PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Former mob boss “Skinny” Joey Merlino is due to be released from federal prison soon.

George Anastasia covers organized crime for The Philadelphia Inquirer and has written five books about the mob over a number of years. He has also followed the life of the Merlino, whom he says is due to be released to a halfway house and supervised parole this month.

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Anastasia says the word he’s getting is that 48-year-old Merlino will go to Boca Raton, Fla. where it’s believed his wife and two young daughters are waiting. And, the writer says, it may give Merlino a chance to escape his old lifestyle.

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“So, he’s got a family, he’s got kids, he’s got concerns other than just being the charismatic leader of organized crime,” he said. “And, maybe sitting in prison for 10-12 years, he’s decided those things take priority over the other lifestyle. It remains to be seen if that’s the case.”

However, Anastasia says sources tell him a federal racketeering probe is nearing conclusion and Merlino’s name is coming up. If he’s indicted, Anastasia says, all bets are off.

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Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio