Monday, April 25, 2005
What are the odds on this one?
The arrests began Monday after a sweeping set of federal indictments was unsealed at the Dirksen Federal Building. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said the indictments represented the largest number of organized crime figures brought down in a single indictment in Chicago history.
The arrests were described as "long-expected," though "long-delayed" seems just as apt—
The charges in the indictment stem from 17 Chicago-area murders and one in Arizona that occurred between 1970 and 1986, including the 1974 murder of Daniel Seifert, who was scheduled to testify against Lombardo and other Outfit members in a Teamsters pension fraud case.
Along with the mob they picked up two former law-enforcement officials—one with the Chicago police and another with the Cook County Sheriff's Department.
Some of the defendants are of an age that their trials may have to be treated as "near-death" experiences. But one defendant couldn't wait—
One man named in the indictment was found dead in a hotel in Highland, Ill. FBI agent Robert Grant said there was no indication of foul play, and he did not believe the man had killed himself. Grant said $25,000 in cash and $70,000 in checks were recovered at the scene.
Mike Robinson of the AP identifies the man as Frank Saladino, only 59.
Let's see. There were 14 defendants named in the indictment. What are the chances that the FBI/police might select 14 people for arrest and arrive to find one of them dead? Of "natural causes" no less. And with all that money to pay for his defense!