Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nancy Mullane Discusses "Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption" on Crime Beat Radio

On April 4th, Nancy Mullane ( discusses her fascinating book, Life after Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption on Crime Beat Radio.

Crime Beat is a weekly hour-long radio program that airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST., on the Artist First World Radio Network at

Friday, March 29, 2013

William Tapes, Suspect in FBI-Involved Shooting Incident Surrenders

A man wanted in connection with the March 25, 2013 incident that resulted in an FBI agent firing shots at a car surrendered to FBI special agents yesterday afternoon and has been charged in connection with the incident, announced Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

WILLIAM TAPES, age 52, whose last known address was 165 North Central Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, was the subject of a manhunt led by the Chicago FBI since the incident occurred on Monday. Tapes was charged in a criminal complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of assault on a federal officer, a felony offense.

According to the complaint, FBI special agents observed an individual later identified as Tapes kneeling near a vehicle’s tires and suspected that Tapes was stealing the center of the chrome wheels on that vehicle. Tapes was then seen getting into the driver’s seat of a sedan in which two other individuals were passengers. As agents approached the sedan to talk to the occupants, they identified themselves as “police” and “FBI.” The agents commanded Tapes to turn off the engine of the sedan and to get out of the car, but Tapes put the car in reverse and abruptly backed up. The agents continued to direct Tapes and the passengers in the sedan to get out of the car, but none complied with the commands. After several seconds, the sedan, which was being driven by Tapes, lurched forward, stopped briefly, and then maneuvered around an FBI vehicle which had been parked approximately 10 to 20 feet in front of the sedan. As Tapes maneuvered around the FBI vehicle, he allegedly headed directly toward one of the agents. That agent jumped out of the way to avoid being run over and fired his handgun into the sedan.

The complaint alleges that the sedan then left the parking lot at a high speed and was next seen by the agents after it had been involved in an accident. According to the complaint, the agents saw one of the passengers of the sedan at the scene of the accident, but neither Tapes nor the other passenger remained at the scene. A witness reported that the driver of the sedan crawled out of the driver’s side window and left the scene of the accident on foot.

According to investigators, friends and family of Tapes reached out to the FBI’s Chicago office on Wednesday in an effort to arrange for his surrender, which occurred Thursday afternoon at the Chicago Field Office. Tapes appeared this morning in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole, who ordered him held without bond pending his next scheduled court appearance, which is set for Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

Investigation of the incident and the search for Tapes was aided by the Chicago Police Department.

If convicted of the charge filed against him, Tapes faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt, and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Joe Serio Discusses the #Russian #Mafia on Crime Beat Radio

March 28th, Joseph D. Serio’s ( discusses his investigation into the Russian Mafia on Crime Beat Radio.

Crime Beat is a weekly hour-long radio program that airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST., on the Artist First World Radio Network at

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shannen Rossmiller to Discuss Hunting Terrorists on Crime Beat Radio

March 21st, cyber sleuth Shannen Rossmiller ( discusses her work hunting down terrorists online on Crime Beat Radio.

Crime Beat is a weekly hour-long radio program that airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST., on the Artist First World Radio Network at

Friday, March 15, 2013

Former NBA Referee, "Personal Foul" Author Tim Donaghy to Appear at the Mob Museum

In Las Vegas, sports betting is legal and that makes it a haven for sports fans each year during popular sporting events, including March Madness. At The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, visitors will learn about the history of the sports wire and how sports betting came to be part of the Las Vegas casino experience. This year, they will also get up close and personal with Tim Donaghy, former NBA referee and “Personal Foul” author, whose intimate knowledge of the game landed him in prison—and made him a sports media celebrity.

On Tuesday, March 19 at 10:30 a.m., Donaghy will present one of his NBA referee jerseys to the Museum during a news conference. From 1 to 4 p.m. that afternoon, he will sign copies of his book, “Personal Foul,” in the Museum and be available to discuss sports betting tips with guests. On the following day, Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m., he will speak in the Museum’s courtroom about the experiences detailed in his book. Following the presentation, he will sign copies of “Personal Foul” and answer questions from guests.

In his career with the NBA, Donaghy tracked personal relationships that existed between referees and players, coaches and owners to successfully pick games correctly 75 percent of the time.

Since being published in his book, “Personal Foul,” Donaghy’s story has been featured by more than 100 programs, including “60 Minutes,” ESPN, Fox's “Your World” and on CNN Headline News. Additional media exposure has included The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and countless radio appearances and interviews.

He currently appears on more than a dozen current radio shows as well as on television. He recently picked games successfully during the NBA playoffs on ESPN Radio in Miami and Dallas at a rate of more than 78 percent. Today, Donaghy remains in demand as an NBA insider, appearing regularly on numerous sports talk shows throughout the United States.

Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, Member of MS-13 Gang, Added to Top 10 Fugitive List

Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, wanted for the murder of a 69-year-old Colorado man who was dumped on the side of the road after being brutally beaten and stabbed, has been named to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading directly to the arrest of Rivera Gracias, who is a member of the violent Mara Salvatrucha gang—MS-13—and is believed to be in El Salvador. “Today we are asking for media and public assistance in bringing this dangerous fugitive to justice,” said James Yacone, special agent in charge of our Denver office.

Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus, who leads the FBI’s violent crimes squad in Denver, noted, “MS-13 is one of the most violent gangs in the United States, and Rivera Gracias appears to have embraced that lifestyle.”

The fugitive, a Salvadoran national, is approximately 29 to 33 years old with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5’10” tall, weighs about 170 pounds, and has a variety of tattoos, including “MS-13” across his back, “LA” on his right forearm, and “Nena” on his left hand.

The murder he is charged with occurred in August 2011. The victim—a long-time family acquaintance of Rivera Gracias’ teenage girlfriend—was choked, beaten, and stabbed. His body was then dumped in the mountains outside of Denver, where it was later discovered by a bicyclist.

The investigation soon focused on Rivera Gracias and accomplices, including his girlfriend, explained Special Agent Russ Humphrey, a member of the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, who worked the case. “The murder was vicious,” Humphrey said.

Rivera Gracias fled from Denver to Los Angeles and is now believed to be in his native El Salvador. Intelligence analysts with our MS-13 National Gang Task Force helped to positively identify Rivera Gracias, who also goes by the names Ernest Rivera and Edwin Rivera.

Rivera Gracias has ties to other MS-13 gang members in Colorado, Los Angeles, and El Salvador, and may attempt to gain entry to the U.S. using fraudulent identification. He may also visit Mexico and Guatemala.

“Elevating Rivera Gracias to the Top Ten list sends a message,” said Special Agent Niedringhaus. “No matter where you are as a fugitive—in the U.S. or anywhere in the world—we are coming after you.”

He added, “The FBI has put significant resources into fighting MS-13, and our gang task force works closely with our international partners to gather intelligence to help dismantle this transnational group. I think our chances of catching Rivera Gracias are excellent, especially with the substantial reward being offered.”

If you have any information concerning the whereabouts of Rivera Gracias, please contact the FBI’s Denver Field Office at 303-629-7171 or your nearest law enforcement agency or U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You can also submit a tip online.

Since its creation in 1950—63 years ago today—498 fugitives have been on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and 467 have been apprehended or located, 154 of them as a result of citizen cooperation.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mistress of JFK & Sam Giancana to be Portrayed by @ChristinaBLind in the "Ride the Tiger" Play

Christina Lind will change dresses often as she brings Judith Exner to life on a New Haven stage. She also aims to change how history views the mistress of both JFK and the don of the Chicago mob—to get beyond the wardrobe and the good looks.

Lind plays Exner in Ride the Tiger, which premieres Long Wharf on March 27 and runs through April 21. Willilam Mastrosimone’s play, directed by Gordon Edelstein, explores how sex and roughhouse politics intersected in the once-storied Camelot of JFK’s brief presidency.

Exner remained quiet for 15 years about her love affair with JFK. When it was revealed in the context of Senate hearings on U.S. intelligence gathering in the 1970s, Lind says she was character-assassinated as a gold-digging slut.

Lind doesn’t buy that character-assassination for a moment. Nor have other writers who have subsequently frayed the JFK myth.

This is Exner’s first posthumous trip on a major theatrical stage, Lind intends to seize the opportunity. She’s on a mission to change the way history views Exner. "She was vilified for being caught up in a river she couldn’t control,” Lind said in an interview a week into rehearsals, when the many dresses she’ll be wearing were not yet quite finished.

The play goes back and forth between Joe Kennedy’s plotting the rise of his senator son into the presidency; Frank Sinatra’s gigs in Las Vegas, where his pal JFK takes note of Exner; and Sam Giancana’s various digs as he murders his way through the drug trade and maybe trying to help JFK and the CIA knock off Fidel Castro with exploding cigars. By some accounts, Exner carried messages between the mobster and the president.

Mastrosimone’s play is a whirlwind of intrigue. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the 1960 presidential campaign, where Giancana allegedly fixed union support for JFK in the expectation that the young prez’s brother Bobby would take off the Department of Justice heat. When that didn’t happen, Giancana allegedly expected some other kind of payback or threatened to retaliate.

For example: In the second act, Sam says to Judy: “Bobby wants to fight organized crime, he should indict his fuckin’ brother. The Bay of Pigs was a crime. And it was organized.”

Or Jack to Judy in a moment of post-coital truth-telling:  “You know, Judy, we’re more alike than I thought. We ride the tiger just to say we did it.”

There’s a lot of history mixing with racy, messy, and intriguing might-have-beens.

The through line is Exner, a rich young California woman who early on married an actor and whose social circle was the wealthy and the powerful. In other words, Lind points out, she was no poor social climber.

Actors are always looking for windows that let them inside a character. Lind (pictured) is a young actress who’s best known for her work as Bianca in the daytime soap All My Children. Exner is the first real character she has portrayed. Lind said she feels a sense of artistic “responsibility” to portray the character’s complexity, not the black and white.

Lind read in Exner’s biography, Judith Exner: My story, that Exner absolutely never let the powerful men in her life pay for her. “She was self-sufficient, wouldn’t let people buy her stuff. She booked her own flights.”

Those would be airplane flights for her cross-country trysts with the young new president, who is portrayed in this play as a sexual athlete who needs Exner—or Marilyn Monroe or any number of other women—either to distract him from his presidential burdens or to relieve the extreme back pain from his PT-109 wartime injuries.

“She wanted what everyone wanted, to be loved. And they used her. And before she knew it, she was used up. Affairs with powerful people are not black and white. She had power herself,” reflected Lind.

That power was perhaps rooted in Exner’s beauty. In her intense dark eyes and, in the view of some, a Jackie look-alike quality. “She was not a slut or easy. I feel she had a great personality, a charisma too. She had a sway over these men. JFK was a prince, and he had something like love for her,” Lind argued.

Lind noted that her colleagues [Douglas Sills as playing JFK, John Cunningham as Jack’s dad Joe, Jordan Lage as mobster Giancana] have a different challenge: to portray with freshness characters people already know.

Exner is different. In the received history as well as in the play, “all the other characters characterize her as a certain thing,” Lind observed. She called it “a great privilege for me to reveal her in this way. These details about her have been ignored by history, as is the case for many women, especially those who were in submissive position with powerful men. It’s easier to call them home-wreckers than to examine their psychology.”

Lind was asked how she would want Exner, who died at age 65 in 1999, to respond to the play if she were in the audience. “I would want her to tell me, ‘Thank you for understanding me,’” Lind responded. “That’s my greatest wish.’”

The young actress, who is about the age Exner was in the 1960s, splits her time between Brooklyn and L.A. She has several other roles percolating for her next steps in her career, she said. She declined to name them, to avoid hexing her chances. Then she went back to her colleagues to resume running lines for Judith Exner.

Thanks to Allen Appel.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Is Piz Rizza Playboy Material?

When "Mob Wives Chicago" star Pia Rizza found out there were naked pictures of her being shopped to various media outlets ... she knew the drill -- RELEASE THE PHOTOS HERSELF!!!

Is Piz Rizza Playboy Material?

Pia told TMZ ... she took the racy pics -- which she allowed TMZ to publish -- sometime last year, while still filming "Mob Wives" and sent them to her boyfriend to get some feedback on whether she had the right stuff for Playboy. But Pia told TMZ... the pics somehow got into the wrong hands -- and someone was trying to sell them without her permission.

Pia says she wanted the pics posted for two reasons:

1. She doesn't want anyone making money off of HER image
2. Yeah, she wants Playboy to notice

Thanks to TMZ.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stacy Dittrich Discusses "Searching for Sandra: The Story Behind the Disappearance of Sandra Cantu" on Crime Beat Radio

On Thursday, March 14th, Veteran Police Officer Stacy Dittrich ( will be a guest on Crime Beat Radio to discuss her book, Searching for Sandra: The Story Behind the Disappearance of Sandra Cantu.

Crime Beat is a weekly hour-long radio program that airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST., on the Artist First World Radio Network at

Friday, March 08, 2013

Tony DeBois, Former Markham Deputy Police Chief, Arrested on Federal Civil Rights Charge Alleging Aggravated Sexual Abuse

The former deputy police chief in south suburban Markham was arrested yesterday after being charged in a federal indictment with violating the civil rights of a victim through acts that included aggravated sexual abuse. The defendant, Tony D. DeBois, was arrested at his home this morning without incident by special agents of the FBI. DeBois was the deputy chief of the Markham Police Department when the alleged crime occurred on September 23, 2010.

DeBois, 41, of Matteson, was scheduled to appear at 2:15 p.m. yesterday before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier in federal court. He was charged in a single-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on Wednesday and unsealed yesterday following his arrest.

The indictment alleges that on September 23, 2010, while acting in his official capacity as Markham deputy police chief, DeBois violated the victim’s right to bodily integrity by acts that included aggravated sexual abuse.

DeBois served as deputy chief between 2008 and approximately 2011, and he was also the Markham Police Department’s head of internal affairs between 2007 and approximately 2011, when he became Markham’s inspector general until sometime in 2012. DeBois began his law enforcement career with the former Chicago Housing Authority Police Department in the 1990s, and he was a police officer in south suburban Harvey from 1999 to 2007, when he joined the Markham Police Department.

The arrest and indictment were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They thanked Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney, for her office’s extensive cooperation in the investigation, as well as the Illinois State Police.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney April Perry.

The felony civil rights violation carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that the charge is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

# OperationPaperTiger Hitman Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez Convicted on RICO and Murder Conspiracies with Brothers Julio and Manuel Leijasanchez

Three defendants are facing mandatory life imprisonment after a federal jury found them guilty of racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and related crimes after a six-week trial in U.S. District Court. Two brothers, Julio and Manuel Leijasanchez, who operated a lucrative, black-market counterfeit identification document business in Chicago’s Little Village community for at least 15 years, were convicted along with Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez, whom they directed to commit an execution-style murder in Mexico of a fledgling competitor. The murder plot was intended to prevent two former employees from starting a competing business and to maintain control over employees of their operation, which generated annual revenues of approximately $3 million.

Evidence at trial showed that Salazar-Rodriguez fired more than a dozen shots in killing one of the victims in his taxi cab near Mexico City in April 2007, and the jury heard transcripts of intercepted telephone conversations in which he boasted to the brothers after the murder. He also hunted for a second victim whom he believed was in Mexico at the time but who was actually in federal custody in Chicago. That intended victim, who pleaded guilty to fraudulent identification document charges, cooperated and testified as a government witness at trial.

After the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts, the trial ended when the jury returned special findings regarding the murder that raised the maximum penalty for racketeering conspiracy to life in prison. The murder in aid of racketeering conviction carries a mandatory life sentence for all three defendants. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer scheduled sentencing for September 12.

“This violent conspiracy went to great lengths to corner the fake document market in Chicago, going so far as to murder a rival vendor in order to protect their lucrative turf,” said Gary Hartwig, Special Agent in Charge of HSI in Chicago. “The guilty verdicts clearly demonstrate our unyielding resolve to dismantle the criminal organizations that perpetuate and profit from document fraud within our borders.”

The trial and convictions stem from Operation Paper Tiger, an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations agents, along with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. In April 2007, the investigation resulted in charges against 24 defendants and the dismantling of the Leija-Sanchez fraudulent document organization that operated in and around the Little Village Discount Mall at West 26th and Albany in Chicago. Except for the three trial defendants and three fugitives, all of the remaining defendants were convicted.

Manuel Leija-Sanchez, 45, and Salazar-Rodriguez, 40, were arrested later in Mexico and were extradited to the United States in 2010 and 2011 to stand trial, together with Julio Leija-Sanchez, 37, who was arrested in Chicago in 2007. A third Leija-Sanchez brother, Pedro, 40, was also arrested in Mexico and extradited to the U.S in 2011. He pleaded guilty last August to racketeering conspiracy for operating the fraudulent ID ring with his brothers and is awaiting imposition of an agreed sentence of 20 years in prison, currently scheduled for March 13.

Evidence at trial showed that the three Leija-Sanchez brothers operated the bustling illegal business between 1993 and 2007. The Mexico-based organization was supervised by an overall leader living in Chicago, and the leadership position rotated among the Leija-Sanchez brothers. The organization sold as many as 100 sets of fraudulent identification documents each day, charging customers approximately $200 per “set,” consisting of a Social Security card and either an immigration “green card” or a state driver’s license.

Manuel and Julio Leija-Sanchez and Salazar-Rodriguez conspired to murder Guillermo Jimenez-Flores, also known as “Montes,” a former member of their organization who became a fledgling rival and was shot to death by Salazar-Rodriguez in Mexico in April 2007. The three trial defendants also were convicted of conspiracy to kill a second victim, Bruno Freddy Ramirez-Camela, whom they believed was in Mexico but was actually incarcerated in Chicago.

The convictions were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He commended the years of hard work by HSI agents, who were joined in the investigation by the Chicago and Galveston, Texas Police Departments and the Chicago offices of the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The government of Mexico and Mexican law enforcement partners also provided significant assistance.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle Nasser, Andrew Porter, and William Ridgway.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Dimitry Vishnevetsky Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Causing Clients to Lose $1.6 Million in Fraud Scheme

A former Chicago investment advisor was sentenced yesterday to six years in federal prison for an investment fraud scheme that swindled clients, causing them to lose more than $1.6 million. The defendant, Dimitry Vishnevetsky, pleaded guilty last August to wire fraud and bank fraud, admitting that he misappropriated funds raised from investors for his own purposes, including to pay for such expenses as mortgage and car payments, travel and vacations, restaurant bills, athletic club dues, and to make trades for himself, while using additional investor funds to make Ponzi-type payments to clients.

Vishnevetsky, 34, of Chicago, was ordered to pay $1,684,763 in restitution, nearly all of it to a half-dozen investment clients, by U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo, who likened Vishnevetsky’s conduct to a financial storm that devastated the lives of his victims. Vishnevetsky was ordered to begin serving his sentence on May 28.

“This offense was entirely unnecessary,” the government argued at sentencing. “There was no good reason for this fraud, and the defendant, who was skilled in the world of finances, could have gotten a legitimate job. In fact, [he] obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and attended the University of Oxford.”

According to the court records, Vishnevetsky offered and purported to sell investments, including investments in funds which promised to trade S&P Futures, and a fund that could trade in things such as equities, futures contracts, and commodities, as well as brokerage and management services for some investors, and promissory notes, through Hodges Trading LLC and Oxford Capital LLC, which he controlled. Three purported Oxford funds existed in name only, as did the promissory notes, which Vishnevetsky described as London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) adjusted notes.

Between September 2006 and March 2012, Vishnevetsky made false representations about the profitability of his prior and current trading, the use of the invested funds, the risks involved, the expected and actual returns on investments and trading, as well as false representations about the funds he purportedly traded. For example, Vishnevetsky created and provided some investors fraudulent trading results showing profits as high as 36 percent per year. In fact, any trades that Vishnevetsky actually made consistently resulted in losses, not profits.

The bank fraud conviction resulted from false statements Vishnevetsky made between 2007 and 2010 to Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust concerning his income and assets to cause the bank to issue, and later modify, two loans totaling approximately $519,500 to purchase a condominium in Chicago.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Stern.

The sentence was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which filed a companion civil enforcement lawsuit, assisted in the investigation.

The investigation falls under the umbrella of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit

Friday, March 01, 2013

Mario J. Rainone Convicted of Being a Felon in Poessession of Firearm

An Addison man was convicted by a federal jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant, Mario J. Rainone, was found guilty following a two-day trial. The jury was empaneled on Monday before U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber in Federal Court.

Rainone, 58, who was arrested in February 2009, remains in federal custody pending sentencing, which Judge Leinenweber scheduled for June 5. Based on Rainone’s status as an armed career criminal under federal law, the offense carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison. Rainone also faces a maximum fine of $250,000. The court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Rainone was arrested by Addison police on state charges on February 12, 2009. A state search warrant was executed the next day at an apartment where Rainone was staying in the 1200 block of West Lake Street in the western suburb. A Smith & Wesson Model 19-3 .357 caliber revolver, along with personal papers and other belongings, were found in the nightstand in the bedroom used by Rainone, resulting in the federal firearms charge. The gun was stolen in October 2008, according to the original owner, who testified at trial.

A stipulation was entered at the trial that Rainone has a prior felony conviction. Federal law prohibits a convicted felon from possessing any firearm affecting interstate commerce.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amarjeet Bhachu and Michael Donovan. The verdict was announced Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Addison Police Department.

Gilbert Spiller, General with the Black P Stone Nation, Sentenced to 20 Years in the Federal Clink

A self-admitted high-ranking member of a Chicago street gang that operates in a south side neighborhood that he and his associates refer to as “Terror Town” was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. The defendant, Gilbert Spiller, holds the rank of “general” in the Black P Stone Nation street gang and has criminal convictions spanning two decades. He was arrested by the FBI and Chicago Police in October 2011 and pleaded guilty last September to two counts of selling crack cocaine and one count of illegally selling a firearm.

The sentence was imposed today by U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras in Federal Court.

Spiller, 37, admitted selling approximately 62.2 grams of crack cocaine on July 13, 2011, and approximately 59.2 grams of crack on July 21, 2011, to a confidential informant in the vicinity of the 7800 block of South Kingston Avenue.

On October 18, 2011, Spiller sold the same individual a loaded .40 caliber handgun, knowing that the individual was a felon on parole and had recently purchased crack from Spiller on two occasions and believing that the individual had a score to settle with rival gang members.

According to court documents, Spiller admitted that he first joined the Black P Stone Nation while he was in grade school. He was subsequently convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm, which arose from a drive-by shooting that killed one victim and wounded four others. He was later convicted of aggravated battery of a Chicago Police officer.

“As his life in the gang further hardened, he became involved in violent crime,” the government wrote in a sentencing argument. Spiller “admitted that he was involved in shooting at other people on five to 10 different occasions and believed that he hit the people he was aiming at in roughly half of these shootings.”

The government was represented by Matthew Burke. The sentence was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The investigation was conducted by the FBI/CPD Joint Task Force on gangs.

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