Excerpt for The Chicago Way

 KEN “TOKYO JOE” ETO

       Eto will be the governments star witness at a sentencing hearing for Joseph “Big Joe” Arnold, 72, of 2724 W. Winnemac Ave. and Joseph Grieco, 54, 4600 N. Overhill, Norridge, Il. before U.S. District Court Judge John Nordberg. The two were convicted of buying the silence of a grand jury witness called to testify on the mob’s loan shark racket. Grieco is a reputed mob juice-loan terrorist. Eto, who was in charge of the mob’s bolita racket in Chicago and three states is expected to detail mob activities of Arnold and Grieco as the government presents testimony aimed at winning lengthy sentences for the two mobsters.

       Eto who is in the federal witness-protection program, will probably enjoy testifying against Arnold, one of the mob chieftains who allegedly ordered his assassination investigators said. Arnold and Grieco were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for manipulating the grand jury witness, Ralph Carazzo, not to testify before the grand jury. Arnold and Grieco face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. In January, 1980 Carazzo was sentenced to 18 months in jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury, despite a promise of immunity. Carazzo a former Rush Street parking lot attendant who worked for Arnold, was not called as a witness at the trial.

       Electronic eavesdropping equipment was placed in Arnold’s store, Odds and Ends, at 913 N. Rush St. to show that Arnold and Grieco conspired with Carazzo to thwart the grand jury. Prosecutors reported that after the two defendants became aware of the grand jury investigation, they won Carazzos cooperation by promising to wipe out a $15,000 loan he owed Grieco.

       I testified at the Presidents Commission on Organized Crime in New York, New York, June 24-26 1985 as an expert witness on Chicago’s Outfit. After I testified about the outfit Ken Eto testified, he was dressed in a black hooded cloak as to keep his identity a secret. He explained how he had been the victim of an assassination attempt on his life when he was shot three times in the back of his head by John Gattuso and Jasper Campise. Through a miracle the bullets were faulty or the silencer was faulty and Eto survived. He told the commission that the two assassins were under orders of mob boss Vince Solano.

       In February 1986 Eto testified in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Federal Court as a government witness describing four gangland murders he had been associated with. The testimony revealed how the crime syndicate dealt with unwanted gambling competitors in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The four were Eugenio Lopez was strangled under orders of Ross Prio,  North Side mob boss. Eto testified that  he fingered Lopez aka James Crizell because Lopez was opposing North Side syndicate bolita operations. Eto said that he lured Lopez  to a building at 642 N. Clark St. where Anthony DelMonte, a man named Frank Orlando and Vincent “Saint’ Inserro strangled Lopez with a wire. Gonzalez was resisting syndicate efforts to take over bolita in his Puerto Rican community. Eto testified that he and mob associates attempted to drive to Gonzalez’s headquarters but due to street gang members in the area they cancelled the plan. Eto said that he contacted Gonzalez and met him and drove to an alleged meeting at 1813 N. Washburn Ave. an industrial area, where mob hit men, Angelo” The Hook” LaPietra and his brother James knifed him.

       Investigators in the case said that the LaPietra’s are suspects in the case, which could be reopened if witnesses could be found.

       Eddie Robinson, a black was shot to death Aug 7, 1962 by the syndicate because he was running bolita on the West Side and wouldn’t yield that turf to the mob’s bolita game, Eto said. Robinson was killed right after leaving his car at the Eisenhower Expy and Independence Boulevard. The hit men included Joseph “Joe Shine” Amabile and Vincent Inserro. Robinson’s body was never found but Robinson’s family reported him missing the date of the slaying provided by Eto. The fourth slaying was indirectly related to bolita. The victim “Padone” was forcing romantic attention on the wife of a mobster important in syndicate bolita operations. He was in effect interfering with the mobster’s concentration on his work. The victim, known only as “Padone” was shot to death on North LaSalle Street. Eto stated that he reported to mob boss Ross Prio about Padone causing problems with their bolita operation upsetting bolita operator Cruz Pinzon. Eto said that Prio ordered him to provide Padone’s description, address and phone number. Mob hit men did the rest.

       Ken ‘Tokyo Joe” Eto reportedly passed away in Atlanta Georgia in 1984 of natural causes.

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