Phil Colletti

Phil Colletti, was a hitman for the Philadelphia crime family from the early to mid 1990s, he was aligned with the mob faction led by John Stanfa in the war against Skinny Joey Merlino and his associates for control of the Philadelphia crime family.


Philip Colletti resided in nearby New Jersey and became an associate and hitman for the Philly mob in the early 90s. He was a close friend and associate of John Veasey, a fellow hitman and Capo under boss John Stanfa. By day Colletti was a legitimate plumber; by night, a mob hitman. No one in his nearby New Jersey town of Glassboro suspected the double life. Colletti and his wife Brenda often had barbecues and were very friendly with their neighbors.

Mob Hitman

In August of 1993, Colletti and Veasey carried out a drive-by shooting on the Merlino faction in which Skinny Joey was shot in the buttocks and his second in command Michael "Mikey Chang" Ciancaglini was killed, the hit was a response to the attempted murder against Stanfa underboss Joseph "Joey Chang" Ciancaglini, brother of Mikey Chang, who were in rival factions during the mob war.

The car used in the hit, a leased white Ford Taurus, was later found burned, Colletti's wife had leased it for them and reported the car stolen. Brenda was aware that her husband and Veasey were involved in the mob and was even present when they planned and conspired to kill some members of the Merlino faction. Colletti and Veasey also tried to kill Merlino by planting a bomb under his car, but the bomb did not go off.

Turning Informant

In late 1993 Veasey at the urging of his brother William, decided to leave the mob life and cooperate with the government, Stanfa somehow found out and put out a contract on his life. Veasey was summoned to a meeting and shot in the back of the head twice but managed to get up and fight off his would-be assassins. Veasey survived and began to cooperate with the FBI. Colletti knew that his days were numbered now that Veasey had flipped, so he approached the FBI and began to wear a wire.

In January 1994, Gaetano "Horsehead" Scafidi was urging Colletti to clip reputed mob leader Ralph Natale after Natale was released. Scafidi also took Colletti, assigned to kill Merlino associate Carl Bradley, to the neighborhood where Bradley lived. Stanfa wanted Bradley dead because he believed he had obtained the van that was used to shoot Stanfa's son, Joseph, in a car on the Schuylkill Expressway on Aug. 31, 1993. Scafidi told Colletti, who was afraid of being indicted, to escape to Italy. The following year Philip and Brenda Colletti were in witness protection and testified against John Stanfa and others.

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