Homesick mob boss asks court for closer prison

January 20, 2010 8:08:00 AM PST
When top Chicago Outfit boss James "Little Jimmy" Marcello was sentenced in the fed's Family Secrets mob murder case, he expected to do his time at a prison somewhere close to home.To make it easy for family visits.

Judge James Zagel even "designated James Marcello to the maximum-security prison in Terra Haute, IN." according to a motion filed by Marcello's lawyers Monday in U.S. District Court.

But the Bureau of Prisons had other plans for Little Jimmy and now he is trying to make things right.

BOP officials last year assigned the long-time Chicago hoodlum to a cell in the maximum security penitentiary in Atwater, California. Atwater is more than 100 miles from San Francisco.

"Mr. Marcello has no family in California. His wife, three children and grandchildren reside in the Chicagoland area," states the Marcello motion that will be heard Tuesday morning by Judge Zagel.

The problem may be that Marcello's guilty co-defendant, Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, is assigned to the fed's crossbar hotel in Terra Haute."It is our understanding that a 'seperatee' order prevented Mr. Marcello's designation to Terre Haute since Co-Defendant Joseph Lombardo was designated there" wrote Marcello's attorney Marc Martin.

Marcello's motion asks that he be held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago while he appeals his Family Secrets conviction-or at least until the filing of the opening brief.

Then, the motion asks Judge Zagel to "recommend that the BOP designate Mr. Marcello to an institution closer to his family, e.g., Oxford, WI."

Oxford has long been the prison of choice for Chicago Outfit figures, crooked politicians, white collar criminals and other cigar chomping convicts-because of its close proximity to Chicago.

Marcello does have one thing going for him: he's already been brought back to the MCC in Chicago because of a petition filed against him by the United States Probation Office. Inexplicably, the government wants to cite Marcello for a long ago probation violation, even though he is serving a life sentence from the Family Secrets case.


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