Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feds grab treasure at Calabrese home

Federal agents executed a search warrant March 23 at the home of convicted Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. (left) and came away with a sensational haul, according to a story by Craig Wall of Fox Chicago News.

Behind a family portrait in the basement of Calabrese's Oak Brook home, agents found a compartment in the wall paneling. Inside they reportedly discovered seven loaded handguns, 15 manila envelopes containing a total of $728,481 in cash, about 1,000 items of jewelry, recording devices and casette tapes. The items and cash were seized by the government. As part of his Family Secrets Case sentence, Calabrese owes the government $20 million and owes the families of his victims $4.4 million. Calabrese was convicted of racketeering and of participation in 13 gangland murders.

Records of the Chicago Crime Commission indicate that Calabrese was involved in criminal activities since he was a teenager. A former mob loan shark who demanded interest as high as 520% a year, he was convicted in 1954 in federal court for possession of stolen cars in interstate commerce. He has arrests for robbery, stolen autos and illegal use of firearms. His loan sharking ring operated from 1970 to 1990s. Calabrese headed the 26th Street Crew of the regional underworld Outfit. The crew oversaw gambling and loan sharking in the Chicago area.

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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.