The Chicago Syndicate: Frank Saladino
Showing posts with label Frank Saladino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frank Saladino. Show all posts

Friday, June 26, 2015

Reinhard in 1969: Rockford Mobsters 'Retired or Inactive'

Federal judge and former Winnebago County State’s Attorney Philip G. Reinhard said in an April 4, 1969, interview with the Rockford Morning Star that he believed Mob figures in Rockford were "retired or inactive." Reinhard added he had "seen no evidence or indication" of Mafia-related activity in the Rockford area at that time.

Reinhard’s comments are in contrast with articles published in the past 15 months by The Rock River Times that detailed past Mob-related activity dating back to at least the 1970s.

Reinhard was Winnebago County assistant state’s attorney from 1964 to 1967, and Winnebago County state’s attorney from 1968 to 1976. He was nominated as federal judge for the Western Division of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. Reinhard has been on the federal bench since Feb. 10, 1992.

During the 1969 interview, Reinhard reacted to a question about the extent of Mafia activity in Rockford by saying: "There is a local structure, but if it has any ties with the national syndicate, they are very loose. There are individuals who, perhaps, made their money in syndicate-connected activities years ago and are now 'retired' or inactive. In the short time that I have been state's attorney, I have seen no evidence or indication that there is organized, syndicate activity here."

Reinhard did not respond for comment for this article, but did acknowledge during a February 2005 interview that he never knowingly prosecuted any Mob members during his tenure as state’s attorney.

MOB ATTORNEY TURNED INFORMANT

Reinhard's 1969 perception of Mafia activity contrasts with comments by former Chicago Mafia attorney turned federal informant Robert Cooley. He said in a Nov. 24, 2004, article in The Rock River Times that the Chicago Mafia, which is known as "The Outfit," had considerable interest in Rockford during the 1970s and 1980s.

Specifically, Cooley said: "[Chicago Mob captain and member of the Elmwood Park/North side crew] Marco [D'Amico], at the time when we were in power, Marco had a major crew working up there in the Rockford area. They had some illegal gambling interests up there."

According to the Chicago Crime Commission’s 1997 publication The New Faces of Organized Crime, D'Amico and eight others were indicted in 1994 "for running an illegal sports bookmaking operation, using extortion to collect gambling debts, and juice loans and conspiring to commit racketeering."

Cooley described in his 2004 book, When Corruption Was King: How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down, how he assisted federal agents set up the illegal gambling sting that snagged D'Amico in November 1989 in Lake Geneva, Wis., which resulted in the 1994 indictment.

Cooley turned from Mob attorney to federal informant in 1986 after the death of his father. During the next 11 years, Cooley's efforts to expose public corruption resulted in bringing more than 30 lawyers, politicians, and Mobsters to justice by secretly taping dozens of Mob meetings.

INDICTMENTS

Whether the recent naming of 10 Rockford-area men in an illegal gambling ring was connected to D'Amico’s former crew is not known.

However, according to a separate, but likely related, indictment last April in Chicago, alleged Mob hit man from Rockford, Frank G. Saladino, was a member of the South side/Chinatown crew at the time he committed crimes for the Chicago Mob sometime between the 1960s and 2005.

Cooley explained during an interview last April that Saladino may have been a member of both the North and South side crews at differing times during that period. Saladino was named a co-conspirator in the Feb. 1 federal indictment, which alleged the sports betting operation accepted "bets and wagers on the outcome of sports events, including football and basketball games" from the early 1980s until about May 2002.

A former bookie familiar with the illegal sports gambling ring in the Rockford area alleged in 2004 one of the key organizers was a prominent business leader. That leader was not among the individuals indicted.

Saladino was found dead April 25, 2005 — the same day he was indicted on federal charges of murder and undisclosed criminal activities on behalf of the Chicago Mafia. The Kane County coroner ruled Saladino's death was due to natural causes in May 2005.

Specifically, the FBI-led probe named "Operation Family Secrets," alleged the Chicago Mob was involved in 18 murders and racketeering conspiracy extending from the mid-1960s to 2005. The alleged racketeering involved sports betting, video gambling, loan sharking and collecting "street tax" from participants in illegal activities.

According to the 2005 indictment, Saladino was a "member of the South Side/26th Street crew." Saladino's last known Rockford address in 2004 was 1303 Montague Rd.

PROBES AND LAWSUITS

But illegal gambling charges and probes extend further back than the February 2006 indictment. In December 1968, a federal grand jury in Freeport called at least
eight people for questioning in connection with illegal gambling and other Mob-related activity in Rockford and northern Illinois. Reinhard became Winnebago County state's attorney in November 1968.

Among those subpoenaed before the Freeport grand jury were: Rockford Mob boss Joseph Zammuto; Adviser Joseph Zito; Underboss Charles Vince; Zammuto’s successor, Frank J. Buscemi; Philip Priola and Mob Soldier Joseph J. Maggio (see Mob Murder Suggests Link to International Drug Ring).

Priola is former AFL-CIO union official and one of the original members of a group that wanted to bring a casino boat to Rockford in the early 1990s. He was also one of the owners of U Grill It Inc., which did business in Machesney Park Mall several years ago as Texas Grill Steakhouse and Lounge.

Priola and others in his family were charged by federal officials on July 29, 2003, for allegedly conspiring to "defraud" the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department.

In response to an Oct. 6, 2003 article in the Rockford Register Star, which detailed the case, Priola sued the Rockford Register Star in 2004 alleging the article concerning U Grill It was libelous.

The case is still in the discovery phase, and was scheduled for a March 22 status hearing with 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Janet Holmgren. The Register Star is seeking tax returns and other documents related to the litigation, which also involved Priola’s son-in-law, Todd Gage.

When interviewed by The Rock River Times in 2004 about the lawsuit, Priola said he moved from Rockford to Las Vegas. He and other members of his family eventually pled guilty to the charges before a scheduled trial.

The indictment alleged that from at least 1992 to 1998, Priola and others "intentionally conspired" to under-report "gross receipts and net profits of
LT's Bar." It also alleged a cash-skimming operation took place for the benefit of the named family members.

Included in the alleged skimming operation were proceeds from "cigarette vending machines and coin-operated amusement machines."

Buscemi, a Chicago native, was owner of Stateline Vending Co., Inc., and Rondinella Foods Co., before his death in Rockford Dec. 7, 1987. Winnebago County court documents from 1988 indicate Saladino worked for Rondinella in the 1980s when Buscemi owned the business. The vending machine company was dissolved in 1988.

According to Buscemi's FBI file, the Rockford Mob was alleged to control the
vending machine business in Rockford during the 1980s, and used "extortionate business practices."

Vince, another person in addition to Priola and Buscemi who was called before the 1968 grand jury, was identified in a March 4, 1984, Rockford Register Star article as residing in an apartment at 1904 Auburn St., in Rockford. Land records for the address show the property was owned by the grandparent's of Peter and Mathew Provenzano from 1964 to 1987.

In July 1978, federal court documents show Vince, along with other members of the Rockford and Milwaukee Mafia, were alleged to have tried to extort money from a competing upstart vending machine company owner. The owner of the company the Mob members tried to shakedown was actually an undercover federal agent named Gail Cobb who was masquerading as Tony Conte.

Cobb and legendary FBI agent Donnie Brasco, whose real name was Joseph P. Pistone, worked together at the behest of the Bonanno crime family in New York to forge an alliance between the Rockford, Milwaukee and Bonanno family (see Mob Murder Suggests Link to International Drug Ring).

Actor Johnny Depp portrayed Pistone in the 1997 movie Donnie Brasco, during the time in the late 1970s when Pistone infiltrated organized crime.

As to Vince's residence and the Provenzano family's ownership of the property, Peter Provenzano was given the opportunity in October to comment about this coincidence and other questions, but declined after he was given an advance copy of topics for the interview.

Provenzano is a board commissioner at Rockford/Chicago International Airport, proponent for Rockford's return to home rule, and part owner of military contractor SupplyCore, Inc. Since its incorporation in 1987 as Pro Technical Products, Inc., the companies have been awarded more than $1 billion in U.S. Defense Department contracts—most of which has been awarded since the late 1990s.

Pro Technical Products, which was formed by Provenzano's father, changed its
name to SupplyCore in 2001, according to state records. Provenzano's brother, Mathew Provenzano, is secretary of SupplyCore and is one of the board of directors for the taxpayer-supported MetroCentre in Rockford.

Both Provenzano brothers were nominated for their positions by Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. SupplyCore heavily financed Morrissey's successful mayoral campaign last year.

About the author:
Jeff Havens is a former award-winning reporter for the weekly newspaper The Rock River Times in Rockford, Ill. Havens lived most of his life in the Rockford area, and wrote dozens of news articles about the Mob in Rockford and Chicago. Assistant Editor for The Rock River Times, Brandon Reid contributed to this article.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Unseen Victims from Mob Killings

Deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose -- convicted last week of passing information to the Chicago Outfit about a top mob witness -- was only 7 years old when Joe the janitor was found dead.

So he probably didn't read the small 1975 Tribune story about the body of the 33-year-old janitor found in the basement of Chalmers Elementary School on the West Side. Chicago detectives said the janitor suffered a massive heart attack. But a mortician at the Daniel Lynch Funeral Home in Evergreen Park made an amazing discovery along The Chicago Way.

There was a hole in the back of Joe the janitor's head. A heart attack didn't make that hole. A .22-caliber bullet was found lodged in the brain of the janitor.

His name? Joseph Lipuma.

A couple of weeks later, Lipuma's friend and alleged stolen-goods dealer Ronald Magliano, 42, was found shot to death in his South Side home. The home had been set ablaze, an Outfit practice to destroy evidence. Detectives figured the two murders were related, but no arrests were made.

Two years later, a friend of Joe's and Ronnie's was killed in a sensational daytime Outfit hit. Mobster Sam Annerino was chewed up by three men with shotguns outside Mirabelli's Furniture store in Oak Lawn. The Outfit had sway in Oak Lawn. The town's motto? "Be prudent, stay safe."

A few miles to the east in Evergreen Park lived Joe Lipuma's young nephew. A top student at Evergreen Park High School, an excellent athlete, he was so impressive that he was accepted as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. But he didn't like the military life, came home after a year, went to law school, and became a federal prosecutor before becoming a criminal defense attorney.

Recently, at John Ambrose's trial, I met that man. He was John Ambrose's attorney, Francis Lipuma, Joe's nephew. I disagree with him about Ambrose, but I couldn't help admiring his skill in the courtroom.

"I was just a kid -- a freshman -- when my uncle was killed," Frank Lipuma told me the other day after the Ambrose guilty verdict. "All I really remember about it was pain. Pain and sadness throughout my house, throughout my family."

Just in case you think I'm drawing some nefarious inference about Frank Lipuma, let me be clear: I'm not.

Lipuma was an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago. To become a federal prosecutor, applicants must undergo a rigorous FBI background check.

They reach back into your childhood, interview your friends from elementary school and scrub your family. If there were anything there, the FBI would have found it. But what they did find was a young man who felt the pain of his Uncle Joe's death but never learned why he was killed.

"I do remember the funeral home found he'd been shot, and that police thought it was a heart attack, but someone had put a gun behind his ear," Frank Lipuma told me. "It was terrible, all that pain in the family then. He was involved with people. There was just speculation. He knew Annerino, they said. I was just a kid playing baseball, trying to get to college."

Through weeks of testimony in Ambrose's trial, we heard about the Outfit informant he was supposed to protect: the deadly hit man turned star government witness in the historic Family Secrets case, Nicholas Calabrese.

Calabrese was in the federal witness protection program. Ambrose was convicted of leaking information to the mob about what Calabrese told the feds concerning dozens and dozens of unsolved Outfit murders.

One of the murders involved Annerino, the friend of Joe Lipuma and Ronnie Magliano who was known as "Sam the Mule."

The leaked information was contained in the FBI's 2002 threat assessment detailing Nick Calabrese's cooperation, a document prosecutors alleged was read by Ambrose before he leaked details of it to the mob through an Outfit messenger boy:

"Nicholas Calabrese will testify that he, along with Joseph LaMantia, Frank Calabrese Sr. and Frank Saladino, planned and attempted to murder Samuel Annerino. Ronald Jarrett, who is deceased [murdered], also participated in the planning. ... Though the attempt was unsuccessful, Nicholas Calabrese later learned that the murder was later carried out by Joseph Scalise. William Petrocelli and Anthony Borsellino also participated in the murder, but are deceased."

I asked Frank Lipuma if he became a federal prosecutor in part to find out who killed his Uncle Joe, but he wouldn't say: "I couldn't find any hard facts. I deal in facts."

The Chicago Outfit has many victims, and some might consider Ambrose to be one of them. He wanted to ingratiate himself with the bosses. He'll soon be fired from federal service and may even serve prison time. Joe Lipuma was a victim, too, and so was his family.

Murder isn't just between killer and target, especially Outfit murders. The victims are found among living survivors, legitimate folk spaced apart, often unknowing, as if on a vine reaching back through time, remembering.

Thanks to John Kass

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Winnebago County State’s Attorney the Office of Illinois Attorney General Fold on Card Game Robbery

Citing conflicts of interest, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Phil Nicolosi (R) and the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) have opted out of prosecuting a case stemming from an incident last month that led to the death by police shooting of 80-year-old Vaughn “Curly” Fitzgerald. The recusals mean the case will be handled by a special prosecutor.

Responding to a report of an armed robbery in progress the night of Oct. 16, officers witnessed masked gunmen fleeing the scene at 3307 Kishwaukee St. One suspect, Byron Starks, surrendered to police. As Starks lay prone before being taken into custody, officers say Fitzgerald shot him with a rifle. Fitzgerald, the hearing-impaired property owner, did not drop his gun when so ordered by police. When the barrel of his rifle reportedly swung toward officers, police opened fire, killing Fitzgerald.

Starks is charged with armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. A second suspect in the robbery, Dustin Frint, was later arrested and charged with armed robbery Oct. 26. Because the incident led to Fitzgerald’s death, charges could be upgraded to murder.

A grand jury ruled Oct. 31 officers acted appropriately in exercising deadly force. Although the grand jury case was presented by the state’s attorney’s office, Nicolosi has recused himself from prosecution of any crimes that may have taken place within the establishment at 3307 Kishwaukee St.

Nicolosi has indicated people attending the card game are clients of his former law firm, Nicolosi & Associates. Nicolosi practiced with the firm until his appointment to state’s attorney this summer.

“Just like a judge would do in any case where he felt inappropriate to hear a case, he would recuse himself,” Nicolosi said, “and I would do the same.”

Neither Nicolosi nor Police Chief Chet Epperson are willing to say who was at the card game, or who was running away when police arrived, citing an ongoing investigation, but Epperson indicated gambling charges are likely to be filed. Epperson reported the FBI was called to the scene in the early hours of Oct. 17 because some of the card game attendees were deemed people of interest.

Fitzgerald was known to frequently host card games. He was charged with keeping a place of gambling, but the case was dismissed in 2004 because police could not present video evidence, which was part of a separate ongoing joint investigation with the FBI. As a result of that investigation, nine local men were sentenced this year after entering guilty pleas to charges related to an illegal sports betting ring.

In the case against Fitzgerald, Rockford Police Detective Jeffrey Stovall’s sworn affidavit indicated the illegal card games were part of a gambling ring known as the “Soccer Club.”

Stovall’s report states his source identified brothers Salvatore “Sam” Galluzzo and Natale Galluzzo as the Soccer Club’s kingpins. The local daily identified Salvatore Galluzzo as an alleged Mob soldier in 1984. Surveillance photos of Galluzzo with “Fat Frank” G. “Gumba” Saladino were exhibits in this summer’s Family Secrets organized crime trial in Chicago. Prosecutors of that case say Saladino, who was found dead of natural causes in 2005, was involved in five of the 18 murders investigated in Operation Family Secrets. Saladino was also posthumously named a co-conspirator in the local sports betting operation.

Epperson would not say whether the Oct. 16 card game is believed to have been related to the Soccer Club.

Sources tell The Rock River Times a number of high-profile people, including law enforcement figures, were at the game. Epperson would not confirm or deny the allegation.

“All that information,” the chief said, “will become public, either with arrests or with our information going forward.”

Galluzzo is the father of attorney Gino Galluzzo, a partner at Nicolosi & Associates. The firm represents the municipalities of Loves Park and Rockton. Galluzzo and fellow partner Paul Nicolosi, brother of the state’s attorney, also sit atop The Buckley Companies, LLC’s hierarchy.

Jeff Havens reported in the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue Paul Nicolosi is a past business associate of brothers Salvatore and Natale Galluzzo.

Before the state’s attorney had even received a list of who was at the game, Nicolosi told The Rock River Times he’d refer the case to the attorney general’s office if it turned out he had any association with persons present.

Robyn Zeigler, spokesman for the Illinois attorney general, told The Rock River Times Madigan’s office also has a conflict of interest because one of the people involved is a witness in an unrelated case her office is prosecuting.

The matter will now be in the hands of a special prosecutor from the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor. According to the agency’s Web site: “If a conflict of interest arises in a State’s Attorney’s office, and the State’s Attorney wants an independent, detached review and prosecution by an outside person, or if special assistance is needed due to the complexity of a case, the Agency makes the services of the Special Prosecution Unit available.”

Thanks to Stuart R. Wahlin

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Possible Organized Crime Link to Rockford Shooting

Those who knew him say 80-year-old Vaughn “Curly” Fitzgerald loved to play cards and shoot pool. Fitzgerald, a World War II veteran, was shot and killed by police Oct. 16, apparently while trying to foil an armed robbery on his property at 3307 Kishwaukee St.

Although police are tight-lipped about numerous details, it is widely believed a high-stakes “executive” card game was the target of robbers armed with handguns­-not the first such game Fitzgerald has allegedly played. He was formally charged with keeping a gambling place in 2002, but the case was dismissed in 2004.

Responding to this year’s Oct. 16 Kishwaukee Street 911 call, reporting an armed robbery in progress, Officer Cheryl Buntjer, a veteran of more than 18 years, was first to arrive on the scene. Officer Jeffrey Oberts, a seven-and-a-half-year veteran, arrived shortly thereafter.

Police say officers witnessed two gunmen attempting to flee the scene. One of the men, Byron Starks, was ordered to the ground as he surrendered to police. A second suspect eluded officers.

Police Chief Chet Epperson stated Fitzgerald then fired two shots at Starks, hitting him once, before officers were able to take Starks into custody.

Epperson reported officers identified themselves and ordered Fitzgerald to drop his weapon several times.

“The first officer by the doorway fires her weapon at the armed subject, as he continues to point the barrel at her and the subject that was just shot, and a third officer behind this female officer,” Epperson recounted at a press conference Oct. 17.

Fitzgerald, who was hearing impaired, was allegedly told to drop his weapon again. Fitzgerald’s rifle barrel then allegedly swung in the direction of Oberts, who responded by firing his weapon at the property owner. Fitzgerald is then said to have retreated behind an entryway, and the area was quickly secured, according to Epperson, before medical response was summoned.

Starks, whom Epperson described as “a victim of a shooting,” was said to be in “guarded condition” by the chief. Epperson reserved commenting about whether Starks is cooperating in the investigation.

Coroner Sue Fiduccia indicated Fitzgerald was struck “more than one time” in the torso.

Per procedure, Buntjer and Oberts were placed on leave pending a grand jury investigation. Epperson said the shooting incident is tentatively slated to go before the grand jury Oct. 31.

Based on the information he’d received, Epperson said Buntjer and Oberts “acted appropriately, professionally and used the proper amount of force in this incident.

“I would have been very upset if they had not done what they did last evening,” the chief added during the Oct. 17 briefing.

Fitzgerald’s family, along with their attorney, were said to have been present at the press conference, but have been unwilling to speak with the media.

The morning after the incident, Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) said, “We don’t want [officers] to have to use deadly force, but in the situation where their lives are at risk, when they’re following the protocol that they’ve been trained on, they need to use deadly force when it’s appropriate and when the circumstances justify it.”

The use of deadly force by police is not the only matter being investigated. Epperson told The Rock River Times gambling and the armed robbery are also facets of the investigation.

According to Deputy Chief Greg Lindmark, Starks was charged Oct. 22 with armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. His bond was set at $1 million, according to police, who would not release Starks’ mugshot “due to the nature of the investigation.”

Judge Gary Pumilia, who dismissed the case against Fitzgerald in 2004, will arraign Starks Nov. 29.

Starks’ rap sheet reflects a number of prior charges, including disorderly conduct, aggravated discharge of a firearm, battery, attempted criminal damage to property and home invasion.

A press release issued Oct. 23 states, “The victims of the robbery were involved in a card game at the time of the incident,” and that further charges related to the incident are possible.

In 2002 the alleged gambling related to the charge against Fitzgerald was said to have occurred at 5526 Linden Road, a property owned by son Gregory and his wife Patricia.

Fitzgerald, the owner of nine properties in Winnebago County, is known to have hosted many such card games throughout the region. A prior charge against him, alleging he’d kept a place of gambling, was dismissed in 2004 after the search warrant was quashed. Reportedly, police were unable to turn over video evidence, which was part of a separate ongoing investigation into a sports betting operation.

Rockford Police and the FBI began that joint investigation into a bookmaking business in August 2000. Evidence leading to guilty pleas from nine local men included wire taps and surveillance.

This year, U.S. District Court Judge Philip G. Reinhard sentenced Joseph F. “Pep” Fiorenza, along with sons Nicolas T. and Rick J., John P. “Tiger” Frisella, Frank C. Giardono, Nick Provenzano, Charles A. Purin, John F. Salamone and Joseph W. Saladino for their roles in the gambling ring.

Epperson wouldn’t say how many suspects were involved in the Oct. 16 incident, or who had been present. Instead, he described the occurrence as “another incident involving the use of illegal firearms.

“Police business today, here and throughout this country has changed dramatically because of the continued heightened use of illegal firearms,” Epperson told reporters. “Illegal firearms, which Rockford police officers confiscate from dangerous criminals every day.”

Asked whether Fitzgerald possessed a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID), the chief answered, “That’s still under investigation.”

Asked the same question five days later, Epperson said he still didn’t have an answer.

Mayor Morrissey reported about a third of Rockford shootings this year have been perpetrated by convicted felons, who are not legally able to possess firearms. Morrissey believes there’s a lack of reporting when guns change hands after the initial sale.

“I have nothing against people who are lawfully using guns,” asserted Morrissey, who said he hunted while growing up and still has a FOID in his wallet. “The vast majority of cases where guns are being used in the commission of crimes; these are folks who don’t have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card.”

Asked if any other weapons had been recovered from the crime scene, the chief responded, “It’s still under investigation.”

Asked if thieves had gotten away with any cash, Epperson again replied, “It’s still under investigation.”

Rockford regional FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent G.B. Jones was also summoned to the scene in the early morning hours of Oct. 17, although he could say no more about any possible federal involvement.

The Rock River Times asked Chief Epperson why the FBI had been called in. After a 6-second pause, he responded: “Well, the gambling did take place, and some of the names of the individuals who were there rose some attention. …There has been some investigations in the past.”

During the 2004 case against Fitzgerald, court records show Rockford Police Detective Jeffrey Stovall indicated the illegal card games were part of a gambling operation known as the “Soccer Club.”

Stovall’s affidavit also reports a confidential source identified brothers Salvatore “Sam” Galluzzo and Natale Galluzzo to be running the Soccer Club. The local daily identified Salvatore Galluzzo as an alleged Mob figure in 1984.

Asked who was present at the card game, Epperson said: “I know who was there. I don’t want to comment, because it’s an ongoing investigation.”

Stovall’s 2002 affidavit indicates sites hosting the high-stakes games are commonly equipped with surveillance systems for security. Players are typically buzzed-in from the outside after being identified, according to Stovall.

Asked whether an on-site video surveillance system had yielded any evidence from the incident, the chief responded, “If it was there, it’d be part of the investigation, so I wouldn’t want to comment about that.”

During this summer’s blockbuster Family Secrets trial in Chicago against the Chicago Mob, Department of Justice exhibits included surveillance photos of Salvatore Galluzzo with Frank G. “Gumba” or “Fat Frank” Saladino.

Saladino was found dead April 25, 2005, apparently of natural causes, when authorities raided his Hampshire, Ill., hotel room during the simultaneous arrests of numerous reputed Chicago Mobsters related to Operation Family Secrets indictments.

Saladino was also named as a co-conspirator in the Rockford sports gambling ring, which many argue is a clear indication Rockford is a territory of the Chicago Outfit.

Prosecutors said Saladino was involved in five of the Family Secrets trial’s 18 murders.

At the press conference where Phil Nicolosi was named the Republican appointee for Winnebago County State’s Attorney June 24, he was asked by The Rock River Times, considering his Italian-American heritage, if he’d pursue the prosecution of organized crime in Rockford. When that question was asked, many Italian-Americans in the room groaned loudly in protest.

“I intend to prosecute vigorously any crime that’s committed in this county,” Nicolosi pledged confidently in response, which elicited supportive laughter from those who had protested.

Although all the local media were present in the room, most did not report on those questions or the response of Nicolosi or those present at the press conference.

Before taking over for Paul Logli as state’s attorney, Nicolosi was an attorney for Nicolosi & Associates. Gerlando “Gino” Galluzzo, son of Salvatore, is a partner with the firm. Paul S. Nicolosi, the state’s attorney’s brother, is also a firm partner and a past business associate of Salvatore and Natale Galluzzo, as reported in the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue.

Asked what impact the list of those involved in the Oct. 16 shooting might have on his prosecution of the case, Phil Nicolosi responded: “Since I have not gotten the police reports, I don’t know, officially, the names of the parties that were there. What I will tell you is, if there is any party that’s there that I, you know, have either an acquaintance of or prior relationship with, I would recuse myself and then, in all likelihood, if I felt there was even an appearance of a conflict, ask the Attorney General’s office to step in.”

Phil Nicolosi could not be reached by police the night of the incident. He said the reason he could not be reached was the officer who had his personal home phone number was on vacation.

Thanks to Stuart R. Wahlin

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Former Rockford Cop Testified at ‘Family Secrets’ Mob trial

Current Winnebago County, Illinois Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro said he can not detail his involvement in landmark trial against ‘The Outfit’

By Jeff Havens (This is an original, previously unpublished article.)

Although the federal jury in Chicago has handed down racketeering convictions in the historic Chicago Mafia trial and are still deliberating murder charges, there are many questions Rockford, Illinois locals may likely never have answered anytime soon. This revelation comes in spite of a local law enforcement official’s participation in the monumental investigation and resulting trial of the Chicago Mob, which is known as "The Outfit."

Dominic Iasparro, deputy chief of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department said he testified for about 15 minutes on August 1st, during which he identified three Rockford men in photographs that the prosecution introduced earlier as exhibits.

"I participated in the [Operation Family Secrets] investigation, and was subpoenaed to identify a series of photographs," Iasparro said.

When asked about his role in the investigation, Iasparro declined to provide any details about his involvement. The multi-year investigation led to the 2005 indictment of 14 individuals connected to "The Outfit" on charges, which included murder, conspiracy, racketeering, illegal gambling and loan sharking from the 1960s to the time of the indictment.

According to Iasparro, the individuals he identified were Rockfordians: Frank G. Saladino; Salvatore "Sammy" Galluzzo and Joseph W. Saladino.

Although Frank Saladino was charged with murder and other undisclosed crimes, he was never tried because he was found dead in a hotel room the day he was indicted on April 25, 2005. And even though their names and photos were mentioned during the trial, Joseph Saladino and Galluzzo were not charged in connection with "Family Secrets" operation.

Several photos featuring both Saladinos and Galluzzo were submitted during the federal government’s case against the Mob. One FBI surveillance photo taken on April 20, 1989 shows Galluzzo leading Frank Saladino in a parking lot (see link http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/hot/familySecrets/2007_07_26/photo_april_20_1989.pdf).

Iasparro denied taking the photo, and did not know why the photo was submitted in court. Iasparro also said he did not testify as to rank of the Saladinos and Galluzzo in the organization. He referred that question and others about the photos to the U.S. Dept. Of Justice.

A message left at the U.S. Dept. Of Justice in Chicago was not returned to confirm or refute information obtained by The Rock River Times regarding individuals in the photos.

Efforts to contact Joseph Saladino and Galluzzo were unsuccessful. Court transcripts of testimony are not yet available for review.

Mob file destruction

In addition to being a deputy chief for the sheriff’s department, Iasparro was also a longtime detective for the Rockford Police Department, and head of the Rockford area Metro Narcotics task force for more than 30 years. He was also the interim Rockford Police Chief from October 2005 to April 2006.

Iasparro abruptly retired from the Rockford Police Department shortly after current Rockford Police Department Chief Chet Epperson took the helm on April 10, 2006.

In the Dec. 21-27, 2005 issue of The Rock River Times, Iasparro admitted he and other unnamed police officials destroyed police intelligence files that concerned alleged Rockford Mafia members sometime during the mid-1980s. But the Mob file purging was done without the knowledge of then-Rockford Police Chief William Fitzpatrick who said he would have objected to destroying the files (see link http://rockrivertimes.com/index.new.pl?cmd=viewstory&id=11945).

Iasparro characterized the file destruction as part of a national effort to purge documents that were "not related to specific people and specific crimes."

Business partners

According to Steve Warmbir, staff reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, Frank Saladino was involved in five of the 18 murders detailed at the trial (see link http://rockrivertimes.com/index.new.pl?cmd=viewstory&id=17383). In addition to being a murderous enforcer and intimidating physical presence for the Mob, Frank Saladino was also in business with Galluzzo, who has his own business partner locals should know—attorney Paul S. Nicolosi.

Galluzzo was reported to be a "mob soldier" in a March 4, 1984 news article in the Rockford Register Star. He was also business partners with Saladino and Nicolosi in separate businesses. Sources for The Rock River Times speculated that Galluzzo may have been promoted in the organization since the death of former Rockford Mob Boss Frank J. Buscemi in December 1987.

Nicolosi is the attorney for the City of Loves Park and Village of Rockton. At one time, Nicolosi or attorneys from his law firm, Nicolosi and Associates, P.C., also represented the villages of Caledonia and Roscoe.

Nicolosi is also the brother of Philip J. Nicolosi, the newly appointed Winnebago County State’s Attorney. Phil Nicolosi was a Rockford Township trustee for more than 15 years before he became state’s attorney last month.

In one business—Buckley Partners LLC—Galluzzo, Nicolosi and other members of the Galluzzo and Nicolosi families leased office space to the Illinois Attorney General during former Illinois Gov. George Ryan’s term. However, Phil Nicolosi was not one of the members of Buckley Partners (see link http://rockrivertimes.com/index.new.pl?cmd=viewstory&id=10480).

In the other business, Galluzzo was partners with Frank Saladino in Worldwide General Contracting Inc. However, the City of Rockford never issued any building permits to Worldwide General Contracting since it was founded in 1988.

In connection with Worldwide General Contracting, Phil Nicolosi was named in 2000 as a defendant in a lawsuit in which Frank Saladino alleged extortion, conspiracy and fraud against him and 13 others, including Paul Nicolosi and Galluzzo.

Phil Nicolosi speculated he was named in the lawsuit because Frank Saladino "did not have proper representation advising him, he may have felt that he should just name as many names as he could."

Paul Nicolosi has responded to repeated questions in the last few years about his association with Galluzzo by not commenting.

Light sentence

Joseph Saladino recently served 27 months in a Minnesota prison for a conviction on federal weapons charges, including possession of a machine gun.

Saladino could have received up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine on the charges. Instead, he pled guilty in federal court in 2003 to possession of the machine gun and possession of a firearm by a felon.

As part of the plea agreement, Saladino served a little more than two years in prison in spite of his violent past, which included battery of a police officer in 1983, obstructing a police officer about one month later and a 1964 rape conviction along with co-perpetrator Frank Saladino.

The 2003 agreement for Joe Saladino was negotiated by Rockford-based, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael F. Iasparro—son of Dominic Iasparro (see link http://www.rockrivertimes.com//index.new.pl?cmd=viewstory&id=10046).

Gambling ring and unsolved murder

In a local case that is likely related to the "Family Secrets" operation, Joseph Saladino and Frank Saladino were named in February 2006 along with eight others in an alleged illegal sports betting ring that existed from the early 1980s until 2002. Most individuals that were indicted in that case have pled guilty to the federal charges.

However, unanswered questions remain as to why local authorities were not able to bring charges more quickly than federal agents from outside the area in that case and others, such as the still unsolved 1980 killing of Mob member Joseph J. Maggio (see link http://www.thechicagosyndicate.com/2006/05/mob-murder-suggests-link-to.html).

Jeff Havens is a special correspondent and award-winning, former reporter for The Rock River Times, a weekly newspaper based in Rockford, Illinois.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

How to Invest from Prison Like "A Known Associate of Organized Crime."

Friends of ours: Frank Saladino
Friends of mine: Nick S. Boscarino

Received a tip from a reader about reputed Mob associate (according to Illinois Gaming Regulators) and millionaire Nick S. Boscarino of South Barrington. Boscarino was sentenced to three years in federal prison in Yankton, S.D., on fraud charges for bilking the Village of Rosemont of money related to undisclosed insurance fees.

At one point, he attempted to reduce his sentence by claiming that he was an alcoholic as he sought treatment at Yankton's alcohol treatment program, which would make him eligible for an earlier release. The judge denied the request by Boscarino through his attorneys.

Apparently, before Boscarino went to prison, he put millions of dollars into 5 Hampshire parcels in 2005. They are now back on the market, he is trying to double his money on 2 of the parcels, bought for $1.5 million and selling for $3.7 million. On the other three parcels he is trying to increase his money 10-fold - bought for $1.4 M and selling fro $14 M. Nice way to make a living while sitting in prison for 2 years.

Even more interesting is the "mispelling" of his last name on the property records - seen as Boscarino, Boscario, and Borcarino. Not trying to hide any assets, are we Nick ??

The property information was obtained from the data links below. An interesting tidbit of trivia is that Frank Saldino lived (and died) in in a rural Kane County truck stop hotel (I-90 Rt 20 intersection) just up the road from the subject parcels. Saladino was found dead of "natural causes" April 25-the same day he was indicted on federal charges of murder and other undisclosed "criminal" allegations that were performed by Saladino on behalf of "The Outfit."

Tax and property info from these sites, by entering parcel numbers (listed below)

Hampshire Township Assessor's Office (Property Search)

Kane County Property Tax: Tax Payment Search

Tax bills go to Boscarino's home and business addresses

Properties Listed for Sale By Century 21 New Heritage

For All Your Real Estate Needs - Real Estate Listings Search - Page 1

>>>>>>Parcels 0109100011 and 0109100010

THIS 83 ACRE PARCEL IS ACTUALLY 2 PARCELS - 40 ACRES + 43 ACRES. THEY CAN BE PURCHASED SEPARATELY. 2ND PPI# IS 0109100011. THIS PROPERTY IS LOCATED IN HAMPSHIRE'S GOLDEN COORIDOR FOR RESIDENTIAL GROWTH. MOST OF THE FARMLAND ALL THE WAY TO ALLEN RD HAS BEEN SOLD FOR DEVELOPMENT. PROPERTY HAS HIGGINS RD ADDRESSS -- FRONTAGE IS ACTUALLY ON MELMS RD.

$3,767,850 Vacant Land - 47W531 HIGGINS(MELMS) Road, HAMPSHIRE, IL 60140


>>>>> Parcels 0124400028 and 0124400027

22.62 ACRES CURRENTLY ZONED FARM, BUT HAS POTENTIAL FOR COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL USE. SELLER WILL PARTICIPATE IN DIVIDING PROPERTY INTO SMALLER PARCELS. PARCEL IS ON HAMPSHIRE'S FUTURE ANNEXATION BORDER. CURRENTLY TWO PARCELS 16.39 ACRES PIN# 0124400028 6.23 ACRES PIN# 0124400027
$2,262,000



>>>>Parcel 0122100012

19.3ac PRIME COMMERCIAL PROPERTY WITH FRONTAGE ON STATE ST. AND ALLEN RD. NEW WATER AND SEWER LINES TO PROPERTY. NEWLY CONSTRUCTED STREET WITH CURBS. 14.00/S.F. IS FULLY DEVELOPED PRICE, READY FOR CONSTRUCTION. WILL DIVIDE AS DESIRED. PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN CONCEPT ON FILE. HAMPSHIRE'S NEW GOVERNMMENT CENTER TO BE BUILT ACROSS THE STREET FROM PROPERTY. $14 per sq ft, (~$12M total, price $610,000 per acre.)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Who Robbed Joe Batters?

Friends of ours: Tony "The Big Tuna" Accardo AKA "Joe Batters", James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, Ronald Jarrett, Frank Calabrese Sr., Nick Calabrese, Frank Saladino, Tony Spiltro, Rocco Infelice, Joseph Ferriola, Robert "Bobby the Beak" Siegel, Daniel Bounds, James LaValley, Frank Cullotta
Friends of mine: John Mendell, Michael Spiltro

It's the stuff of Chicago mob lore, cloaked in mystery.

Tony 'Joe Batters' AccardoThieves rob the home of ruthless Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo while he's away.

Then one by one, in brutal retribution, they are rubbed out.

One well-known career burglar, not involved in the Accardo job, got so nervous he'd be killed anyway that he took a lie detector test to prove his innocence and sent it to mob bosses.

Now, the mystery around the burglary in the late 1970s is clearing as the fullest account yet of the crime and the bloody consequences is being offered in a court document made public Thursday.

It's just one of the tales on tap as part of the Family Secrets federal trial, involving the top names in the Chicago Outfit, including reputed mob leaders James "Little Jimmy" Marcello and Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo.

Those alleged mobsters and others have been charged in a case involving 18 unsolved Outfit murders.

The trial won't only be about those murders. It will reveal a secret 40-year history of the Outfit itself.

On the Accardo burglary, ace thief John Mendell was simply out to get back what he had already stolen, according to the document.

Mendell had led a burglary crew that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry from Levinson's Jewelry. The only problem was that Accardo was a friend of the owner.

Mendell went into hiding as he learned top mobsters were angry with him and looking for revenge. He hid the loot in the rafters of his business. But it wasn't safe there for long -- another group of burglars broke in and stole the items.

Limoges JewelryMendell wanted his loot back and led his crew to break in to Accardo's home, where the jewelry was stashed in a walk-in vault.

The feds believe this because one of their witnesses -- whose name is blacked out in the court document -- allegedly went on the jewelry store burglary with Mendell but balked at pulling the heist at Accardo's home.

Mendell was lured to his death by a fellow burglar he knew and trusted, Ronald Jarrett, according to the new document. Jarrett worked for reputed hit man Frank Calabrese Sr. Jarrett died in 2000, shot in a mob hit outside his Bridgeport home.

Participating in Mendell's murder were Calabrese Sr., his brother Nick Calabrese, Jarrett and mob hit man Frank Saladino, the court filing alleges. Nick Calabrese is cooperating with the feds and expected to tell jurors in detail how Mendell was killed. He was beaten without mercy, his body punctured by an ice pick. Five other burglars met a similar fate.

The government filing also sheds more light on the slayings of Anthony Spilotro, the mob's man in Las Vegas, and his brother Michael in 1986. The brothers were lured to a Bensenville area home, on the promise of promotions within the mob, but they were beaten to death by several mobsters, authorities say.

In 1986, federal investigators had secretly wired phones at Flash Trucking in Cicero, allegedly the headquarters for years of the Cicero mob, as well as the home phone of Cicero mob boss Rocco Infelise. Investigators heard Infelise, James Marcello and top mob boss Joseph Ferriola exchange calls to set up a meeting with Outfit leader Sam Carlisi at a McDonald's in Oak Brook on June 13. The next day, the Spilotros were slain.

All of the witness names are blacked out in the heavily redacted court document, but the Sun-Times has reported the names of several witnesses, including reputed Outfit hit man and career burglar Robert "Bobby the Beak" Siegel, failed mob assassin Daniel Bounds, mob leg breaker James LaValley and burglar and mob killer Frank Cullotta, a close associate of Anthony Spilotro.

Cullotta is expected to be a key witness against Lombardo but will likely undergo a vigorous cross by Lombardo's attorney, Rick Halprin. "From what I've been told, Cullotta, in Sicilian, means mendacious," Halprin said.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mafia Articles Re-Emerge in Rockford after 21 Years.

Friends of ours: Frank G. Saladino, Salvatore "Sam" Galluzzo, William Daddano Jr., Anthony A. Cardamone
Friends of mine: Nick S. Boscarino


The Chicago Mob has not limited its activities to just the Windy City. In fact, in the Rock River Top 10 , the Mafia jumped to #3 on the list of Rockford's top stories for 2005.

Even before U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced in late April the indictment of alleged Mob hitman from Rockford, Frank G. Saladino, The Rock River Times published articles concerning past Mob activity in the area. According to the Kane County coroner, Saladino was found dead of "natural causes" in a rural Kane County hotel room April 25-the same day he was indicted on federal charges of murder and other undisclosed "criminal" allegations that were performed by Saladino on behalf of the Chicago Mafia, which is known as "The Outfit."

After the indictment, several articles described Saladino's links to former business partner Salvatore "Sam" Galluzzo and the Rockford Housing Authority. Galluzzo was identified as an alleged Mob member in a March 4, 1984, article published by the Rockford Register Star.

Paul S. Nicolosi, City of Loves Park attorney and owner of the law firm Nicolosi and Associates, P.C., was also business partners with Galluzzo in the development firm Buckley Partners LLC-a frequent contributor to local political campaign coffers.

During former Illinois Governor George Ryan's term, owners of Buckley Partners-Nicolosi, Galluzzo and Galluzzo's brother Natale Gallluzzo-were recipients of at least two state contracts. One of those contracts was between the Illinois Attorney General's office and Buckley Partners, which leased office space for the attorney general's regional headquarters at 7230 Argus Drive in Rockford. Nicolosi also announced he would develop a $5 million mixed-use office building at South Church and Chestnut streets, across from the new federal courthouse. Nicolosi or attorneys in his firm represent the municipalities of Rockton, Roscoe, Loves Park and Caledonia.

Also in the news was reputed Mob associate and millionaire Nick S. Boscarino of South Barrington. He purchased a local restaurant and other area properties since 2004. Boscarino is currently serving time in federal prison on fraud charges for bilking the Village of Rosemont of money related to undisclosed insurance fees.

And Rockford Police Chief Dominic Iasparro revealed he and other police officers destroyed files in the mid-1980s, which concerned alleged Rockford Mob members. Iasparro said the file purging was connected to a nationwide effort to destroy such files.

Rockfordian Joseph W. Saladino Jr., 59, a cousin of Frank G. Saladino, reported to federal prison Jan. 25 in Sandstone, Minn.

Joe Saladino's trip up the river to the Gopher State comes nearly eight years after being caught with a machine gun, butcher knife, bolt cutter, hand saw and other weapons in the trunk of his car.

The Rock River Times revealed Edolo J. "Zeke" Giorgi, former Rockford alderman and state representative, once worked for a Mob-owned distributing company. The now-defunct Northern Illinois Music, Inc./Midwest Distributing Company in Rockford was partially owned by Chicago Mafia members William Daddano Jr., and Anthony A. Cardamone.

Giorgi died in October 1993.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Infrastructure of Chicago mob

The 14 defendants indicted on racketeering, conspiracy, or gambling charges are part of the Chicago Outfit, which makes money for members and associates through illegal activities. The chain of command:

BOSS

James Marcello

Leader of the Chicago Outfit, known as "No. 1"

CONSIGLIERE

Provides advice to the Boss

SOTTO CAPO: Second in command, also known as "No. 2," reports to Boss

CAPO Street boss/crew leader, reports to sotto capo

- Frank Calabrese Sr., South Side/26th Street Crew capo, continued criminal activities from jail through Nicholas Ferriola and others.

- Joseph Lombardo, Grand Avenue Crew capo

FOUR CREWS: Generally given territories throughout Chicago. May include "made men" --trustworthy people--usually of Italian descent, who have murdered for the Outfit.

1. South Side/26th Street or Chinatown

- Ferriola collected money made by extortion demands from Frank Calabrese.

- Frank Saladino

- Nicholas W. Calabrese, a "made man" and brother of Frank Calabrese Sr.

2. Grand Avenue

3. Melrose Park

- Michael Marcello kept his jailed brother James informed on activities. Michael operated an illegal video gambling business.

4. Elmwood Park

ASSOCIATES: Assist the Chicago Outfit through criminal enterprise

Employees of M&M Amusement:

Joseph Venezia, Dennis Johnson and Thomas Johnson operated video gambling machines in Cicero, Berwyn.

Retired cops:

- Michael Ricci, a retired Chicago police officer, assisted Frank Calabrese by delivering messages to crew members, collecting money generated by extortion demands and providing false information to FBI.

- Anthony Doyle, a retired Chicago police officer, who tipped off Frank Calabrese Sr. of law enforcement investigations into the murder of John Fecarotta and whether individuals cooperated with police about mob activities.

- Frank Schweihs, an enforcer, collected and imposed "street tax" for himself and other members.

- Paul Schiro, a criminal associate of Schweihs and deceased member Anthony Spilotro.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Chicago Tribune

When You Get Serious About Tailgating


Crime Family Index