Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Secrets: Nick Calabrese concludes testimony

After five days of testimony in Chicago's Family Secrets trial, Nicholas Calabrese was excused from the witness stand yesterday, according to a story by Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune.
Calabrese, 64, a mob turncoat and brother of defendant Frank Calabrese Sr., was cross-examined all day Monday. He stuck by his earlier testimony tying defendant James Marcello to violent gang crimes in the 1980s.

During direct examination last week, Calabrese described the murder of Nicholas D'Andrea in 1981 and the 1986 killings of Emil Vaci and brothers Anthony and Michael Spilotro. He claimed that Marcello drove him and other gangsters to a Bensenville home, where the Spilotros were beaten to death.
Anthony "the Ant" Spilotro had served as a monitor for Outfit investments in Las Vegas, but he violated underworld directives. When cornered by angry Outfit associates, Anthony Spilotro's final words were "Can I say a prayer?" according to Calabrese. At that moment, the brothers were rushed, beaten and strangled.
Under cross-examination, he was unable to specifically name Anthony Spilotro's killer. Calabrese said he and the late Louie "the Mooch" Eboli tackled Michael Spilotro, and he had his back to Anthony Spilotro at the critical moment.

Texas raids net 121 gangsters

Federal and local law enforcement agents made 121 arrests in raids against north Texas street gangs yesterday, according to an AP story published in the Los Angeles Chronicle.

Some of those arrested are being processed for deportation. Others face criminal charges. Members of 27 street gangs - including the Mexican Mafia, MS-13, the Latin Kings and the Asian Boyz - were rounded up.

Bellomo gets just one more year

Liborio "Barney" Bellomo, one-time boss of the Genovese Crime Family, will serve just one additional year in prison, according to a story by Kati Cornell of the New York Post.

A racketeering-murder case that could have called for the death penalty fell apart when witness memories suddenly failed and evidence was lost from a storage room. Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Bellomo on a charge of cheating a Bronx carting company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They dropped a charge relating to the 1998 mob hit on Ralph Coppola.

Bellomo acknowledged once serving as acting boss of the Genovese Family. He claimed, however, that he found religion in prison and has severed his connections with the Mob.

Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Bellomo on Monday to 41 months in prison on the fraud charge. All but one year will be served concurrent with his existing sentence. Bellomo went into jail 11 years ago for racketeering. He had been scheduled for release in August 2008.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at tphunt@gmail.com.)
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website Mafiahistory.us; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.