Former Philadelphia police captain Francis Friel, who supervised the task force that took down “Little Nicky” Scarfo’s mob organization, has died. He was 71.
The Tomlinson Funeral Home in Bensalem said Friel passed away Saturday.
Friel graduated from Philadelphia’s Frankford High School and began his three-decade-long police career in 1960. He led the Organized Crime Task Force aimed at combating the city’s powerful mob and helped prosecute more than 60 organized crime figures including Scarfo, Harry Riccobene and Salvatore Merlino. Friel retired in 1989. A decade ago Gov. Ed Rendell named him head of the state’s new gambling commission, but he quit the post a little more than a month later, saying he was tired of media scrutiny. He was most recently security director for Independence Visitor’s Center in Philadelphia.