Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Major mob case in jeopardy of falling apart

They could soon be breaking out the Chianti on Arthur Avenue.

A group of reputed mobsters may be spared a trip up the river because the criminal case against them has run into big trouble — thanks to some bungling by the feds, The Post has learned.

Reputed Genovese capo Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello — who owns the Bronx sauce joint Pasquale’s Rigoletto Ristorante on Arthur Avenue — and notorious Philly mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey’’ Merlino are among 46 Mafiosi now hoping the charges may be dropped against them in their racketeering case.

The group, which includes members of four of the five major Mafia crime families, was rounded up in a massive bust in August.

But federal prosecutors last week alerted their defense lawyers that two FBI agents and a supervising agent in the case are being probed internally about their interactions with a key witness, sources told The Post.

The government is investigating a failure by the agents to memorialize debriefings with witness, John Rubio, a Genovese associate who wore a wire against his cronies, according to a sealed letter to the court last week.

Prosecutors also warned that the government may have failed to preserve certain communications with Rubio — raising questions about whether evidence collected by the government witness was suppressed, according to people with knowledge of the letter.
Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello
“Skinny Joey” Merlino

Agents may have also leaked confidential case information to Gangland News, a well-read blog about organized crime, one source said.

The FBI declined to comment, as did the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office.

Word of potential holes in the case — which alleges arson, assault, extortion and a litany of other offenses — had defendants plotting how to get the charges dropped, sources said.

“The problem is, if they cheated a little bit, they cheated a lot,” one source said. Another source said the letter comes amid concerns by the defense that certain wiretaps are missing.

The government’s case hinges heavily on wiretaps produced by Rubio, who worked for both Parrello and Merlino — two of the biggest names in the case, according to the feds.

Rubio initially worked for Parrello and then went to work for Merlino after Parrello gave the government stoolie permission to work for the accused boss of the Philadelphia Mafia, the feds said at the time of the arrests.

Evidence collected by Rubio contributed to allegations that Parrello ordered his men to beat a panhandler who was bothering female customers of Rigoletto, according to the feds.

Rubio also collected evidence showing that Parrello allegedly ordered his men to “threaten and intimidate” a guy who ran an illegal gambling establishment on Saw Mill River Road in Yonkers, the feds have said.

On one occasion, Parrello allegedly told his men to get a guy named Buddy to choke the victim. “I want Buddy to choke him, choke him, actually choke the mother—–r … and tell him, ‘Listen to me … next time I’m not gonna stop choking … I’m gonna kill you,’” according to the feds.



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