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Alleged mob boss captured in Elmwood Park

Friday, January 13, 2006

Police in the northwest suburbs made a big arrest Friday night. Authorities arrested mob boss and accused murderer Joey "the Clown" Lombardo. Lombardo has been on the run since April.

He is called "the Clown," but apparently the joke is over. Joe Lombardo, the reputed boss of the Chicago mob, was caught just 13 miles from downtown Chicago, in Elmwood Park to be precise.

The Sun-Times says the feds were running surveillance on another "person of interest" when, much to their surprise, Lombardo walked into the picture. The 76-year-old was reportedly sporting a beard and said to be "quite shocked" when law enforcement put the cuffs on him.

Lombardo has been on the run ever since federal prosecutors indicted him and 13 others as part of the Operation: Family Secrets investigation into more than 18 unsolved mob murders.

Joe Lombardo's attorney has confirmed that the federal fugitive is now in custody.

"Anybody who's a fugitive from the United States is most probably going to get caught, sooner or later, given the proliferation of news programs that dwell on these things. So, of course, every day when I wake up -- technically speaking, I wasn't surprised," said Rick Halprin, Lombardo's attorney.

Another senior citizen -- and senior member of the outfit -- Frankie "the German" Schweihs found his way back into the hands of federal law enforcement last month. Schweihs was staying in a small apartment in small town Kentucky.

Schweihs and Lombardo went into hiding last April just as the feds announced a sweeping indictment against a dozen men believed to be involved with the Chicago mob. While he was on the run, Joey Lombardo took the unprecedented step of writing a letter to the federal judge overseeing his case. He said he was innocent and promised to turn himself in "if" certain conditions were met.

With "no conditions" in place, Joe Lombardo is in custody. The feds have never specifically spelled out his role in some of these unsolved murders, but now that the case against him can proceed, many new details about a fascinating and ugly period in our town's history are sure to emerge.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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