Mobster Martin Angelina was denied bail on racketeering-gambling charges Wednesday by a federal judge who cited his criminal history and what prosecutors called his "propensity for violence."
Angelina, 48, showed little emotion as U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno vacated a magistrate court ruling that would have placed the convicted mob enforcer under strict house arrest.
Angelina is the fifth defendant in the case to be ordered held without bail pending trial. That trial is not expected to begin until next year.
In a separate development, reputed mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, who has also been denied bail in the case, has apparently switched attorneys.
Ligambi, 71, has reached an agreement with Edwin Jacobs Jr., one of the top defense lawyers in New Jersey. Jacobs will replace Joseph Santaguida, who represented Ligambi during his arraignment and detention hearing.
Santaguida said that he expected to represent another defendant in the case and that the decision to add Jacobs to the defense team was a good one.
Jacobs was the lead attorney in the 2001 racketeering case that ended with convictions for then-mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino and six codefendants.
Merlino was sentenced to 14 years on charges related to gambling, extortion, and receipt of stolen property. But the jury rejected a series of murder and attempted-murder charges.
Jacobs also represented Merlino a year later in Newark, N.J., in a murder trial that ended in acquittal.
Jacobs is expected to lead the defense team in what is now a 13-defendant case. But several of those defendants are expected to enter guilty pleas.
Ligambi's decision to hire Jacobs would seem to indicate that the alleged mob boss is ready to fight the charges in front of a jury. Jacobs comes with a stiff price tag and is usually hired by a defendant willing to take his case the distance.
Jacobs' most recent foray into federal court in Philadelphia was as attorney for Ruth Arnao, former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo's codefendant.
That high-profile corruption case ended with convictions, but remains a source of dispute over the relatively light sentences - 55 months for Fumo and 12 months for Arnao - handed out by Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter.