News

Former Philly Mob Boss Relocates To Boca Raton

View Comments
File photo of Florida palm trees (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of Florida palm trees (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

News

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Merlino has moved to glitzy Boca Raton a year after serving a 14-year sentence for extortion and illegal gambling.

Merlino, known as “Skinny Joey,” is living in a cookie-cutter development still partly under construction off Interstate 95. It’s unclear what he’s doing in South Florida or whether his wife and children are with him.

The Miami Herald reports Merlino said he’s now in the carpet-installing business.

A telephone listing for Merlino could not be found. He declined comment to the Miami Herald.

Merlino was allegedly the acting boss of the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob when he was arrested in June 1999 on drug charges. He was also tried and acquitted of ordering the 1996 killing of a northern New Jersey mob associate, Joseph Sodano, who was found in his minivan on a Newark street, shot twice in the head.

“The word we got is Joey has a benefactor, he has somebody pumping money into him. How else could he get out of prison and move into a $400,000 house and drive a Mercedes,” said Stephen LaPenta, a retired Philadelphia police lieutenant who worked undercover as a mob informant. “It’s trouble for South Florida in the sense that because Joey is there, others will follow.”

LaPenta described Merlino as a heavy drinker, gambler and womanizer.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 930 other followers