Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Family Secrets mob trial with Sun-Times reporter Steve Warmbir

March 2010 Archives

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Michael Sarno, the reputed head of the Cicero street crew, will be released briefly from house arrest, so he can eat Easter dinner with his family, a federal court judge has decided.

Sarno's attorney received permission for Sarno to eat Easter dinner at his sister's home in Broadview.

You may recall Sarno attracted attention last year when he got the OK to head to Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab for his Christmas holiday dinner.

On Friday, federal prosecutors filed a list of what they seized and want to keep from the FBI's raid on Frank Calabrese Sr.'s home in Oak Brook earlier this week.

They also listed real estate they plan on taking from Calabrese Sr.

It's an interesting list worth checking out.

Calabrese Sr. owes the federal government more than $27 million as part of the Family Secrets case in which he was found responsible for 13 mob hits.

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The secret hiding place

Frank Calabrese Sr. hasn't been too fortunate of late.

His son secretly recorded him bragging about mob murders.

His own brother, a mob killer, told jurors of the Outfit killings they did together.

As a result, he got sentenced to life in prison.

Because he threatened to kill a federal prosecutor, he's held in the kind of restrictive confinement usually reserved for terrorists.

But on Tuesday, Calabrese Sr.'s luck, somehow, got a little worse.

That's when the feds discovered the secret recordings Calabrese Sr. made of discussions between himself and other mobsters.

And more than $1 million in cash and jewelry Calabrese Sr. had stashed away.

The evidence is likely to open up several new lines of investigation.

The instructions from Mark Polchan, an allegedly high-ranking motorcycle gang member and Outfit associate, were simple.

Send a $50 money order to a burglar in prison. A burglar who could be talking to the feds.

Some may see the cash as hush money. Others as intimidation, to let the burglar know that Polchan knows what prison the burglar is in.

Or perhaps just a friendly gesture.

Either way, it went awry when Polchan's associate, who was supposed to send the money order under a fake name, actually sent it under Polchan's.

"Are you f------ retarded or what?" Polchan says to his associate, according to a transcript of the conversation secretly recorded by the FBI and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

U.S. District Court Judge John Grady issued an opinion recently that denied a request by former U.S. Deputy Marshal John Ambrose, who wanted to avoid getting sent to the same prison where his father, a crooked Chicago police officer, died years ago.

Ambrose was convicted last year after he leaked information about a star witness in the Family Secrets mob trial. The information made its way to the head of the Chicago Outfit at the time, James Marcello.

Check the jump to read why Grady didn't cut Ambrose any slack.

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