Philly Mob Soldier Charles Iannece, Dead at 85

Charles “Charlie White” Iannece, a member and hitman of the Philadelphia crime family has died of natural causes at the age of 85.

In the 1980s Iannece did a bit of everything during the Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo mob days – tough guy, shakedown artist, bookie, and hitman. He partnered with Nicholas “Nicky Crow” Caramandi and ran the Capac & Moore Street Clubhouse in South Philly during that time. It became a flurry of activity and basically the Headquarters for the South Philly LCN street operations while Scarfo was based in Atlantic City. In 1988 he was sentenced to 40 years for racketeering. He was released in 2011, after serving 24 years.

An FBI wanted poster for Charles “Charlie White” Iannece. He died of natural causes at the age of 85.

Iannece, a 220-pound tough guy, made a name for himself in the Bruno-Scarfo family by killing one of his close friends, Pasquale “Pat the Cat” Spirito in 1983. Scarfo was angry with Spirito as he was taking his time carrying out hits assigned to him. Unlike Spirito, Iannece wasted no time and shot him while he was sitting in his car after attending a wedding together. Scarfo inducted Iannece the following year.

Pasquale “Pat the Cat” Spirito, who was murdered by his close friend Charles Iannece

Iannece was also allegedly involved in getting rid of the body of Salvie Testa, godson to Scarfo, and Philly mob capo. Scarfo grew jealous of his popularity and high press profile. Testa, 28, met his fate inside a candy store in South Philly in September 1984. His body was then dumped into a ditch in Gloucester Township, NJ.

Salvatore “Salvie” Testa

Nicky Scarfo’s repressive and violent reign over Philadelphia came to an end in 1989 when he was convicted on a multitude of charges. He died in prison in 2017.

Iannece’s children, Charles “Chaz” Iannece Jr. and Vincent “Vinnie White” Iannece are allegedly connected to Philly mob don Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.

“Skinny Joey” Merlino walking into Philadelphia Federal Court, 2014

It is highly suspected that Chaz Iannece was involved in the assassination attempt of Nicky Jr. (Scarfo’s son) on Halloween 1989 in a South Philly restaurant. Skinny Joey and Nicky Jr. had been openly arguing since Scarfo’s imprisonment.

According to reports, that night at the restaurant, Nicky Jr. was approached by Chaz who then gave him a kiss on the mouth. Just minutes later, masked gunmen stormed in and shot Nicky Jr. multiple times. Remarkably, he survived, seeking protection and safe harbor in New York’s Lucchese crime family.

Philadephia Daily News, 11-3-1989. Charles Iannece Jr. is 2nd from left, next to him, 3rd from the left is Nicky Scarfo Jr.

Charles Iannece and Nicky Crow reported directly to Salvatore “Chuckie” Merlino, Scarfo’s underboss, and Skinny Joey’s dad. Both of the Merlino’s frequented Charlie White and Nick Crow’s Capac & Moore Street Clubhouse on a regular basis. Still trying to make a name for himself, Skinny Joey would run errands and small scams for the Scarfo mob. Everything changed with Chuckie Merlino’s demotion in 1986, which led to some bad blood between the Scarfos and Merlinos. Chuckie Merlino would die of cancer in prison in 2012.

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