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Outlaws MC Member Mark Polchan gets win

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Federal prosecutors wrote that Mark Polchan “stood at the center of an organized criminal enterprise and directed its members as they robbed, shot, stabbed, stole, and preyed upon the citizens of this and other communities over the course of years,”

A federal judge cut a mob figure’s tough decades-long prison sentence in half Wednesday, imposing a new 30-year sentence on a man who successfully challenged his conviction for a 2003 pipe bomb blast in Berwyn.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman handed down the sentence to Mark Polchan, 54, who Guzman had once sentenced to 60 years in prison. He did so at the end of a hearing in which Polchan appeared in prison garb and acknolwedged the seriousness of his crimes.

“I just want to apologize to everybody,” said Polchan, a high-ranking member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. “That’s all I can do. I’ve done my best. Thank you for listening.”

Upon hearing his new sentence, Polchan nodded approvingly toward his attorney.

Polchan faced sentencing all over again Wednesday after his successful challenge to the conviction related to the pipe bomb blast. A jury had also convicted Polchan of racketeering, illegal gambling, tax fraud and other crimes, but half of Polchan’s original 60-year sentence accounted only for his use of a destructive device during a crime of violence.

Guzman found Polchan’s conviction on that count “must be vacated” after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave Polchan permission to challenge it. Polchan had pointed to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down one definition of a “crime of violence” as unconstitutionally vague.

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