Judge weighs scope of mob history at Philly trial

    A federal judge is weighing how much mob history should be detailed at the upcoming racketeering trial of nine alleged La Cosa Nostra members in Philadelphia.

    Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi is accused of leading the local group in recent years.
    The indictment accuses them of gambling, loansharking and threats, but not murder.

    Yet federal prosecutors want to tell jurors about the often-violent reign of the last seven Philadelphia mob bosses. Defense lawyers say that will taint their clients.

    U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno won’t rule on the issue at Thursday’s pretrial hearing.

    But he says he wonders if the mob’s feared reputation helped Ligambi’s operation, even if the threats weren’t carried out.

    Ligambi, alleged underboss Joseph Massimino and the others are set for trial in October.

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