PHILADELPHIA — Joseph “Mousie” Massimino, the loquacious mobster described as the underboss of Philadelphia’s organized-crime family, was sentenced Thursday to nearly 16 years in prison by a judge who was skeptical that he would ever abandon a life of crime.
“I can only conclude, Mr. Massimino, that you don’t get it, that you never have gotten it,” said U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno.
The 188-month term was not as bad as it could have been for Massimino, 63, the most prominent defendant convicted in a racketeering trial of Philadelphia’s mob leaders. Prosecutors wanted a 20-year sentence, and the judge did not classify him as a career offender.
Still, it was too much for Massimino. In a 10-minute rant, he challenged the conviction, vilified prosecutors, ridiculed the law, and dismissed as “a joke” claims he was a mob leader.
“I’m no boss of nothing, you know what I mean?” he told the judge.
Massimino said that La Cosa Nostra was “a thing of the past” and that he barely knew some of his co-defendants or witnesses. He argued that if the government had devoted as much time and resources to disrupting al-Qaida as it did to the mob, “the World Trade Center would still be there, and maybe those poor people in Boston would still have their legs.”
With time off for good behavior and credit for the time he has served, Massimino could be free in about 11 years.