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Reputed Crime Figure Scarfo Arrested At Airport

January 9, 1987 GMT

POMONA, N.J. (AP) _ Reputed organized crime leader Nicodemo ″Little Nicky″ Scarfo was arrested Thursday night by federal authorities moments after stepping off a plane from Florida.

A tanned Scarfo was led by New Jersey FBI agents into a waiting car and driven out a gate at Atlantic City Airport in Pomona.

He was handcuffed upon arrival at FBI headquarters in Linwood for processing. FBI supervisor Richard Ross said that Scarfo would be held overnight at the Cape May County Jail, then taken to Camden on Friday morning for his arraignment in a U.S. magistrate.

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Ross refused to say what charges Scarfo was facing.

But Scarfo’s attorney, Edwin J. Jacobs Jr., said he was told by the FBI that his client was facing charges of violating the Hobbs Act, which deals with government corruption, and ″something to do with the Beloff case.″

Philadelphia city Councilman Leland Beloff, along with his top legislative aide, Robert Rego, and a Scarfo associate, Nicholas ″Nicky Crow″ Caramandi, were charged in October with conspiring to extort $1 million from a development project.

Beloff and Rego have pleaded innocent, but Caramandi has pleaded guilty to the charges, in addition to admitting his role in several killings he said were ordered by Scarfo. Caramandi is cooperating with federal authorities in their investigations.

Scarfo, 57, of Atlantic City, reputed to be the leader of organized crime in southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, already faces indictments from a New Jersey grand jury investigation. He was arrested in November and charged with being a leader of organized crime, conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy, among other things.

Scarfo had been free on $400,000 bail for those charges.

Jacobs said Thursday night that he was permitted to speak by phone with Scarfo at FBI headquarters.

″He had no specific reaction other than that which people have when charged with crimes they did not commit,″ Jacobs said.

″Every time you read the papers in the morning, someone else is charging something else against him,″ the Atlantic City attorney said. ″I’m not taking at face value any of these things.″

On Monday, a key Scarfo associate, Thomas DelGiorno, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, admitting his role in five gangland murders and one attempted killing and implicating Scarfo.