The Outfit Under FBI Fire

Johnny No Nose....
This has been quite a year for the Chicago Outfit, which saw an historical transition in July in terms of the guy in the big seat. Johnny “No Nose” DiFronzo, suffering from health problems, was replaced.

Meanwhile, Gangland News noted that The Chicago Outfit has been facing a full-court press from law enforcement involving the FBI and the Cook County prosecutor's office.

Four members of the Outfit's Cicero crew were recently convicted on federal extortion charges. Frank Orlando and Robert McManus lost at trial on charges of conspiring to extort money for Mark Dziuban, then vice president of sales for American Litho, a printing company in Carol Stream.

Prosecutors alleged the two sought the aid of alleged crew chief Paul Carparelli, 45, an Outfit-connected pizzeria owner who outsourced the muscle to union bodyguard George Brown and plumbing contractor Vito Iozzo. Brown, 51, and Iozzo, 43, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and also copped to participating in several additional collection attempts in Nevada, Wisconsin and New Jersey (apparently the state's seven crime families don't mind the Outfit operating there). One victim was beaten by the two thugs.

Dziuban and Carparelli are awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, the west side has been hit hard by the Cook County Sheriffs' Department as part of Operation Crew Cut in which Cook County prosecutors charged five people in a racketeering investigation that involved drug trafficking, home invasions and kidnapping. Robert "Bobby Pinocchio" Panozzo, Paul Koroluk and Maher Abuhasah face charges for racketeering conspiracy and criminal drug conspiracy. Panozzo's son and Koroluk's wife face drug charges.

"Operation Crew Cut" was a 10-month investigation by state and federal law enforcement targeting members of the Panozzo-Koroluk street crew.

As noted here: Panozzo and Koroluk have several burglary convictions and had been operating one of the most sophisticated burglary rings police had ever seen, prosecutors said. Panozzo and Koroluk operated in the area of Grand and Western, the old Italian neighborhood known as the Patch on the near West side, where Joey the Clown Lombardo and many other mobsters once held forth.

The crew’s crimes included home invasions, armed robberies, burglaries, insurance fraud and prostitution; they were said to have posed as cops to rob around five or six major drug-houses per year and were considered to have sophisticated methods. Police scanners, police vests, and real police badges stolen from police officers’ homes were seized by police while arresting each member of the crew.

Members of the drug-dealing Outfit crew robbed their product by posing as police officers to gain access to Mexican Cartel stash houses, which the mobsters then pilfered for drugs. According to the Chicago Tribune, the men were known to utilize violent methods, such as once slicing off the ear of a reported cartel member who lied to them during one robbery.

Gangland News also reported that Panozzo, who had been mentored by Lombardo, also is under investigation for his alleged roles in a 1987 murder and a 2013 attempted murder. Panonzzo's former driver, Jeff Hollinghead, decided to flip following a 2012 arrest for burglary and home invasion. "Hollinghead has told the FBI and police that Bobby Pinocchio, nicknamed by the imprisoned Joey the Clown for his deceptive ways, bragged about murdering an elderly woman in downtown Chicago in October 1987," Gangland News reported.

Hollinghead also copped to plotting with Panozzo to kill a witness in Hollinghead's case in November 2013.

Cicero crew chief Carparelli is said to be a lieutenant of Lake County mob chief Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis, and Panozzo and Koroluk are allegedly tied to Albert “Little Guy” Vena, the reputed head of the Grand Avenue mob, according to Gangland News.

So who is the boss of the Chicago Outfit? Supposedly a panel of elderly wiseguy statesmen, which includes DeLaurentis and Vena, as well as Marco D’Amico, Johnny Matassa, James Iandino, Peter DiFronzo and Joseph “The Builder” Andriacchi. But in reality, former Outfit overlord Johnny “No Nose” DiFronzo, whose mental and physical health are rapidly declining, was replaced by “The Builder” Andriacchi, it was reported in July,

An Outfit expert noted that The Builder has occupied the Outfit’s top seat before, filling in for DiFronzo when No Nose was incarcerated in the early 1990s. Andriacchi is the fifth Outfit boss in the past 40-plus years. Previous bosses included Paul Ricca, Anthony “Joe B” Accardo, Joseph Aiuppa and John DiFronzo.

Joseph Fosco wrote that DiFronzo is "one of the most respected Outfit bosses that Chicago has seen since the death of Joseph Aiuppa in 1997," also adding that "it is apparent that [No-Nose] sold out the organization in order to remain unscathed by the landmark Family Secrets trial."

Andriacchi holds the power now...

Fosco further noted of the panel: "Out of the... fellows [listed as panel members]... only one of them would continue standing if Joe [The Builder] told them all to sit down. Pete is the one who would remain standing (at least for a while). Pete would probably remain standing out of habit since his reduced status is still a rather new thing for him. With Johnny DiFronzo in a compromised state, Pete’s power in the Outfit is drastically reduced.

"Pete would eventually sit down for Andriacchi, though. Additionally, out of all the names on the list above, it is my opinion that all of them are capable of committing murder. Hands down, Albert Vena ranks as number one in the killing category. In addition to his role in the Chicago Outfit, Vena holds a significant position of power in an extremely ruthless and capable street gang in Chicago called the C-Notes."

Vena assumed control of the Grand Avenue crew while "The Clown" Lombardo began dying in prison. According to reports, Vena stands just over 5 feet tall and is one of the most feared men in Chicago. 

No one in the Outfit calls him Albert. It's Albie, or behind his back, "the little guy," and guys who know, know. As in "the little guy is active," a phrase that might mean nothing to you, but it's the kind of thing that prompts nightmares from Oak Brook to Rush Street for some.

Vena was acquitted in Cook County Circuit Court of the 1992 murder of Sam Taglia of River Forest. Vena was alleged to have shot Taglia in the head, slit his throat, then stuffed him in the trunk of his own car in Melrose Park.

Comments

  1. Albert Vena is a very tough man.

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  2. Apropos of nothing, I find it interesting that someone with such extensive knowledge of the Bonanno family would make such ridiculous spelling errors: "Gilante Murder," "Bononno Family." I have heard from a well-published mob writer that this is indicative of a certain agenda....

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  3. When you wrote "apparently the states seven families don't mind the outfit operating there" what families are you talking about? I know the five families and the decavalcante family but don't know the seventh.

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  4. I wrote an entire story on that -- I forgot to include the link, thanks for reminding me! http://www.cosanostranews.com/2014/07/new-york-has-five-families-but-new.html

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  5. Read the story about robbing cartel stash houses.....

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  6. The Outfit has only survived because of Difronzo leadership and ties to influential individuals. Out of all of the family's , the outfit has the strongest grip on government institutions that is until Difronzo leaves the game.

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  7. John (DiFronzo) looked like he was moving fast toward his last days just this past September. Saw him at the recycling company he and brother, George own in Melrose Park, a neighborhood of Chicago. He was totally oblivious to what was going on around him or what people were talking about. One of the "staff" who (on the books) handles "sales", Ritchie was speaking to the former Chicago Boss and leading him around by hand and speaking loudly because the old man couldn't hear, although he had hearing aids in each ear. Poor man didn't know what was being said to him, only kept staring at me.

    It was a bit sad to see. Reminded me of when my grandparents were elderly and dying in the hospital; totally delusional and oblivious to what was going on around them.

    But everybody loves DiFronzo, the Melrose Park cops love him, the local business owners and residents (Italian) love and respect him. Business is a couple blocks down from where the former Mayor eats - all who speak highly of John.

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  8. John (DiFronzo) looked like he was moving fast toward his last days just this past September. There's no way he could head such a position as Boss. I seriously doubt the frail guy is capable of driving himself to purchase a pair of shoes on his own, let alone lead a powerful crime family.


    I recently saw him back in September at the recycling company he and brother, George own in Melrose Park, a neighborhood of Chicago. He was totally oblivious to what was going on around him or what people were talking about. One of the "staff" who (on the books) handles "sales", Ritchie was speaking to the former Chicago Boss and leading him around by hand and speaking loudly because the old man couldn't hear, although he had hearing aids in each ear. Poor man didn't know what was being said to him, only kept staring at me.

    It was a bit sad to see. Reminded me of when my grandparents were elderly and dying in the hospital; totally delusional and oblivious to what was going on around them.

    But everybody loves DiFronzo, the Melrose Park cops love him, the local business owners and residents (Italian) love and respect him. Business is a couple blocks down from where the former Mayor eats - all who speak highly of John.

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  9. Bad Boss. Let him walk sideways.

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  10. Actually I added it at the end of this story.

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  11. Because of Secrets.

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  12. I didn't say he was a good Boss, I just said people seemed to really like him. Just throwing this out there, a good read is "Family Secrets" by author Jeff Coen. He's on the Chicago Tribune. It's a good book.

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  13. The Outfit is not going anywhere. They will survive without No Nose just like the Genovese have survived and thrived without the Chin. The reports of lesser crews and not enough members is B.S. The Outfit is still entrenched. Anytime a group of guys gets arrested it's a devastating blow to the mob. They've been saying that since the mid-80's. I don't buy it. I wouldn't be surprised if they get all the politicians in the pocket again - at least the ones they don't have right now.

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  14. Hey Ed, I think I clicked something in error, see below post as "Guest". My entire comment is posted again somehow. Please delete the guest post. Appreciate it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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  15. No problem Ed, I'll be sure to read it!

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  16. You have likes and comments to each one which you will lose... don't worry about it....but if you really want me to, let me know.... Anything for you....

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  17. McManus is an asshole. wtf are people wasting their time with him for? Looks bad for them. Get your shit together.

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