Atlantic City-Based Wiseguy Who Copped To Dealing Meth Sentenced

A Philadelphia Mafia member who is based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was sentenced on Thursday to 12.5 years in prison for selling around half a pound of crystal methamphetamine.
Atlantic City

He also had staged a fake robbery of a New Jersey pawnshop to perpetrate an insurance fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Salvatore (Sam) Piccolo, 68, of Atlantic City, a member of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra organized crime family, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler earlier this year to distributing methamphetamine and one count of wire fraud. Judge Kugler imposed the sentence in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Piccolo distributed quantities of crystal methamphetamine to FBI undercover agents on three separate occasions between June 2017 and September 2017. On one occasion, he sold the undercover agent approximately four ounces of crystal methamphetamine in a restaurant parking lot in Sicklerville, New Jersey, in exchange for a $5,660 cash payment. On two other occasions in September 2017, FBI undercover agents purchased two ounce quantities of crystal methamphetamine from Piccolo in Atlantic City for cash payments of $2,800 for each transaction.

Piccolo also admitted that on April 19, 2014, he and an accomplice conspired to commit an insurance fraud. They entered a pawn shop in Union County, purportedly to sell some silver items. Once inside the shop, the accomplice displayed a hand gun while Piccolo, wearing a nylon mask, chained the front doors closed to prevent anyone from entering. The owner was bound, as a pretense, while Piccolo and his accomplice looted the safe of what the owner told police was approximately $60,000 in cash, several pieces of jewelry, and a hand gun. The owner later submitted to his insurance company a fraudulent loss claim that was paid for approximately $174,000.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Piccolo to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $174,025 in restitution to Northland Insurance of Minnesota.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The Bigger Picture
In March 2018, the FBI arrested three South-Jersey-based wiseguys — Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio, Carl Chianese, and Michael Gallichio — for “conspiring to possess” drugs with intent to sell them.

The complaint details what could potentially be part of a larger investigation of the Philadelphia Cosa Nostra family.

In addition to the three who are being detained, several unidentified mobsters (INDIVIDUAL 1, 2, and 3) and the Philadelphia hierarchy are mentioned in the complaint, which further notes that two turncoats facilitated the operation, one of them for years.

The lynchpin of the case was CS-1, a member of the Philadelphia mob who has extensive personal dealings with other members and associates. He began providing information to the FBI in 2015, when he entered into a cooperating agreement after he participated in the staged robbery of a pawnshop to rip off an insurance company.

The turncoat has recorded people for two years and has an extensive criminal history that includes assault, robbery, and third-degree murder. (A business he owned was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police, which has since closed its case against him.)

CS-2 began providing information only since about a year ago. He has a felony conviction for drug trafficking.

In addition to evidence gathered against the three arrested mobsters, the probe has obtained recordings of “numerous meetings of members and associates of the Philadelphia LCN” while discussing criminal activity, the “structure and nature of the hierarchical relationships” of members of the Philadelphia mob, and “payment of a tribute to higher-ranking individuals from the proceeds of various criminal activities.”

The Philadelphia mafia hierarchy also is mentioned directly in a conversation between Servidio and an unidentified individual during a June 12, 2016, meeting in Northfield, New Jersey. Servidio told CS-1 that he’d been told not to do crimes in Atlantic City, saying, “He knows that they (Philadelphia LCN hierarchy) don’t want me to do nothing illegal.”

However, Servidio also said that that wouldn’t have truly stopped him from doing whatever he wanted to do.

The FBI, the complaint reads, believes that the instructions to not engage in criminal activity with members and associates of the family in Atlantic City “represented the higher-ranking members’ exertion of authority and control over Servidio.” These higher-ranking members also wanted to make sure he was kicking up a portion of his earnings to them.

On July 4, 2016, INDIVIDUAL 2 gave his “approval” to CS-1 to deal drugs. That was because INDIVIDUAL 3 “got all upset.”

INDIVIDUAL 2 said, “Yeah, do what you gotta do.”

During a meeting between CS-1 and the capo in Atlantic City the capo said, “Here’s the thing with Joey Electric, he’s got to make sure he tells (his capo) what he’s doing."