Chicago mafia soldier Paul Spano died of natural causes this summer. The 87-year old Spano had been a soldier in the Outfit’s Cicero crew and was the older brother of one-time crew boss Michael (Big Mike) Spano.

For years, the Spano brothers owned Flash Trucking, a produce hauling firm and frequent hangout for Chicago mob dignitaries. Paul Spano went down in the 1990 Operation Good Ship Lollipop bust and did two and a half years in federal prison for racketeering and tax evasion. He was released in February 1994.

Chicago Crime Commission records from that time listed Spano as a sometimes driver and bodyguard for Cicero mob crew brass in his earlier days. Outfit boss Joe Ferriola and captains, Ernest (Rocky) Infelise and James (Jimmy the Turk) Torello all took paychecks from Flash Trucking, located on Laramie Avenue in Cicero, in the 1970s and 1980s. Ferriola led the Chicago mafia in the late 1980s. Infelise was the lead defendant in the Operation Good Ship Lollipop case. Spano allegedly acted as a chauffer for both.

Big Mike Spano ran the Cicero crew throughout 1990s and the first part of the 2000s until he was nailed in a 2001 case alongside Cicero’s then-Mayor Betty Loren-Maltese and her mob bookie husband Frank (Baldy) Maltese, the Spanos’ cousin, for stealing $12,000,000 from city coffers and a variety of other offenses.

When Big Mike Spano, today 78, got out of prison in 2014, he reportedly retired from the Outfit. The FBI caught Big Mike trying to pay a bribe that would have gotten his mob mentor, Rocky Infelise, out of prison early on his Good Ship Lollipop conviction. Infelice’s Cicero crew referred to itself as the Good Ship Lollipop in reference to the Shirley Temple song from the 1930s. Infelise died behind bars in 2005.

Paul Spano after his 1990 arrest.


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