Voice of Rossi's Alleged Killer Will be Heard in Upcoming Mob Trial
Recorded tapes of deceased mobster Nick Stefanelli, accused of murdering Bloomfield business owner Joe Rossi in February, will be key in FBI case against North Jersey and Philadelphia crime families
It's like an episode of "The Sopranos."
Call it “Dead Man Talking”: The man who allegedly murdered Bloomfield business owner Joe Rossi will be heard in court in September, according to an article on Philly.com /The Philadelphia Inquirer. But it will only be his voice that the jury hears, because the man is dead.
Bloomfield Patch and other media sources reported that, in an act of mafia retaliation, Nicholas “Nicky Skins” Stefanelli and an accomplice shot Rossi dead at his Bloomfield vending machine store on February 24. According to the reports, Rossi had “snitched” to law enforcement agents about a drug operation Stefanelli was running with his son, leading to Stefanelli wearing an FBI wire for two years to get his son off the hook.
Stefanelli's accomplice and alleged triggerman for the Rossi murder was Jose Luis Rivera, who was captured March 9 and remains in jail on murder, conspiracy and weapons charges. Stefanelli, a resident of Belleville, committed suicide in a Rutherford hotel room two days after Rossi’s death.
With the announcement on Tuesday of the upcoming trial, media reports are surfacing that say Stefanelli's recordings will provide enough damning evidence to put away more than a dozen actors from the North Jersey and Philadelphia crime families. Specifically targeted are Joseph “Scoops” Licata, 70, a North Jersey capo for the Philly mob, and Louis “Big Lou” Fazzini, 45, a mob soldier.
The Philly.com report predicted that Licata and Fazzini, who were arrested on April 26, would be “the first to face the consequences of Stefanelli’s defection.” They are charged with racketeering, conspiracy, gambling, loan-sharking, extortion, fraud and organized crime activity.
Last week, prosecutors filed a bail-detention motion in U.S. District Court against Licata and Fazzini, saying they were a flight risk and a danger to the community. Law enforcement sources are hinting that a government memo -- which details the contents of the Stefanelli tapes -- will be only one chapter in what will be a very complex and dramatic saga.
“Stay tuned,” an investigator reportedly teased.