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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chicago U.S. Marshall Leak to Mob Trial Begins

Mob leak trial: FBI agent says 'Marquette 10' reference was key
Defense attorney, though, notes discrepancies, other suspects
The Chicago Tribune by Robert Mitchum - April 15, 2009

In hushed tones, their heads almost touching, James and Michael Marcello used code words like "Zhivago" and "Pagliacci" as they discussed the federal cooperation of their Outfit associate, Nicholas Calabrese. The grainy video of those conversations, secretly recorded by the FBI in the waiting room of a Michigan federal prison where James Marcello was incarcerated in 2003, was the centerpiece of the first day of testimony Tuesday in the trial of Deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose. Ambrose, 41, is charged with leaking confidential information about Calabrese's cooperation with federal authorities in the Family Secrets investigation, which led to the conviction of several notorious Chicago mobsters in 2007.

But in 2003, the fact that Calabrese was cooperating was still a closely guarded secret, FBI Special Agent Michael Maseth, the prosecution's first witness, said in testimony. Asked by Assistant U.S. Atty. Diane MacArthur to describe the importance of Calabrese to the federal investigation of the Chicago mob, Maseth called the mob hit man "the most important organized-crime witness that has ever testified in this district, and perhaps in the entire United States." When the Marcello brothers were recorded discussing not just Calabrese's cooperation but also specific details he was communicating to authorities, the investigation was put in grave danger, he said. "We were shocked," Maseth said. Prosecutors pointed to statements Michael Marcello made on the recordings about the number of murders Calabrese had claimed, his movements with authorities around Chicago during a 2003 visit and calls Calabrese placed to his wife during that visit. The Marcellos referred to the source of the information as either "the kid" or "the baby-sitter" in the recordings and made reference to the source's father having been convicted in the "Marquette 10" Chicago police corruption case in the 1980s. Ambrose's father, Thomas, a former Chicago police officer, died in prison four years after being convicted on federal bribery charges in the Marquette 10 trial.

Maseth said that those details led authorities to Ambrose, who was on Calabrese's witness security detail during two Chicago visits in 2002 and 2003. A subsequent fingerprint analysis of Calabrese's witness security documents—which detail the information he was sharing with investigators and the names of people who might pose a threat to his life—found two prints that matched Ambrose's, he testified. But during cross-examination, Maseth admitted that there were 14 other fingerprints from undetermined sources on the documents. During her questions, Ambrose's attorney, Susan Shatz, highlighted several discrepancies between information contained in the documents and what the Marcello brothers had discussed on the recordings. Shatz also asked Maseth about federal investigations into several other potential sources of the information, including a former attorney for Calabrese and two retired high-ranking Chicago police officers. Shatz pointed out that several newspaper articles, including a February 2003 Tribune column by John Kass, had strongly speculated that Calabrese was assisting federal investigators months before most of the Marcello conversations played for the jury.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Boyer. I am an unclaimed member of a Chicago family. I beleive my mother is in hiding from a man named Frank. She has to boys and one daughter. All have different fathers. All the information I have is that the man's first name is Frank. He was a police officer possibly either working or residing in a polish neighborhood in Chicago. He was a corrupt police officer in the mid to late 1970's or possibly the early 80's. I am a much different person. I am wise and knowledgable with special interests. And if not for those special interests I would have made a brilliant detective. I am posting this letter all over the sites I think may get read by "Frank". If your name is Frank and you are or were a police officer in the 70's or 80's and had a gifted mindset but was an abusive asshole then you may be who I am looking for. I am 30 years old now and reside in Arizona. Post to this site and I will check back once a month. Look for this same exact letter on other sites.