"Uncle Joe" Ligambi's Push for Bail after Jury Deadlock in Racketeering Trial [Video]
Feb 06, 2013 01:09 PM EST
Major retired Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi will seek bail after a jury deadlocked Tuesday on a racketeering charge against him, and deadlocked or acquitted him of all eight lesser counts in a gambling and loansharking case, according The Associated Press and Philly.com.
Back in mid-October, at the beginning of his racketeering trial, Ligambi, 73, said to a relative seated behind him, "Eighty percent of that was bull----," while the prosecutor delivered his opening statement, as reported by Philly.com.
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The federal jury has already convicted underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino and two others of racketeering, while also convicting a mob associate of two loansharking counts. Now, the jury has deadlocked or acquitted the seven defendants on most of the almost 60 counts.
"Uncle Joe" spent more than a decade in prison for a murder conviction that ultimately was overturned, leading to his release in 1997. Prosecutors believed that Ligambi assumed control of the Philadelphia crime family after Joseph "Joey" Merlino went to prison in 1999. "Joey" was released last year and settled in Boca Raton, Florida, according to reports.
The authorities, and prosecutors long believed "Uncle Joe" took over the Philadelphia operation of La Cosa Nostra - (Italian for "our thing"), a moniker describing the four Italian Organized crime groups currently active in the U.S, which include the Sicilian Mafia, Camora, Ndrangheta and Sacra Corona Unita, according to FAS.com.
The verdict follows a three-month trial and testimony from a series of mobsters, including one who admitted killing several people before going into the federal witness protection program, according to The Associated Press. When the trial began in October, there had not been a mob killing in Philadelphia in nearly a decade. The racketeering trial evidence has included testimony from former La Cosa Nostra members and FBI agents.
[Here is a recap of the key witnesses and evidence in the criminal racketeering case against "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his associates.]