January 30, 2020 — Philadelphia mobster Damion Canalichio was released from prison this week following 13 years in federal lock up for drug dealing, bookmaking and loansharking.
The 50-year old Bruno-Scarfo crime family lieutenant was busted on the drug case in 2007 and then hit with the racketeering charges while behind bars in 2011. He left his Connecticut prison cell and checked into a Philadelphia halfway house Wednesday night. Sources claim, a promotion awaits if he chooses to jump back in the game.
Canalichio came up in the mafia during the early years of the Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino regime. Merlino has led the Philly mob since the 1990s. Per FBI records and court documents, Canalichio started his mob career as a driver and bodyguard for Merlino’s underboss and best friend Steve (Handsome Stevie) Mazzone and looked after Mazzone’s interests on the street in the 2000s with Mazzone serving his own prison sentence for racketeering.
Mazzone and Merlino were nailed together in a 2000 RICO case. Canalichio is considered a suspect in the 2002 gangland murder of Merlino rival John (Johnny Gongs) Cassasanto by the feds and street sources speculate he’ll be offered a capo slot in the crime family hierarchy if he wants to return to active duty.
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