The Chicago Syndicate: Mob Boss Warns About Wire in Advance
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mob Boss Warns About Wire in Advance

Friends of ours: James Marcello, Michael Marcello, Frank Calabrese Sr.
Friends of mine: Frank Calabrese Jr.

Two years before the information became public, the head of the Chicago mob warned that the oldest son of a Chicago mobster was wired up.

In a secretly tape-recorded conversation top Chicago mob boss James Marcello told his half-brother, Michael Marcello, in the visiting room of a federal prison not to talk around Frank Calabrese Jr.

"The oldest guy, the son, he's got one of these things on," James Marcello told his brother, pointing to his chest and mid-section during the Jan. 9, 2003, conversation. "So, if he comes around be careful," James Marcello warned.

The dialogue is quoted in a recent government filing in what's been called the most significant prosecution of the Outfit in Chicago history. Among those charged include both Marcellos and Frank Calabrese Sr., who is accused of having a role in 13 mob murders out of 18 charged in the case.

It's unclear how James Marcello found out about the closely guarded secret that Frank Calabrese Jr. was cooperating with the feds and had worn a wire on his father. The fact was reported first publicly in the Chicago Sun-Times in February 2005.

Federal authorities had no comment on the matter Tuesday.

Both Marcello brothers and reputed mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. are in federal prison awaiting trial in May.

Frank Calabrese Jr., who is not charged in the current case, put his life on the line by secretly recording his father while they both were in prison on another matter.

Frank Calabrese Sr. allegedly talks about mob murders on the tape-recordings, and his talkativeness has sparked great ill feelings toward him among his fellow mobsters awaiting trial with him at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

Frank Calabrese Sr.'s brother, Nick, is also cooperating, and the Marcellos are heard talking about his cooperation as well. That talk was spurred, in part, after Nick Calabrese did not return home from prison as scheduled in November 2002.

Michael Marcello was visiting his brother in prison in Milan, Mich. They want the secret tape-recordings barred from trial, but prosecutors argue that the brothers had no expectation of privacy while inside the prison and that the conversations are relevant to the case.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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