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Feds Arrest Philadelphia Reputed Mob Head, Others

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's being called one of the  largest legal actions in a decade against a Philadelphia organized crime family. A reputed mob boss and a dozen others are facing charges following a series of arrests this morning.

Alleged leaders, members and associates of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra organized crime family were arrested by federal authorities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and charged with racketeering and related crimes.

"In one of the conversations taped by law enforcement, defendants Canalichio and Baretta approached one debtor to 'collect uncle joe's money'. They described for the victim how they had surprised another debtor with a baseball bat and rapidly assaulted him."

Zane David Memeger is the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

"Current Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi and nine co-defendants are charged with conspiring to operate a racketeering enterprise over a 10 year period from 1999 to 2011."

Officials say video poker machines were a part of that enterprise.

"Illegal video poker machines placed in bars restaurants, convenience stores, and coffee shops among other locations in Philadelphia and its suburbs."

Memeger says the arrests show that federal authorities are still focusing on bringing down organized crime.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio

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