Mafia Capo "Chickie" Returns to Philly

"Chickie" Ciancaglini
Former Philadelphia Mafia capo Joseph "Chickie" Ciancaglini, Sr. is back in Philadelphia for the first time in about 30 years.

He's not exactly free yet, but the 80-year-old has to wait about six months.

As noted in a recent story, Chickie was "recently placed in a Philly halfway house to serve out the rest of his murder and federal racketeering conviction (he was given a 45-year sentence in 1988)... Ciancaglini will be set free for good in early 2015."

We confirmed this on the BOP site, which reports

Register Number: 31458-066
Age: 80
Located at: Philadelphia RRM
Release Date: 05/04/2015

Gangster Report further adds:

Back in October of 1980, he rose to captain status by killing his own mob mentor, Frank (The Barracuda) Sindone, who six months earlier had taken part in the unsanctioned assassination of longtime syndicate boss Angelo (The Docile Don) Bruno. According to court documents and FBI records, Ciancaglini and his close pal, Salvatore (Chuckie) Merlino, lured Sindone out of hiding in California and back to Pennsylvania so they could kill him. 
“Chuckie and Chickie made Sindone get down on his knees and beg for his life before they shot him,” one informant recounted to his FBI handlers. 
Chuckie Merlino would rise to be underboss in the Philadelphia mafia in the 1980s. He died in prison two years ago. 
A bear of a man, Ciancaglini, big, dark-skinned and imposing, cut his teeth in the East Coast underworld as a leg-breaker in the Teamsters Union before going to work for Sindone and earning a reputation as a trusted and capable collector and loanshark. 
In addition to the Sindone hit, his name was tied to a number of gangland homicides in the bloody, but short-lived Phil (The Chicken Man) Testa regime and the early-portion of the reckless violence-infused Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo regime.


  1. 30 years in prison and kept his mouth shut the whole time. What motivates these individuals to keep going?

  2. I was away with him in lewisburg penn, he used to walk the yard in the winter time in shorts and no shirt and do dips and pull-ups He was a good guy. Wow 80 years old. Mans man , it bothered him that his 2 sons were on different sides of the war. Especially when the other was involved in killing his own brother .. Some sad sick shit when you have to kill your own brother .

  3. Chickie did hard time, by his own choice! be never read or watched tv in all the years he served, this guy is straight hardcore!

  4. I knew all three brothers wgen Johnny chang was in the joint and his brother Joe was John stanfa.s underboss the young turks as they were called were rebelling against John stanfa. Somebody tried to shoot Mikey chang Johnny.s younger brother as he walked in his So philly row home house sometime in March of 1990 or 91 they missed and mikey swore one the guys was his brother Joey nobody ever ssid different that i know of then a year latter next to John.s bussiness was a place called the warfield diner the feds had a camera on a pole outside as four guys ran in shot Joey chang in the back room as Gaeton luccibello.s wife the waitress screamed in horror as she was heard on the wire in side the store screaming Joey.s name. Tommy Horse head Scaffidi testified that he was one of the guys implicated a couple

  5. Hi ed philly i was commenting earlier on the brothers i knew all three my browser is on the blink anyway left a comment unfinished yry to edit it lost everything let me know if u got copy. Thamks philly

  6. They took an oath.

  7. Ya know a lot of those philly guys are believers. I always heard and read they were the city of rats but look at chickie and the older merlinos, and then the younger merlino crew all took long stints...The scarfo crew all took long stints.....and still are. I'm interested to see where things fall with the mix of gangsters now back out on the streets. Still fascinated by nicodemo........he's better off pleading guilty and hoping for a 20. He's done like 4 already maybe get out in 12....or flip, cuz that excuse he used in court ain't gonna fly! !!!!

  8. One of the two older Merlino's ending up becoming a rat. Chuckie's brother, Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino, was once a capo in the family under Scarfo and ended up cooperating after being convicted alongside Scarfo in the late 80's. But, I will agree with the part about the younger Merlino (Joey) and his faction of guys that are the power in the family now. There have not been many rats that have come up with Joey, minus "Horsehead" Scafidi.

  9. Roger Vella was another

  10. I think Brooklyn is the city of rats, especially Bensonhurst. After Sammy Bull flipped, it was a tidal wave. The rats from Philly like Caramandi and that other half polish guy weren't real cosa nostra. I don't know why Scarfo made them. Not everyone who is a hustler or earner is cosa nostra. I think Leonetti had it easy because of his uncle. Once he saw all the glitz and glamour go, he couldn't handle doing the time. That's what it all boils down to. Can't handle doing the time.

  11. Your absolutely correct. ...guys like John veasey and Ron preveti (a former cop) should have never been around cosa nostra much less made guys.

  12. Hi ed let me see if i could remember several events i worked for people on both sides back then through the bussiness i met all three brothers.
    John stanfa made a handfull back then between 89 amd 90 who became known as the young turks. THE family was decimated by little Nickys 10 yrs of terror run. Later on during the war John Stanfa made more guys who shouldnt of been made. Anyway there was a falling out after the young turks were made i think they planed it that way. John was old school and it started over money imagine that. John also had it made guys from italy he brought over from his home town. The American guys and Sicilian guys from over there hated each other so the american guys formed there own crew nobody knew who was with who they were changing sides everyday.So John made Joey ciangalini underboss figuring it bring everybody together but it back fired somebody orderd a hit on Mikey chang Joey Changs younger brother. Johnny chang was doing a 8 yr stretch at the time so he tried from inside to calm Mikey down

  13. I dont think Roger was a made guy he was a drug dealer who Joey and BGB let hang around by taking care of all nights out and was Skinny.s driver sometimes.
    BGB was with Roger when he got his revenge of Ralph Mazzuca another piece of shit drug dealer who kidnapped Roger.s Vellas Girl friend and tied up and beat up Roger.s psrents at there home. Believe you me Georgie enjoyed this as they tortured this guy then set his body on fire. Vella testified he killed Mazzuca no one else was cjarged in the inccident because the feds never used Roger as a wiitness to many discrepencies. Philly

  14. Dom said he's the only rat to come out of the Bronx.....

  15. It's funny ... a source told me Joey was actually once an underboss but I didn't put it in, figured I'd be hit with 50 comments telling me -- no, he's not an underboss!!! XYZ were this and that from 19-- to 20--. I just didn't feel like getting into it. But thanks for confirming that...

  16. Hi ed as u know i was pretty close to this stuff
    Im hearing rumblings on the street and some want the pecking order changed but i havent verified it though. With Skinny Joey going in im wondering if somebody wont make a move know. Gonna be inyeresting 2015 for the MOBSTERS OF BROTHERLY LOVE !!! PHILLY

  17. Great post PHILLY keep 'em coming


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