The FBI, at least in different jurisdictions has always had issues playing in the sandbox together. We've seen this many times before. A case gets developed in New York, but based in another city, in another state, and one agency doesn't tell the other, and the next thing you know, two different FBI locales are fighting over whose case it is. We've seen that scenario play out in movies too. Usually in the end one jurisdiction wins out and they get what they wanted. The amount of ego and padded stats play into that more often then not. Everyone wants that notch on their belt.
In the case of Joey Merlino, it's actually helped him a great deal. That and with some serious misconduct and no oversight on the FBI's behalf. Open and shut cases, at least in the past are simply that. The majority of mob cases usually involve some sort of sewer rat, and sometimes the informant is so unbelievable(John Alite comes to mind) that they hurt the Governments case more than they help.
As far as Merlino goes, the way that mob snitch John Rubio was handled by the FBI, and the bickering between Florida and New York, it's played out pretty well for Merlino. What was considered a strong case against Merlino has all but evaporated, and Merlino likely will walk away from this without doing a second in jail. Why?
It's pretty easy, the FBI has already gotten guilty pleas from everyone but two(Merlino, D'Nofrio). Merlino was smart enough to hold out, and it's playing out well for him. Recently Joey's attorney asked for the venue to be changed back to Philadelphia, but I doubt that will happen. The issue, is that their was zero oversight into how John Rubio was handled. Tapes were not handed in after being recorded, large chunks of the tapes disappeared, and some may have been edited by Rubio himself.
When the FBI over the years has handled some informants, there are rules. Take Donnie Brasco for example. When he was done taping various members, he would turn in the tapes that day or the day after to his handlers. In the case of Rubio, he was left for weeks with the evidence, and held on to them. It's a big issue for the FBI and for Rubio.
The other issue that will come up, is the cross examination of Rubio himself, if this goes to trial. He's going to get beat up all over the stand about his life, his associates, his reasons for ratting, and just how video and audio disappeared accidentally or intentionally from the cell phone device which was given to him by the FBI.
With the FBI getting plea deals from essentially everyone, it will likely be, that they let Merlino walk being able to say "we won this case in effect, got 43 of 45 defendants locked up." Stats speak volumes, and they will hold on to whatever evidence they do have, to possibly use down the road. It's looking better for Merlino every day, and we will have to wait and see what the Government does, but in the case for Merlino I would imagine they will likely drop the charges. They don't want to risk the embarrassment of how they handled Rubio.
Philadelphia "know-it-all" George Anastasia mentioned recently that Joey is possibly not the boss. He also mentioned that the Scarfo era guys and the new guys don't get along. I don't know where George gets his information, but in this case, he's wrong. While I have always respected George Anastasia, I have found that he has consistently padded stories, and anyone can overtly get it right in a round about way, but in this case, he's not right.
I said months ago, that Philadelphia very much is using a front boss structure. It is likely Joey Merlino is the boss of Philadelphia, but right now they are all trying to lay low. They are very much using a three boss structure, in order to evade surveillance.
As far as the Scarfo era guys not playing well with others, it's simply not true. There is only a few who have issues with Scarfo era guys and one of them is Georgie Borgesi. We have talked at length about Borgesi and some of the issues he and Merlino have had. Remember it was Merlino who extended an olive branch to guys like Philip Narducci as a way of saying let bygones be bygones. So the idea that there is all kinds of issues is sort of ridiculous. Does everyone get along? No. I wouldn't expect them to, but the way Anastasia described it, it just adding more drama where there is none. Also remember it was Borgesi who created waves because he wanted Marty Angelina dead, and Joey said no.
He also stated that there are three names who are likely in the leadership in this family. Well, duh. It's a front boss, three pronged structure designed to throw caution to the wind, so of course there could be three guys leading, at least appearance wise. Philadelphia has always been a chaotic bunch and I don't expect the run to last very long. I said it before and I will say it again, if Merlino at any point goes away, that's when you will see the rise of gunfire again. Scarfo guys are playing together right now, but if the leadership in any way gets disorganized we could very well see a war or sorts. You might say it lends itself to what Anastasia said, but it doesn't. Things are quiet, everyone is making money, and the majority is content but weary of the FBI. It's not a matter of how, but when.