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NE mob’s ‘Chippy’ back home in Providence after prison stint

aeThe Patriarcas’ ‘chip off the old block’ is off the prison block.

New England mafia figure Alfred (Chippy) Scivola was released from federal custody this past week after three years behind bars for extorting Rhode Island strip clubs along with then-Patriarca Family boss Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio and acting boss Anthony DiNunzio.

Scivola, 73, was paroled from a Massachusetts correctional facility to home-confinement at his residence in suburban Providence. His sentence will be complete in January. As part of his plea agreement in the case, he admitted the existence of and his role in La Cosa Nostra (the American mafia).

Manocchio, 87, relinquished the reins of the New England mob and went into retirement in the years prior to the 2011 indictment. He is set to be released next year. DiNunzio is in the midst of a six-year bit.

At the behest of Manocchio, who inducted Scivola into the mob in a 1996 ceremony, he shook down a number of strip joints in Rhode Island, including the Providence area’s Cadillac Lounge, Foxy Lady, Desire and Satin Doll gentlemen clubs for roughly a million dollars over a decade period through the 2000s and into the 2010s.

Chippy was jailed on a similar indictment in the early 2000s stemming from his shaking down Stamford, Connecticut strip clubs. That indictment reported a meeting in Connecticut between Scivola and Gambino Family mobster Anthony (Tony the Genius) Megale, the acting underboss of the New York-based mob syndicate in 2002, regarding the Patriarcas’ extortion of Fairfield, Connecticut strip-club owner and New York mafia associate Harold (Oil Can Harry) Farrington. Megale claimed “ownership” of Farrington and his businesses and paid Scivola a “settlement fee” to give to Manocchio for the Patriarcas to back-off of any further shaking downs. Convicted of multiple counts of extortion himself (including shaking down Farrington) in a separate case, Megale will be sprung from his prison cell next month.

Coming up in the New England underworld in the 1960s and 70s, Scivola was part of a crew of young wiseguys that hung out at the Acorn Social Club in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood (Rhode Island’s Little Italy). According to court documents, Scivola was gangland running buddies with Eddie Lato, Frank (Bobo) Marrapese and William (Billy Blackjack) DelSanto and the four of them wreaked havoc in Providence gangster circles with their wild ways.

Wiseguys to the core, in October 1981, Scivola and Marrapese were busted for receiving a load of stolen La-Z-Boy recliner chairs. In 2002, Scivola and his son were pinched for selling ‘hot’ Reebok-brand sneakers.

Marrapese, the official proprietor of the Acorn Social Club and a legendary Patriarca Family enforcer and hit man, is currently in prison on racketeering charges. Longtime pals, Lato (a capo), Bobo (a convicted killer) and Chippy were indicted in their current extortion cases together, charged with gambling, loan-sharking and drug-dealing as well. They all pled guilty to the extortion charges in exchange for the government dropping the others counts. Lato and Marrapese are serving nine-year sentences.

Scivola was arrested while on vacation in Las Vegas. Recently, he had run his own social club on famous Atwells Avenue in Federal Hill.

Philadelphia Don ‘Skinny Joey’ ordered back to jail, still in scam mode

aqePhiladelphia mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino is headed back to prison for four months because of a parole violation committed over the summer.

He’s also at the center of multiple criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania and Florida, according to highly-placed sources in the government and court testimony last week, and hustling his way through Hollywood and the Boca Raton restaurant scene.

Both the Philadelphia branch of the FBI and the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Department have active investigations going, “aggressively” looking into Merlino’s activities since his release from prison on a racketeering conviction in March 2011, at which point he relocated to Florida.

The brash and magnetic 52-year old Skinny Joey was found guilty at a circus-like 2001 trial, where his former mentor and boss, turncoat Bruno-Scarfo Family Godfather Ralph Natale, testified against him and several of Merlino’s close friends and gangland cohorts about how together they killed their way to the top of the Philadelphia mafia in the 1990s.

Although considered a prime suspect in a number of mob slayings and attempted murders, Merlino, who blasted into the East Coast news headlines over two decades ago as a young aspiring mob chief  and charmed the press and public alike with his slick, quick-witted style and self-deprecating humor, has never been convicted of a homicide.

Merlino has been vocal in recent years proclaiming he is no longer living a life of crime nor involved in mob affairs currently transpiring in his hometown. Authorities say otherwise. The FBI believes he is the boss of the Philadelphia mafia, ruling his kingom from afar, and has been ever since he departed the City of Brotherly Love for a federal prison cell in the summer of 1999.

Sources in the FBI say Merlino is using longtime pals Steven (Handsome Stevie) Mazzone and John (Johnny Chang) Ciancaglini (both nailed with Skinny Joey in the 2001 case), as his “fronts” back home. They tab Mazzone the “acting boss” or “street boss” and Johnny Chang the underboss, responsible for relaying messages and orders from Merlino and Mazzone to the Family’s rank and file. Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi, the one-time acting boss when Merlino was incarcerated, fills the syndicate’s consigliere post, having just averted being convicted of federal racketeering charges at two trials that ended in hung juries.

Three members of a federal organized crime task force testified last week at Merlino’s parole violation hearing that they have been trailing Skinny Joey for three years, including on the night this past June that he met with Ciangalini in the VIP section of Havana Nights, a restaurant and cigar bar in Boca Raton.

Weeks away from getting off parole in September, the FBI produced photos of a meeting between Merlino and Johnny Chang back in the summer, a violation of his parole restrictions with Ciancaglini being a convicted felon. Last Friday afternoon in a Philadelphia federal courtroom, he was officially citing for the violation and ordered back to prison for four months beginning after Thanksgiving. When he’s released in early spring 2015, Merlino will be “off paper” and free of any legal restrictions on his movement.

The FBI sources tell the Mafia Insider that the photos of the June meeting are part of a set of images they’ve snapped of Skinny Joey holding court with convicted or alleged members of the Philly crime syndicate in Florida and Pennsylvania (he returned for his dad’s funeral last year and has been making the rounds in his old stomping grounds since the beginning of October awaiting his court date) over the past 30 months.

“Joey’s still on top and in order to stay on top you need to communicate with your men, which he’s been doing, sometimes face-to-face, sometimes through a group of buffers, friends of friends, wives or cousins of friends and the like,” said one of the Fed sources. “The mob is in his blood, don’t let him fool you, he’s not just going to leave it all behind. He’s got too much skin in the game.”

Merlino’s dad was Salvatore (Chucky) Merlino, the former Philadelphia mob underboss during the 1980s. Chucky Merlino died behind bars in 2013. Merlino himself has dodged some two dozen murder plots and attempts on his life in his time in the underworld dating back to his father’s heyday .

One of things the Feds are focusing on in trying to make a future case stick against Skinny Joey is his lifestyle, which appears to exceed his meager income earnings reported to the government – he lives in a luxury condo on the beach with his buddy Donnie Petullo and has been tooling around town in an Escalade, however nobody really knows how he is making his money. Currently he’s listed as an employee of a soon-to-be opened Italian restaurant in Boca Raton named after him and called “Merlino’s”

“How is he out in the sun in Boca, having the time of his life, if he’s got no way of generating any legitimate cash?” asked one source in the FBI. “It’s not ‘cause of his good looks.”

Merlino’s wife Debbie testified at last week’s hearing that she is a successful businesswoman and helps support her husband. Media outlets in Philadelphia and Florida last week reported that Joey’s main benefactor is Stan Stein, an aging Jewish Boca Raton real estate mogul, who is footing the bill for the restaurant, as well as paying for his travel arrangement to-and-from back home, where he is holed up in a posh suite in the glitzy Four Seasons Hotel.

Another way Merlino has allegedly lined his pockets lately is from selling his life-rights for a movie without any intention of actually helping the people he sold it to make a film, per people connected to the purchases.

Skinny Joey is reputed to have sold his cinematic life-rights, at least twice, possibly as many as three times, in the past couple of years to Hollywood-based producers, either naïve to or greedy enough to not care, about his notoriously slithery and slippery ways of doing business.

“That’s Joey being Joey, the whole thing is a giant shakedown,” said one of those familiar with the situation.

Patriarcas’ Parillo could be in line for top spot

The Ponytail is on deck. If the New England mafia’s current “acting boss,” Anthony (Spucky) Spagnolo, is convicted of the set of extortion and racketeering charges levied against him earlier this month, syndicate consigliere Anthony (Ponytail Tony) Parillo of Cranston, Rhode Island, will be taking his place as Don, according to sources in local law enforcement.

“They’ve already tapped Tony Parillo as the next man up,” said one of the sources. “He’s probably more fitted for the position than Spucky is anyway. I think the powers in the Family have always viewed him (Parillo) as a future leader. It looks like the future will be coming soon because I’m pretty sure Spucky will be going away.”

Parillo is 63 years old and has been the Patriarca Family’s consigliere for the last five years. He replaced Boston’s Peter (The Crazy Horse) Limone, who was bumped up to the boss’ chair upon the retirement of Providence-headquartered, Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio, Parillo’s mentor in the mob.

Baby Shacks Manocchio, 87, is serving prison time for extortion and is scheduled to be released in November 2015. Back when Baby Shacks was on the run from the law in the 1970s, dodging a pair of murder indictments, Parillo, was one of the young bucks in the Patriarca Family assigned to secretly shuttle him back-and-forth from his hiding spot in New York to the the New England area for monthly meetings with the Family’s then-upper management, according to federal court documents.

Sources in the Rhode Island State Police tell the Mafia Insider that FBI wiretaps recently picked up conversations within the New England underworld discussing the ponytail-wearing Parillo’s potential promotion.

The position of Godfather in the Patriarca clan isn’t necessarily all that it sounds cracked up to be. Translation: the last seven men to hold the post wound up indicted.

Because of this, Limone, 80, prefers a hands-off approach to leadership and has assigned an acting boss to oversee day-to-day affairs in the Family since assuming the reins from Manocchio in 2009. First, it was Anthony DiNunzio. After DiNunzio got nailed on.….you guessed it, extortion charges in 2012, Spucky Spagnolo was given the job.

On October 2, Spagnolo, 72 and longtime syndicate enforcer Pryce (Stretch) Quintina, 74, were indicted for shaking down a Boston-area vending machine company and suburban social club where the vending company placed video poker machines in.

Ponytail Tony is “respected and feared” said the source in the Rhode Island State Police. The fear factor comes from Parillo being a convicted murderer.

Back in 1982, he was found guilty at a state jury trial for a double-homicide and sentenced to 20 years behind bars (of which he served 11). Parillo killed Providence drug dealer Ronnie Leone and Rudy Baronet, a teenage neighbor of Leone’s that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, on October 3, 1977.

Leone, 26, had ripped Parillo off on a previous narcotics transaction and Parillo summoned him to his apartment on the afternoon of October 3 to get even. When Parillo brought Baronet to the meeting with him, the unsuspecting 16-year old got caught in the crossfire. Upon arriving at Parillo’s residence, the pair were murdered by Parillo and his roommate, New England mafia associate, Dennis Roche.

While Parillo and Roche were in the process of getting rid of the bodies, Parillo’s girlfriend Janice Costa, came home from running errands and walked in on the blood-soaked scene.

“I hope you have a strong stomach,” said a laughing Parillo to Costa, according to future court testimony.

Costa eventually broke-up with Parillo and married Providence wiseguy Anthony Manfredi. After Roche was killed on December 4, 1981, Costa began fearing for life, mistakenly believing that Parillo had wacked Roche to keep him quiet about the Leone and Baronet murders.

Following the Christmas holiday, she went to Providence police and told them what she knew. With Costa agreeing to testify in court, Parillo was arrested on December 28, 1981 and charged with the double execution.

Roche had in fact been murdered by local Rhode Island gangsters Anthony DeCiantis and Ricky Silva, stabbed and shot multiple times  (his body dropped off in a Providence garbage dump) for DeCiantis’ belief that Roche was the man that had killed his brother, Rocco, years earlier.

At Parillo’s 1982 trial, Costa testified that on the morning of the Leone and Baronet murders, Parillo told her “Ronnie’s stopping by,” before she left to go shopping at around 10:30 a.m. Then when she returned at 1:00 p.m., she walked in on Parillo and Roche zipping Leone’s and Baronet’s freshly-killed bodies into a pair of sleeping bags. As Parillo and Roche left to dispose of the corpses, he instructed her to “clean the house and scrub the kitchen down,” and that she shouldn’t have any concern about what she had just seen.

“Forget about this, don’t worry about it,” she testified that Parillo told her prior to departing with Roche and the two sleeping bag-clad corpses. “Don’t even think about it anymore after today……it had to be done.”

Upon his release from prison in 1993, Parillo used his underworld connections to secure a Teamsters union card, using it to get work on New England movie sets, specifically the Rhode Island-raised Farrelly brothers’ films, There’s Something About Mary (1998), Outside Providence (1999), Me, Myself and Irene (2000) and Osmosis Jones (2001), Stuck on You (2003). On the Outside Providence set, Parillo acted as actor Alec Baldwin’s bodyguard. On the Me, Myself and Irene set, he did the same for actor Jim Carrey.

RIPD surveillance reports find Parillo spending most of his days at his Federal Hill neighborhood restaurant and bar “Club 295.” Federal Hill is the long-mobbed up Little Italy section of Providence.

His track record the past three years hasn’t exactly been clean.

In June 2011, he took a pinch for harassing his ex-wife. In December of that year, according to a complaint filed with the Providence Police Department, Parillo assaulted a patron and then ordered him beat-up by the club’s bouncers following a dispute in the club’s bathroom.

According to the complaint, Parillo and three bouncers encountered 31-year old Jack Fernandez in Club 295’s women’s bathroom. They believed Fernandez was there to fool around with his girlfriend, Fernandez himself claimed that he was just there guarding a stall with a broken latch while his girlfriend used the toilet.

Either way, Parillo, flanked by the bouncers, grabbed Fernandez, per the report, and began physically assaulting him. He then instructed the bouncers to “take him out back” and followed as they transported Fernandez to the alley outside the club and began pummeling him, breaking his nose and several ribs. The incident ended when Parillo allegedly called his men off, reportedly saying, “Stop, no more right now, there’s too many people around, we’ll get him later.”

Sources on the street tell the Rhode Island State Police that if Parillo replaces Spucky Spagnolo as boss, Matthew (Good Looking Matty) Guglielmetti, recently released from a decade behind bars for “protecting” shipments of cocaine through the Providence area, would most likely take his spot as consigliere.

— Image courtesy of WPRI

Missouri mobster a “health hazard” says former Fed

a willHanging with Little Willie is a dangerous proposition.

Being friends with Kansas City mobster William (Little Willie) Cammisano, Jr. can be detrimental to your health, according to one retired FBI agent who spent three decades tracking the 64-year old reputed capo and mafia prince in the Civella Family.

The former Fed points to what happened to Roger Reid as evidence of how treacherous and cold-hearted Cammisano, Jr. can be to those close to him.

“Ask Roger Reid’s family how Little Willie Cammisano treats his friends,” he said.

Per FBI documents and KCPD files, authorities believe that Cammisano, Jr., son and protégé of Missouri mob boss and underworld legend Willie (Willie the Rat) Cammisano, Sr., either had Reid killed or murdered him himself in the summer of 1988, after the pair got into a beef over a joint gambling debt.

Reid, a 36-year old Kansas City businessman, was found strangled to death in a local hotel room on August 18, 1988.

The FBI heard that Reid, a childhood friend of Cammisano, Jr.’s, was a silent investor in Little Willie’s C&C Associates vending machine company business and had gotten into trouble with his gangster pal when the two decided to travel to Las Vegas and bet on golf.

The year before his grisly demise, Reid accompanied Cammisano, Jr. (then 38) and his 17-year old girlfriend Carey Carnesecca to Las Vegas for a weekend to participate in a charity golf tournament. From June 21-24 1987, Reid, Cammisano, Jr., and Carnesecca stayed in suites at Caesars Palace, while Reid and Little Willie teamed up with a mutual acquaintance named Billy Walters to form a threesome on the golf course for the three-round tournament.

According to future federal grand jury testimony, Cammisano, Jr. and Walters squared off hole-for-hole with a $1,000 on the line to the winner of each, money that Cammisano, Jr. had Reid put up and stake him with. By the end of the weekend, Cammissano. Jr. and Reid owed Walters $120,000.

Over the course of the next 14 months, Walters hounded Cammisano, Jr. and Reid to pay the debt, which sat at $114,000, less $6,000 Reid had coughed up on the spot as a good-faith measure. Informants told the FBI that Little Willie continually pressed Reid to cover the losses, something Reid refused to do. That resulted in a dozen phone calls and “sit-downs” with members of the Kansas City mafia, including Cammisano’s dad, the fearsome Willie the Rat (Don from 1984 until his death of natural causes in 1995), throughout the rest of 1987 and into 1988.

“In the end, the Cammisanos decided to do away with Roger Reid, execute him, cut their losses so to speak,” the retired G-Man said. “They saw him as a potential liability. He knew a lot about their business and how money was being put in and taken out.”

At the time of Reid’s murder, the FBI was investigating Little Willie and his business partner, Marvin Carnesecca, Carey’s dad, for laundering proceeds from organized crime activity through C&C Associates.

“We (the FBI) had heard that Reid was the cash behind C&C,” he said. “He had a good deal of knowledge of the Cammisanos’ business interests. That made him expendable.”

Two months following Reid’s murder, the FBI approached Carey Carnesecca. She had met Cammisano, Jr. when she became a babysitter for him and his wife on the recommendation of her father. The FBI wanted to know what Carnesecca knew about Roger Reid and his relationship with Cammisano, Jr.

Immediately after the FBI agents left her house, Carnesecca called Cammisano, Jr., who’s phone was tapped, and Cammisano, Jr,. instructed her not to tell the investigators anything. After Carnesecca was called in front of a March 1989 grand jury looking into Reid’s killing, the recorded exchange was played and eventually landed Little Willie in prison for obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Little Willie Cammisano, Jr., nor his dad were ever charged in the Reid case. The Reid murder investigation remains unsolved to this day.

“We never charged the Cammisanos, but they did it,” the retired FBI agent said. “Roger Reid got in bed with the wrong people. And then you throw six figures in cash into the mix. These guys would kill their mothers and first born for 100k, what do you think they’ll do to someone else?.”

Cammisano, Jr. recently got out of prison on a federal bookmaking conviction alongside his brother Jerry.

Currently considered a capo in the Kansas City mafia, Little Willie has an arrest record that dates back to 1966, though the obstruction of justice-witness tampering bust and the 2009 gambling bust are the only two convictions on his record. Besides the Reid hit, Cammisano, Jr., personally groomed by his father on how to kill, according to Willie the Rat’s police file, is also a top suspect in several other notorious Kansas City gangland homicides.

In 1984 alone, Cammisano, Jr. was a suspect in the Carl Spero, Anthony (Tiger) Cardarella and Felix (Little Phil) Ferina slayings.

Cammisano, Sr. was caught on federal wiretaps offering up Little Willie’s services for the aforementioned “wet work” and then boasting of what a quality job he did.

“My boy knows what he is doing,” Willie the Rat was heard commenting in a recording from 1985. “I never worry……He does it (killing) clean.”

Detroit mob associate ‘Crazy John’ let loose from the pen

Hereeeeeeeeeeeeee’s Johnny.

After more than two decades behind bars on home invasion charges, a brief trip into the Federal Witness Protection Program and a reneged cooperation agreement, notorious Detroit mob enforcer John (Crazy Johnny) Pree is back on the streets.

Pree, 54, was paroled from state prison this summer and is currently living in his hometown of Manton, Michigan, in the northern part of the state, hundreds of miles away from the Motor City. His current status in the local underworld is unknown.

Owning a reputation for an explosive temper and a wide array of underworld specialties, he gained his nickname for his frequent fits of rage.

Several retired and currently-employed members of federal law enforcement tell The Mafia Insider, that they “keep tabs on Pree because he’s just crazy enough to come after us.”

One local wiseguy who use to hang around Pree called him a “skilled crook and feared leg-breaker.”

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, Crazy Johnny, who hails from half-Albanian, half-Maltese descent, was a member of longtime capo and future underboss Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone’s crew, gangland running buddies with Carlo Bommarito, son of Giacalone’s No. 1 lieutenant, Frank (Frankie the Bomb) Bommarito. The pair acted as a shakedown and enforcer tandem for Giacalone, receiving their orders from Frankie the Bomb and Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone, the Detroit mob’s current boss and Billy Jack’s son and then-protégé, according to federal court records.

At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, Pree cut an imposing figure.

“People were afraid of him, nobody took him lightly” said retired FBI agent Mike Carone of Pree. “There was a period of time where he spoke for Billy at the street level.”

Pree and Carlo Bommarito were caught pulling off a series of home invasions targeting suburban Detroit drug dealers in 1991. They were believed to also be involved in extortion, sports gambling, arson and prostitution, per subsequent court filings.

Facing a stiff prison sentence, since the home invasion charges would be the fourth felony conviction on his record, and hearing of a murder contract placed on his head by Frank Bommarito, Pree went running to the Feds and entered the Witness Protection Program.

Testifying in front a 1993 federal grand jury in Detroit looking into organized crime activity in the city, Pree admitted to, among other things, his involvement in the 1985 slaying of Michigan mob soldier Peter (Fast Pete) Cavataio, implicating other members of the Giacalone crew as well. Soon thereafter however, Pree recanted his testimony and claimed the FBI had fed him what to say. Still his testimony in front of the grand jury helped lead to the government’s epic 1996 Operation GameTax indictment, taking down practically the entire sitting administration of the crime family, including Giacalone, his brother and then-street boss Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, then-boss Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco and then-underboss Anthony (Tony) Zerilli.

Cavataio was killed in July 1985, less than two weeks after the death of his main benefactor, his brother-in-law and syndicate capo Dominic (Fats) Corrado, of cancer. Fast Pete, once viewed as a future leader of the Family when he was a young buck goombah, had fallen out of favor with the Detroit mob hierarchy for increasingly insubordinate and undermining behavior, as well as a penchant for romancing other gangsters’ wives. Kidnapped in front of his Southfield apartment, Cavataio’s tortured, bullet-ridden body was found in an abandoned garage near the Ambassador Bridge in Southwest Detroit.

The Cavataio hit was part of a rash of mob slayings – one of close to a dozen in a year’s time-span between 1984 and 1985 – occurig in the Motor City mob underworld, most of which the Giacalone crew are believed to have coordinated and carried out. Jackie the Kid Giacalone, his current underboss Anthony (Chicago Tony) La Piana and his current street boss Peter (Specs) Tocco have each been tied to one of these murders or more via FBI informants, though never charged.

Billy Giacalone died of natural causes in 2012, eight years after being released from prison on his Operation GameTax bust, where as part of his plea agreement he admitted in open court of the existence of and his membership in Detroit La Cosa Nostra.

Frank Bommarito, 85, assumed command of Billy Jack’s crew when he was imprisoned in 1998 and then promoted to underboss in 2004. Following Billy Jack’s death, Jackie the Kid, the new boss of the Family, demoted Bommarito from his Eastside captain’s post and put in his own guy – former driver and bodyguard David (Davey the Donut) Aceto. The Bomb is still semi-active as a soldier.

Carlo Bommarito died in 2007 of a mysterious heroin overdose at 41 years old.