Ferriola, Venezia reach plea deals on eve of trialFrank "the German" Schweihs will not be with his Family Secrets case codefendants when trial begins in Chicago tomorrow, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times. Due to Schweihs' poor health - he reportedly has cancer - he was severed from the case and could eventually stand trial separately.
In Family Secrets, Schweihs (left) was charged with the 1974 killing of Daniel Seifert. Prosecutors also suspect him of involvement in the 1985 murder of Pasquale Ricciardi and other killings.
The Sun-Times also noted that Family Secrets defendants Nicholas Ferriola, 32, and Joseph Venezia, 64, reached plea deals removing them from the case today. They pleaded guilty to gambling-related charges. That leaves five defendants for trial starting tomorrow. Four other defendants have already entered guilty pleas.
Fourteen men were indicted in April 2005 in connection with the federal Family Secrets investigation. Last week, Michael Marcello and Thomas and Dennis Johnson pleaded guilty to paying hush money to a murder witness. In May, Nicholas W. Calabrese, 64, admitted involvement with 14 killings. He is expected to testify against the remaining defendants, including his brother Frank Calabrese Sr.
The remaining defendants are:
- Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, reputed former boss of the Outfit.
- James Marcello, who prosecutors say was the reigning Chicago boss at the time of his arrest.
- Frank Calabrese Sr., an alleged member of the Outfit's 26th Street crew.
- Paul "the Indian" Schiro, alleged loan shark.
- Anthony Doyle, former Chicago police officer.
Related MobNews posts:
- Chicago mobster paid hush money 06-18-07
- Ratting out the Outfit 06-08-07
- Chicago mobster admits 14 killings, cooperates 05-24-07
- 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