April 29, 2021 – Accomplished thief and Chicago mob associate Mike (The Bushel Head) Swiatek died this week of a respiratory ailment at age 85. The old school hoodlum dates back decades in Outfit circles and had links to multiple mafia administrations and several caporegimes and crew chiefs .
Swiatek was a burglar and weapons salesman from the Outfit’s Grand Avenue crew on the city’s westside. FBI memos tie him to the Chicago mob’s Cicero regime as well. He did almost a decade in federal prison (1987-1996) for selling guns and explosives to an undercover ATF agent.
According to Chicago Crime Commission reports, Swiatek came up in the Chicago mob robbery game under William (Willie Potatoes) Daddano, the head of all the Outfit’s burglary crews. Daddano died of natural causes in 1975.
When he was a young thief in the 1950s and 60s, Swiatek ran in a stick-up crew with future famous Windy City mafia figures Tony (The Ant) Spilotro and Frank Cullotta. Spilotro went to Las Vegas in the 1970s and took over the Outfit’s west coast crew. Cullotta followed Tony the Ant to the desert and put together the Hole-In-The-Wall Gang. The pair were portrayed in the 1995 movie Casino by Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent.
Swiatek and Cullotta were busted together in 1967 for robbing an armored bank car making a pick up at a pacemaker factory in Belvedere, Illinois. They got away with $15,000 before they were arrested.
The insubordinate and in-your-face Spilotro died violently, beaten, stomped and strangled to death in a Chicago basement in June 1986. At the time of Tony the Ant’s slaying, Cullotta had turned against his boyhood pal and become a government witness. Cullotta died of COVID-19 last year living back in Las Vegas and hosting Casino movie tours.
Swiatek had been retired from the rackets for years, claim sources. His bout with emphysema forced him to lug around an oxygen tank wherever he traveled in more recent days. FBI records from the 2000s connect him closely to deceased Chicago mob boss John (Johnny No Nose) DiFronzo and reputed current Outfit don Salvatore (Solly D) DeLaurentis.