Skip to comments.FBI Nabs Reputed Runaway Mob Enforcer (Frank "The German" Schweihs)
Posted on 12/16/2005 5:21:02 PM PST by NormsRevenge
CHICAGO - A reputed mob enforcer who has been the focus of a nationwide manhunt since federal prosecutors unsealed racketeering-murder charges against the alleged top echelon of the Chicago underworld was arrested Friday, the FBI announced.
Frank "The German" Schweihs, 75, was captured without incident when agents swooped down on an apartment he had recently rented in Berea, Ky., a hilly area 40 miles south of Lexington.
Schweihs was one of two defendants who slipped away just before federal prosecutors in April unveiled the long-sealed indictment against reputed Chicago mob boss James Marcello and 13 others in the FBI's Operation Family Secrets investigation.
FBI agents are still hunting Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, 76, known as one of the senior figures in the Chicago mob.
The indictment charges that Chicago hoodlums and mob associates conspired in at least 19 unsolved deaths, including that of Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, once known as the Chicago Outfit's man in Las Vegas, and his brother Michael. Joe Pesci played a character based on Tony Spilotro in the 1995 Martin Scorsese movie "Casino."
The indictment charges Schweihs with taking part in the racketeering scheme, in which the participants allegedly agreed to commit a number of killings.
It also charges him with extorting "street tax" on behalf of organized crime by using "force, violence and fear" against the owners of adult entertainment clubs in Indiana and the Chicago suburbs in 2001.
Schweihs had an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in Lexington at which he waived extradition. He will be held there until he can be returned to Chicago, officials said.
When he returns, Schweihs will be arraigned before U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, who is presiding over the Family Secrets case.
FBI spokesman David Beyer said Schweihs first leased the Berea apartment two weeks ago and paid cash. His previous known residence was in Dania, Fla.
Federal law enforcement officers have been baffled in their search for Lombardo. They offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the two men.
Lombardo wrote a letter to Zagel last May, offering to turn himself in if he were guaranteed a trial separate from the other defendants. He later wrote a second letter, taking issue with news reports in the case.
Lombardo went to federal prison in the 1980s after being convicted along with then-International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Roy Lee Williams in a bribery conspiracy.
FUGITIVE: Frank The German' Schweihs is one of 12 reputed Chicago crime family members indicted in an FBI investigation into unsolved mob hits in Illinois.
FBI says hit man, 75, kills for mob
Reputed mafia hit man Frank ''The German'' Schweihs, of Dania Beach, is on the lam, accused of whacking Joe Pesci's character in the film Casino.
By ROBERTO SANTIAGO
The FBI says a 75-year-old Dania Beach retiree is, in real life, a mafia hit man who for decades has been doing contract murders for the Chicago mob.
But despite being described by legendary Chicago Crime Commission member and mob investigator John Flood as ''one of the most violent criminals'' he had ever encountered, Frank ''The German'' Schweihs has never spent a day in prison for murder.
In fact, up until April 22, Schweihs lived openly as a retired construction worker on Southeast Seventh Street in Dania Beach.
And before that, in Hollywood, on Georgia Street.
Even in his police mug shot, there is no obvious sign that Schweihs is anyone other than a typical Broward County senior citizen, living on a pension.
''He was easy to find, his name and number was listed in the phone book,'' Miami FBI Special Agent Judy Orihuela said. ``But when we went to arrest him on Monday morning [April 25], he was gone.''
Schweihs, whose last conviction in 1989 was for extortion of an Illinois pornography company, is now a fugitive.
He is one of the 12 reputed Chicago crime family members indicted in ''Operation Family Secrets,'' an FBI investigation into 18 unsolved mob hits that took place over the past 20 years in Illinois.
FBI agents, joined by Internal Revenue Service investigators and detectives from the Chicago Police Department, used DNA samples and organized crime insiders to build cases against the suspects.
The FBI calls it Chicago's biggest mob bust.
The operation also indicted James Marcello, 68, the reputed head of organized crime in Chicago, and Joseph ''The Clown'' Lombardo, 75, a longtime mob leader for whom Schweihs reputedly killed on command.
Schweihs' most infamous alleged hit was featured in the 1995 movie Casino, in which the character of Chicago mobster Tony ''The Ant'' Spilotro, played by actor Joe Pesci, and Spilotro's brother, Michael, are beaten with baseball bats, then stripped and buried alive in an Indiana cornfield.
But the truth -- according to Flood, a 41-page indictment and other Chicago mob experts -- is that the Spilotro brothers were beaten in a home near O'Hare International Airport and then taken to the cornfield to be buried.
''The Spilotros were beaten with something hard and heavy,'' said Flood, who suspects that the FBI will reveal that Schweihs was at the Illinois home for the lethal 1986 beating. ``They were dead by the time they were buried.''
COP HAD RUN-IN
Flood, a former Chicago police officer, said he knows Schweihs very well.
Flood said he first met Schweihs when ''The German'' was allegedly attempting to kill a motel owner back in the 1960s.
''His partner tried to run me down in the getaway car,'' said Flood, who tackled Schweihs. The two men were arrested but never convicted of attempted murder.
Former Las Vegas casino boss and current Boca Raton resident Frank ''Lefty'' Rosenthal, whom actor Robert DeNiro portrayed in Casino, declined to be interviewed about Schweihs.
But in the book, Casino: Love and Honor In Las Vegas, Rosenthal called the Dania Beach resident ``a really dangerous guy. A German. A genuine tough guy.
He had a terrible limp because he shot himself in the leg one day by accident.''
Flood had a different explanation.
''He has a limp because he got shot breaking out of Chicago's detention center,'' Flood said.
Before becoming part of Hollywood mafia movie myth, Schweihs was arrested more than a dozen times for burglary in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale between 1957 and 1975, according to Florida police records. He was never convicted on those arrests, records show.
Meanwhile, in 1962, his former girlfriend, Eugenia Pappas, was murdered, and her body was found in the Chicago River with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Chicago law enforcement officials think Schweihs did it, but he was never charged.
Other murders that Chicago law enforcement have linked Schweihs to:
The 1967 murder of Chicago loan shark Alan Rosenberg.
The 1973 killing of Richard Cain, a Chicago police vice detective and then chief investigator for the Cook County Sheriff's Department -- who reputedly worked for legendary Chicago mob godfather Sam Giancana.
The 1983 Chicago slaying of Allen Dorfman, the financial wizard who ran the Teamsters Union pension fund.
Dorfman bankrolled the Las Vegas casinos that Rosenthal ran.
A 1983 Herald article said Chicago investigators were looking at Schweihs' role in the Dorfman killing.
But the then-Hollywood resident was never indicted.
And Schweihs was suspected in the 1985 Chicago murder of Charles ''Chuckie'' English, who worked as a lieutenant to Giancana.
''The government indicted them on 18 [murders in Illinois], but more murders in other states will pop up, guaranteed,'' predicted Chicago mob and labor expert Jim McGough, who runs the Illinois Police and Sheriff's News website, www.ipsn.org.
Flood and McGough said it is common for mob hit men to live in one city and then travel to another to do a contract killing.
''Men like Schweihs love warm-weather states like Florida where it's peaceful,'' Flood said. ``Contract killing is just a job. Their boss tells them to go to some city to whack someone. They fly in, do the job, and are back home in time to eat stone crab claws.''
TOUGH AS EVER
The Chicago mob experts describe the 5-foot-11, 180-pound German/Italian Schweihs, at age 75, as just as strong and as tough as he was 50 years ago.
In fact, the indictment accuses Schweihs of strong-arming another Illinois porn company in 2001, shortly after getting out of jail.
''Murder and strong-arming is a skill that doesn't fade with age,'' Flood said.
``In fact, men like Schweihs get more effective with age. People underestimate them because they are senior citizens. And underestimating them just isn't smart.''
above article is FRom Mon, May. 02, 2005
Joseph 'Joey the Clown' Lombardo is shown in an undated photo released April 25 by the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.
...The Little Rock Mafia gettin' closer... :D
I'm glad they managed to arrest these guys before they were in a nursing home. It would have been embarrassing.
J. Edgar Hoover in an evening gown would be an improvement over some of the clowns who are running the FBI today.
Tomkow you know this guy LOL!