Cook County Courthouse, following verdict
Jurors have found John Thomas Ambrose, a suspended Deputy U.S. Marshal, guilty of leaking information about a mob informant.
Charged with theft of government property and accused of disclosing confidential information about federally protected organized crime witness Nicholas Calabrese, the 42-year-old Ambrose sat expressionless and stared straight ahead as the 11-member jury returned its verdict following almost three days of deliberation. One juror had been dismissed after falling ill.
Ambrose was found not guilty of making false statements, the most serious of the charges against him. He will be sentenced September 9.
Ambrose's attorney, Frank Lipuma, called the verdict "bittersweet," and he said that errors were made during the trial and an appeal is in the works.
Once known as a "tireless bloodhound who tracked down fugitive gang leaders, he was seen on a CNN special report kicking down doors as the deputy commander of the Great Lakes Fugitive Force.
But following closing arguments last week, the tough-guy deputy marshal was himself brought to tears in front of the same judge who oversaw his father's police corruption case, on charges of leaking secret information about Calabrese to the Chicago Outfit, the Chicago Sun-Times' Natasha Korecki reported. Calabrese testified in the government's Family Secrets trial and was in the witness protection program at the time.
Prosecutors said it was the first time in the 39-year history of the government's witness security program that its secrecy has been deliberately violated.
Authorities discovered the leak when Outfit figures and brothers James and Michael Marcello were secretly recorded discussing key aspects of Calabrese's cooperation within weeks of his two secret visits to Chicago in 2002 and 2003, the Chicago Tribune reported. Ambrose helped protect Calabrese during both visits.