‘Tony Meatballs’ among 15 mobsters busted in Philadelphia

A reputed wiseguy nicknamed “Tony Meatballs” is among more than a dirty dozen alleged South Philly mobsters charged in a sweeping federal indictment unsealed Monday.

The suspects are accused of everything from illegal sports betting to heroin-peddling to offering loans at 400 percent interest — not to mention plotting to kidnap and possibly murder a drug dealer to save their reputations after the guy sold them fake narcotics.

Anthony “Tony Meatballs’’ Gifoli, 72, was named in the superseding grand-jury indictment along with others including accused La Cosa Nostra underboss Steven “Stevie’’ Mazzone and alleged capo Domenic “Mr. Hopkins’’ Grande, the feds said.

Underlings targeted by the indictment include Louis “Louie Sheep’’ Barretta, Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio and Daniel “Harry” Castelli, the FBI said.

The crime syndicate has been working from Philadelphia to Atlantic City, NJ, the feds said — as they laid out the Mafia hierarchy in court documents, as well as offered definitions for related key terms.

Federal officials said that unlike New York City, where several crime families have ruled over the years, Philadelphia and its surrounding area has been continuously under siege from the same single Mafia family since 1931.

The court documents only identified the family’s current “street boss’’ by the initials “M.L’’ The street boss can serve in place of the boss when the higher-up is “incapacitated due to imprisonment,’’ the papers said.

The Philly crime family’s consigliere — “typically an older, experienced mobster who counsels [the boss] on important issues’’ — was ID’d by the initials “J.L.’’

The feds described in the papers how “made men,’’ or “soldiers,’’ in a Mafia crime family must be of 100 percent Italian ancestry and vow at a secret initiation ceremony to “burn in Hell if I betray my friends.” If they turn “rat’’ and break “Omerta,’’ or the mob “Code of Silence,” they can be killed.

Meanwhile, mob “associates’’ are not “made men’’ because they either haven’t been initiated yet or they lack full Italian heritage, the papers explained.

In terms of Mazzone’s alleged group, they schemed in places including the now-defunct Broadway Theatrical Club in South Philadelphia, an Italian restaurant in Collingswood, NJ, and a cafe and lounge in Margate, NJ, according to court documents.

The seven-count indictment against the men includes charges of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, illegal gambling and narcotics distribution.

“The charges unsealed today against these 15 alleged members and associates of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra show that the mafia remains a criminal presence in our city and beyond,” said Michael Driscoll, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, in a statement.

“From loansharking and illegal gambling to drug trafficking and extortion, the mob continues to keep its fingers in many different pots, in its ceaseless quest for illegal profits.

“This group should’ve learned by now that the FBI is as committed to eradicating organized crime as wiseguys are to embracing it.”

US Attorney William McSwain added, “The Philadelphia mob isn’t what it used to be, and thank God for that.

“But it is still a problem and is still allegedly committing serious federal crimes, which is why we at the Department of Justice are focused on stamping it out. We will not rest until the mob is nothing but a bad memory.”

This article was originally posted here