Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi was denied bail Thursday by
a federal judge on charges of racketeering, extortion and related
Ligambi and 12 of his underlings alleged to be members of the La Cosa Nostra organization were arrested Monday after a lengthy investigation by federal authorities. A grand jury indictment claims the group used their reputation for violence to perpetrate numerous criminal activities.
Federal prosecutors argued Thursday that Ligambi, 71, posed a flight risk due to the fact he faces several years in prison. They also described him as a threat to the community based on a history of intimidating witnesses and the alleged murder of Frankie Flowers in the 80s — a case Ligambi beat on appeal.
"He's been involved in crime almost his entire life," prosecutor David Troyer said.
Ligambi's defense attorney, Joseph Santaguida, claimed that Ligambi was beloved in the community and had no violent history.
"This is a 10-year investigation and nobody's even got a fingernail bent. Nobody's been smacked," Santaguida said.
In the end, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Diamond said though he would not compare Ligambi to mobsters Nicky Scarfo or John Gotti, Ligambi has an extensive criminal history and a pattern of witness intimidation and tampering with evidence.
Santaguida said he plans to appeal the decision.
Associate is also denied
Louis “Bent Finger Louie” Monacello, 44, was also denied bail Thursday by Diamond. Monacello, the son of a deceased Philadelphia police officer, is accused of taking part in La Cosa Nostra's loansharking and extortion. Diamond ruled that Monacello posed a “clear and present danger to the community” based on four prior convictions.
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