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

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.

Other mobsters felt they could trust him.
While Ferriola pleaded guilty last year in the case, he did not testify against his fellow mobsters.
He had nothing to say to the judge Tuesday after his attorney, Ed Wanderling, noted Ferriola was uncomfortable speaking in public.
Ferriola collected money for Frank Calabrese Sr. while the mob killer was in prison on a loansharking case and ran a bookmaking operation with Calabrese Sr.'s friend, Jarrett, who was gunned down in a mob hit outside his Bridgeport home in 1999.
Federal prosecutor Markus Funk noted that bookmaking proved lucrative for Ferriola. When police stopped Ferriola for driving drunk in 1999, he had nearly $16,000 in cash on him.
Ferriola would often visit Calabrese Sr. in prison. Calabrese Sr. would speak about religion and the Bible and whether his brother, Nick, was cooperating against him. Nick Calabrese would turn out to be the star witness against his brother in the Family Secrets case, helping secure Calabrese Sr.'s conviction with his testimony.
In one 1999 conversation, secretly recorded by the feds, Calabrese Sr. told Ferriola what the Bible said about one brother betraying another.
"Brother. Brother who tells on brother. Brother, brother who betrays brother should be killed," Calabrese Sr. said.
"Wow," Ferriola replied.

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20 Comments

"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."

This is getting beyond rediculous. *U.S. District Judge James Zagel* Is hammering everyone in this case. I have no idea what he is trying to do, other than to get himself some sort of recognition or a documentary on A&E.
Nick Ferriola was, and still is a kid. Because of the family he was born into, he has to have that considered as a strike against him, when it came time for his sentencing?
It's not fair.
**BY NO WAY AM I TRYING TO AVOID THE FACT THAT THE FEDS HAD EVIDENCE THAT HE BROKE THE LAW** But what the hell does that have to do with who his relatives are? I can see if the media brought that up. But the judge did. I feel that he is predjudiced to all of the people involved in this entire "Family Secrets" case.
There were people that obviously were found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I truly believe that this trial snowballed into a incredible example of "Do everything you can to get everyone involved , No matter what, who where, or when".
Is the end result honestly worth it?


STEVE WARMBIR NOTES: The only thing I would note is that Nick Ferriola pled guilty in the case. So it isn't a matter of the fed's quality of evidence, as it would be at a trial. It's a matter of Ferriola acknowledging what he did.

I'm not in the business of defending or criticizing Judge Zagel. But it could be argued that if Zagel really wanted to hammer Ferriola, he could have agreed with prosecutors that Ferriola was not truly accepting responsibility for his crimes. If Zagel had agreed, he could have launched Ferriola for roughly 8 years in prison.

Also, like any judge, Zagel has his faults, but being a publicity hound has never struck me as one of them.

The only way Zagel brought up Ferriola's family, indirectly, was by noting that Ferriola held a higher position in the Outfit than some of the low-level defendants, because Ferriola could be trusted.

Nick Has been groomed in the old ways of the Mob.He knows not to talk,or rat on anyone. He learned well from his Father.3 years is a Slap on the wrist for him. He`ll be out of the joint in a year and a half.Good for you Nick, At least he`s got some Character.And he will be back to business as soon as he is released.

Steve I would like to know why Lombardo, Calabrese, and J.Marcello
and Shiro don`t have Sentencing Dates.Correct me if I`m Wrong but
didn`t Judge Zagel Dismiss their appeals?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: Zagel has yet to rule on the most substantive motion for some of the defendants, regarding whether they got a fair trial because some of what they were charged with in Family Secrets overlaps other charges, in other cases years ago that resulted in a conviction.

It's not unusual in complex, lengthy cases like Family Secrets to have quite a bit of time elapse between conviction and sentencing.

WHY DOESN'T THE GOVENMENT LEAVE THESE GUYS ALONE,IS IT BECAUSE OF GOOD HEADLINES?????.IF THE GOVENMENT THINKS THESE GUYS ARE SUCH A THREAT,THEY SHOULD GET THEM TO HELP STOP THE GANG BANGERS FROM KILLING OUR KIDS IN OUR SCHOLLS AND IN FRT OF THEIR HOUSES.
IS THE FBI TOO SCARED TO GO AFTER THE GANG BANGERS BECAUSE THEY MAY GET SHOT.WE KNOW THEY WONT GET HURT SITTING IN A CAR WATCHING THESE GUYS.

I'm not sure if I'm reading these two knuckle heads comments correctly but it appears as though they are supporting these criminals. I work hard for a living and play by the rules, these guys are thugs let them sit with the other scum bags in jail!

I think we should let Nick run against Daley for Mayor of Chicago.

Another want a be big shot, he had to have rocks in his head to work for Frank C. he made all the$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$,not nick

HEY MR PUNCH WHO WOULD YOU RATHER LIVING NEXT TO YOU,A RAT PIECE OF
SHIT GANG BANGER THAT KILLS KIDS OR ONE OF THESE GUYS, GET REAL
KNUCKLE HEAD!!!!

I think its bull that they keep picking on these 70+ yr old men. There time is over leave em alone. And to the rat above who pays his taxes and calls them criminals. There just old men who gamble and make there money off gambling. The Chicago FBI is petty. Go get some terrorrists and the gangbangers shooting kids in drive bys. Al Capone and his "era" is dead and gone get it thru your thick heads. We have bigger problems now and were just giving life sentences to Fathers and Grandfathers. God, that ignorant guy above pissed me off. If he knew anything about having to grow up in an OC neighborhood(the safest) he wouldve kept his big rat mouthshut. Atleast in my neighborhood old ladies and children can walk down the street. You take the organized out of crime and what do you have? Unorganized crime and murders of innocent people. And believe me crime isnt going anywhere so keep paving the way for the more unorganized murderous kids b y clearing out the old gaurd who finally realized murder is a last resort and only for the people in their world.. Ahhh why bother trying to explain to some pussyfootet fag from some psuedo Beverly Hills neighborhood

Concerned citizen -

You are clearly an uneducated, ignorant man/woman. Do yourself a favor and use spellcheck before submitting your comments.

All these guys calling others rats need more than spellcheck to help them write - they are obviously devoid of education and intelligence. Continue licking these mob guys asses.

TO ALL WHO READ THIS!!! REMEMBER WHEN THE MOB RAN VEGAS,THERE WERE
NO PROBLEMS,EVEN THE CELEBRITIES PRAISED THE MOB BACK THEN, THEY KEPT EVRYONE HAPPY AND NO RIFF RAFF. IF YOU LET THE MOB ALONE IN CHICAGO AND THEY WOULD NOT TOLERATE ANY OF THIS GANGBANGER SHIT!! LIKE THE THE NEIGHBOR HOOD GUY SAID, WHERE THESE GUYS LIVE ITS THE SAFEST.WHY DONT THE FBI MAKE A DEAL WITH THE MOB AND TELL THEM YOU LIVE IN THE ROUGH NEIGHBORHOODS AND THE FBI LEAVES THE MOB ALONE, WATCH AND SEE HOW CRIME DROPS IN THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS.IF YOU DONT THINK THIS IS REALISTIC JUST TRY IT WHAT DOES THE FBI GOT TO LOSE
THEY HATE THE MOB ANYWAY,SO IF ONE OF THE MOB GUYS GETS KILLED IN THE ROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD,ITS ONE LEFT MOB GUY THE FBI HAS TO FOLLOW.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT PEOPLE.

I HEARD THAT THERE WAS GOING TO BE A FAMILY SECRETS 2. IS THAT TRUE. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MEN THAT WERE MENTIONED THAT KILLED THE SPILOTROS,THAT ARE IN JAIL OR OUT ON THE STREET. WILL THEY BE TRIED IN COURT.


STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I suspect the feds are done charging people in the Spilotro murders, unless they develop additional evidence.

I agree with Chicago Man & Neighborhood Guy.

I could not belive the money that Nick was making per week, per month, per year! He had a good lawyer that advised him to make a very smart decision. Nick will be out soon, back with this family, wife, kids and friends.

STEVE IS THE GOVERNMENT NUTS!!!! DID YOU SEE HOW MANY GANGS ARE DEALING DRUGS IN CHICAGO THEY SAID 80 GANGS AND 75,000 MEMBERS. WHO IS MORE OF A THREAT THE 100 SO CALLED OUTFIT MEMBERS OR THE 75.000 GANGBANGERS YOU DO THE MATH. I THINK THE GANGBANGERS ARE MORE A THREAT THAN THE SMALL AMOUNT OF OUTFIT GUYS.WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT FOCUS MORE ON THE OUFIT,IS BECAUSE IT BRINGS BETTER HEADLINES. PLEASE ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: Having covered federal courts in Chicago, I can tell you there are a lot more prosecutions of gang members in Chicago than Outfit members or associates. There are easily hundreds of gang members prosecuted each year in large cases.

Federal and state prosecutors put a lot more emphasis on gang prosecutions than traditional organized crime prosecutions, simply because gang do more damage to society because, as you point out, there are a lot more gang members than Outfit members these days.


STEVE, WITH YOUR INFLUENCE TELL THE FBI TO LEAVE THE OUTFIT GUYS ALONE, THEY ARENT HARMING THE AVERAGE JOE. BIG DEAL IF THE OUTFIT GUYS ARE INVOLVED IN GAMBLING,STEVE HAVE YOU EVER GAMBLED, IF SO MAYBE YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW.JUST A THOUGHT,WHAT DO YOU THINK?

STEVE WARMBIR RESPONDS: I'm too cheap to gamble, and I have absolutely no influence with the FBI, nor should I, since I'm a reporter. The FBI does its job, I do mine, and all the readers of the Outfit blog are free to comment on any of it.

The reason the FBI wont leave these guys is alone is because they are murderers. They have sanctioned and committed murder. There are many other nefarious deeds they have comitted, but this among them is why they are scum and dangerous and deserve what they are getting. I dont care if they are 100 years old. They are lucky they're not getting the death penalty. They deserve it.


Look at this guys grey hair,.. He's only 33 , stress and living a dirty life can do that to someone. Truly sad people deify losers like this.

I grew up with nick years back in kildear, he's alwasy been a stand up guy. GOOD for you nicky, you dad would be proud! You still got friends out west.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Warmbir published on September 9, 2008 6:13 PM.

Too close for comfort? was the previous entry in this blog.

Judge: No new trials for Family Secrets mobsters is the next entry in this blog.

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