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Reputed former Philadelphia mob boss arrives for parole violation hearing, could be jailed


PHILADELPHIA — The reputed former boss of the Philadelphia mob has arrived in court for a parole violation hearing.

Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino walked in Friday morning with his wife, Deborah, and a few supporters.

Prosecutors say the 52-year-old Merlino met up with fellow mobsters during his three years of supervised release in the Miami area. Defense attorneys say he had a "chance encounter" with a former co-defendant at a cigar bar.

Merlino's lawyers have argued that prosecutors didn't file the proper paperwork before his three years of parole expired last month.

U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick rejected that argument and ordered Merlino to an evidence hearing.

He's free after about a decade in prison after a 2001 racketeering trial but could be sent back if found in violation.

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