The racketeering case targeting the Philly mob goes to trial in October, and defense lawyers are scrambling to keep out recordings made by Gambino soldier and government informant Nicholas "Nicky Skins" Stefanelli which captures some of the defendants seemingly discussing "this thing of ours" as reported by George Anastasia for The Inquirer: "prosecutors contend that the discussions help set the backdrop for the case and that they provide an unguarded account of the way organized crime operates."
Last year the 69-year-old Stefanelli took his own life in a hotel room with a drug overdose two days after whacking video poker machine vendor Joseph Rossi. Apparently, the bloody drama played out after Stefanelli developed remorse over wearing a wire for the feds against his paisanos, and he blamed Rossi who previously snitched for his predicament.
In another pretrial motion in the racketeering case defendant Joseph "Mousie" Massimino wants to exclude a letter he wrote from prison which requests a friend to "get in touch with Michael and tell him to tell his mother to tell her husband that he better get my f---in money" as reported by Wiliam Bender for the Philadelphia Daily News: "federal prosecutors plan to introduce the letter . . . as evidence that Massimino was conducting mob business from jail."
And a motion by defendant George Borgesi seeks to preclude mobster-turned-informant Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello from testifying at trial that "Borgesi once boasted that he was a 'professional' killer who had been involved in 11 murders" as reported by George Anastasia for The Inquirer.
The basic defense postion behind the pretrial motions is that the racketeering case involves non-violent charges such as gambling, and allowing evidence about alleged violent stuff for which they have not been charged will unfairly make them look bad before the jury.
Last Friday U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno who is presiding over the case granted the government's motion to seat an anonymous jury as reported by David Gambacorta for the Philadelphia Daily News.
Further reading that may be of interest: