Chicago Mob Affiliates Walk Free as Federal Charges Dropped After Chaotic Mistrial


Two men of alleged mob affiliations, found themselves unshackled from the constraints of legal trials and tribulations as federal prosecutors dropped the charges against them on Monday in Chicago. This surprising turn of events unfolded in the aftermath of a chaotic mistrial that occurred earlier in the season, a tidbit that was originally published by the trusted Chicago Tribune.

The two figures in question: the fearless sweepstakes operator, 55-year old Gene ‘Gino’ Cassano, and his 47-year old associate and compatriot, Gioacchino ‘Jack’ Galione were facing accusations of a grave nature. They stood on trial, seemingly accused of having conspired to collect a debt in a manner that could only be deemed extortionate. To thicken the plot, Galione also found an additional charge set against him, that of using brute force to collect a debt.

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These menacing accusations stemmed from a night of violence Hallmarked by alleged intimidation and assault. The saga began when notorious drug trafficker, Luigi Mucerino fell victim to a ferocious beating in Galione’s very own garage on August 1, 2016. The prosecution held a firm stance that Mucerino, having borrowed $10,000 from Cassano and failing to return it posthaste, was torn down as retribution for his debt.

The voracious defense lawyers saw an opportunity in the tempestuous seas of the trial, admitting Galione’s role in the brutal assault that resulted in a broken nose and a shattered face for poor Mucerino. But, the team fiercely denied that these nefarious docks came at the behest of Cassano and categorically ruled out any possibility that the violence was a method of extortion.

Yet the trial took a surprising nosedive when FBI Special Agent David Patch let slip that he was tasked with investigating “organized crime matters.” This slip of tongue stirred U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman into a furious action, prompting her to halt proceedings and declare the mistrial. The reasoning for this drastic measure laid in the fear that any mention of organized crime would forge an irreversible bias against the two defendants in the minds of the jury.

Nevertheless, this case against the unlikely duo was merely a splash in the colossal wave of a much broader federal examination involving the Chicago Outfit’s Elmwood Park and Grand Avenue street crews. The keen scrutiny was focused primarily on the outfit’s chief revenue sources- illegal gambling and the world’s oldest profession, prostitution. This arduous investigation, since 2016, has seen the diligent FBI wiretap several reputed figures associated with organized crime in the Outfit.

Cassano himself was no stranger to the world of bookmaking, an assertion backed by wary testimonies from several quite hesitant witnesses. Alongside this shady enterprise, Cassano also managed several legitimate businesses. Secretly recorded conversations revealed Cassano to be discourse partners with members of an alleged offshore online sports betting operation.

Yet, even in the face of mounting evidence and accusations, the federal prosecutors uncharacteristically failed to provide a rationale behind the sudden relinquishing of the charges. However, indications from the defense lawyers suggested that the case might have been dismissed on double jeopardy grounds if it had been allowed to proceed. An unexpected twist at the end of a winding and treacherous legal journey for two controversial figures in the city of Chicago.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.