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Throwback Thursday: Philadelphia cops bust twenty-first century speakeasy

Police seized over $18,000 in cash and 310 bottles of booze from South Philly Italian restaurants.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 5, 2014 at 7:10 PM
| License Photo

PHILADELPHIA, June 5 (UPI) -- Police in Philadelphia raided two coffee shops accused of operating as illegal speakeasies, arresting the owners and seizing cash and liquor.

Police searched the South Philadelphia coffee shops Caffe Italia and Mediterranean's Wednesday after an investigation stemming from customer suspicions of illegal activity in the businesses.

69-year-old Tonino Irace and 66-year-old Canio Pascale were arrested and charged with illegal liquor sales and criminal conspiracy. A third man, 44-year old Zoheir Mouloudj, was also arrested and stands charged with illegal liquor sales.

Police seized $17,528 in cash and 181 bottles of beer and liquor from Mediterranean's and an additional $584 and 129 bottles beer and liquor from Caffe Italia.

All three men were released from police custody of their own recognizance and will appear in court July 9 for preliminary hearings.

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