Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Six years in prison for burglar who testified against mob


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Reputed Cicero mob boss Michael "The Large Guy" Sarno, shown in this November 2010 file photo, was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison. 
A serial burglar who kept on breaking into homes even after he became a confidential government informant still got “a great deal” Monday from the federal government because without him the feds could never have nabbed a high-ranking Chicago mobster and a top Outlaw motorcycle gang member.
Mark J. Hay, 56, was sentenced to six years in prison for his crimes in federal court Monday and will likely be in the federal witness protection program for the rest of his life.
Hay was a member of a criminal group overseen by reputed Cicero mob boss Michael “Big Mike” Sarno. Hay wore a wire on several key players in the group, helped the feds flip other players who turned into critical government witnesses, and gave investigators enough information to allow them to put listening devices in the Cicero pawn shop run by Outlaw treasurer Mark Polchan and on Sarno’s cell phones.
“Experience teaches the Chicago Outfit does not look kindly on individuals who cooperate against it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu, who prosecuted the Sarno case with Tinos Diamantatos and Michael Donovan.
“The danger, I would emphasize, is very real,” Bhachu said Monday at Hay’s sentencing hearing. Another witness in the case who Bhachu did not name had a purple funeral flag place on his lawn shortly before trial, a sign the feds took as an “explicit” threat.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman emphasized to Hay that was he getting a “great deal” from the government, as Guzman structured the prison sentence in the most favorable way possible for Hay.
Hay will get another chance at life when he is out of prison, Guzman noted.
“I don’t know that you deserve one, but you’re actually going to have one,” Guzman said.
Guzman said the fact that Hay committed numerous home burglaries after promising the feds he would commit no crimes while cooperating with them, starting in 2004, weighed heavily on his mind. But Guzman noted Hay essentially made the fed’s investigation.
Appearing under heavy security, Hay apologized in court to his victims, the feds and his family.
“I stand in front of you a very shamed man, sir,” Hay told the judge. “I had a compulsive gambling problem that cost me my family, that cost me my marriage and that ultimately cost me my freedom.”
The judge told him this was his last chance.
“Do the right thing, from here forevermore, or die in jail,” the judge told him.
“Think about that the next time you want to place a bet or the next time you want to make a quick score.”

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/10622099-418/six-years-in-prison-for-burglar-who-testified-against-mob.html


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