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CHICAGO — The biggest Chicago mob trial in decades will get underway this week, with the selection of an anonymous jury that will decide the fate of five defendants charged with racketeering activities that included murder, loan-sharking and witness tampering from the 1960s through 2005. USA v. Calabrese, No. 02-cr-01050 (No. Il.). When the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago brought the nine-count indictment against 14 men in April 2005 it said that 18 murders between 1970 and 1986, unresolved until now, are at the heart of its case. The office has reached plea agreements with six of the men, two have died and one will not go on trial for medical reasons. The government will put some of those that pled guilty on the stand as witnesses. The case is unique in that it names the entire “Chicago Outfit” as a criminal enterprise, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said at the time of the indictment. The indictment “lifts the veil of secrecy and exposes the violent underworld of organized crime,” Fitzgerald said in a release. Mitchell Mars, who has been fighting organized crime in Chicago for years, will lead the prosecution’s team. The five defendants, all of whom are older than 60, are Frank James Calabrese, Sr., Joseph Lombardo, James Marcello, James Doyle and Paul John Schiro. Joey “The Clown” Lombardo is the oldest of the bunch at 78. Nicholas Calabrese, who pled guilty to some of the government’s charges is expected to testify against the defendants, including his brother Frank. U.S. District Judge James Zagel, a former Illinois state police officer, is overseeing the case, which is expected to last as long as four months.

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