PHILADELPHIA -- Two men were held without bail for allegedly persuading an armored-car guard to spill money sacks from his truck to conceal the theft of $352,000 from one of the bags.
U.S. Magistrate Edwin Nayton denied motions for bail made Tuesday by Joseph Merlino, 27, and Richard Barone, 45, after a federal prosecutor contended they posed a danger to the community and might try to flee.
Merlino, who has a prior conviction for aggravated assault in New Jersey, is the son of convicted mobster Salvatore 'Chuckie' Merlino, who was an underboss for Philadelphia-Atlantic City mob chieftain Nicodemo Scarfo.
Merlino and Barone were indicted last week by a federal grand jury on interstate theft and conspiracy charges stemming from an incident in 1987 in which the doors of a Federal Armored Express truck popped open on Interstate 95, spewing money out onto the highway.
The guard, Stephen Rinaldi, 24, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty in June to charges in the case. The indictment alleged Rinaldi, who was alone in the rear of the truck when it was en route from Philadelphia to the company's headquarters in Pennsauken, N.J., staged the spill to cover up the theft of a white deposit bag containing $352,000.
Rinaldi, Merlino and Barone all were acquainted, authorities said.
The indictment said Barone later picked up the money bag and split it with Merlino. Although Rinaldi had been promised half the loot, the FBI said he received only $13,000. The rest of the money has not been recovered.