Defense rests in mob racketeering case

December 15, 2010 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: The strategy behind the five defendants calling only one witness.

Federal prosecutors called more than 80 witnesses and played hours of undercover FBI recordings during the month-long trial. After the government rested Wednesday morning, mob boss Sarno and three co-defendants opted to put on no defense.

Only Outlaw biker Mark Polchan called a defense witness. Thursday, the case could go to jury.

West suburban outfit boss Mike "the Large Guy" Sarno arrived at the Dirksen Federal Building Wednesday morning empty-handed, needing no paperwork or file folders because he would put on no defense.

The jury heard weeks of testimony and tapes intended to link Sarno and his co-defendants to a Berwyn bombing in 2003 aimed at a video poker machine-maker that was competing with Sarno's alleged Outfit-backed business.

One of the final secret tapes played in court Wednesday revealed some of the defendants were on to the FBI's undercover cameras.

The only defense witness called was a boyhood friend of accused racketeer Mark Polchan, who now works for the Village of Westchester and is an acquaintance of Sarno's, testified that they all just hung out together "doing what guys do."

Sarno's strategy of putting on no defense at all is believed to have been motivated by his team's belief that the government has a weak case, a tactic that rarely works.

Sometimes the lack of a defense also reflects that there is no defense to be made. we will have to wait until this goes to the jury to hear from The defense lawyers have decided to wait until this case goes to the jury to talk publicly.

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