CHICAGO – With a long beard and hair reaching his shoulders, reputed mob boss Joey "The Clown" Lombardo sat stunned as FBI agents ordered him out of his car.
Lombardo had been a fugitive for nine months, but it was Friday the 13th and his luck had run out, FBI officials said Saturday as they described Lombardo's arrest on racketeering and conspiracy charges.
The 77-year-old man had been missing since April when he and 13 others were indicted in connection with at least 18 unsolved mob murders, including one that was graphically portrayed in the 1995 Martin Scorsese movie "Casino."
Lombardo didn't respond at first when agents told him to get out of the silver Lincoln, staying put even when the car's elderly driver got out, said FBI agent Robert Grant.
Not until an agent opened the car's door did the unarmed Lombardo give up his driver's license and allow the agents to take him in, Grant said.
Lombardo's attorney, Rick Halprin, said Saturday his client is not guilty.
Authorities believe Lombardo hid by moving among the homes of trusted associates in the Chicago area.
While missing, Lombardo had written letters with local postmarks to his attorney and to U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, who is presiding in the case.
Grant said Lombardo was tracked down by "just good old-fashioned police work" as agents pieced together bits of information.
Lombardo was caught in an alley behind a house in suburban Elmwood Park where the FBI believes Lombardo had been staying. Dozens of agents prevented him from escaping by blocking the alley with their vehicles, Grant said.
Agents seized a suitcase full of clothing and a large amount of cash from the car, said Grant, who wouldn't say exactly how much money was taken. The man driving the car, believed to be an associate of Lombardo's, was not arrested.
The April indictment charged that Chicago hoodlums and mob associates conspired in at least 18 unsolved murders, including that of that of Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, once known as the Chicago Outfit's man in Las Vegas, and his brother Michael.
The Spilotros were beaten to death and buried in a cornfield. Joe Pesci played a character based on Tony Spilotro in the 1995 Martin Scorsese movie "Casino."
Lombardo and reputed mob enforcer Frank "The German" Schweihs are specifically named in the 1974 murder of Daniel Seifert in Bensenville. Schweihs, 75, was arrested on Dec. 16 in Kentucky.
The FBI had offered $20,000 rewards for information leading to the arrests of Lombardo and Schweihs.