Marshal on Trial for Leaking Information to the Mob


Chicago—A deputy U.S. marshal is facing charges of having leaked information to the Mafia.

John T. Ambrose, 50, is alleged to have stolen information from a file on Nicholas Calabrese, a former hit man with the mob, while guarding Calabrese during the 2007 “Family Secrets” trial. High-ranking members of the Chicago mob were targeted in this trial, and Calabrese was the feds’ star witness.

Ambrose is accused of leaking information about the progress of the investigation to an intermediary. The information, which Ambrose meant to reach reputed mob leader John “No Nose” DiFronzo, concerned Calabrese’s deal with federal prosecutors to cooperate in the investigation after being linked to a murder scene.

Calabrese admitted to having been involved in two murders, and DNA evidence from a bloody glove tied him to the killings. One of the defendants in the Family Secrets case, who was convicted and sentenced, was recorded inside the visitors’ room of a federal prison. He was discussing a mole the mob had inside the federal government who, because of his role as security detail for Calabrese, was known as “the babysitter.”

Agents narrowed down the field of potential suspects to include Ambrose, and later found his fingerprint on Calabrese’s file, leading to the charges against him. Ambrose is being charged with having betrayed the oath he took as a federal marshal.

Ambrose denies having broken the law by betraying the government or passing on the sensitive information.

U.S. District Judge John F. Grady, who is presiding over the trial, has called for security measures to protect key witnesses. Screens erected in the courtroom will mask the identity of inspectors from the Witness Security Program, which is operated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. These inspectors, who are employed to guard heavily protected witnesses from mob assassins, terrorists or others who might want to harm them, are themselves at risk for testifying in this case. They will also use pseudonyms, in order to conceal their identities further.

Defense attorney Francis C. Lipuma accused the judge of sensationalizing the trial through the use of these protective measures.

If convicted, Ambrose faces years in prison. Experts warn that federal prosecutors and judges will not go easy on him, since they would consider this a particularly heinous form of treachery.


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