5 Guilty in Chicago Mob Case
CHICAGO, Sept. 10 (AP) — A federal jury found five aging men guilty Monday in a racketeering conspiracy that involved decades of extortion, loan-sharking and murder intended to eliminate anyone who dared stand in the way of the Chicago mob.
The prosecution’s star witness was an admitted hit man who took the stand against his own brother to spell out the accusations, crime by crime. The jury heard about 18 unsolved killings, including the beating death and cornfield burial of Tony Spilotro, the mob’s man in Las Vegas and the inspiration for Joe Pesci’s character in the 1995 movie “Casino.”
It was a sweeping victory for prosecutors. The five men were found guilty of all counts, including racketeering conspiracy, bribery, illegal gambling and tax fraud.
James Marcello, 65, who the authorities say is a mob boss; Joseph Lombardo, 78, accused of being a mob capo; Frank Calabrese Sr., 70, a convicted loan shark; and Paul Schiro, 70, a convicted jewel thief, could now face up to life in prison. The fifth man, a retired Chicago police officer, Anthony Doyle, 62, was the only one not accused of taking part in at least one killing. He was accused of leaking inside law enforcement information to the mob.
The trial focused on the killings, ordinarily among the deepest and most closely held secrets of the mob, whose members have sworn an oath of silence. Jurors will next have the task of determining which men were responsible for each of the 18 deaths.
The government’s star witness was Nicholas Calabrese, an admitted hit man who cooperated with the government in hopes of avoiding a death sentence. He said his brother Frank Calabrese ran a loan-sharking business and specialized in strangling victims with a rope, then cutting their throats to ensure their death.