Monday, September 18, 2006

Deputy US Marshal Investigated in Operation Family Secrets

Friends of ours: Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs, Frank Calabrese Sr.
Friends of mine: Anthony Doyle, Michael Ricci, Frank Sinatra


A deputy U.S. marshal has been placed on paid administrative leave while the FBI investigates whether he was involved in leaking information in the federal Operation Family Secrets mob case, law enforcement sources said Thursday.

The deputy, a member of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, was required to surrender his badge and gun last week, sources said. He is not identified because he is not charged with a crime.

His role in the Operation Family Secrets case is unclear. In 2005, federal authorities charged 14 people in the sweeping mob indictment. The investigation, which is continuing, pinned 18 previously unsolved murders on the Chicago Outfit.

The deputy marshal has spearheaded several high-profile fugitive arrests, including the capture of an Italian mobster living in the west suburbs and a Chicago street gang member named as one of the country's 15 most-wanted fugitives. "Everyone realizes this is a good guy, and in some ways heroic," one law enforcement source said.

The deputy's father was a Chicago Police officer who was convicted in a corruption scandal and died in prison, sources said.

The Family Secrets case is set to go to trial next May. High-profile defendants, including Joey "The Clown" Lombardo and Frank "The German" Schweihs, were charged in the case, and both initially fled and were fugitives.

Schweihs was found late last year in Kentucky. The FBI tracked down Lombardo in Elmwood Park in January after he was on the lam for about nine months. Sources say Lombardo's flight and his apprehension remain closely guarded details.

Two former Chicago Police officers -- Anthony Doyle and Michael Ricci, a onetime bodyguard for Frank Sinatra -- were also charged in the case. Doyle and Ricci allegedly provided inside information or passed along messages from mob loan shark Frank Calabrese Sr. to the Chicago Outfit while he was in prison. Ricci died in January after undergoing heart surgery.

The deputy marshal could not be reached for comment Thursday. Spokesmen for the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI declined comment. Kim Widup, the U.S. marshal in Chicago, also declined comment.

Thanks to Frank Main

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