July 3, 2019 – Former Philadelphia mob captain Salvatore (Shotsie) Sparacio died in prison recently the owner of a dubious honor. The 96-year old Sparacio passed away late last year as the oldest inmate residing in the Federal Department of Corrections. He was convicted of racketeering in November 1995 at age 72 and lived out of the remainder of his life behind bars.
Sparacio ran a crew out of New Jersey’s Medford Village Resort & Country Club, And was known throughout his gangland tenure as a gentlemen of a Goodfella and an expert bookmaker and handicapper. Inducted into the Bruno-Scarfo crime family by boss Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo at an April 1981 ceremony, he was bumped to a capo post in 1986, according to Pennsylvania Crime Commission records. Shortly after he was “made,” Shotsie was blacklisted from all casinos in Atlantic City for his ties to organized crime.
Sparacio’s career in the mob came to a screeching halt in March 1994 when he was indicted alongside Scarfo’s successor John Stanfa in a sweeping racketeering and murder case. Stanfa, an out-of-touch Sicilian don backed by the Gambino Family in New York but who found little respect on the home front, spent virtually his entire reign as Godfather in the early 1990s at war with an upstart bunch of young aspiring mob powers led by Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino.
With Stanfa out of the picture — he was convicted at trial with Sparacio, underboss Francis (Spanish Frank) Martines And consigliere Anthony (Tony Buck) Piccolo, Skinny Joey took control of the crime family and molded it in his glitzy image. Merlino, 57, reportedly still heads the mob in Philly today and is in the middle of serving a two-year federal prison sentence for a gambling offense.
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