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Second member pleads guilty in La Cosa Nostra racketeering case

Underboss Martin Angelina admits trying to collect payments for loans and running an illegal video poker business.

A second member of Philadelphia mob family La Cosa Nostra has pleaded guilty to racketeering charges ahead of an October trial.

Martin Angelina, 50, was a reportedly a "made" member of the crime organization under Joseph Ligambi. He was one of 14 people, including Ligambi, charged by federal prosecutors with racketeering conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling and other crimes.

Angelina entered the plea Wednesday at a plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno. He admitted to attempting to collect payments for loans and operating an illegal video poker machine business. Angelina is expected to be sentenced to 57 months, including time already served awaiting trial, said defense attorney Jack McMahon.

McMahon said the plea was a non-cooperation plea, meaning he will not testify against his co-defendants.

"He wanted to get this behind him. He didn’t want to take a risk of anything further," McMahon said after the hearing. "He thought this was the safest and quickest route."

Last week, Gaeton Lucibello pleaded guilty to similar charges and is scheduled to be sentenced in November. He also faces between 51 and 63 months and is not cooperating with prosecutors.

The guilty pleas come two months before the Oct. 9 trial for Ligambi, the reputed boss, underboss Joseph Massimino, George Borgesi, Anthony Staino Jr., Damion Canalichio, Louis Barretta, Gary Battaglini, Joseph Licata, and Louis Fazzini.

The trial for Robert Verrecchia, Eric Esposito, and Robert Ranieri has not yet been scheduled.

Angelina, who reportedly has close ties with Joey Merlino, previously served time for a 2001 racketeering conviction.

 
 
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