Alleged mobster pleads not guilty, gives judge a list of ailments
By Mike Robinson
The Associated Press
Published May 6, 2005, 12:56 PM CDT
Alleged mobster Frank J. Calabrese Sr. pleaded innocent to
murder conspiracy charges Friday and provided the judge with
a list of medical problems that his attorney claimed could
ultimately prevent him from going to trial.
``I've only got 10 percent of my pituitary gland,'' the
69-year-old Calabrese told U.S. District Judge James B.
Zagel. Calabrese said he also suffers from arthritis and
He said he must take nine separate medications a day.
Calabrese is among 14 alleged mobsters and mob associates
indicted on murder conspiracy and other charges in the
federal government's long-running Operation Family Secrets
Calabrese is already serving four years and nine months
after being convicted in a federal investigation of loan
sharking and other crimes. He is due for release next year.
But federal prosecutors said that they would try to keep him
locked up pending the outcome of the murder conspiracy case.
Defense attorney Joseph Lopez told reporters after court
that ``like any elderly person in the United States of
America, he has health problems.'' He said those problems
could be serious enough to prevent Calabrese from facing
Lopez also said Calabrese is in ``a state of disbelief''
over reports that his son and his brother Nick are
cooperating with federal prosecutors in the investigation.
``It causes a lot of disharmony in the family unit,'' Lopez
said. ``I think the brother and the son have their own
agenda and their own ulterior motives in this case.''
Lopez described his client as a religious man and shrugged
off the question of whether Calabrese is a ``made guy'' in
the mob, saying he wasn't certain what the expression meant.
He also said Calabrese is unlikely to make a deal with
``I sincerely doubt that he is the sort of person who would
want to make a deal -- he has always been a fighter,'' he
Meanwhile, an attorney for alleged mob boss Joseph ``Joey
the Clown'' Lombardo, who has been on the lam since the
indictment was returned last week, said he has no idea where
his client is.
Defense attorney Rick Halprin said the only information he
has concerning Lombardo is a letter that the alleged mob
boss sent to Zagel last week, saying he would turn himself
in if he could be sure to be released on bond and have a
trial separate from that of the others charged.
``All I have to say to him is what I am obligated to say and
that is, surrender yourself and let's go to trial,'' he told
Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press