The Chicago Syndicate: Michael Ricci
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Showing posts with label Michael Ricci. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Ricci. Show all posts

Friday, August 24, 2007

Third Defendant Testifies at Mob Trial

Former Chicago police officer Anthony Doyle took the stand Wednesday to deny he ever helped the mob by passing along sensitive information about a mob murder.

Doyle, who was born Anthony Passafiume, is accused of using his position as an officer in the evidence room of the Chicago Police Department to check on the status of blood-soaked gloves worn by mobster Nick Calabrese in the slaying of John Fecarotta. What he found, prosecutors allege, is that the gloves had been turned over to FBI investigators, sealing Nick Calabrese's fate and forcing him down the road of mob informant. Feds have Doyle on video and audiotape visiting mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., Nick's brother, in prison. On the tapes, he tells the Calabrese one of the dates in the file on the gloves.

Doyle, being led through testimony by his attorney, Ralph Meczyk, began Wednesday to try to explain how that happened.

He is the third defendant in the mob conspiracy case to take the stand in his defense. The other two were Joseph Lombardo of Chicago and Frank Calabrese Sr. of Oak Brook. James Marcello of Lombard and Paul Schiro of Arizona are not expected to testify.

Doyle maintained that he knew Frank Calabrese Sr. since he was a young man and met him growing up. The two began an association based on a mutual love of athletics, Doyle said. Doyle hadn't seen Frank Calabrese Sr. for years when he began visiting a federal penitentiary in Milan, Mich., where another friend of Doyle's was incarcerated.

Doyle, apparently in an attempt to show he wasn't hiding anything in the visits, testified he had to fill out an application with the Bureau of Prisons, listing his employer, in order to visit.

Doyle's incarcerated friend mentioned his visit to Frank Calabrese Sr., who passed along word that he wanted to see his old friend, Doyle testified. "He'd (Calabrese) been my friend since I was a young boy. I thought maybe he was in need of a friend … so I agreed to go up and visit him in Milan," Doyle said.

Calabrese Sr. arranged for him to drive up with Mike Ricci, another former police officer indicted in the case. Ricci died of natural causes before trial.

Once at the prison, Doyle said, Calabrese Sr. and Ricci began speaking in a confusing lingo he didn't understand. "He spoke now more in some sort of a mind-boggling code," Doyle testified. But Meczyk didn't ask why Doyle never asked the two why they were speaking in code or what it meant.

Instead, he steered Doyle toward recalling why he looked up information on the gloves. Ricci, a fellow cop, had called and asked him for the information, Doyle testified. And why, then, did Doyle relay a date from the file to Calabrese, Sr. on a separate visit, Meczyk asked.

Ricci, Doyle claimed, asked Doyle to, saying Ricci had told Calabrese, Sr. once, but Calabrese Sr. believed Ricci was senile.

Meczyk will continue his questioning of Doyle today, and then prosecutors will cross-examine him.

Thanks to Rob Olmstead

Family Secrets Doctor is No McDreamy

"She's gotta get blood work, she's gotta get this before she sees the doctor."

"Oh, all right."

That's not some heated exchange on "House," because the doctor in this show isn't the sarcastic fellow with the cane on TV. And it's not "Grey's Anatomy" either, another doctor show favored by female viewers, where the male lead is nicknamed Dr. McDreamy by the steamy female staff.

No one would say the doctor referenced above is Dr. McDreamy. You wouldn't call him that. The Doctor McDreamy in "Grey's Anatomy" is a pretty boy. He would never sell pork chop sangwiches on 31st Street in the 11th Ward.

"The Doctor" is Outfit code in the historic Family Secrets federal criminal case against the Chicago mob. There've been so many nicknames lately, even I can't keep them straight, and neither can the witnesses.

Unlike other doctors, this one wasn't board certified. Law enforcement officials say he got his trauma license from Joe the Builder and from some guy named Johnny Bananas.

We'll hear more about the doctor in court on Thursday. He'll be identified as a certain Dr. Toots, who practices everywhere he wishes, when the exchange about the doctor and blood work will be played along with other FBI recordings.

The star of Thursday's show will be Anthony "Twan" Doyle, the former Chicago police officer and 11th Ward Democratic precinct captain who worked in the evidence room of the Chicago Police Department. He'll be cross-examined by federal prosecutors.

Doyle is accused of warning the Outfit's Chinatown crew that the FBI was seeking a key piece of evidence in the Outfit killing of mobster John Fecarotta. The tapes incriminate him. The key evidence was a glove that was worn by confessed hit man Nicholas Calabrese, the guy I told you about in this column years ago now, when the Family Secrets case began, as Nick slipped into the witness protection program to become the linchpin in this fantastic trial.

Testifying in his own defense Wednesday, Doyle said that he regularly visited Calabrese's brother and co-defendant, Chinatown no-neck Frank Calabrese Sr., in the federal prison in Milan, Mich. He felt sorry for Frank, who had family problems, and who helped him develop big muscles as a lad.

Doyle testified he'd drive up to prison with another of Chicago law enforcement's finest -- the late Michael Ricci -- a homicide detective who changed jobs to run the sensitive Cook County sheriff's home-monitoring program.

Who was it that said good government is good politics? It was probably some 11th Warder who knew how to find Chinatown.

On Wednesday, Doyle testified he suffered through these prison visits with Frank Calabrese, fetching sangwiches, listening to nonsensical coded talk he said he couldn't understand, for hour after hour, nodding dumbly but politely during the yapping about doctors and sisters and missing purses and "Scarpe Grande" finding those purses.

Scarpe Grande means "Big Shoes," Chinatown code for the FBI, and, you may have noticed, it's not Chinese. And "purses" probably means evidence.

Ralph Meczyk, Doyle's attorney, asked Doyle if he felt relieved once these prison visits were done. "I felt like I was paroled," Doyle told the jury. "Sitting in that chair, listening to gibberish I couldn't understand."

He sighed, seeking sympathy, a large man with muscles at 62, with a face like a stone and his voice a heavy door with old hinges. Doyle is not the Officer Friendly you would ask for directions for a pork chop sangwich. But he denied ever collecting juice loans for the Outfit, and insisted he never tipped off the mob about Scarpe Grande seeking the Nick Calabrese bloody glove from the police evidence room in January 1999.

Yet he proudly talked of working for the 11th Ward Democratic Organization, and hopping on the City Hall patronage payroll wagon, first at Streets and San, later running the parking lot at police headquarters and becoming a patrolman.

On Thursday, prosecutors will focus on the Chinatown code to explain their theory that Frank Calabrese was afraid someone close to him might be talking to the feds.

"What they should do is maybe bring her to see a psychiatrist," Calabrese says on tape, speaking of a sick sister, if a sick sister had hairy arms and killed people for money.

"Shock treatment," Doyle says, understanding the prescribed Outfit method to cure Feditis, a malady of the chattering mouth. "Probably needs a good prod."

I don't know how Doyle will deny all this -- and what he says about lead federal prosecutor Mitchell Mars, blaming him for their upset stomachs.

"I said I'll bet you it's that [four letter word]ing Mitch Mars, that's what I think," Doyle tells Calabrese.

"The doctor," says Calabrese.

"The doctor," says Doyle.

I know the doctor from Chinatown isn't McDreamy. But he's got to be mcsteamy right about now.

Thanks to John Kass

Friday, June 22, 2007

Chicago Police Star Flashed by Accused Mobster

Friends of ours: Frank Calabrese Sr.,
Friends of mine: Anthony "Twan" Doyle, Michael Ricci

He's accused of working for the mob, yet he still carries a Chicago Police star.

When retired cop Anthony Doyle arrived at federal court Wednesday for opening statements in his trial, he flashed security officers a badge and police photo ID.

There's nothing improper in Doyle using the retirement badge he received for 20 years of service as a decorated officer, said his lawyer, Ralph Meczyk. Doyle didn't get special treatment, Meczyk said. It's the same as a citizen using a driver's license as proof of ID, he said.

Doyle, 62, joined the Chicago Police Department in September 1980 and retired in June 2001 on a pension, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. He worked in the police Evidence and Recovered Property Section in the 1990s, records show. And he was arrested at his Arizona home in 2005 and charged with agreeing to pass messages from reputed mob boss Frank Calabrese Sr. to other Outfit members while Calabrese was in prison. In addition, Doyle allegedly kept Calabrese abreast of an investigation into a gangland murder.

Doyle's nickname is "Twan," short for Anthony, according to federal authorities. But he also is mysteriously referred to as "Captain Crunch" in one court document. At the time of his arrest, he was a member of the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Posse, an auxiliary police unit.

Another former Chicago cop, Michael Ricci, also was a co-defendant in the mob case. He died last year.

Thanks to Frank Main and Steve Warmbir

Relax The Back

Monday, September 18, 2006

Deputy US Marshal Investigated in Operation Family Secrets

Friends of ours: Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs, Frank Calabrese Sr.
Friends of mine: Anthony Doyle, Michael Ricci, Frank Sinatra

A deputy U.S. marshal has been placed on paid administrative leave while the FBI investigates whether he was involved in leaking information in the federal Operation Family Secrets mob case, law enforcement sources said Thursday.

The deputy, a member of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, was required to surrender his badge and gun last week, sources said. He is not identified because he is not charged with a crime.

His role in the Operation Family Secrets case is unclear. In 2005, federal authorities charged 14 people in the sweeping mob indictment. The investigation, which is continuing, pinned 18 previously unsolved murders on the Chicago Outfit.

The deputy marshal has spearheaded several high-profile fugitive arrests, including the capture of an Italian mobster living in the west suburbs and a Chicago street gang member named as one of the country's 15 most-wanted fugitives. "Everyone realizes this is a good guy, and in some ways heroic," one law enforcement source said.

The deputy's father was a Chicago Police officer who was convicted in a corruption scandal and died in prison, sources said.

The Family Secrets case is set to go to trial next May. High-profile defendants, including Joey "The Clown" Lombardo and Frank "The German" Schweihs, were charged in the case, and both initially fled and were fugitives.

Schweihs was found late last year in Kentucky. The FBI tracked down Lombardo in Elmwood Park in January after he was on the lam for about nine months. Sources say Lombardo's flight and his apprehension remain closely guarded details.

Two former Chicago Police officers -- Anthony Doyle and Michael Ricci, a onetime bodyguard for Frank Sinatra -- were also charged in the case. Doyle and Ricci allegedly provided inside information or passed along messages from mob loan shark Frank Calabrese Sr. to the Chicago Outfit while he was in prison. Ricci died in January after undergoing heart surgery.

The deputy marshal could not be reached for comment Thursday. Spokesmen for the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI declined comment. Kim Widup, the U.S. marshal in Chicago, also declined comment.

Thanks to Frank Main

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Infrastructure of Chicago mob

The 14 Operation Family Secrets 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:

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

Provides advice to the Boss

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

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

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

  • Nicholas 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

Assist the Chicago Outfit through criminal enterprise

  • Frank Schweihs - an enforcer, collected and imposed "street tax" for himself and other members.
  • Paul Schiro - a criminal associate of Frank Schweihs and deceased member Anthony Spilotro.
  • Employees of M&M Amusement: Joseph Venezia, Dennis Johnson and Thomas Johnson operated video gambling machines in Cicero, Berwyn.

Retired Chicago 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.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice


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