Monday, June 18, 2007

Chicago Mobster Pleads Guilty

Friends of ours: Michael Marcello, James Marcello, Sam Carlisi, Nick Calabrese

Mobster Michael Marcello, half-brother of James Marcello, the man prosecutors say is the head of the Chicago Outfit, pleaded guilty today to racketeering and gambling charges on the eve of his trial.

Marcello, 56, admitted he was associated with the "Melrose Park Crew" of the Mob, reporting at various times to Sam Carlisi and James Marcello.

Further, he admitted he ran M&M Amusement, a Cicero vending company that altered amusement video poker games to make them into gambling machines, which they then distributed to bars and restaurants, giving those owners a cut and then collecting the rest of the proceeds.

More importantly, Marcello admitted that he tried to hush up mob turncoat Nick Calabrese, the man primarily responsible for supplying agents with the evidence for the upcoming trial that begins Tuesday with jury selection. Calabrese turned on his brother, Frank Calabrese Sr. of Oak Brook and other mobsters, telling the government of various murders he said he was aware of, including murders he said he committed personally.

Michael Marcello said he relayed $4,000 a month from James Marcello to the family of Nick Calabrese when Nick Calabrese was in prison in an effort to placate Nick Calabrese and keep him from going to the feds.

After prosecutor Mitch Mars described the above acts, U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel asked Marcello, "Is what he said true?"

"Yes, your honor," replied Michael Marcello.

Catherine O'Daniel, who, along with attorney Arthur N. Nasser, represented Michael Marcello said he "is a good man and has accepted responsibility for the conduct in the indictment."

She also denied published reports that Marcello has been having problems while inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center. "He is just eager to put this behind him," said O'Daniel.

Michael Marcello faces 70 to 108 months in prison. Zagel will rule within a week whether he will sentence him soon, as Nasser requested, or wait until the trial is over, as prosecutors have requested.

Thanks to Rob Olmstead

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