Burly Outfit boss posts $1M bond, walks
June 16, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A Chicago mobster known as "The Large Guy" had to post a large sum of money Tuesday to go free on bond after pleading not guilty to a federal racketeering charge.
Mike Sarno, 51, of Westchester, put up $1 million Tuesday in federal court in Chicago. Sarno, whose heft and girth once earned him the nickname "Fat Boy" when he was a budding mobster, was arraigned by District Court Judge Ronald A. Guzman. Still a sizable presence, Sarno's million-dollar bond is secured by four pieces of real estate owned by relatives.
Sarno is charged with six other men in the racketeering case, including a suburban police officer and members and associates of the notorious Outlaws motorcycle gang. The sweeping conspiracy indictment tracks eight years of armed robberies, burglaries, jewel thefts and arson-all based in Chicago's western suburbs.
The FBI investigation began in February of 2003 when a pipe bomb blew up at the Berwyn headquarters of a video gaming equipment company. The firm was believed to be cutting into the Outfit's illegal video gambling profits, and investigators say the bomb attack was intended to be a warning from hoodlums. The mob's video gambling take was estimated to be at least $13 million a year.
Initially, in July of 2008, federal authorities arrested two men in connection with the bombing Mark Polchan, 41, an admitted member of the Outlaws biker gang and Samuel Volpendesto, 85. They are accused of building and detonating the bomb that demolished C&S Coin Operated Amusements, which distributed video poker equipment.
Sarno is being defended by longtime Chicago defense attorney Terence P. Gillespie, who says that his client is not a mob member and has been "a legitimate businessman" since a gambling conviction 15 years ago.
Judge Guzman also ordered that Sarno be confined to house arrest and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that will alert authorities if he leaves home. He has another court date July 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Beside Sarno, Polchan and Volpendesto, four men have also been indicted: veteran Cicero policeman Dino Vitalo; former Berwyn police officer James Formatto; Volpendesto's son Anthony and Mark Hay.
- CPD officer killed in crash after police chase 31 min ago
- SUV rolls off Jane Addams exit ramp in Rosemont 4 min ago
- Missing plane may have created seismic event, Chinese researchers say
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast 17 min ago
- Falling ice smashes car windshield in West Loop
- Rat problem could increase with spring thaw
- GOP gubernatorial candidates hold last forum before primary
- MS Awareness Month events in Chicago area
- Catalytic converters stolen from cars in Chicago Lawn
- I-55 rest stop dedicated to fallen state trooper
- Priest: Billboard with assault weapon 'disrespectful'
- Plane's landing gear collapses at Philly Airport
- Potholes prompt revamped street paving plan
- CPS student's murder remains unsolved 5 years later
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast
17 min ago
- CPD officer killed in crash after police...
31 min ago
- 2014 International Home + Housewares Show
35 min ago