Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Family Secrets mob trial with Sun-Times reporter Steve Warmbir

September 2008 Archives

U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel has set the following sentencing dates for the five defendants in the Family Secrets case and has reset the sentencing date for Nicholas Calabrese.

Frank Calabrese Sr., 2 p.m. on Dec. 11
Anthony Doyle, 2 p.m. Dec. 8
Joseph Lombardo 2 p.m. on Dec. 15
James Marcello, 2 p.m. on Dec. 17
Paul Schiro, 2 p.m. on Dec. 10

Nicholas Calabrese, 2 p.m., Jan. 26

The five defendants in the Family Secrets case lost their bids at new trials after a federal judge shot down their arguments that they didn't get fair trials because of insufficient evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, guilt by association, juror misconduct and other allegations.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel rejected the men's requests in a 24-page ruling.

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Chicago mob boss James Marcello and Outfit killer Frank Calabrese Sr. were not placed in double jeopardy in the Family Secrets case and won't be getting new trials.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel ruled there wasn't sufficient overlap between the charges in the Family Secrets faced by Marcello and Calabrese Sr., and previous mob prosecutions against the men.

The legal issue had been a critical one at trial, with some defendants appealing the judge's initial decision on the matter before trial to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court of appeals found that a double jeopardy problem could arise if there was too much overlap between the Family Secrets case and the prior prosecutions of the men. But Zagel found there was little overlap between the cases.

Judge James Zagel has just released a decision denying the post-trial motions asking for acquittals or new trials for the five defendants in the Family Secrets case.

More details to come.

Ferriola gets 3 years

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Nick Ferriola
Nick Ferriola

Nick Ferriola's late father, Joseph, was a mob leader.
His mentor, Frank Calabrese Sr., was a mob hitman.
His onetime partner in bookmaking, the late Ronald Jarrett, killed people for the Outfit too.
On Tuesday, Nick Ferriola got another mark of being part of the Outfit -- a prison sentence.
Ferriola, 33, was sentenced to three years behind bars for his mid-level role in the Family Secrets case, near the maximum of the suggested sentencing range.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel noted Ferriola had a rare commodity in the world of the Outfit.

Too close for comfort?

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In a little noticed court filing, federal prosecutors in Chicago are trying to get two defense attorneys tossed off a mob-related pipebombing case because they are allegedly too close to reputed high-ranking Outfit member Michael Sarno.

Federal authorities earlier this year charged Mark Polchan, a reputed ranking member of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club and an Outfit associate, and Samuel Volpendesto, an alleged former manager of a strip club and bordello, with taking part in a Outfit-ordered bombing attack on a Berwyn business that leased vending and video poker machines.

Polchan is represented by Alexander Salerno, Volpendesto by Ed Wanderling. Neither attorney is a stranger to organized crime cases, but both men have interesting ties to this particular case, according to the federal filing.

Sentencing Dates

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There have been quite a few questions about sentencing dates for the defendants in the Family Secrets case, so instead of answering each question individually, I'm offering a list of who is getting sentenced when, according to the docket sheet for the case. Of course, these dates could change. I'll update the list when appropriate. Each defendant will be sentenced in front of U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel, whose courtroom is on the 25th floor of the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn.

Nicholas Calabrese -- 2 p.m., Sept. 24.
James Marcello -- Sentencing date not set.
Joseph Lombardo -- Sentencing date not set.
Frank Calabrese Sr. -- Sentencing date not set.
Frank Schweihs -- Died before trial.
Paul Schiro -- Sentencing date not set.
Michael Marcello -- Sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.
Nicholas Ferriola -- 2 p.m., Sept. 9.
Anthony Doyle -- 2 p.m., Oct. 1.
Thomas Johnson -- 11:30 a.m., Oct. 6.
Joseph Venezia -- Sentenced to 40 months prison.
Dennis Johnson -- Sentenced to 6 months in prison.

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