca of the Gambinos and Benji (The Claw) Castellazzo of the Colombos. Both Barnes and Lucas became cooperators and died free men.

Castellazzo, 85, is allegedly the Colombo’s underboss today and under indictment in a federal racketeering case. Sisca, 77, has long operated out of New Jersey and is a reputed semi-retired capo, tasked with looking after all Gambino affairs in the Garden State since the late 2000s.

Throughout his career in the music business, Puffy Combs has always faced questions regarding his connections to underworld figures. He went to high school and remains close friends with Gambino capo Andy (Sonny) Campos, considered by many mob experts in New York as a surefire future administrator in the Gambino organization.

Combs and Campos played football together at a private Catholic school (Mt. St. Michael’s in the Bronx) in the mid 1980s. With Campos being the school’s all-state quarterback and Combs getting most of his snaps on defense out of the secondary, the team won a league title in 1986.

The 51-year old Sonny Campos is currently serving a three-year prison term. He is a two-time convicted federal felon for mob-related white-collar fraud scams, including skimming millions “off the top” from internet porn sites, 1-800 calling card packages and a construction company he owned.

DEA intelligence reports dated May 2004 contain allegations that Puffy Combs got early funding for his groundbreaking Bad Boy Records from the historic Black Mafia Family out of Detroit and Atlanta. Puffy’s first cousin, Darryl (Poppa D) Taylor and former bodyguard and one-time Bad Boys Record Head of Security, Paul (P.J.) Buford were both indicted and eventually convicted in 2005’s landmark Operation Motor City Mafia case.

Doggy Style In The Brewster-Douglass Drug World: The Legend Of The Dogg Still Rings Far & Wide In Motown

July 2, 2022 — Running the game out of the Brewster-Douglass Projects for a solid decade in the 1980s, Detroit crime lord Lawrence (The Dogg) Newell quietly crafted a legacy of power, respect and love in his community, before cementing his status as a true OG by “putting on” a young Demetrius (Big Meech) Flenory and his burgeoning “BMF” crew in the years prior to going to federal prison.

Newell controlled all drugs and gambling from the Brewsters on the Motor City’s near Eastside all the way up to the North End. His baby brother, Alex (K.K.) Newell, was his right-hand man, shunning Division I college basketball scholarship offers to watch his older brother’s back on the street. K.K. Newell was an all-state selection out of the backcourt for Detroit Murray-Wright High School, leading the Pilots to a spot in the 1981 Class A state finals as a junior and earning first-team All-Detroit Public School League during his senior campaign in 1982.

“Dogg” Newell will be a character in Season 2 of the smash-hit Starz Network television show BMF, set to premiere later this year. The Newells will also be getting screen time in the Starz-produced 8-part BMF docuseries, debuting in September.

“Dogg commanded a room, he had presence and boss energy…….he was the man of his time, he was a righteous brother who treated people well, but was nobody to be trifled with,” said one former acquaintance.

The Brewster-Douglass housing projects and low-rent apartments were located in Detroit’s Brush Park neighborhood. In the 1990s, the series of sprawling housing units and towering apartment buildings were demolished and replaced with state-subsidized townhouses. Several Motown Music recording-artists were born and raised in the Brewsters in the 1950s and 60s.

“Big Meech” Flenory and his younger brother Terry (Southwest T) Flenory founded the Black Mafia Family organization on the Southwest Side of Detroit in 1990. The Flenorys began as members of the 50 Boys crack crew led by Edrick (E.D.) Boyd in the mid-1980s, but soon graduated to being “weight men,” with the help of the Newells

Both Newell brothers were indicted in 1990 and did 12 years in federal prison apiece. Dogg Newell died shortly after his release. K.K. Newell is retired from the dope game and today is 57 years old, spending most of his days organizing youth basketball camps, leagues and events in his old Brewster stomping grounds.

The Flenorys and their BMF empire became the biggest urban narcotics-trafficking conglomerate in American history, overseeing the wholesale cocaine market in more than 20 cities at their peak of influence in the early 2000s. At that time, Big Meech was based out of Atlanta.

Big Meech and Southwest T were brought down in October 2005’s Operation Motor City Mafia bust. Both pleaded guilty and got 30-year prison terms. Southwest T, 51, was released to home confinement in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 52-year old Big Meech, frequently name-checked in rap lyrics and shouted out by celebrities on their social media accounts, isn’t scheduled to see freedom until October 2026.

Philly Mafia Induction List From ’15 Making Ritual Made Public, New Transcript Reveals Uncle Joe Told Troops ‘We’re All Together, One Family’

July 1,2022 — Sentencing memos for the Philadelphia mob’s Mazzone brothers gives new insight into the 2015 making ceremony caught on tape and a definitive list of inductees. Last month, Philly mafia underboss Steven (Handsome Stevie) Mazzone and his younger brother Salvatore (Sonny Boy) Mazzone pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges stemming from their November 2020 bust; they’ll serve four years and one year behind bars, respectively. Sonny Boy Mazzone, 56, was one of those inducted in the making ritual in question.

The ceremony was held on October 16, 2015 in a private residence in South Philadelphia and conducted by reputed Bruno-Scarfo crime family street boss Michael (Mikey Lance) Lancellotti, longtime No. 2 man, Handsome Stevie Mazzone and consigliere Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi. The inductees were listed (first names only) as Sonny Boy Mazzone, Anthony Persiano, Anthony Borgesi, Dave (Davey Saltwater) Salvo, Salvatore (Sammy Tubs) Piccolo and Anthony (Tony Cugino) Accardo. Multiple sources confirm the last names of the participants.

Persiano was being “made” for the second time and was recording the event for the FBI. Piccolo’s nephew is rising-star capo Domenic (Baby Dom) Grande. Persiano was introduced into the Philly mob through Piccolo and Grande, also a nephew-via-marriage to the Mazzone brothers. The 42-year old Grande pleaded guilty in the case, too, and will do eight years in prison.

Borgesi is the younger brother of acting boss George (Georgie Boy) Borgesi. Accardo is a cousin of Philly mafia don Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, who lives in Florida these days. Handsome Stevie Mazzone, and Georgie Boy Borgesi, both 58, are Merlino’s closest confidants, having consolidated power in the Bruno-Scarfo clan together back in the 1990s by winning a bloody faction war.

Merlino, 60, wasn’t present at the fall ’15 making ceremony. Ligambi, 82, and Lancellotti, 59, were not indicted in the case. At a 2015 Christmas party in New York thrown by members of the Genovese crime family, Lancellotti was introduced around the room as the “guy who runs Philly.” Ligambi, the Borgesi brothers’ uncle, ran the family on a day-to-day basis in the 2000s and portions of the 2010s.

Below is part of the newly-released portions of the transcript made by Persiano laid out in the sentencing documents:

Lancellotti – This is Stevie, the underboss. You’ll get introduced to everybody. But we’re all one family. This is the only flag around. This is it, this is Philly and that’s it. Joe, do you want to say something?

Ligambi — We’re all in the family now. No disputes should come between none of us.

Mazzone — Nobody break this chain.

Ligambi — Anybody comes between us, it’s on them.

Mazzone — You know what I’m talking about?

Ligambi — We’re all together. One familia. Say it.

Everyone in unison — La Familia.

Mazzone — You’ve all been explained the rules already. Anthony, you’re with Domenic. Sammy, you’re with Domenic, too. This is George’s crew: Anthony, Tony and David. Obviously, Sonny Boy is with me.