The 64-year-old Calabrese pleaded guilty to the killings in U.S. District Court on May 18. Under a plea deal, county prosecutors will not try him for the murders and he will not face any charges as a result of his Family Secrets trial testimony. He is expected to serve at least 24 years in prison, but the U.S. Attorney's Office could recommend a shorter sentence if Calabrese is especially helpful in the upcoming trial.
At his hearing before Judge James Zagel, Calabrese admitted to participating in a racketeering conspiracy known as the Chicago Outfit, which engaged in murders, loansharking and extortion.
When the Family Secrets trial opens next month, Calabrese is expected to testify against his brother, Frank Calabrese Sr.
Nicholas Calabrese claims to have been present for the 1986 murders of brothers Tony (left) and Michael Spilotro. James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, 64, who the Sun-Times calls Chicago's "top mob boss," has been charged with participation in the Spilotro killings.
Nicholas Calabrese's cooperation with authorities followed that of Frank Calabrese's son, Frank Jr. Nicholas was linked by DNA and other evidence to the murder of John Fecarotta. Investigators believe Fecarotta was eliminated for failing to permanently dispose of the Spilotro corpses. Rather than take the fall for the Fecarotta killing alone, Nicholas Calabrese began supplying information on his underworld associates.
In late April 2005, 14 alleged Chicago Outfit members were indicted for racketeering conspiracy as a result of the Family Secrets investigation. Federal prosecutors linked defendants, including "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, Frank "Gumba" Saladino and Paul "the Indian" Schiro, with 18 murders dating back to 1970.
Related MobNews posts:
- TV report previews Chicago Outfit trial 05-15-07
- Family Secret jurors' names secret 04-25-07
- Feds look for $500K from Lombardo 04-24-07
- Witness list of Chicago Outfit trial revealed 04-23-07
- Deputy marshal charged with aiding mob 01-13-07
- Chicago commission papers subpoenaed 01-10-07
- U.S. Grand Jury Indictments in Family Secrets Case
- The American Mafia website article on Spilotro
- LasVegasNOW: Former wiseguys talk about Spilotro murders