Monday, October 24, 2011

Michael Sarno Could Face 25 Years in Prison

The Chicago mob’s “Large Guy” could take a big fall — if federal prosecutors get their way.

Prosecutors are providing a detailed look at reputed Cicero mob boss Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno’s ties to organized crime in a new court filing as they ask a federal judge to sentence Sarno to the maximum possible prison sentence — 25 years behind bars.

Sarno was convicted in December of racketeering conspiracy and illegal gambling and is set to be sentenced Friday in federal court in Chicago. The conviction is Sarno’s third for mob crimes — and one that could put him in prison until his 70s.

Federal prosecutor Amar-jeet S. Bhachu describes Sarno as a career criminal who began his Outfit work in 1975. Prosecutors write “it is obvious that he does not care about the law.

“His interest today still lies with taking what he wants for himself and other members of organized crime . . .”

Sarno was convicted at trial with four other men in which prosecutors described a slew of crimes, including a bombing of a Berwyn company in competition with the mob’s video poker business along with a burglary ring that targeted jewelry stores.

Sarno ordered the bombing of the Berwyn business and controlled the burglary ring, prosecutors said.

Sarno began running the Outfit’s Cicero crew after the disappearance of mobster Anthony Zizzo in 2006, who is presumed to have been murdered, although his body has never been found.

Sarno, who at his biggest has tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds, has several mob nicknames, including “Big Mike,” “Large” and “Fat Ass.” When he was a free man, Sarno often was seen with his close friend, Salvatore Cataudella, convicted in a juice loan case. The pair was dubbed “Mutt and Jeff.”

They were referred to by the nicknames in a secretly recorded conversation between Chicago mob boss James Marcello and his half-brother Michael Marcello in 2003.

An attorney for Sarno could not be reached Sunday, but a former lawyer for him has disputed the characterization of Sarno by federal prosecutors and the FBI’s informants.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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