Mob-connected bag man sentenced to 15 years
August 4, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- "I am an agent for Mr. Volpendesto, he will be here in a minute," defendant Anthony Volpendesto told US District Judge Ronald Guzman as he entered his own sentencing hearing in federal court on Thursday.
After interrupting court proceedings several times, once saying he didn't "consent to these proceedings," Volpendesto was sentenced to 15 years and nearly one-and-one-half million dollars in restitution for robbing jewelry stores and transporting stolen goods.
"I haven't injured anybody" he told the judge. "Have I stolen a few things? Yes. Am I serving time for that--yes. Am I sorry for what I did--absolutely" said Volpendesto.
Volpendesto was convicted as part of a racketeering enterprise run by suburban mob boss Michael "The Large Guy" Sarno. Sarno created an alliance with the Outlaws motorcycle gang and together they robbed jewelry stores, fenced stolen goods and ran an illegal video poker business. Sarno, Mark Polchan, Casey Szaflarski, Anthony Volpendesto and his 87-year-old father Samuel were all found guilty after a six week trial that connected the gang to the 2003 bombing attack of a Berwyn video poker machine company. The firm was targeted for competing with Sarno's illegal gaming enterprise.
In trial testimony, Volpendesto was said to have committed numerous armed robberies at jewelry stores using a bicycle for his getaway.
"The only way to protect the public from Mr. Volpendesto is to incarcerate him for a long time." stated Judge Guzman referring to the Volpendesto's rich criminal history of twenty-eight previous convictions. "As soon as he is released the public will again be in danger." Guzman also cautioned that co-defendants who decided to cooperate in the prosecution would also be in jeopardy if Volpendesto was on the outside. "Their lives will be in danger until the day they die" Judge Guzman said.
Volpendesto was the first defendant in the case to be sentenced. Michael Sarno is scheduled to be sentenced September 19.
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