Skinny Joe's Dad Died in Prison

Convicted mobster Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino (the father of the man believed to be boss of the Philadelphia mob, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino) died at a low-security federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.


Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino
Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino, father of Joseph,underboss to Nicodemo Scarfo.

The elder Merlino, 73, had spent the last quarter-century behind bars.

The federal Bureau of Prisons listed his potential release date as August 2016.

Merlino's death comes amid the region's biggest mob trial in years: Current Philadelphia boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and six other defendants are facing federal racketeering charges. The trial was on break Tuesday. The court papers described Ligambi as "acting boss" and suggested that Merlino had been running the crime family while serving a 12-year prison sentence.

Salvatore Merlino rose through the crime family to become Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo's underboss in the 1980s.

Salvatore Merlino was once acting boss, while Scarfo was jailed on a weapons violation.

Salvatore Merlino and his brother, Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino, were convicted of racketeering in 1988.

Lawrence Merlino, who became a cooperating witness, died in the witness-protection program in 2001.

Salvatore Merlino was serving a 45-year stretch when he died.



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