Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daughter of Late Mobster Arrested

Friends of ours: Albert Tocco, Clarence Crockett

The daughter of a former Southland mob lieutenant has been charged with stealing from a Frankfort country club.

Chicago Heights resident Sandra M. Andrade, 40, is the daughter of the late Clarence Crockett, a trusted aide of longtime Southland mob boss Albert Tocco, according to police and public records.

Andrade "obtained unauthorized control" of property valued at less than $100,000 at Prestwick Country Club between Dec. 29 and April 30, according to the charges. She is being held on $65,000 bail. An assistant public defender has been appointed to represent her.

Frankfort police refused to explain the charges, saying it's an ongoing investigation. "(Investigators) were hoping to talk to her, but they didn't have that chance," police Cmdr. John Burica said.

A spokesman for the Will County state's attorney's office also declined to comment, as did Prestwick's manager and an attorney for the country club.

The home address Andrade gave police is a single-story brick house on Campbell Avenue owned by Rose Crockett, who was identified as her mother. A phone message left there Wednesday was not returned.

Clarence Crockett for many years was involved in collecting the mob's "street tax," monthly payments to be allowed to operate illegal businesses, as a key aide to Tocco -- whom federal prosecutors later linked to nine murders, although he was never convicted in any slaying, according to news reports.

Crockett was convicted in 1989 with Tocco on federal racketeering, conspiracy and extortion charges and received a 20-year prison term. He was released in 2001 and died in March at 68.

Tocco received a 200-year sentence in 1990. His wife, Betty, was a key witness against him, testifying about his alleged involvement in the infamous murders of the Spilotro brothers who were shot and buried in an Indiana field. Tocco died of a stroke in prison 13 months ago at 76.

Federal prosecutors also went after a former mayor, three city councilmen and the deputy police chief of Chicago Heights. All were convicted on corruption charges.

Will County sheriff's police spokesman Pat Barry, a former sheriff's investigator who worked on the Crockett case, said the mob ran Chicago Heights for decades. "There was corruption from top to bottom," he said.

Today, people say the mob largely has been rooted out of Chicago Heights. When asked to comment about Crockett, Police Chief Anthony Murphy offered these words: "He's dead."

Thanks to Steve Schmadeke

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