Mob Trial's Star Witness Gets Short Sentence

A man who admitted to taking part in 14 mob murders was sentenced Thursday to more than 12 years in prison -- but he'll be out in half that time.

U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel sentenced Nick Calabrese to 148 months behind bars.  But he has already served about six years of that while he helped federal authorities compile evidence against other members of the Chicago Outfit.

The 66-year-old Calabrese told jurors at the government's landmark Operation Family Secrets trial how Chicago mobsters, including his own brother, murdered victims in cold blood.

"It's just unbelievable.  I mean, I don't know, that's a shame.  It's really a shame.  I have no faith in the justice system. I really don't," said Anthony Ortiz, whose father was killed by the mob.

Calabrese said he became a witness because he would have gone to the execution chamber as a murderer if he hadn't. His testimony was crucial in sending three big-name mob bosses to prison for life and two other mobsters to long sentences.

Nick got off with a much lighter sentence than any of them.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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