Philadelphia LCN Associate Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Racketeering and Drug Dealing

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Daniel Castelli, 68, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to five years in prison and four years of supervised release by United States District Court Senior Judge R. Barclay Surrick for racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

In January 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to a superseding indictment stemming from his involvement in criminal activity with and for the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra, also known as the LCN, the mafia, and the mob. The Philadelphia LCN is one of a number of LCN organized crime families based in various cities throughout the United States. The goal of the LCN in Philadelphia and elsewhere is to make money through the commission of various crimes, including illegal gambling, loansharking, drug trafficking, and extortion.

According to court documents, and the defendant’s guilty plea, Castelli was an associate of the LCN who worked with LCN members and other associates to commit crimes such as drug trafficking, extortion, and loansharking. The defendant pled guilty to his involvement with the LCN for that conduct as well as for an effort in 2016 to obtain a kilogram of cocaine, intended for later resale, on behalf of other LCN members and associates.

“Even though the Philadelphia mob has been weakened over the decades due in large part to persistent law enforcement, the organization and its criminal activities are still very much a problem and are damaging the communities in which it operates,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting anyone who is committing serious federal crimes like these, and we will not rest until the mob is nothing but a bad memory.”  

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including its Philadelphia Field Division and Atlantic City Resident Agency, as part of a long-running investigation, with the assistance of the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Ortiz and Justin Ashenfelter, and Trial Attorneys Alexander Gottfried and Brendan Woods of the Department of Justice Criminal Division, Organized Crime and Gang Section.