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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Development: Lawyers Report Former Genovese Capo Flips

The current Boss of the Genovese crime family,...Imprisoned Genovese Boss Danny Leo via WikipediaAnother high-ranking local gangster is the latest to switch teams in the ongoing federal prosecution of a clutch of murder-for-hires here dating back seven years, according to defense lawyers and supported by federal Bureau of Prison records and a conspicuous absence in court.
Felix L. Tranghese, 58, of East Longmeadow, was a so-called made man and a capo in the New York-based Genovese crime family, according to federal and state investigators, and an extremely quiet predator until he was put out to pasture in 2006 by a group of upcoming gangsters.
He was nevertheless arrested in late July along with Ty Geas, 37, of Westfield, charged in connection with the alleged murder conspiracy against former boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, the onetime regional Genovese boss who was gunned down amid a power play in 2003. The pair was charged along with convicted racketeer Emilio Fusco, who was apprehended in Italy. Their arrests marked seven in total in the long-running investigation, which has ensnared most of the significant players in organized crime locally.
Also charged were admitted shooter Frankie A. Roche; mob enforcer Fotios Geas, Ty Geas' older brother, alleged New York crime boss Arthur "Artie" Nigro, and reputed Bruno successor Anthony J. Arillotta, who stunned the local underworld after he turned government informant in February.
Arillotta disappeared the day after his arraignment on murder charges in early March from the Bureau of Prisons tracking system. Law enforcement officials refused to discuss his whereabouts and he was absent from subsequent court appearances. Those familiar with the investigation have since acknowledged he is providing the government with information about local killings, thwarted murder plots, extortion and other misdeeds under his supervision.
Law enforcement officials led Tranghese down the same path.
After his arraignment in a New York courtroom in early August, Tranghese was listed as "released" by the Bureau of Prisons the next day. Prison officials refused to provide information about his whereabouts and neither his lawyer nor law enforcement officials returned calls for comment.
In addition to Arillotta, Tranghese was among the missing at the most recent pretrial hearing in the case on Aug. 26, while all the other alleged murder defendants were required to appear.
"We didn't realize he had turned informant until the court date," Fotios Geas' lawyer, Frederick H. Cohn said during an interview following the hearing. "But we weren't necessarily surprised. We were told we should expect that from him."
Tranghese owned the popular Mulino's restaurant in Northampton and opened a short-lived franchise in downtown Springfield. He had previously been convicted of state and federal gaming and loan-sharking charges but had not served prison time since the late 1980s.
Because of a continual piling-on of defendants and charges in the ongoing investigation, the trial date has been moved from November to March in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Meanwhile, an homage to Bruno, shot seven times on the eve of his 58th birthday outside his regular Sunday night card game, is emerging on Worthington Street in downtown Springfield. Bruno's son, Victor C. Bruno, is set to open an Italian restaurant named Adolfo's in early September.
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