Jurors in mob trial shown feds' video, photos

November 30, 2010 4:28:07 PM PST
Federal jurors in an Outfit bombing case Tuesday received a crash course in FBI surveillance.

Tuesday's Intelligence Report looks at the multi-media show prosecutors have been putting on against mob boss Mike Sarno and four co-defendants.

It is not just in the movies that federal agents 'put a tail' on somebody to see where they're going and who they meet with. In real life, federal agents use sneaky tricks and tactics to catch mobsters in the act -- all of the eavesdropping made legal by a judge's order. That was the prosecutor's lesson Tuesday for the jury that watched and listened to undercover evidence.

Jurors watched a video Tuesday from an FBI camera hidden inside the ceiling of a Berwyn pawnshop where defendant Mark Polchan allegedly planned a series of jewelry store stick-ups. And they listened to angry, profanity-laced conversations.

Prosecutors hope the video will help prove that Polchan was in a racketeering conspiracy led by Mike "The Large Guy" Sarno, a convicted west suburban Outfit boss.

Sarno, Polchan and members of the Outlaws biker gang are also accused of bombing a rival video poker machine company in 2003.

The government showed some FBI surveillance photos in court that were blurry and that defense attorneys pointed to unidentifiable.

On one piece of 2007 undercover video, "The Large Guy" Sarno walks into view wearing a cap and smoking a long cigar. Authorities say he and co-defendant Polchan looked at several sheets of paper that prosecutors say was actually an ABC 7 News website story about the Berwyn bombing that Sarno allegedly supervised.

Then the ABC 7 story is heard being shredded. The strands were later retrieved by the FBI and pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle -- evidence the government hopes will show that Sarno had been admiring the reviews of his handiwork.

This is the third week of the trial. The defense hasn't even started yet, but defense lawyers are expected to try to poke holes in -- and maybe poke fun at - -some of those fuzzy FBI pictures.


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