Accused bombers sent by Outfit too dangerous for bail

Federal magistrate rules biker gang connections exist
August 14, 2008 1:57:37 PM PDT
Describing the Outlaws Motorcycle Club as "not a sewing circle," a federal judge in Chicago late Friday found that a pair of suburban men linked to the club were too dangerous to be allowed out on bond.The duo - Mark Polchan, 41, and Samuel Volpendesto, 84 - are accused in a federal indictment of bombing a Berwyn business in 2003. Authorities said the men were acting on orders of the Chicago Outfit, whose leaders wanted to send a message to the business that it was stepping on mob toes by competing in the video amusement game industry.

Investigators say Polchan, of Justice, is member of the Outlaws and a soldier in the Outfit. The FBI says octogenarian Volpendesto, of Oak Brook, once ran mob-connected strip clubs and a call girl racket.

The men were arrested last week during FBI and ATF raids on Outlaw clubhouses and suspected mob haunts in metro Chicago.

On Wednesday, prosecutors played undercover audio tapes during which the bombing was discussed and the results laughed at. The government also described the bombing impact and showed evidence seized in the raids. See the ABC7 I-Team slideshow.

The men's lawyers argued that bond be set for both men and that their families would post real estate as collateral.

In a detailed ruling late Friday, Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez denied bond, stating that "the evidence against Volpendesto is strong. The evidence against Polchan is derived from the implicit acknowledgment of Volpendesto that Polchan was the other person present at the bombing."

Judge Valdez determined that "the government has proffered enough evidence, which was substantially unrebutted at the hearing, that Polchan's association with the Outfit exists?Polchan was the Treasurer of the local branch of the Outlaws. As its name implies, and as indicated by the tattoos on Polchan's arms, the Outlaws are not a sewing circle. It is a motorcycle club that gives off the appearance that its members are rebellious."

Valdez found both defendants to be dangerous. "Polchan's recent lack of criminal history and Volpendesto's lack of criminal convictions and their significant ties to the local community do not outweigh the extremely serious nature of the offenses with which they are charged, including the weight of the evidence against them and the nature and gravity of the danger that would be posed by their release. The Court also notes that the potential minimum sentence of 35 years also weighs as a factor in favor of detention. This Court finds that defendants have not sufficiently rebutted the presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community or the risk of flight."


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