Police: Case Moving Forward In South Philly Mob Shooting - New York News

Source: Police Collect Gun, Mask Believed To Be Used In South Philly Mob Hit

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Police investigators at the scene of the Wednesday South Philly shooting. Police investigators at the scene of the Wednesday South Philly shooting.
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA -

A high ranking police source tells FOX 29 News that ballistics tests on a gun recovered from the SUV of mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo match bullets taken from the body of the murder victim in Wednesday's suspected mob hit.

Sources also tell FOX 29 that investigators have recovered a sweatshirt and a mask believed to be used in Wednesday night's homicide.

Police sources say the evidence was taken to the police forensic crime lab.

While the current power brokers of the local members of the mob were held up in their South Philly hangout Thursday, mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo was still with the homicide unit as detectives continued to build a murder case against the 41-year-old wise guy.

"We do have someone that we're very interested in that we're talking to now," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

Nicodemo was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon when a witness to the murder of 51-year-old Gino DiPietro at 13th and Johnston gave police a description of a getaway SUV and the tag number.

Minutes later, police found that SUV at Nicodemo's house and took him in for questioning.

"The case is moving forward and it is developing," Ramsey told FOX 29. "There's a lot of information out there and we're trying to do some things forensically."

"We are not charged with a single act of physical violence," said defense attorney Edwin Jacobs.

The Mob hit came as the defense was about to open its case in the eight-week racketeering trial of Mob Boss Joe Ligambi and six others. The defense has claimed all along that Ligambi and the others had no ties to any mob violence.

"I'm sure the judge will do his best to insulate the jury from any of this news exposure," Jacobs told FOX 29.

Mob Expert Frank Friel says the timing of this hit couldn't be worse. Several sources say DiPietro may have been killed because he was talking about the unsolved 2003 mob hit on Johnny "Gongs"  Cassasanto. Nicodemo has been called a "prime suspect" in that murder.

"To leave a body in the street in the grotesque manner that they left this guy in the street is stupid, just plain stupid," Friel explained.

Crime scene experts are performing DNA tests on items they recovered from Nicodemo's car and home.

Police are concerned about more mob violence as a result of this hit. Two police cars were stationed at Nicodemo's 17th Street home overnight.

The judge in the Ligambi racketeering case is expected to question each of the jurors in the case on Tuesday about whether they saw news accounts of the mob hit and whether it will affect their ability to reach a verdict. The jury could get this case in early January.

Sources say Nicodemo is not being cooperative with investigators and he remains in custody. No charges have been filed.

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