December 27, 2020 – Skinny Joey, Mikey Lance and Baby Dom weren’t the only heavy hitters in the Philadelphia mob to get facetime with New York mafia heavyweight, Patsy Parrello, a powerful Genovese crime family captain who runs the organization’s Bronx faction. It wasn’t a Christmas party invite like the sly Skinny One got, but it was an audience with a New York mob power-player nonetheless.
There’s been quite a bit of scuttlebutt about the Philly mob hierarchy as of late, and one name has stayed out of the fray: Good ole’ Georgie Boy. However, make no mistake, Georgie remains at the front of the line in terms of shot callers in the Bruno-Scarfo crime family and it’s hard to reach that status in the mafia without being able to politic.
Georgie Boy is one of the all-time best. And don’t forget it.
The Philadelphia mob’s reputed acting boss, George (Georgie Boy) Borgesi, met with Patsy Parrello in the spring of 2016 in South Philly about The Safety Group, a risk management and fire prevention-restoration company with offices in Pennsylvania and New York. Gangland News’ Jerry Capeci, the Dean of American crime writing, broke the news of the meeting in a 2017 column. The Safety Group was on the verge of opening its Philadelphia outpost and the company was having some unspecified “problems,” with the city’s Bruno-Scarfo crime family.
Parrello came to Philly with his bodyguard Israel (Buddy) Torres to meet behind closed doors with Borgesi in May 2016, according to Torres caught on an FBI wire discussing the trip. Borgesi was just off parole restrictions after a 13-year federal prison stint he served for racketeering and allowed to roam free – per sources, Borgesi used his time behind bars to network and was leveraging mob contacts he made from around the entire country to further his stature in the Philly mafia.
Borgesi, 56, has been overseeing the Bruno-Scarfo family on a day-to-day basis in Philly on behalf of his boyhood pal, Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino, for the past 18 months, per sources. The cool-as-the-breeze Merlino, 58, resides in Florida these days and doesn’t want to be involved in routine leadership duty. When Skinny Joey took over the Philly mafia by winning a shooting war in the 1990s, Borgesi was his consigliere.
Merlino brought Michael (Mikey Lance) Lancellotti and Domenic (Baby Dom) Grande to a 2014 Christmas party at Parrello’s popular Pasquale’s Rigoletto on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, and introduced them as “friends of ours” to members of the Genovese rank-and-file, according to federal court records. Skinny Joey introduced Mikey Lance at the party as “the guy who’s running Philly.”
Sporting a relatively clean criminal record, the quiet and unassuming Lancellotti, 58, is Merlino and Borgesi’s “street boss,” the man responsible for day-to-day affairs on the street, according to sources. The transcript from federal wire intercepts of the 2014 Christmas party in the Bronx hosted by Parrello shows Merlino reassuring Genovese soldiers that Mikey Lance doesn’t mean to offend them by keeping to himself, explaining to them he’s more of a doer type than a talker type.
The 41-year old Baby Dom is reportedly being groomed to one day in the future head the Bruno-Scarfo crime family by Merlino and his longtime, thick-as-thieves inner circle, sources claim. Grande, who exhibits Merlino-esque swagger, is a drug dealer, skyrocketing mob capo and skipper of a crew that took back Atlantic City for the Bruno-Scarfo clan, according to the feds.
Shortly after Parrello traveled to Philly with Buddy Torres to speak with Borgesi in May 2016, the two of them and Skinny Joey Merlino were caught up in the so-called “East Coast LCN” case in August of that year. The indictment nailed more than three dozen wiseguys spanning multiple east coast cities and resulted in convictions across the board.
Parrello, 76, pleaded guilty in return for a seven-year prison sentence. He’s scheduled for release in 2022. Merlino eventually copped a plea to a minor gambling charge and did a year in the can. The 70-year old Buddy Torres pleaded out too and was just sprung from prison last month. Torres once beat a panhandler outside Parrello’s restaurant with a baseball bat on Parrello’s orders.
Borgesi met with now-deceased Gambino crime family lieutenant Joe Billotti in 2015 in Florida, per sources, as one of his first acts of “networking with New York” when he finally got to the point where he was no longer “on paper”(free of parole supervision). He also alleged to have reopened the New England wing of the Philly mob which he helped create back in the late 1990s, but went away while he was behind bars.
Borgesi’s crew members make frequent trips to a New England crew hangout in Westerly, Rhode Island, per sources. During his prison stay, Borgesi became close friends with New England mob underboss Matthew (Good Looking Matty) Guglielmetti and Guglielmett reportedly receives a “piece of the action” in the Philly’s Massachusetts and Rhode Island affairs.
In 2017 and 2018, when Skinny Joey Merlino was under indictment in the “East Coast LCN,” Borgesi was chauffeuring him to court appearances in New York and attending attorney strategy meetings with him, according to sources. Merlino is also aligned with New York’s Lucchese family via its New Jersey satellite.
Borgesi took the reins as the Philly mob’s acting boss in August 2019 at the joint 80th birthday and retirement party for Bruno-Scarfo elder statesmen Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi, Borgesi’s real-life uncle on his mother’s side, per several sources. Ligambi was the crime family’s acting boss for most of the last two decades and currently holds a consigliere-type role in the borgata.
Borgesi’s daughter’s wedding later that year was under heavy surveillance by the FBI and revealed a seating chart, per law enforcement sources, that mirrored the Philly mob’s hierarchy, with specific tables for administration, captains, soldiers and associates. Shawn Vetere, busted as part of the original Bruno-Scarfo New England crew in 2000 along with Borgesi and Merlino in a sprawling racketeering case, was allegedly present at the wedding and sitting at the captain’s table.
Baby Dom Grande was at the captain’s table as well. Grande and Borgesi and Merlino’s underboss Steven (Handsome Stevie) Mazzone were indicted in November for racketeering offenses. Both have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
This article was originally posted here