Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Notorious Chicago mobster dies in jail after being denied pardon by President Trump

The prime suspect in Chicago's last known Outfit murder will never be charged in the case.

Anthony "Tough Tony" Calabrese died of cancer Tuesday while serving time at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Calabrese, 57, was in prison for several armed robberies.

After learning of his terminal illness he had applied for Justice Department clemency but the request was denied by President Trump in April.

Tough Tony's attorney, Joe "The Shark" Lopez, was still arguing in federal court for a last-minute "compassionate release" from prison so that Calabrese could die at home in Chicago.

Death arrived before the judge's ruling.

In the last court filing ten days ago, Lopez claimed that prison officials had made an "arbitrary and capricious" decision to keep Calabrese locked up "in an attempt to get Mr. Calabrese to waive his 5th amendment right" against self-incrimination.

Federal investigators tried to squeeze Calabrese for 17 years about the gangland killing of Outfit lieutenant Anthony "The Hatch" Chiaramonti in west suburban Lyons-believed to be Chicago's last mob hit before the bosses realized blood was bad for business.

The FBI had pegged Calabrese as shooter in that Thanksgiving Day 2001 killing of Chiaramonti, 67, the result of a mob power struggle in Cicero. Chiaramonti was hunted down like a turkey and chased into a fast-food parking lot according to investigators, until the assassin could squeeze off the kill shot.

Federal agents also suspected he was involved in the plot to murder Chinatown hoodlum Ronnie Jarrett two years earlier. They were the two most recent of more than 1100 mob hits in Chicago since the Roaring 20's-most of them still unsolved.

Calabrese is not related to the more notorious Outfit family with the same last name-led by the late hitman Frank "the Breeze" Calabrese-but authorities say they were all wrapped up in the same rackets. As the I-Team has reported over the years, Tough Tony was sometimes known as "The *Other* Calabrese."

Anthony Calabrese was sentenced in 2008 to 62 years in prison for robbing a leather shop, a butcher shop and a tattoo parlor in the suburbs. The crimes all involved guns and required strict, lengthy sentencing under federal guidelines. He was not due out until July 19, 2061.

While never charged with the Chiaramonti or Jarrett hits, prosecutors depicted Calabrese as a stone-cold enforcer. They played a secretly-recorded tape at his robbery trial, in which he is heard brutally beating a man suspected of cooperating with the government.

"Strip off your clothes," barks a twitchy Calabrese on tape, concerned one of his underlings had turned on him and was wearing a hidden FBI tape recorder, which he was. But Calabrese never found it.

"You know to keep your mouth shut. I mean, you understand what'll happen?" asked Calabrese.

"Tony, do I look like I wanna be dead?" answered the associate.

During the stick-up of the tattoo parlor, he also ordered the owner's hands to be pounded with a hammer as revenge for tatting up the underage daughter of a mob boss.

Calabrese died Tuesday morning, still locked away in federal prison. The Bureau of Prisons website, that was slow to catch up with his death, by Wednesday afternoon was finally listing him as "Deceased...06/05/2018." A spokesperson for the prison in Terre Haute told the I-Team that he died of "esophageal carcinoma."

According to his attorney Joe Lopez, the end came as predicted ... before he could be released ... and before the feds put him on the hook for the city's last Outfit killing.

"He went out two feet standing up and that is that," said Lopez on Tuesday evening.



  1. Hopefully no drug dealer fills the role.

  2. Can I fill the role here in TX for the Family

  3. They will but not long