Two Rockford men named in Chicago Outfit trial

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118598871412926.jpg’, ”, ‘Frank Saladino’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118598873824033.jpg’, ”, ‘Joe Saladino‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118598880820673.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice’, ‘One of many photos posted by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, under “Operation Family Secrets Trial Exhibits,” titled “April 20,1989 – Surveillance photo of Saladino and Galluzzio.” To see more, go to‘);

Joseph W. Saladino and Frank G. Saladino named in Mob-related crimes

One is dead, the other is alive, but they both have the same last name, are from Rockford and were named in recent weeks as criminals in the ongoing Mob trial in Chicago.

Nicholas W. Calabrese, 64, a confessed killer for the Chicago Mob, which is known as “The Outfit,” alleged Rockfordian Joseph W. Saladino Jr., 61, as “someone who collected gambling payments for the Outfit in Rockford,” according to Randall Samborn, assistant U.S. attorney and public information officer in Chicago.

Calabrese is one of the key witnesses in the trial after he turned federal informant in 2000 to avoid the death penalty for his involvement in more than a dozen murders and bombings, according to a series of articles in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.

The revelation about Joe Saladino came forth during Calabrese’s testimony July 17. The following day, Calabrese tied another Rockford man, Frank G. Saladino, to five Outfit murders dating from 1976 to 1978. He was known locally as “Fat Frank” and in Chicago as “Gumba,” according to an article by the local daily this year.

According to Steve Warmbir, staff reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, Frank Saladino “was involved in the murders of burglar John Mendell, burglar Vincent Moretti and his business partner Donald Renno, Paul Haggerty and Henry Consentino.”

The murder and racketeering trial began June 18 at the Dirksen Federal Building, and has revealed many new facts, such as Frank Saladino’s involvement in five of 18 Mob murders being tried in federal court, and Joe Saladino’s alleged debt collection racket in Rockford.

Frank Saladino and 13 others were indicted in April 2005 in the Mob-related killings of 18 people dating from August 1970 to September 1986. However, Joe Saladino was not named in the indictment. Also included in the original allegations were accusations involving sports betting and “juice loans,” also known as loan sharking.

However, prosecutors never got the chance to try Frank Saladino on the charges. He was found dead at the age of 59 April 25, 2005, at the Super 8 hotel in Hampshire, Ill., when authorities went to arrest him. His death was later found to be from “natural causes,” according to the Kane County Coroner’s office.

Exact details about Frank G. Saladino’s cousin, Joseph W. Saladino’s activities in Rockford, and his current whereabouts were not available at time of publication.

Sentenced in 1964 for three to 10 years for rape, both Salidinos served about four years in Illinois’ Pontiac prison.

Joseph Saladino, served 27 months in Minnesota’s Sandstone federal minimum security prison for unlawful transportation of firearms, including a machine gun. As of this year, Saladino is no longer in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and is on supervised release. His whereabouts, however, are not a matter of public record.

According to federal authorities, supervised release normally entails regular visits with a parole officer to ensure court conditions are being met. Drug testing is also standard procedure.

Righ out of the can

Calabrese’s accusations against Joe Saladino come on the heels of Joe Saladino’s release from prison on federal weapons charges in Rockford. After his conviction, he was scheduled to serve no more than 27 months, which he began serving Jan. 25, 2005.

Feb. 15, 1997, at 2:05 a.m., Joe Saladino was stopped for speeding by Illinois State Police on East State Street near Fairview Avenue.

According to court records, in the trunk of the vehicle, police found “a loaded 0.380 caliber handgun, an unloaded 0.357 magnum handgun, an unloaded 9 mm fully automatic machine pistol with no serial number, and in excess of 400 rounds of ammunition.

“In addition, defendant [Joe Saladino] had two books on how to make silencers, a book on machine lathes, a billy club, two ‘slim jims,’ two bolt cutters, a tree trimming saw, one butcher knife, a pipe wrench, a stocking cap, and two face masks.”

Hit man and the State's Attorney

Member of a theft crew, often used as a murderous enforcer and sometimes as an intimidating physical presence to motivate deadbeats to pay off debts. This is the portrait Calabrese and Chicago newspapers have painted about Frank Saladino.

Although dead, Frank Saladino’s alleged involvement in so many Outfit killings also raises questions as to his naming Philip J. Nicolosi Jr., in a 2000 lawsuit. A known fixture in the Circuit Clerk’s office for checking on litigation progress, Saladino, representing himself, filed many lawsuits against former business partners and attorneys. Nicolosi was nominated July 24 and confirmed by the County Board July 26 as Winnebago County’s new State’s Attorney.

In 2000, Nicolosi was named as a defendant in which Frank Saladino alleged extortion, conspiracy and fraud against 14 defendants, including Philip J. Nicolosi Jr., Phil A. Nicolosi Sr., Paul S. Nicolosi, Salvatore “Sam” Galluzzo, Natale Galluzzo, James C. Thompson, Frank P. Vella Jr., and David J. Kurlinkus (2000-L-177). Saladino alleged he was coerced into the land deal by Donald J. Gasparini, former Sheriff of Winnebago County, according to a May 3, 2005, story in the Rockford Register Star.

After being asked in an e-mail to comment about why he was named as a defendant in the case, Philip J. Nicolosi Jr. responded July 31: “To answer your question, I really have no idea why Mr. Saladino named me in that lawsuit. And, naturally, you know that I was dismissed from the lawsuit.

“If you like, look closely, and you’ll notice he pretty much named as many people in the lawsuit as he could, including me. In my humble speculation based on my experience, perhaps since he did not have proper representation advising him, he may have felt that he should just name as many names as he could,” Nicolosi concluded.

Salvatore Galluzzo was identified as a “Mob soldier” in a March 4, 1984, Rockford Register Star article, and is believed to be living on Rockford’s far east side. Philip A. Nicolosi Sr., is a deceased attorney and the father of Paul and Phil Jr. Paul Nicolosi is a local attorney, as are Thompson, Vella and Kurlinkus.

According to Frank Saladino’s second amended complaint, the dispute was, “THE TOPIC OF A FORTY TO SIXTY ACRE PARCEL OF LAND BETWEEN PERRYVILLE ROAD AND BELL SCHOOL ROAD, WHERE LOWE’S WAS BUILT, SATURN, POST OFFICE BOX, HOTELS, ETC., ETC.” That area is now also home to the Buckley/Nicolosi corporate compound.

Frank Saladino believed he was entitled to $140 million for his involvement in owning World Wide General Contracting, Inc., in which he and Salvatore Galluzzo were shareholders and had interest in the disputed land. As of June 2005, there were no records from the City of Rockford that showed Worldwide General Contracting ever received any building permits since its establishment in 1988.

State records indicate Worldwide General Contracting’s original agent in 1988 was Aldino DiGuiseppe, whose office was at 1912 Colby Lane in Loves Park. Other agents included Vella, Jay G. Trost and Frank Saladino.

Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Pirrello recused himself in the case Aug. 16, 2000. The dispute was re-assigned to Judge Michael Morrison. However the May 3, 2005, story in the Rockford Register Star reported Saladino’s lawsuit was ruled upon by Associate Judge Edward Prochaska, who ruled for the defendants because “The defendants successfully argued that on April 19,1999, agreement between Saladino, Nicolosi Trustee Deborah J. Nicolosi and five Galluzzo family members nullifed Saladino’s claims in the lawsuit. They argued the 2000 lawsuit breached the 1999 settlement agreement. However, Saladino implied in the lawsuit that he was coerced into ‘transactions’ at the behest of former Winnebago County Sheriff Donald J. Gasparini. Saladino lost his arguments when Prochaska ruled for the defendants.”

Staff writer Stuart Wahlin contributed to this story.

from the Aug 1-7, 2007, iss


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