The Chicago Syndicate: Joseph Ferriola
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Showing posts with label Joseph Ferriola. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joseph Ferriola. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nicholas Ferriola, Son of Former Chicago Mob Boss, Sentenced to Prison

The son of a former Chicago Outfit boss was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison for profiting from illegal sports gambling and extorting businesses on behalf of the mob.

Nicholas Ferriola admitted that from at least 1999 until he was indicted in March of 2007, he profited up to $160,000 a month from running gambling operations as part of the Outfit's 26th street crew. His father Joseph "Joe Nagal" Ferriola, a convicted felon, headed the Chicago mob from 1986 until he had a pair of heart transplants and died of cardiac failure three years later.

At Tuesday's sentencing hearing, the younger Ferriola was ordered by Judge James Zagel to forfeit more than $9 million and pay $6,000 in fines. Federal officials believe Ferriola made more than $9 million dollars during his career with the Chicago outfit, a figure Ferriola disputed. According to filings by the US attorney's office, Ferriola was pulled over when Chicago Police in 1999, suspected of driving under the influence. Officers found $15,000 in Ferriola's pants pocket. He was a high school drop out with no verified employment history and had no explanation for the cash. Weeks later, the government caught a conversation on tape, between Ferriola and a senior member of the Chicago outfit, Frank "The Breeze" Calabrese, discussing profits. Ferriola told Calabrese he is "making a hundred thousand" dollars each week. Calabrese Sr. told Ferriola to be careful when he's talking about money.

Ferriola, 33, is considered by federal law enforcement to be a low-level hoodlum compared to his co-defendants in last summer's Operation Family Secrets trial. Outfit bosses Frank Calabrese Sr., Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo and James Marcello were among five Outfit bosses found guilty of 18 mob hits that went unsolved for years. The gangland killings included the murder of Tony "Ant" Spilotro, the Outfit's Las Vegas boss and the inspiration for Joe Pesci's character in the movie "Casino". Ferriola was not accused in any of the murders.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie and Ann Pistone

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Protected Witness, Sal Romano, Testifies at Mob Trial

Sal Romano has been in and out of the Witness Protection Program since the early 1980s, working for a time as an apartment manager. But Romano's real talent was as a lock picker. It was a talent he says he exploited for himself and the Chicago Outfit.

Romano, an admitted burglar, knew his way around the Outfit in Chicago and Las Vegas. His testimony in the mid-1980s helped jail the Hole in the Wall gang that reported to Vegas mob boss Tony Spilotro.

Romano testified that police payoffs helped grease the way for the mob. He said that often, those payments were channeled through attorneys.

Romano said his first exposure to the Outfit was breaking into some laundry machines for mob boss Joseph Ferriola. "He's not the kind of guy you say, 'No, I don't want to talk to you,'" Romano said.

Romano also recounted an alleged botched burglary attempt in Vegas with defendant Paul Schiro. They were looking for $50,000 kept in a closet safe, but when a small dog surprised them and started barking, Romano said he called the job off. When asked later why he didn't just take care of the dog, Romano responded, "I don't do dogs."

It is alleged that Schiro was a mob hit man who could often be volatile. Romano said he was told to be careful with Schiro because he could be a dangerous man.

Other testimony on Monday focused on the gambling machine business run by Mike Marcello, called M & M Amusements. A Cook County Sheriff's lieutenant testified about the raids that saw Marcello and Thomas Johnson arrested in 2003.

Still to take the stand is one of the prosecution's other big witnesses -- the brother of Anthony and Michael Spilotro. A dentist by trade, Pat Spilotro often worked on other mobsters. He also wore a wire for federal investigators, Charlie Wojciechowski reported.

Pat Spilotro is also thought to have helped the feds track down Joey "The Clown" Lombardo when he was on the run in 2005. Lombardo reportedly went to Pat Spilatro for secret dental work.

Pat Spilotro was also the dentist for Nick Calabrese, the mob hit man involved in Spilotro's brother's murder, Charlie Wojciechowski reported. Pat Spilotro is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.

Thanks to Charlie Wojciechowski

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mobster May Avoid Trial Due to Health Issues

Friends of ours: Frank "The German" Schweihs, Nicholas Ferriola, Joseph Ferriola, Joseph Venezia

A reputed prolific hit man for the Chicago Outfit, battling cancer, won't be going to trial with his fellow mobsters starting Tuesday in the historic Family Secrets mob case -- and may never face a jury at all.

Mobster, Frank 'The German' Schweihs, May Avoid Trial Due to Health IssuesFrank "The German" Schweihs was severed from the trial because of "physical incapacity," according to a decision by U.S. District Judge James Zagel. While Schweihs could be tried alone if his health improves, sources familiar with his prognosis doubt that will happen.

The turn of events Friday angered some family members of victims allegedly slain by Schweihs. "Now I won't feel closure," said Nick Seifert, a son of Bensenville factory owner Daniel Seifert, whom Schweihs allegedly killed in 1974 to prevent his testimony. "I want him in that courtroom. I don't care if he's on a respirator or on a gurney. I want him tried and convicted for the crime he did."

Schweihs is charged in the Seifert slaying -- one of 18 unsolved Outfit hits that are part of the Family Secrets case. But there are many more murders in which Schweihs was a suspect but never charged. One was the 1985 murder of Pasquale "Patsy" Ricciardi, the owner of the X-rated Admiral Theatre movie house, who was slain as the Outfit consolidated control over the lucrative pornographic movie industry.

When told Schweihs wouldn't be going to trial, Ricciardi's daughter Marianne said Friday: "If anybody has witnessed someone dying of cancer, all I can say is, 'God works in mysterious ways.'"

In other developments, two more men charged in the case, Nicholas Ferriola, the son of late mob boss Joseph Ferriola, and Joseph Venezia, an alleged worker in an illegal video gambling business, were expected to plead guilty Monday.

If that happens, it would bring the total guilty pleas to six and leave five defendants to stand trial.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

Wednesday, September 16, 1992

Jack Gail and Joseph Granata Recorded on Mob Tapes

As Jack Gail and Joseph Granata drank coffee in a Rosemont restaurant last December, they talked privately of their experiences as killers, according to secret tape recordings.

Granata, 51, a former Chicago mob enforcer turned government informant, said he liked to see his victims plead for their lives.

''You just wanna have fun,'' Granata told Gail, a felon from Highland Park. ''What ya do is let him beg, let him beg, let him beg. Did you ever have a . . . . beg?''
''No, I never let anybody beg,'' responded Gail, according to a recording of the conversation that was entered into court proceedings in Lake County on Tuesday.
''Oh, I love it,'' Granata continued.
''Let me tell you something,'' said Gail, continuing the conversation. ''When I do that there ain`t no conversation, nothin.` See, I`m a believer. . . I don`t deal with them (lying).''
''I laugh,'' Granata replied. ''I bust out laughing. You`re gonna see, I`m gonna laugh. Cause I love it. I laugh and they look and they go, `Oh, it`s all right, this is all a joke.` ''

Granata, who said he was an enforcer for Joseph Ferriola, a late Chicago crime boss, recorded the conversation in his role as an undercover government informant. In the Rosemont restaurant meeting on Dec. 2, and in other meetings that Granata recorded with Gail, the two men talked frequently of murders and trafficking in drugs.

Lake County Assistant State`s Attorneys George Strickland and John Kornak say the tapes prove Gail`s propensity for crime, and they asked Circuit Court Judge Raymond McKoski to consider the tapes when he sentences Gail on Thursday.

A jury in August convicted Gail, 47, of armed violence and possession of a controlled substance.

The charges involve some cocaine and a .357 Magnum revolver that Gail purchased from Granata in January in the parking lot of the Lake Forest Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway. Gail faces 6 to 30 years in prison.

His attorney, Dennis Berkson of Chicago, objects to McKoski considering the tapes when he sentences Gail. He contends that Granata is a liar and that the conversations are puffery and braggadocio by two men trying to impress each other with their toughness.

''What we have here is two individuals who are lying to each other,'' said Berkson, pleading with McKoski on Tuesday not to consider the tapes. ''I don`t think that anyone can say that Mr. Granata is an honest man.''

Berkson said the state is attempting to ''bring in other crimes that have not been proven or corroborated'' against his client.

Strickland said there is no corroboration because the drug trafficking and murders that Gail and Granata were planning before Gail`s arrest did not happen. ''What we are basically trying to do is show what they were going to do in the future,'' Strickland said.

McKoski said he will review the taped conversations and decide which parts he will consider at the sentencing hearing on Thursday.

At the time of his arrest in January, Gail was living in the Highland Park home of Karen Canzoneri. Her husband, Salvatore, a pizza company owner, was slain in his home in 1989. The murder has never been solved.

Gail faces another trial on Oct. 5 on charges that he solicited the murder of Gabriel Ponzio, a man in Florida whom Gail disliked. The murder never took place.

Thanks to Robert Enstad.


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