Former mob boss accuses government of dirty tricks

February 2, 2012 4:29:06 PM PST
It has been nearly five years since several top Chicago mob bosses were convicted in the Operation Family Secrets racketeering and murder trial. In this Intelligence Report: Why one of them, James Marcello, is now accusing the government of dirty tricks.

Lawyers for James "Jimmy the Man" Marcello claim that the hoodlum is on his way to "Siberia" courtesy of the U.S. government.

Of course Marcello isn't actually headed to the Russian hinterland, but his lawyers say he has been abruptly moved from the federal lock-up in Chicago and is currently on his way to a prison 2,000 miles across the country.

Most of Marcello's relatives still live in the Chicago suburbs, near where the I-Team paid him a visit a few years ago when he was still a free man.

Now, the outfit boss is doing a life sentence for racketeering murder. During the appeal process, he had been housed at the Metro Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

With the appeal process going nowhere, federal prosecutors filed a motion to have Marcello transferred to his permanent prison assignment. The court had recommended the penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, which would have been convenient for Marcello's family to visit.

But the Bureau of Prisons decided the hoodlum should do time in northern California at the Atwater facility. The hearing on his transfer is next week, but according to the latest court filing, Marcello's attorneys claim he was removed last Monday, bound for California, meaning "Marcello might as well have been sent to Siberia."

So, somewhere across America right now, Marcello's con caravan is on the move. We know from prison records that he went via Oklahoma, where Wednesday night he was checked into the prison at El Reno.

Marcello is now thought to be making a beeline for the West Coast, and eventually Atwater, a high-security prison on an abandoned Air Force base 130 miles from San Francisco. His Bureau of Prison record right now simply lists Marcello as "in transit."

The motion filed by Marcello's attorneys asks that the con caravan put on the brakes, do a u-turn and deliver Marcello back to the MCC in Chicago.

The I-Team didn't hear back from the mobster's lawyer Thursday, and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney declined to comment on this allegation that the government pulled a fast one by shipping Marcello out of town before his court hearing could be held on the transfer.

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