Big sentence for mob's 'Large Guy' Sarno

February 8, 2012 4:18:48 PM PST
The last time Mike Sarno did prison time he was known as ''Fat Boy'' and still considered a junior member of the Chicago Outfit.

Now that Sarno is a boss, he answers to the more mature mob moniker "Large Guy."

But just as he is on the verge of qualifying for senior citizen discounts at his favorite all-you-can-eat buffet, "Large Guy" Sarno is headed back to prison.

Wednesday afternoon in federal court, Judge Ronald Guzman sentenced Sarno to 25 years in prison. That was the maximum term as prosecutors had asked.

It has been more than a year since Sarno was convicted of running a racketeering enterprise in connection with a suburban gambling business. The six-week trial proved Sarno had carved an alliance between the Chicago Outfit and the Outlaws motorcycle gang.

Outlaw biker members Anthony and Samuel Volpendesto, Mark Polchan and Casey Szaflarski were also convicted in the case punctuated by the 2003 bombing attack of a Berwyn video poker machine company. The firm had been competing with Sarno's Outfit-run video poker business.

At his sentencing hearing last year federal prosecutors asked that Sarno receive the maximum sentence-and then some-due to the nature of the crime and the mobster's history as a career criminal.

The U.S. Attorney submitted a 2003 I-Team report to the judge in support of their argument that Sarno be sentenced to the longest possible term in prison.

ABC 7's broadcast in June 2003 focused on a restructuring of the Chicago mob ordered by imprisoned outfit leader James Marcello. "Little Jimmy," as he is still known, was doing time for racketeering, gambling violations and extortion, and still running the outfit's business from the barbed-wire Hilton.

Included in the June 3, 2003, I-Team report was this information about who had been tapped to oversee the Chicago outfit: "This mob heavyweight, 350-pound Michael 'Fat Boy' Sarno, whom Marcello has just installed, according to U.S. law enforcement source."

Defense attorneys disputed the contention that Sarno was a crime boss. They submitted 100 letters from Sarno's friends, neighbors and relatives that portrayed him as a good family man and a fine American. They also cited his numerous health problems, claiming that Sarno's longevity could be compromised by a lengthy stay in prison.

Sarno is the last of the defendants in the case to be sentenced to prison. On Tuesday, Casey Szaflarksi received a sentence of more than three years.