In a little noticed court filing, federal prosecutors in Chicago are trying to get two defense attorneys tossed off a mob-related pipebombing case because they are allegedly too close to reputed high-ranking Outfit member Michael Sarno.
Federal authorities earlier this year charged Mark Polchan, a reputed ranking member of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club and an Outfit associate, and Samuel Volpendesto, an alleged former manager of a strip club and bordello, with taking part in a Outfit-ordered bombing attack on a Berwyn business that leased vending and video poker machines.
Polchan is represented by Alexander Salerno, Volpendesto by Ed Wanderling. Neither attorney is a stranger to organized crime cases, but both men have interesting ties to this particular case, according to the federal filing.
Both attorneys have represented a confidential witness that federal prosecutors expect they will call at the trial of the two men.
Both attorneys also have had legal relationships with Sarno, who had his home searched as part of the case, and is described in the government filing only as "Outfit Member A."
When Sarno had his suburban home searched on July 30, Salerno arrived shortly after the search began and consulted with Sarno, prosecutors note.
And Wanderling is listed as the registered agent for at least three businesses involving Sarno.
The prosecution's court filings make clear that Sarno is a focus of federal interest, and prosecutors contend Polchan and Volpendesto need different attorneys who can give them neutral advice on whether to cooperate against Sarno.
The judge could make a decision on the prosecution's request later this month.