In a scene straight from a mafia movie, the FBI dropped $20,000 in food in order to lure 20 mobsters for a dinner party that ended with all attendees getting arrested.
FBI agents testified about their scheme in court on Wednesday during the racketeering trial of Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, who was one of the attendees at the “Cosa Nostra Christmas party” in The Bronx, New York.
“We supplied the money. We paid for the party. Over 20 people attended the party, and we paid for all of them,” Special Agent William Inzerillo testified in a Manhattan courtroom.
Dishes on the menu included gnocchi Bolognese and fettuccine matriciana, all served at Pasquale’s Rigoletto on the famous Arthur Avenue. Federal agents organized the dinner in New York in order to allow Manhattan prosecutors to have jurisdiction to charge Merlino, who is suspected of being responsible for three different murders.
The restaurant owner Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello was also arrested.
During the dinner, the group of men posed for a photo and “joke that [it] was going to [get] them arrested,” Gangland News reported.
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