Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chicago Cop Only Friend to Mobster?

Friends of ours: John Fecarotta, Frank Calabrese Sr., Paul “The Indian” Schiro, Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, James Marcello, Nick Calabrese
Friends of mine: Michael Ricci, Anthony Doyle

The lawyer for retired police officer Anthony Doyle did his best Monday to explain away how his client wound up caught on tape telling alleged mob member Frank Calabrese behind-the-scenes details about an FBI investigation into a mob hit.

Prosecutors in the Chicago mob trial that began last week said it was because Doyle, of Arizona, is a mob associate who was feeding inside information in an attempt to help the mob scuttle the case against it for the hit on fellow mobster John Fecarotta Sept. 14, 1986. But Ralph Meczyk told jurors that Doyle knew Calabrese from growing up in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, that the two used to play handball together, and that Calabrese had gotten Doyle his first job at McCormick Place.

So when Calabrese, incarcerated in 1999 in Milan, Michigan, mentioned to someone that he’d like to see Doyle again, word was sent, Meczyk said. “Anthony (Doyle) is a little stunned, but pleased that his old friend remembers him,” said Meczyk.

Doyle drove to Michigan with Michael Ricci, of Streamwood, another retired Chicago cop, claimed Meczyk. Ricci since has passed away. Once the two arrived in Michigan, Calabrese asked Doyle, who worked in the evidence room of the Chicago Police department, to find out about the case, Meczyk said.

Doyle wasn’t pleased, claimed Meczyk, but passed along what he thought would be a useless bit of information - that the FBI had taken into its possession a blood-stained glove used during the hit.

“The issue is, really, what was (Doyle’s) intent? … One of the reasons he did it is it’s innocent, innocuous information,” claimed Meczyk.

And what about all that code talk Frank Calabrese used when talking to Doyle - code only a mobster would know?

“Anthony doesn’t know what’s going on, but he feigns that he does,” said Meczyk.

Federal investigators, said Meczyk, “want to turn friendship into a federal felony.”

Also Monday, attorney Paul Augustus Wagner gave his opening statements for defendant Paul “The Indian” Schiro, accused of helping to murder his friend Emil Vaci in Phoenix June 7, 1986. Paul Wagner said the only thing that ties Schiro to the murder is the unreliable word of the government’s star witness, confessed murderer Nick Calabrese, Frank Calabrese’s brother.

The attorney for Joey “The Clown” Lombardo, Rick Halprin, decided to withhold his opening statement until the prosecution rests.

Attorneys for Frank Calabrese of Oak Brook and James Marcello of Lombard gave their opening statements Thursday. All five defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy in the commission of several crimes, including murder.

After Meczyk’s opening, prosecutors took testimony from James Wagner, a former FBI agent, about the structure and method of operation of the Chicago mob.

Thanks to Rob Olmstead

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