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

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Chicago mobster requests early prison release due to coronavirus fears

Reputed mob boss Michael “the Large Guy” Sarno says 10 years behind bars has reduced him to “a senior citizen with severe medical issues,” and he wants out of federal prison early because of the “deadly risk” of the pandemic.

A petition filed Monday seeks compassionate release for the 62-year-old Sarno, who was sentenced to 25 years in 2012 for ordering the bombing of a rival business in Berwyn to protect his illegal and lucrative video poker operation.

“Mr. Sarno poses no danger to any person or to his community,” the petition argues. “Between his multitude of medical issues and confinement to a wheel chair, he is no longer the Michael Sarno of the past.”

“For anybody to suggest that Mr. Sarno belongs in jail and that he is a violent offender — it’s wrong, it’s misplaced,” Sarno’s lawyer, John Chwarzynski, told the Tribune Tuesday. “Mr. Sarno should be back at home. He should be with his family.”

When he was sentenced, a federal judge noted that the bombing took place on a public street in Berwyn and that Sarno was willing to endanger people who might have been nearby. “The need to protect the public is very high,” the judge said.

Sarno’s crew also engaged in smash-and-grab robberies in which hundreds of thousands of dollars in gems were stolen from jewelry stores and then fenced at a Cicero pawnshop operated by the Outlaws motorcycle gang, according to prosecutors.

The petition argues that the 25-year sentence was overly harsh, contending the evidence against Sarno was not strong and the judge wrongly considered him a career criminal. “By keeping Mr. Sarno in jail, they are now essentially changing his sentence to the death penalty, and that’s not right,” Chwarzynski said.

The petition details a host of medical problems: “Empyema of the lungs, chronic obstructive asthma, iron deficiency anemia, benign hypertrophy of prostate, an enlarged gallbladder, renal failure, an elevated white blood cell count, he is 100% incontinent, hypertension, osteoarthritis of the knees requiring two total knee replacements, and is unable to walk and ambulates with a wheel chair.”



  1. Can't do the time don't do the crime. despite his ailments now he shows he can't cut it in jail.. yeah I feel sorry for him...he sets a bomb off in public he could of killed women and children..no regard for civilians..may keep him where he is...