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Alleged Philadelphia Mob Boss Goes On Trial Thursday

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man accused of running the Philadelphia mob for the past decade goes on trial Thursday on racketeering charges.

Federal prosecutors say 73-year-old Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi has been acting boss of Philadelphia’s La Cosa Nostra since Joey Merlino was sent to prison.

Opening arguments are set for Thursday morning after about a week of jury selection. The anonymous jurors are being brought to court from a remote location for security reasons.

The government evidence includes FBI wiretaps and two mob turncoats set to testify against Ligambi and several co-defendants.

The case mostly involves gambling and loansharking activities, not the trademark violence that marked the mob in earlier eras.

But jurors will hear about La Cosa Nostra’s history, despite defense objections that the violent stories will prejudice the jury.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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