August 29, 2019 – This week’s Gangland News column sheds new light on the young buck recently let into Philadelphia mafia Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino’s inner circle. According to the Dean of American crime writing, Jerry Capeci, baby-faced New York wiseguy Pete Tuccio, who acted as Merlino’s driver and bodyguard while he faced a federal racketeering case out of the Big Apple the last few years, is the nephew of sleeper powerhouse Lucchese crime family captain Joseph (Joe Café) DeSena.
Tuccio also has ties to the Gambino cime family. Capeci launched his Gangland News column in the 1990s. Merlino, 57, pleaded guilty to an illegal gambling count following a trial that ended in a hung jury in February 2018. He is finishing up his prison sentence down in Florida and is expected to be released to a halfway house in October.
The 26-year old Tuccio faces a federal extortion trial next year. Prosecutors allege Tuccio collected $5,000 of back street tax from a Queens, New York pizza parlor owner being shaken down by Gambino capo Ignazio (Uncle Iggy) Alogna.
Tuccio and his co-defendant Jonny Gurino are charged with stalking the extortion victim and torching his car in 2015. A third co-defendant in the case, Gino Gaberielli, has reportedly cut a deal to testify against them at their January 2019 trial.
Alogna was a close friend of legendary Gambino boss John (The Dapper Don) Gotti, who dominated national news headlines in the 1980s and early 1990s and relished the spotlight. Gotti. They are both deceased. Gotti died behind bars in 2002. Alogna passed from natural causes two years ago.
Tuccio’s uncle, Joe Café DeSena began his mob career with the Gambinos before ascending up the latter in the Lucchese clan. DeSena, 68, headquarters out of Caffe Napoli in Little Italy.
This article was originally posted here