Mob boss Marcello back home in sweet Chicago

FILE: James "Little Jimmy" Marcello is shown in this image.

February 13, 2012 4:07:16 AM PST
After a whirlwind swing to the West Coast and back, courtesy of the American taxpayers and a monumental goof up by federal authorities, Outfit boss Jimmy Marcello is back home.

On Sunday, Marcello was once again listed on the register of the friendly confines of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, after a federal judge angrily ordered his return last Friday.

The 68-year-old Outfit boss, serving a life term for murders and mayhem following conviction in the Operation Family Secrets trial, had been abruptly moved from the MCC two weeks ago to a prison in California. The transfer had apparently not been ordered or authorized.

When Marcello's attorney filed a motion suggesting the transfer was a result of government foul play, government attorneys last Friday said there had been a "miscommunication."

An irked U.S. District Judge James Zagel told prosecutors that, "this is something that should not have been done. I don't know how you are going to get him back here, but you're going to get him back here."

The message must have resonated with prosecutors and officials at the Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service that operates the nation's prisoner transport network.

Although authorities on Friday declined to report exactly how Marcello would be transferred back to Chicago, it was accomplished with extraordinary speed and efficiency. The presumption is that Marcello was put on an aircraft operated by the Marshals Service, in it's division known as "JPATS," the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transport System.

Marcello made it from the Atwater penitentiary more than 150 miles east of San Francisco where he was still housed on Friday to the Chicago MCC on Sunday. The JPATS system shuttles 1,400 prisoners a day throughout the U.S. on a fleet of government and charter aircraft, buses, vans and cars.

Authorities told the I-Team on Friday that there was only one JPATS flight in and out of Chicago each week but it is not clear whether Marcello was on that flight or if authorities made separate arrangements.

The prisoner transport program, made famous by Hollywood in the movie Con Air, costs more than $150 million a year for the U.S. government to operate.

Marcello's mistaken, unnecessary trip to California and back cost taxpayers about $4,000. He will remain in Chicago as his appeal is heard, so that he can assist in case preparation according to Judge Zagel.

Load Comments