Reputed Philly mob boss Merlino arrested in east coast sweep

The feds charged 46 defendants including reputed Philadelphia Mob boss Joey Merlino "for their alleged roles in a sprawling and long-running racketeering conspiracy composed of leaders, members, and associates of" various alleged mob groups.

Thursday, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced he'd unsealed an indictment that those 46 people "worked together to engage in a multitude of criminal activities throughout the East Coast of the United States between Springfield, Massachusetts, and Southern Florida."

Merlino was arrested in Thrusday morning in Florida. The feds said the Boca Raton resident, 54, could face 20 years in prison. He's due in federal court in West Palm Beach later Thursday.

Merlino's most recent stint behind bars came back in early 2015 when he was found to have violated terms of his supervised release by failing to report an encounter with a former associate.

The reputed former head of Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra (LCN) served four months for the violation.

Now, the feds say Merlino and two other "Enterprise members .. supervised and controlled other members of the Enterprise engaged in illegal schemes, including those that were the objects of the conspiracy. At various times, members and associates of the Enterprise (including those who are leaders, members, and associates of different LCN families) met, coordinated, and worked together with ... each other, as well as other members and associates of their respective LCN Families, to engage in criminal activity."

Thursday's sweep reportedly included defendants accused of crimes including extortion, and illegal gambling throughout the East Coast.

Merlino recently made headlines after a motion was filed for his ban from Pennsylvania casinos due to his felony convictions, and identity as a member of organized crime.