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POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 10:40 AM

Mousie must wait another month for Judgment Day.

For the second time in a month, a federal judge has rescheduled the sentencing hearing for Joseph "Mousie" Massimino, the reputed underboss of the Philadelphia mob. Massimino, 63, was scheduled to be sentenced on racketeering conspiracy charges this Wednesday, but U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno has pushed the hearing back until July 11.

As we reported here last week, Massimino's lawyer believes he deserves less than six years in prison after being convicted in the marathon trial that ended with mixed verdicts earlier this year.  Prosecutors have yet to publicly file their sentencing memo, but are expected to argue for well more than a decade in prison, especially given Massimino's long criminal history. 

John P. Martin @ 10:40 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 4:00 PM

Some may remember last August’s arrest of Jermal Ponds, the Cedarbrook man charged after being stopped carrying a duffel bag containing a disassembled assault rifle, loaded pistol, knife and a prescription narcotic aboard the northbound Broad Street Subway.

At the time, Ponds, 29, maintained that the guns were legally purchased, the Percocet was his and that he was just transporting them from one location to another.

All that turned out to be true. But that didn’t make Ponds any less guilty when he went for a nonjury trial before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Nina M. Wright-Padilla, who today found Ponds guilty of four firearms charges and one count of possession with intent to distribute the Percocet.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 4:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 11:50 AM

Joseph “Mousie” Massimino, the reputed underboss of the Philadelphia mob, next week is scheduled to be the first defendant sentenced in the wake of a historic three-month trial of local mobsters. Massimino was one of three men convicted of racketeering conspiracy, and given his criminal history, the 63-year-old could get whacked fairly hard by U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno.

His lawyer, Joseph Santaguida, fired the first broadside in that battle this week, arguing in a memo to the judge that Massimino deserves between 57 and 71 months in prison, a punishment in line with the 57 months reputed capo Martin "Marty" Angelina got last fall after pleading guilty to the same conspiracy.

Santaguida contends that despite his past convictions, Massimino shouldn’t qualify for a stiffer term as “a career offender” because jurors in the most recent case didn’t find him guilty of a specific crime of violence, one of the three prongs necessary for the enhancement. They convicted him of the conspiracy, but deadlocked on three underlying accusations of running an illegal gambling business.

John P. Martin @ 11:50 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 2:00 PM

Four Philadelphia men face at least 15 years in prison and a fifth faces at least 25 after a federal jury convicted them of plotting the home-invasion robbery of a drug dealer. 

After a weeklong trial, the jury needed less than a day to return guilty verdicts Wednesday on  conspiracy, robbery, drugs and gun charges against Robert Lamar Whitfield, 33, Marlon Graham, 22, Kenneth Parnell, 27, Kareem Long, 23, and Frank Thompson, 35. The verdicts were announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Zane D. Memeger. 

The men were arrested on July 18, as they traveled in a caravan toward what they thought was a North Philadelphia "stash house" where they planned to steal cash and up to 10 kilograms of cocaine, filings in the case show.

John P. Martin @ 2:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 4:49 PM

When Philadelphia detectives questioned William Hagans last October about two burglaries at St. Gabriel’s Convent in South Philadelphia, Hagans denied that he was the figure on surveillance video.

What do you think should happen to the person who would steal $1,850 from nuns who work with the poor? detectives asked.

“They should do the time that they deserve,” Hagans replied.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 4:49 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4:56 PM

The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has tapped a 20-year veteran to lead its Philadelphia division. The new special agent in charge, Essam Rabadi, started on May 1.

Rabadi comes directly from a stint overseeing the firearms division at the bureau’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, but his appointment marks a return to Philadelphia, one of many stops in his career.

A native of Yonkers, N.Y., he first served on the local police department there before joining the U.S. Secret Service in New York in 1989. Three years later, he became an ATF special agent. From 2000 to 2005, he supervised the Philadelphia division’s high-intensity drug trafficking task force. Now, as the division’s top agent, he’ll oversee 14 ATF offices throughout Pennsylvania.

John P. Martin @ 4:56 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4:41 PM

A federal judge says she won’t order the state Supreme Court to reinstate a Chester County magistrate judge who was suspended without pay after being charged with fixing tickets at Philadelphia’s Traffic Court.

In a ruling handed down Monday, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody turned aside judge Mark Bruno’s request  for a temporary injunction that would have allowed him to keep getting paid as a district judge in West Chester, a post he has held since first winning election in 1998.

In a lawsuit filed in March, Bruno contended that the state's highest court violated his right to due process by suspending him without a hearing, and questioned the justices' authority to do so. Bruno called himself "an extremely hardworking" and respected jurist who has been unable to pay bills or find work since being removed Feb. 1

John P. Martin @ 4:41 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 4:12 PM

The pending racketeering retrial for reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi looks less and less likely to resemble the seven-defendant, four-month marathon that was its predecessor.

On Thursday, a second codefendant in the case signaled his intention to plead guilty and skip a trial. Robert Ranieri is scheduled to plead guilty on June 13 before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, court records show. His plea would follow one last month by Anthony “Ant” Staino, a reputed captain who was slated to be retried after a mixed verdict in February that included a deadlock on 11 counts.

That leaves only Ligambi, his nephew and alleged capo, George “Georgie” Borgesi, and reputed soldier Eric Esposito in queue for the Oct. 15 retrial.

John P. Martin @ 4:12 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Inquirer reporter Joe Slobodzian covers the courts and writes about the people who find themselves there and what they face.

You can reach Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or jslobodzian@phillynews.com. Reach Joseph A. at jslobodzian@phillynews.com.

Joseph A. Slobodzian
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