Friday, October 24, 2014

Merlino Ordered Back To Jail For 'Night On The Town'

By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

What a federal prosecutor described as a "night on the town with his mob buddies" has resulted in a four-month prison sentence for former Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick imposed that sentence this afternoon after hearing more than three hours of testimony and argument in a probation violation hearing for the 52-year-old convicted Mafia leader.

Merlino, now living in Florida, will begin the sentence in 30 days, according to the order issued by Surrick. Once he completes that sentence, Merlino will no longer be on supervised release and will be free to meet and associate with whomever he chooses.

But that may be the least of his problems. According to testimony during the hearing, Merlino has been the focus on an ongoing investigation by an organized crime task force in South Florida. Authorities have apparently had the one-time South Philadelphia celebrity gangster on their radar since his arrival in the Sunshine State three years ago.

Law enforcement officials have been tight lipped about the nature of that investigation. A Broward County detective confirmed during his testimony that Merlino has been picked up on "dozens" of surveillances over the past three years. But Surrick upheld a prosecution objection when Merlino's lawyer, Edwin Jacobs Jr., asked what was being investigated.

In May, Merlino was questioned at length by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer about his finances. Authorities have made no secret of the fact that they would like to know the source of the former mob boss's income and how he has managed to live a comfortable life in the Boca Raton area while reporting minimal income.

"He reports almost nothing ... a paltry sum," Troyer said at one point during today's hearing. Yet Merlino lives in a posh condo and is seen being driven around in a Cadallac Escalade. The vehicle is owned by his longtime friend and one-time roommate Don Petillo.

Merlino said little as he left the courtroom following today's hearing.

Tan and dressed in an expensive, light gray business suit, white shirt and dark tie, and with what appeared to be a Rolex peeking out from under his shirt cuff, Merlino looked liked someone who had walked off a GQ photo shoot. His wife Deborah Wells-Merlino, his mother Rita and a dozen other friends attended the session.

The always outspoken Rita Merlino complained of government harassment, implying that her son had been unjustly targeted by authorities. Jacobs hinted at the same thing during his closing argument before Surrick.

Jacobs said the violation of supervised release summons came from Philadelphia despite the fact that Merlino had been under the supervision of probation department authorities in Florida.

"Prosecutors and the FBI have long memories (about) cases that don't turn out the way they want," Jacobs said. The lawyer, who has defended Merlino for years, was apparently making reference to a federal racketeering trial in 2001 in which Merlino was convicted of gambling and extortion, but acquitted of murder, attempted murder and drug dealing charges that could have carried a longer prison sentence.

Merlino was sentenced to 14 years in that case. He had spent more than 12 years in jail before being released to a halfway house in Florida where he opted to relocate. For the past three years he has been on court-ordered supervised release, the final leg of that sentence.

The probation violation charge was based primarily on surveillance conducted by local authorities on June 18. Merlino was spotted at an Italian restaurant, La Villetta, in Boca Raton, and later at Havana Nights, a cigar bar. He was, according to surveillance reports and testimony, seen in the company of three convicted felons, including John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini, a Philadelphia mob capo and a co-defendant in the 2001 trial.

Merlino was prohibited from associating with convicted felons and organized crime figures while on probation.

Jacobs argued that the meeting of Ciancaglini and Merlino in the cigar bar was a "chance encounter" and not a planned association. He also contended that there was no evidence to support allegations that Merlino and Ciancaglini had been together in the restaurant earlier that same evening.

He conceded that Merlino should have reported the encounter to his probation officer, but said Merlino had made a "mistake."

"It was an oversight," he said.

Jacobs also called Ciancaglini's wife, Kathy, as a witness. She said her husband told her he had "run into Merlino" that night and that he hoped Merlino would not get into trouble as a result. She said it was a chance encounter and that her husband had studiously tried to avoid being in Merlino's presence while he was on probation.

Troyer dismissed the defense argument of a chance encounter and asked why John Ciancaglini -- "he's available" -- hadn't been called as a witness rather than his wife. The prosecutor said the meeting was a clear violation of the terms of Merlino's probation.

"This isn't Casablanca," Troyer said, before paraphrasing the famous line from that classic Humphrey Bogart movie. "Of all the gin joints John Ciancaglini happens to walk into mine. This was a night on the town with all his mob buddies."

George Anastasia can be reached at George@bigtrial,net.

99 comments:

  1. Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye. Guess we won't be seeing you at the Mumford Parade.

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  2. At least two possibilities, the "ongoing investigation" was a total bust,waste of time, or Joey will find himself indicted within these four months. Start the clock.

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  3. "a Rolex peeking out from under his shirt cuff", nice touch and I am curious. When you wrote that does it carry over from the Turra/Rolex and also the Previte/Rolex storylines in "the Last Gangster"? The legend continues in large and small ways.

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    1. Is that u BGB commenting again if it is welcome to the pit

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  4. Dumfellas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. CCR BAD MOON RISING THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING FOLKS STAY TOONED
    ALSO RICO GAMBLING EXTORTION LONESHARKING CHARGES ARE AHEAD
    FOR MOB AND STREET BOOKIES
    GOBBLE GOBBLE SAYS THE TURKEY
    BYE.

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  6. God sure does work in mysterious ways.Could it be God gives this guy an Amazing new life in Florida a life that he loves so much .Eating at the best restaurants hanging with the Rich Jewish ppl flattering him showering him with " GIFTS" A Lavishing Condo.Expensive Clothes Rolex Trying to own his OWN business. Flying in Private Jets. Hanging out on Yachts and from what I read in the paper his family will be moving to Florida also. Ok Now wouldn't you say that is what you call living and in 4 months will get to hang out with all his friends.God sure did give him the PERFECT LIFE. We all know that he could not live a life like that in south philly. I'm sure when God finishes out his plan for Joey it will be the end of a life that he LOVED just like the people he murdered who loved their SIMPLE lives. He's going to see what it's like to love life and enjoy family and it all be taken away.This is just the beginning of what you call a GOD SMACK.

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    1. So true my friend karma is a mother ---ker

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  7. Why would Johnny chang have his wife testify for him makes no sense
    Something dirty my friends could Johnny be the one talking

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  8. Why would Johnny chang have his wife testify for him makes no sense
    Something dirty my friends could Johnny be the one talking

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  9. Who steps up while the BOSS is back in College will Uncle Joe unretire or does
    Nephew BGB move up or does The Christmas tree Gang continue Bitness as usual

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  10. Johnny Chang Is A Snake!!!! And A Moron!!!!! Why He Show Up At The Federal Court He's Making A Fool Of Himself!!!!!!

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    1. I know my friend tell me about it.The wife wears the pants. Johnny is nothing without her.

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  11. Hey uncle Joe da inquiring minds was ta know yours opinion on da sitiation.

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    2. Uncle Joe with ur crew in da
      Joint now and the house being run by da Christmas tree gang any truts ur a lame duck Boss?

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    4. Uncle Joe what abouts Nicodemo.s or ur Nephews buddy Billy Motto no tax for hims

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    5. I see uncle Joe u was deleted again nobody likes ur opinions on here. But u said u will get envelopes from stumpy Vinney ralphy head . U left one guy out Billy m.s or Mr produce

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    1. My apologys it seems the Bosses wife Debra did testify
      and Kathy makes frequent trips to fla to visit Joey these two guys are playing Russian roulette with there wifes lives i just don.t get it other than they can trust no one else delivering the money or messages to each other what a shame guys oh well its ur familys not mine therefore i wish u BOUNA FORTUNA



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    4. Why is Johnny chang and Joey merlino putting there wifes in harms way. By them testifying it gives the Gov reason to believe there husbands discuss mob bussiness with both of them and kathy delivering money and messages to Joey someday is gonna jam these young ladys up or possibly cause them to perjure themselves someday. God for bid
      Someone makes a move for what.s left of the tree farm and they become colladeral damage is a shame. These ladys do love there husbands but at what cost to them and Joey has two beautifull kids who Debra raised im sure with her working and help from family what happens to them if she gets Jammed up in Joeys bussiness. Its not the way old school handled this shit and i dont wanna hear i need to change with the times. U dont get ur wifes involved. It will back fire in the end it always does and this is no different shame on u guys.

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    5. ANYONE who gets involved with Joey WILL be Investigated. It's a known fact.If you know these guys just think of ALL the ppl who loss business's house's cars & lives.They want to bury Joey & will not stop til they get him. If that means investigating their wives they will. I just hope all these ppl see how the FBI works When the time comes & I do believe it's not far away.You will hear of more ppl Ratting. Or getting killed.

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    6. Its coming rico gambling extortion
      Lone sharking the they dont have yet is murder. The charges will be trumped up even uf they dont get charged with murder most of the big boys will be 3 time losers with those other charges its 20 plus yrs for them first timers for there association will be looking at 5 . 2nd timers 8 to 10 . No matyer what happens there will always be somebody to fill the slot

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  13. I found this information from kansas city times about the wifes dont understand why George left it out other than George is a Gentleman and would prefer to leave these two beautifull women out of the lime light he did mention kathys testimony its a shame there husbands dont show them the same respect. And the Skinny Guy has a following all across the Country if the Kansas city times is reporting his appearence . The modern day Al Capone of So Fla
    None other than The Boss of the So Philly crime family Joesph Skinny Joey Merlino is quite the Celebrity. Its amazing while all these guys take the heat and BGB gets put on the shelve they stay so loyal to him while he reaps the rewards. But give him credit he pulled it off and that in this day and age is an accomplishment in it self thats why the Gov hates him i supppose.

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  14. I hope George A my several comments
    about the ladys werent out if line meant no disrespect towards them. I do find them very attractive though.

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    1. Enough with that if her husband has no respect no need to pile it on here its his problem now show a little class even if he cant

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  16. Johnny Chang And His Wife Just Wants Too Bee On TV!!!!!!!!

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  17. Its taken 17 yrs now but thats because they were all in jail except for uncle Joe and his crew. But now with Joey and Georgie both out and the left over repercussions coming otta Uncle Joes camp things are un raveling very quickly and with Nicodemo trial in Feb
    and if found guilty and decides to cooperate this will be it for these guys.
    Next in line will be Nicky scarfo.s young men who arent young anymore and can take over with the Genovese family.s blessing is soon to come.

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  18. There aren't any real Mobsters around anymore . Just a bunch of disorganized drug dealers that make as much cash as they can before they get caught . The only reason they get involved is because they know when they get caught they can always rat...

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  19. Actually there are some mobsters around. It's just different now. Rudy Guiliani, guys like Joe Coffey, and John Gotti changed the whole paradigm. Guiliani, regardless of how anybody feels about his political views, went after the mafia with good cops like Joe Coffey and the FBI and destroyed them over time. Gotti was an egomaniac who loved the cameras. Well that wrecked it for them by bringing too much attention to them. The US Attorney's office went after them and won. If Gotti would have had a better, smarter lawyer when he was acquitted he could have went on for a few more years at least. Bruce Cutler is nothing but an overrated , self absorbed egomaniac. A better attorney would have told Gotti after the first rigged acquittal to stay out of the limelight and lay low. But Cutler was too stupid to do that cause he loved being part of it. But the mafia still exists in areas like gambling, loan sharking and prostitution. And we have been inundated with foreign mafia's like the Russians, Albanians, and Islamic organizations. Don't fool yourself. It's changed and been beaten down by law enforcement, but it's still out there

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  20. Who's The BOSS Of The RATFAMILY NOW!!??

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    2. Bgb new boss!

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  21. Joe Mancuso is the new Don!!!

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  22. Stories of the Philadelphia mob begin with the murder of Angelo Bruno and the vicious payback Tony Caponigro walked into decades ago. George A. has retold a thousand stories since then. Amazing stories. Stories of murder, betrayal, indictments and trials. Today's tale is small stuff but it still fans the flames, it feeds the fire. It will do till a bigger story comes along.
    We speculate, we can't help it.
    What happens next?

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  23. Is Cathy Chang A Rat ?

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    1. This girl kathy might be the new undeross and Alyson the Boss and Debra consigliere
      Why not they gotta continue to be in the forefront of things might as well run the whole thing them selves. There husbands cant seem to get it right at least these girls are survivors for the shit they had to put up with be a great move.

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  24. joey merlino is a mans man and nobody can take that away from him. he does his time and dont take the easy way out like all these rats. i dont understand the f b i they let people run wild kill people rob people and they you just blame some else when they get caught. this has to stop the feds make it easy for the rats to do crimes and know they will not go to jail. give the rats the same time as they are facing and not only will you stop ratting you will stop a lot of crime

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    1. Joey is a guy who does his time and keeps quiet. Smart and doesent involve his wife or mother in mob business. The 14 years he did you barely heard his name.

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    2. Looks like your referring to the BGB family

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    3. He can't take the easy 2 a put or rat he's the guy they want to put away for life like Scarfo & Gotti so yeah he's going to do all his time so as far as him being a man's man that's exactly what he will be for the rest of his life in a 2x4 cell with a man's man. You get it yet. There's nothing for him to Rat on but himself lol you see where that got Ralph Natale. NO WHERE. Think about my friend.

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  27. Where's The Christmas Party At This Year?

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  28. I Heard Salvation Army.

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  29. Leave him alone . He is not doing anything to you so mind your business and . Wtf the FBI is watching Joey but they can't keep fence jumpers away from the white house . LOL

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    1. Leave Joey alone all Joey had to do was keep a low profile get a half ass Job while on probation and stay away from undesirables and he would.ve been able to continue to be Boss with no interruptions but he cant follow the rules . Even a child can get that right. His arrogance and distaste for law enforcement is his worst enemy but when he fu--- up it always involves a handfull of people he brings into the web and the circus begins this isnt gonna change because its all about Joey and the chaos he leaves behind wheather its his wife or friends wife to do dirty deeds for him down the road that will cause them grief or possible jail time he doe s nt care about because he.s done the time they should be able to handle it to But the truth is the average person with any brains isnt gonna do time for somebody elses fu-- ups and when they dont there consifered rats because like Joey they were thinking of themselves but thats wrong because there not Joey or part of the crew. So there told keep ur mouth shut or suffer the consequences. After that there kept out of the loope can.t earn and considered rats anyway because there not part of the inner circle. So they join somebody elses crew earn make money but there considered traitors so a hit is ordered even though they don.t rat he leaves them no option but to cooperate so once ur in the web ur fucked either way therefore have the balls to do whats best for u if u have no family even better u can plot to take them out but beware do something even its wrong because sooner or latter he.s gonna kill u or the law gonna turn u anyway thats the options in this life family or not can u live with the decision is ur only problem most people cant wheatherits killing someone or rating the average person has a major problem with that for some reason I don.t know why.

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  30. Merlino will spend Christmas this year in a cell. On the night of the Dec.24th, the ghost of Angelo Bruno will visit Joey. "I was the gentle Don and they still blew my head off! Scarfo and Stanfa will never see the light of day! You can't even get past parole without screwing up!"
    Joey will see the light on Christmas day.

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    1. So sad for his little girls who continue to have to deal with Daddys mistakes and make excuses to thete friends why daddy missed another Christmas holiday because daddy was thinking of himself again instead of mommy and us so sad!!!

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    2. His father did the same to him .apple don't fall far. It just so sad he's a SELF ABSORED JERKOFF who only thinks of HIMSELF.I hope that's just how he dies ALL ALONG IN A 2X4 CELL.he hurt ALOT of people families.Rot u SCUMBAG Skinny Pr---

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  33. Who's That Sonny Mazzone 2 up

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  34. Joey will try to exit gracefully from Philly now. When Joey left the courthouse and said "the feds are doing me a favor" he meant it more ways than one. Learning he was the focus of an ongoing investigation had to give him a serious moment. Others than him are more hungry for that life. Joey will accept money for as long as it's offered but I think people will find he's reluctant to get into the nitty-gritty of the street. Things change.

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    1. U guys are idiots leave the wifes out this stuff theres no need for that shit and most of u wouldnt have the balls to say to anyone of our faces anyway tipicle street punks

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    2. And your not?? OH let me guess your so happy to be with or married to one of this goofs. Either your getting beat to death cheated on or no daddy for your kid....Really??? call someone an idiot check yourself my dear.

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    3. 1up
      no im not married and happen to be a giy who thinks the girls don.t need to be run down on this blog they gotta enough to handle don.t need ass hole computer tough guys or girls running them down just my opinion.u can run the idiot husbands down all day nobody cares.

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    4. They wouldn't have these problems if they just used their brains if they even have any and stay away from losers in the first place so don't give me the sob story 5 hey have enough on their hands they want this life now deal with it .NO ONE feels sorry for them they r just as GUILTY. SAME.on them to put their kids threw this shit.

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  37. Uncle Joe any advice for the peanut gallery
    now thats ur coming out of retirement

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  39. Hi uncle Joe see u been put back in the hot seat again unless BGB decides he be a better choice now that he.s out. Any ways u see this thing getting any better or are the wheels beginning to fall off the cart.

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  40. Why are all the comments from anonymous?

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  41. The RatFellas Do It!!!

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  42. Dumfellas!!!!!! Lol

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  43. Yo cuz, I need to get even on MNF tonight

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  44. I wonder what Billy Rinnick thinks?

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  47. So philly wise guy pick for MnF Dallas minus 9 1/2 and over 49 1/2 and ya im a Ratfella thats right u sorry ass computer punks Lol!!

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    1. Typical So philly wise guy luck on that pick lol

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  49. Don't Take No Action From The RatFellas They Don't Pay!!!!!!!

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  50. Yo cuz, meet me at the Fireside for a few pops

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  51. Faffy gets out in 2016, look out!!!

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  52. john gotti once said. its mind over matter, if you DONT MIND THAN IT DONT MATER..........

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  53. John Gotti Said Philly Mob Are Rats!!!!!!!

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  55. Not for long he's going to rat.

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  56. Since when is it okay to give interviews...they sound like cry baby's.. bunch of drunken punks...tell Nicky to stay out of the club's!!!

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  57. What Clubs???????

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  58. Did you hear about what these 2 snakes are doing downtown????

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    1. what did you hear chief??

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