An FBI agent has implicated
two Fort Lauderdale men, convicted in a federal labor racketeering
case, in the 1972 killing of a popular black Miami labor leader.
FBI agent James Wagener testified
in federal court Tuesday that an FBI informant told him that John
Giardiello and Salvatore Tricario were involved in the ambush
slaying 10 years ago of Joseph Caleb, head of the south Florida
local of Laborers International Union.
Wagener's testimony came at
a sentencing hearing for eight union leaders and businessmen convicted
in June of labor racketeering charges. They were accuse of engaging
in a kickback scheme that bilked the welfare and insurance funds
of the Chicago-based Laborer's union of an estimated $2 million.
U.S. District Judge James Kehoe
sentenced Giardiello and Tricario to 12 years in prison. Giardiello
was president and Tricario was recording secretary of Palm Beach
local 767 of the Laborer's union.
Wagener testified that Giardiello
and Tricario were implicated in the Caleb murder by Daniel Milano
Jr., an informant and key government witness at the racketeering
trial. Milano said Giardiello told him he and Tricario "took
care of a black union leader (Caleb) who was giving (Bernard)
Rubin problems," Wagener testified.
Rubin, president of the South
Florida Laborers Council, was one of the eight convicted. Kehoe
sentenced him to eight years in prison.
According to Milano, Giardiello
said, "they shouldn't have shot the nigger. They should have
killed Rubin instead," Wagener said.
The FBI failed to investigate
Caleb's slaying any further because the murder was not a federal
crime, Wagener said. A spokesman for Metro-Dade police in Miami
said the case was cleared in 1976 when a suspect named John Bennett
Others sentenced Tuesday were:
Alfred Pilotto, 72, president of a Laborers Chicago local, who
received the maximum of 20 years to begin immediately; James Corporale,
61, secretary-treasurer of Chicago Laborers Local 5, 12 years;
George Waugneux, 49, a Hallandale, Fla., builder to seven years
concurrent with two other sentences that total 16 years; Seymour
Gopman, 57, North Miami Beach labor lawyer, to five years and
four months, and Louis Ostrer, 59, insurance company owner to
seven years in prison concurrent with other sentences on mail
and securities fraud convictions.
Three other defendants, including
reputed Chicago mob leader Anthony Accardo, were acquitted in
June. Five others, including Tampa, Fla., organized crime figure
Santo Trafficante, still must be tried. Trafficante's case has
been postponed indefinitely because of his ailing health.