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Mobster Joey Merlino Headed Back to Prison For Parole Violations

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Convicted former Philadelphia mob boss Joey Merlino is going back to prison.

After serving about a dozen years for racketeering and other offenses, he was just days from the formal end of his supervised release when authorities filed allegations that he had been playing loose with his probation.

Today, a judge in Philadelphia ruled that Merlino did violate the terms of his supervised release by meeting with a convicted felon and a former co-defendant inside the Havana Nights Cigar Bar, in Boca Raton, Fla.

So, the judge sentenced Merlino to four months in prison.  He is scheduled to report in a month.

Also during the hearing, a detective from Broward County, Fla. testified that he conducted surveillance on Merlino and others dozens of times because Merlino and others are the subjects of an ongoing investigation, part of a joint federal task force down there.

Merlino's attorney, Edwin Jacobs, responded after today's court proceeding to those allegations:

"The detective from Florida didn't tell us what the investigation was all about because the US attorney from Philadelphia kept objecting.  So now we don't know the answer to that question.  Maybe in Florida they simply investigate people who go to cigar bars and that's what they're doing."

Jacobs says Merlino is not involved in any criminal activity.



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