Thursday, September 14, 2017
READ MY LIPS, FOUR FACTIONS IN PHILLY.
I continue to get inboxed and messaged regarding the state of affairs in Philadelphia, Pa. A lot of people are either misinformed or because there is so much misinformation out there, that people are getting confused. So in an effort to stifle that, let's get down to it.
Currently, as we speak, the Philadelphia mafia, is splintered into four factions. It doesn't mean four families within one, it simply means, that their are four small subgroups. If anything it's by design to insulate the Philly mob. We know the players, and the boss is still the boss, but because some are getting confused, let's break it down.
For starters Joey Merlino is the boss. He makes the decisions, and at the end of the day he has final word on everything going on, however he is not actually overseeing day to day operations of the entire family. That mainly has to do with his criminal trial that's coming shortly. It's better for Joey to insulate himself a bit, and if that means they use a front boss system, or a four tiered system then so be it. So who are the players? Remember, four factions, four capos, and rank and file comes in underneath.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN
"SKINNY" JOEY MERLINO- BOSS
PHILIP NARDUCCI- CAPO
"JOEY PUNG" JOSEPH PUNGITORE- CAPO
Each one underneath has a crew. Some of the crews operated as far as Delaware, up through New Jersey and some in New York as well, all though it's limited to certain areas. One of the more interesting facets of this is Philip Narducci and Joe Pungitore. Both of them are Scarfo-era gangsters. One might wonder why Borgesi, Mazzone, and others are not on the top four here. For starters you have to understand how Pungitore and Narducci hold top spots considering the bad blood over the last twenty years between Merlino and Scarfo guys.
To begin with when both Pungitore and Narducci got out of prison and hit the streets, Joey was in a rebuild. He could have easily shelved both, but didn't. He saw the release of Narducci and Pungitore as advantageous, and as an extension of an olive branch allowed both to come into the Merlino Family. The move upset the apple cart a bit, drawing the anger of Georgie Borgesi.
Borgesi's beef really began with Marty Angelina. While Borgesi was away, Angelina took over Borgesi's rackets. When Borgesi got out, he expected to be handed over whatever rackets he had. Angelina refused. He essentially told Borgesi to fuck off. Borgesi in turn ran to Merlino for help, and Joey wasn't hearing it. He told Borgesi to just deal with it. Borgesi couldn't let it go and asked for Angelina to be killed. Once again Joey wouldn't hear it, instead bumped Borgesi down to solider and forced him to operate out of Delaware.
To make matters worse, Borgesi then began a silent whisper campaign, and ended up trying to unite some associates to his side of the fence. It was a ploy to try and shake the tree a bit, in order to force Joey Merlino to see his point of view. Borgesi then opens up a social club on Packer Avenue. It just created a mess for Merlino.
Borgesi felt that Scarfo-era guys had no right being inducted into the family, and was bitter about being bumped down, but he wouldn't have to wait long as Joey bumped him back up to Capo to appease the situation. What shouldn't surprise anyone at this point is that Borgesi is simply a capo, but underneath his Uncle Joe Ligambi.
It doesn't take rocket science to see what Merlino has done. He has himself, and Joe Ligambi as one set, and two Scarfo era guys as the other set. Merlino has the final say on everything, but the day to day operations from what I am hearing is controlled by Philip Narducci, which is bad news for Borgesi. Why?
We have to sort of play psychic here, but from the street perspective let's see it how it really is. We know Joey Merlino is facing some monster time in his trial. If he somehow is found guilty he's going to be looking at 15-25 years, effectively rendering him helpless. He still will have some power, but I don't think it would be enough to run the family from prison. If that scenario goes down, I would expect there to be some real ramifications and in a hurry. I don't think Joey would necessarily bow out, but I also believe you will see a major splintering effect, and I don't think Ligambi at his age is going to stand in the way and cause a problem. Not only does Ligambi not want to do another stint in prison, but Pungitore and Narducci have a lot of power.
The flip side of this is Georgie Borgesi, who wants it all, but doesn't have the ability to conjure up the backing of New York or Philadelphia at this point. What will likely happen, is Steve Mazzone will be offered a high end position and either Narducci(odds on favorite) or Pungitore will take over Philadelphia, and we then will see a reshuffle of the structure. Borgesi however, if he isn't careful could find himself in a corner he can't get out of. It makes the situation in Philadelphia a virtual powder keg, if things go a certain direction. You could also see Pungitore and Narducci split duties. I just don't see how Joey will be able to hold onto the reigns if he goes away for a twenty year stretch.
The one resolve Merlino has had, unlike Scarfo, is that he is a patient guy. He doesn't pull the trigger out of delusion or haste. He's not that kind of leader. However, if push comes to shove in this situation you could see blood spill over in the streets of Philadelphia depending on the situation. Philadelphia has always had one or the other when it comes to leadership. They either have a leader whose fairly soft, or a leader who kills everyone. The in-between seems to be Merlino, and so far so good for Philadelphia. Merlino's strong asset is his ability to think, and his ability to put the bottom line ahead of jealousy and nervousness. Money. As long as the money keeps piling up, he's happy, and that's the bottom line at the end of the day for the mob. However, if that dries out, and guys start pulling a Borgesi, then all hell could break loose.
In final, I don't know exactly what will happen in Philadelphia. If I had to give you a real street level idea, I would simply tell you that if Joey goes away, Narducci and Pungitore will try and take over, and Merlino loyalists will drop in line only because it will benefit them in the long run financially. If guys don't fall in line, then we could see SCARO VS. MERLINO part two.