"Skinny Joey" Starts New Year Back in the Can

Skinny Joey, back in October 2014.

Philadelphia Mob Boss Joey Merlino is back in prison.

Yesterday, he was supposed to report to a federal detention center in Miami by 2:00 p.m. But not before opening his new restaurant, Merlino's, as the Boca Raton Tribune reported.

He was seen "on a drizzly [late-December] Friday night" darting around the dining area, "greeting diners."

"Merlino hugged. He kissed. He shook hands, laying his hand on a shoulder, leaning in close to talk.

"It went on hour after hour. The restaurant opened this month, built around recipes his mother, Rita, cooked when the man known as “Skinny Joey,” was growing up in Point Breeze, Pa. Would Merlino be willing to share one of them, perhaps for his favorite, crab gravy?

“I went to jail for not telling,” he quipped. “I’m not giving up a recipe. I’m not telling.”

As Philly.com noted: "He's probably the only maître d' in the country who can do a four-month prison stint and still have a job waiting for him when he returns."

Merlino, 52, texted at least one newspaper before turning himself in yesterday:

"I'll be in great shape for when I get out on Cinco de Mayo,"

Merlino will be eating prison grub for four months while on what some call his "winter vacation."

A federal judge sided with prosecutors back in October, who said that Merlino had violated his parole by associating with a fellow convict in Florida.

Merlino was out on supervised release after spending a decade in prison.

Merlino was convicted of racketeering in 2001 and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was released in 2011 after serving about 12 years following his 1999 arrest and has been living in South Florida.

As we previously noted, last October Merlino was sentenced to four months in jail following several hours of testimony and debate during a probation violation hearing.

The convicted Mafioso's period of "supervised release" will be over once he's out, so for the first time in a long time he will be free to meet and associate with whomever he chooses, wherever he chooses.

Meeting with three friends for dinner and a cigar was the cause of all his trouble in the first place.

At the same time, it's not all blue skies for Skinny Joey, who remains a person of interest--the focus of an ongoing investigation by a South Florida organized crime task force, which has kept Merlino squarely in its sights since he moved there.

Although the reasons for the investigation have been kept under wraps, during the hearing a Broward County detective testified that Merlino had shown up in certain surveillance activities, though a prosecution objection allowed the detective to not answer a question regarding what was under investigation.

In May, Merlino invoked his right against self incrimination when questioned at length by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer about his finances. 

Skinny Joey is living it up in the lap of luxury down in Boca, but how is that possible?

"He reports almost nothing.... a paltry sum," one prosecutor said during the hearing.

Merlino remained silent during the hearing.

The four-month sentence was the culmination of a filing in Philadelphia federal court in early September after authorities in Broward County, Fla., conducted surveillance on a June 18 dinner at which Merlino joined a trio that included Philadelphia mobster John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Boca Raton. The foursome later departed for drinks at the Havana Nights Cigar Bar & Lounge, which one of the group owned.

The terms of his probation prohibited Merlino from associating with convicted felons or Cosa Nostra members.

Merlino was said to have sworn off the mob before moving to South Florida after his release from federal prison around three years ago.

As reported, "Johnny Chang" and Steve Mazzone are reportedly running the Philadelphia family for Skinny Joey. Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi has reportedly stepped out of the limelight to serve as the family's lowkey consiglieri.


  1. It'll be interesting what happens once he is out, truly free as a bird. He's still running Philly -- a fact....only thing is that task force up his ass....really curious what they are looking at him for.....

  2. i just came home from trenton state prison... i landed in the infirmary with some health issues. A certain high profile guy down there confirms that as well. You can probably figure out who i'm talking about but he's got shit going on so i don't wanna say any names.

  3. Its Gonna be a interesting year for
    The Mobsters of Brotherly Love with Uncle Joes Wife and Son involved in the Ronny The Wig ins fraud case which was to start sometime in Jan but he.s out of money.
    Also the Nicodemo trial for the idiot hit on Geno dipietro to start in Feb some authorties think Wayne Grande did the shooting and Nicodemo was the driver. Wayne is still free as of yet. If somebody talks whether it be Uncle Joes immediate family members or Nicodemo who is a soldier in the So philly faction could have a ripple effect for Uncle Joes crew already doing hard time in the Joint. But with that said Nicodemo is already doing his third year in the Joint no reason to see why he wouldnt continue to be the Stand up guy that he.s been. If he talks though he knows the Johnny Gongs Casasanto murder Long John Mortorano and Ronny Turchi hits and others. Nicodemo Mikey lancelotti Damien Canalechio and Uncle Joe as a driver and Anthony Staino

  4. As for the Skinny Joey keeping a low profile when he gets out that my friends isnt gonna happen what u see is what u get and he isnt gonna relinquish the Title of Boss anytime soon he fought to hard and did to much time for that they.ll have to lock him up for life or kill him thats the only way somebody will take that from him and u can take that to the bank my friends

  5. Wayne Grande? He flipped and became a rat over 20 years ago. You mean Dom? It's widely believed around South Philly that Dom was the shooter and Tony Nicks was just the getaway driver. Convicted or not in the murder case, Nicodemo won't rat ... I'd put money on it and you can take that to the bank. I've heard speculation that the feds are trying to put something together and indict Merlino again while he's sitting in prison. The hope in their view is that they can ring him up on more RICO violations and with him already in the can no judge would grant him bail. It's a last minute Hail Mary from the feds, you watch. They've all got an enormous hard-on for this guy and they want to put him away forever. However, without someone talking it doesn't look like they will have anything on him, especially not any acts of violence. If he's back out after the 4 months and totally free of his restrictions then the Philly mob will be humming on all cylinders.

  6. Interesting that the feds want Merlino say badly, he's got a "Gotti like" persona and swagger, and the feds don't like that type of public image, look how they went after Gotti, now 25 years later, Philly/S.Florida, same intense pressure from the feds all over again, now on Merlino. History has a tendency to repeat it's self. And it is.

  7. Thank u So philly for that correction Dominic Grande is the Son of former Hit man turned Government informant Salvatore Wayne Grande who was with Nicky Scarfo Sr crew of Hitman better known as the Young Executioners in the 80.s during the Harry (the hunchback) Riccbene war.Philly

  8. Ah Johnny Boy its Skinny being Skinny he.s his own worst enemy what could.ve been so important that he had to meet in public? philly

  9. Agreed, check out these images of a map of Palestine over a few decades, you can clearly see how fucked the situation is for the Palestinian people.

  10. Awesome post. Sicily truly is a very interesting land with a fascinating history and culture, thank you for posting that comment, very insightful.

  11. https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MURDER.HTM


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