Alleged Mobster "Took Pleasure in Fear of Others"

Reputed Outfit associate Paul Carparelli was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison based on a racketeering scheme that involved extorting deadbeat businessmen around the country.

Alleged mobster Paul Carparelli (see him above in 2010 photo looking all wacky) wants a button in the Chicago Outfit -- probably as much as I want a full-time job with benefits.

And most likely Paul will attain his goal before me... 

Last week, he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison, as the Chicago Tribune reported.

The investigation that nabbed Carparelli has already resulted in prison sentences for several of his associates, including Robert McManus, who received five years; Michael “Mickey” Davis, four years; Frank Orlando, 46 months; and Vito Iozzo, 38 months.

As noted, four members of the Outfit's Cicero crew were 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.

They had  arranged several alleged extortion attempts and allegedly used reputed crew chief Carparelli, an Outfit-connected pizzeria owner, to outsource muscle work to union bodyguard George Brown, 51, and plumbing contractor Vito Iozzo, 43. Both 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).

As it turns out bodyguard Brown did more than cop a plea.

Meanwhile, Chicago's west side was hit hard by the Cook County Sheriffs' Department as part of Operation Crew Cut in which Cook County prosecutors charged five in a racketeering investigation that involved drug trafficking, home invasions and kidnapping.

Grand Avenue faction crew busted 
"Operation Crew Cut" was a 10-month investigation by state and federal law enforcement targeting members of the Panozzo-Koroluk street crew (aka the P-K street crew), which posed as police officers to rob drug cartel stash houses for both drugs and on-site cash. The crew also regularly committed home invasions, robberies, kidnapping and insurance fraud.

The case marked the second state RICO prosecution by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office since the Illinois Street Gang RICO law was passed in 2012.

From left: Peter DiFronzo, Lee Magnafichi and Sam Urbana

Charged with the Super Class X felony offenses (drug trafficking involving certain quantities) included in the Racketeering Conspiracy and Criminal Drug Conspiracy case were Robert Panozzo, age 54, and Paul Koroluk, age 55, as well as Maher Abuhabsah, age 33. Panozzo’s son, Robert Jr, age 22, was charged with Criminal Drug Conspiracy, and Koroluk’s wife, Maria Koroluk, age 53, was charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver a Super Class X amount of cocaine as a result of this investigation.

According to prosecutors, the investigation began in October 2013 after law enforcement authorities learned that a P-K street crew had attempted to hire someone to murder a state witness ready to testify against them in a pending home invasion and kidnapping case. Specifically, Robert Panozzo Sr. and others had solicited another individual to kill the witness.

The aggressive probe that followed revealed evidence that the crew was engaged in a wide array of crimes including drug trafficking, murder, home invasion, armed violence, burglary and weapons offenses.

The investigation also revealed that P-K street crew members worked with Chicago street gang members to determine which cartel stash houses were filled with contraband -- and thus worth robbing. Crew members then used video surveillance and GPS trackers placed on drug dealers' cars to find the stash house locations. Finally, posing as police officers, they'd break in and steal whatever they could.

According to court documents, during one home invasion and kidnapping in 2013, Panozzo sliced off the ear of a cartel member who claimed to speak only Spanish but was heard speaking English. (Talk about a goof!)

Members linked to the case were arrested on July 16, 2014 after Panozzo, Koroluk, Abuhabsah and Panozzo Jr, attempted to steal 44 kilograms of cocaine stored at what they believed was a stash house. 

It actually had been outfitted with audio and video surveillance equipment as part of a covert sting operation. The suspects were arrested after emerging from the location.

Carparelli, of Itasca, was arrested July 23, 2013, as he drove up to his home. He was later found to have had cocaine in his blood, but that didn't stop him from driving around with his son, according to the Feds, who also discovered two pistols and $175,000 in cash in the Carparelli residence.

Acting boss's lieutenant pleaded guilty 
A lieutenant under the reputed acting boss of the Chicago Outfit, Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis, Carparelli pleaded guilty last May to five counts based on a racketeering scheme that involved extorting deadbeat businessmen around the country.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman told Carparelli that, based on the hundreds of hours of undercover recordings taken by the FBI, the young burly mobster "took pleasure in the fear and discomfort of others."

She added: "These are crimes of violence, sir, not just of poor decision-making. The public safety is at risk." Carparelli stood before her clad in his prison-issued orange jumpsuit and sporting a pair of ankle shackles.

According to the Trib:

Carparelli, 47, choked up as he apologized for his actions. He asked the judge for a moment to compose himself as he talked about embarrassing his young son. Carparelli said he's come to realize since his arrest in 2013 that he has "anger issues" and often can't control thoughts that "go straight from my brain to my mouth." 
"Sometimes it seems like the anger wells up inside me," he said. "In short, my big mouth gets me into trouble."

Despite her strong rhetoric, the Judge was nowhere near as harsh in her sentencing. At least according to seemingly pitiless prosecutors who eagerly sought an 11-year sentence for the beefy young wiseguy, arguing that Carparelli was looking to rise in the ranks after several of the Cicero crew's bosses were removed from the street courtesy of law enforcement.

Including his time-served credit, he should be back on the street in two years.

Longtime Outfit associate Davis, sentenced to four years in prison.

From 2011 to 2013, the government recorded dozens of conversations between Carparelli and the man Carparelli incorrectly considered his top enforcer, George Brown. Brown weighed 300 pounds and worked as a union bodyguard. He reportedly specialized in mixed martial arts fighting.

He also was secretly cooperating with the FBI..

Topics of discussion recorded by the Feds included such mob mainstays as extortion, contract beatings, and debt collections.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather McShain played excerpts in court.

In one meeting, Carparelli laughed as Brown described a beating he supposedly administered based on Carparelli's order. (The beating never took place because Brown was working for Uncle Sam and is not allowed to commit acts of violence on the street, etc.)

Brown: "They said they really did a number on his ribs. They are guaranteeing me that something broke."

Carparelli: Good.

In one case, Carparelli played a behind-the-scenes role in an Appleton, Wis., plot involving a businessman drowning in about $100,000 worth of debt.

In a Fuddruckers restaurant (wow, didn't know Fuddruckers was still around; they made an excellent burger), Brown and two other mobsters threatened the owner, who was willing to hand over the ownership papers to his special-edition Ford Mustang as a down payment.

According to the Trib:

Asked where the car could be found, the victim was "shaking and stuttering" so badly that one of the enforcers grabbed his driver's license and wrote the address down himself, prosecutors said. At a 2014 trial in Chicago, the victim had trouble reading the complaint he had filed with police, telling jurors he was still shaking when he filled it out and that his handwriting was almost illegible.

Carparelli also was nabbed on a surveillance video arranging for a suburban car dealership owner to get a beating. The dealer had failed to pay back a $300,000 loan.

Longtime Outfit associate Michael "Mickey" Davis, whose roots extend back to Peter and John DiFronzo, as well as the Outfit's current acting boss, "Solly D" DeLaurentis (whom Davis served as an occasional driver and bodyguard), loaned a businessman from Melrose Park the $300,000. The man wanted to fund a used-car dealership. The problem was the businessman wasn't making payments. Davis, quite naturally, was getting angry, with his fury probably exponentially rising with each missed payment. Eventually, using a go-between, he'd paid Carparelli $10,000 to put together a crew to beat the deadbeat and break his legs.

Davis was convicted of extortion for threatening the deadbeat car dealership owner. Apparently "Mickey" Davis indirectly brought in Carparelli and his goons to dole out a serious bone-crunching beating.

According to court testimony, Davis threatened the victim in January 2013 at a Melrose Park used car dealership.

"How are your wife and kids doing? Are you still living in Park Ridge?" prosecutors said Davis asked the man. "Does your wife still own that salon in Schaumburg?"

Davis, 58, faced up to 20 years in prison on each count; as noted above, he got far less time, too.

Davis' trial featured some of the biggest names from the recent Outfit, including the DiFronzo brothers and DeLaurentis, all of whom formerly held top positions in the Oufit's notorious Elmwood Park crew.

The old bosses weren't charged in the case but they might as well have been considering the array of photographs and the highlighting of their names before the jury.

R.J. Serpico, the car dealership owner on Davis's hook for big-time money, testified that he knew how close Davis had been to the DiFronzo brothers, noting that he occasionally noticed DiFronzo's black Cadillac Escalade -- with Davis and Peter DiFronzo inside -- driving by his Ideal Motors dealership.

Serpico, a nephew of longtime Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico, said he also had heard that Davis was tied closely to DeLaurentis, a feared capo convicted in the 1990s of racketeering conspiracy in connection with Ernest Rocco Infelice's violent gambling crew.

Outfit acting boss Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis

Prosecutors allege that within months of the ominous January 2013 confrontation at Ideal Motors, Davis ordered the brutal beating. This is where Carparelli comes in. Davis used as a go-between "the owner of a well-known Italian restaurant in Burr Ridge." Carparelli, according to Davis trial testimony, hired a team to carry out the beating for $10,000. Only there was one big, fat monkey in the wrench, however: the beefy union bodyguard tasked with coordinating the assault.

George Brown, had been nabbed months earlier in an unrelated extortion plot. As noted, he was secretly cooperating with the FBI.

In July 2013, agents swooped in to stop the beating before it was carried out, court records show
Davis was sentenced to four years in prison for ordering the violent assault that a turncoat helped stop by tipping off the FBI.

"These kind of people are — they are ruthless," Serpico testified. "And they're going to do whatever they can to get their money."