Feds drop case against dead mob hitman

Lawyer for Frank "The German" Schweihs says he wanted day in court
July 28, 2008 3:49:47 PM PDT
In death, Frank "The German" Schweihs achieved what he could not in life. Racketeering charges against the ruthless Outfit assassin were dropped today by federal prosecutors.Schweihs, 78, died last Wednesday after a two-day stay in Thorek Memorial Hospital, according to records filed today in U.S District Court. Upon hearing of Schweihs' death from cancer, Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Markus Funk issued a subpoena on the hospital for official confirmation of the hoodlum's death.

A letter from Thorek, explaining that Schweihs had "expired" on July 23, 2008, was attached to the government's motion to dismiss the federal indictment.

The bluntly-worded filing, entitled "GOVERNMENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS INDICTMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT FRANK SCHWEIHS," was submitted by U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald. It asks Judge James Zagel to "dismiss the above-captioned Indictment as to defendant FRANK SCHWEIHS, also known as 'The German.' Defendant is deceased."

The motion to dismiss was granted by Judge Zagel and all charges were dropped against Schweihs.

Considered Chicago's most potent hired gun since Al Capone's era, Schweihs was to stand trial in Chicago this October. Schweihs'solo trial was more than a year after his Mob cohorts were convicted during Operation Family Secrets. Schweihs was too ill with cancer to join the other defendants at trial last summer.

"Frank wanted to have his day in court," said Paul Brayman, Schweihs' lawyer. Brayman told the I-Team that he saw Schweihs the day before he died. "He looked pretty grim," the attorney recalled. Brayman said he thought Schweihs might not survive long enough even for the lawyer to walk to his car in the hospital parking lot.

Brayman says he got a call from the U.S. Marshal's office the next night telling him Frank had died.

Hospital security told Brayman that Schweihs hadn't been awake at all the day he died, nor had the hitman eaten.

While the government has maintained that Schweihs represented the final Family Secrets case, law enforcement sources and mobologists believe that there will be a Family Secrets II, a sequel to the first landmark prosecution, that will target those Outfit bosses who remain perched atop the crime syndicate family tree.


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