La Cosa Nostra associate sentenced to 33 months in prison ahead of Oct. 9 trial

An associate of La Cosa Nostra was sentenced to 33 months today for taking part in a loan sharking and illegal gambling racket.

Louis Baretta, 48, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on Sept. 5 to being an affiliate of Philadelphia’s crime family and participating in bookmaking and collecting loan payments through “extortionate means.”

Baretta is among 14 members and associates of Philadelphia’s La Cosa Nostra charged earlier this year with crimes ranging from racketeering conspiracy to extortion, illegal gambling and witness tampering. Also charged were reputed LCN mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, alleged underboss Joseph Massimino, George Borgesi, Martin Angelina, Anthony Staino Jr., Gaeton Lucibello, Damion Canalichio, Gary Battaglini, Robert Verrecchia, Eric Esposito, Robert Ranieri, Joseph Licata and Louis Fazzini.

Lucibello pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges on Aug. 2, and was sentenced to 51 months in prison. Angelina pleaded guilty to the same charges on Aug. 8, and was sentenced to 57 months.

The trial for Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Staino Jr., Canalichio, Battaglini, Licata and Fazzini is scheduled to begin Oct. 9. The trial for Verrecchia, Esposito and Ranieri has not yet been scheduled.

Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Canalichio, Licata and Fazzini are in jail while awaiting trial, but Staino, Battaglini, Verrecchia, Esposito and Ranieri are free on bond.

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