Genovese Capo Seeks Separation from Skinny Joey Merlino

NOTE: The attorney for Michael Guidici contacted me in comments yesterday, as some of you probably noticed, and sent me the minutes of the court proceeding. After reviewing them, I don't find the case compelling enough to cover here. Although Guidici was indicted with Bonanno mobster Vincent Asaro, his case is not mob-related, obviously....

One co-defendant in the so-called East Coast LCN Enterprise case, alleged Genovese capo Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio, wants to be tried separately from Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

The reputed Genovese capo runs crews in Manhattan's Little Italy and in Springfield, Mass.

One of the alleged mobsters arrested last August.

Apparently, he has deep concerns that Merlino’s "alleged misconduct could prejudice the jury against him at trial," the Daily News reported, citing court records.

Onofrio and Merlino were arrested last August as per United States v. Pasquale Parrello, et al.

The Feds have argued that since Merlino, 55, and Onofrio, 75, were recorded discussing "violence in connection with their illegal activities," they should be tried together. They noted as an example one recorded conversation between Merlino, Onofrio, and a confidential witness, during which Merlino said, "It’s easy to kill somebody."

"It’s simple," Onofrio replied.

"You’re my friend, you trust me, I tell you, ‘Listen drive me home right now,’ get you in the car, I shoot you in the f----n’ head, and it’s over with," Merlino then said.

Merlino snarls at the television cameras.

Merlino previously beat three murder counts and two attempted murder counts in other cases, according to the News, and he does not face a murder rap in the current case. 

Merlino and Onofrio and four others have pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which fueld last year's big bust of members of four of New York's crime families -- and the reputed boss of the Philadelphia Mafia, Merlino.

The other 40 have already copped.

Merlino, Onofrio, and Bronx restaurant owner (Pasquale Patsy) Parrello were identified as a ruling triumvirate of the case, which was decimated by alleged misconduct of leading turncoat, John (J.R.) Rubeo, and an investigation into three FBI agents involved in the probe.

These allegations led the Feds to offer plea deals to all the arrested mobsters.

Only mobster Vincent Asaro, 72, who has fallen in and out of favor with the Bonanno hierarchy over the years, primarily due to greed, is linked to Lufthansa. Heretofore, only a Lufthansa cargo agent, described as the “inside man” in the robbery, has been prosecuted. Louis Werner, $20,000 in the hole due to gambling debts, used his knowledge of the incoming cash and jewelry to formulate an idea for a robbery that he then passed off to his bookmaker, Marty Krugman, who then told Luchese associate Henry Hill. The rest, as they say, is history. ... Read story...


  1. Severing cases is a very standard move in Conspiracy cases. The media keeps playing it up like its a big deal. Most defendants will attempt that if possible. Always best not to be seen as part of a gang simple as that. Not unusual tactic at all in Criminal Defense

  2. Posted By: RICO - Speaking of the Genovese Family and Gambling... What's up with the Mob and Saratoga Springs (Saratoga Racetrack, Casino) the week of August 23, 2017? The word around Howard Beach is that Saratoga Racetrack is going to be jam-packed with wiseguys that week - wonder what's up. Scheduled to make appearances include wiseguys awaiting Trial. How'd they ever swing that?

    Great idea! I mean, there's no way the Feds can make a bunch of wiseguys in a crowd of 50,000, right? I wonder if they'll be willing to sign autographs?


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