Monday, June 18, 2007

Chicago mobster paid hush money

Michael Marcello, 56, pleaded guilty last week to paying a murder witness $4,000 a month to keep silent, according to an Associated Press story published in the International Herald Tribune.

Marcello and two other men admitted to racketeering and other charges in connection with the hush money payments. The other defendants were Thomas Johnson and Dennis Johnson. Marcello faces up to 35 years in prison. Thomas Johnson could be sentenced to 10 years. Dennis Johnson faces up to five years. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Former Chicago Mafioso Nicholas Calabrese (right) received the payments for not linking Michael Marcello's brother James to a series of unsolved underworld murders. James Marcello is one of eight defendants in the Family Secrets trial scheduled to start in Chicago tomorrow (June 19). Prosecutors say James has led the Melrose Park crew of the Chicago crime family.

Calabrese is to testify for the prosecution in that case.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.