The Chicago Syndicate: Attorney Paints Calabrese as Good Fella

Magee 1866 Heritage Month

Monday, June 12, 2006

Attorney Paints Calabrese as Good Fella

Friends of ours: Frank Calabrese Sr., Frank Calabrese Jr., Nick Calabrese, Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, James "Little Jimmy" Marcello

Mob loan shark Frank Calabrese Sr., accused of 13 mob hits, is not a member of the mob, his lawyer said Friday.

When Calabrese Sr. was describing the induction ceremony to his son -- on secretly tape-recorded conversations -- he was merely describing a scene from the 1990 mobster movie "Goodfellas," his lawyer contends.

When Calabrese Sr. was caught talking about mob sitdowns, they were nothing more than "alternative dispute resolution meetings," according to the filing by Calabrese attorney, Joseph Lopez.

When Calabrese Sr. described how shotgun shells ripped apart a human body at a murder scene, it was no more than mere "puffing." And when Calabrese Sr. learned that his brother Nick could be cooperating with the feds, Calabrese Sr. did not "send his blessing" to have him killed.

Calabrese Sr. was sending his blessing to have him left alone, the motion claims.

The mobster, it appears, has found God. "I pray every night that he doesn't become a Judas," Calabrese Sr. is quoted in one transcript as saying about his brother.

In another part, Calabrese Sr. discusses his taste in books of the Bible. In the quote, he apparently is referring to the Old Testament, which he calls the "First Testament."

"I like, enjoy reading the First Testament of the Bible, 'cause God was a little stern. He was stern. And, I appreciate that, and I look at that, and I can relate to that," Calabrese Sr. says.

Calabrese Sr.'s son, Frank Calabrese Jr., secretly tape recorded his father while both men were in prison in 1999 on a separate case. Calabrese Jr. put his life on the line by wearing a disguised recording device while both men strolled in the prison yard. Calabrese Jr. got nothing of substance from recording his dad, other than the hope that his father remains in prison for the rest of his life, law enforcement sources said.

The court filing by Calabrese Sr.'s attorney, made late Friday, was in response to a prosecution filing earlier this week, which called Calabrese Sr., "a serial murderer for the Chicago Outfit."

Lopez wants to get the 69-year-old Calabrese bonded out of jail. The prosecution wants to keep him locked up. His trial with other mobsters, including Joey "The Clown" Lombardo and reputed Outfit boss James Marcello, is scheduled for next May. A judge may decide on the request Monday.

Lopez argues Calabrese Sr. represents no danger to society and is not a risk to flee. In the motion, Lopez attacks Calabrese Sr.'s son and brother, both of whom are cooperating against him with federal authorities.

Prosecutors contend that Calabrese Sr. is likely to flee, noting he kept $1.5 million in cash in safety deposit boxes at one time and had stashed fake identity documents under nine different names.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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