Key evidence thrown out in Ambrose trial

April 16, 2009 4:26:01 PM PDT
In federal court, the government's case against Deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose was dealt a setback. Ambrose is charged with leaking sensitive law enforcement information to the Chicago mob. But on Thursday, some key evidence was thrown out by the judge.

There was an unusual turn-of-events in a case that is out of the ordinary to begin with. A key video recording that prosecutors were using against U.S. Marshal Service Deputy John Ambrose was played twice on Thursday for the jury. But only then did the judge rule the evidence couldn't be used and told the jury to forget about it.

Federal Deputy John Ambrose is accused of giving out top secret witness information, insider details that ended up in the hands of top Chicago mob bosses.

The information concerned this man: Outfit assassin Nick Calabrese who was covertly cooperating with the FBI in 2002 when Ambrose was assigned to guard him.

Ambrose was identified as Calabrese's "babysitter" in a conversation between imprisoned Chicago crime boss Jimmy "The Man" Marcello and his brother Mickey, a mob associate.

The discussion was secretly recorded by the FBI while Jimmy Marcello was serving a federal prison sentence in Michigan.

Prosecutors have played the tapes this week for the jury, trying to convince them that Ambrose leaked sensitive information about Calabrese which could have been used to track down and kill the important federal witness.

But on Thursday, after the jury twice watched a tape where the Marcello brother's use code names to allegedly describe Ambrose, Judge Grady threw out the evidence and told jurors not to consider it.

As the tape was played and tossed out on Thursday in court, Mickey Marcello testified - an unusual occurrence for a convicted mob associate-even though he was given immunity.

Marcello described how he relayed information from a reputed mobster name John "Pudge" Matassa. He was the conduit for the leaked information according to prosecutors. Marcello testified he didn't know the identity of the original source but prosecutors maintain it was Ambrose.


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