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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Court Filings Indicate Genovese Family Violence

Gary Westerman was lucky until he was fatally shot and buried in an 8-foot grave by traitorous friends in 2003, federal prosecutors say.
The ex-convict and brother-in-law to the region’s reputed lead mobster had escaped assassination twice before, dating back to 1996, a co-conspirator turned witness told the FBI according to recently-filed federal court records.
Westerman’s remains were unearthed last year by law enforcement officials in a wooded lot in Agawam after Anthony J. Arillotta, the reputed regional Genovese crime family leader, was in March arrested for the murder of his predecessor and quickly offered to turn government informant.
New details of an astonishingly violent landscape in Greater Springfield have emerged as the trial of Arillotta’s onetime co-defendants – Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 43, his brother, Ty Geas, 39, and the alleged former New York Genovese crime boss, Arthur Nigro, 65 – nears in early March.
The Geases and Nigro, whom investigators allege helped wrest control of the region’s rackets from murdered boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, are scheduled to begin trial March 8 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The brothers and Nigro are accused of plotting Bruno’s murder-for-hire in 2003.
late_1990s_gary_westerman.JPGGary D. Westerman
The criminal indictment and other court records also accuse the Geases and others of murdering Westerman, scheming to kill a rival gangster in a spectacularly public fashion, robbing drug dealers, pummeling other organized-crime leaders they sought to shuffle aside and shaking down business owners here and in Connecticut.
Westerman’s disappearance had confounded investigators for seven years, though they suspected Arillotta and his allies had killed him.
But, they had no body – until Arillotta led police to the burial site later that month in secret, just days before it became public that he had turned, law enforcement sources said.
A very public throng of FBI and Massachusetts State Police investigators descended on a targeted dig area off Springfield Street in Agawam with the guidance of Arillotta, who has entered into a cooperation agreement with federal authorities, court records show.
But what has only been made recently public in newly filed court records: Arillotta, 42, formerly of Springfield, also will testify that he plotted to kill Westerman twice before. Once, because longtime friend and former prison mate, Fotios Geas, correctly suspected Westerman informed on him in connection with a 1996 truck heist; and secondly in 2002, when Westerman incited Arillotta by dating (and later marrying) his sister-in-law.
Government's Motions in Limine: Fotios Geas case
Westerman was saved once when an unidentified woman answered the door at his home, according to a Jan. 7 filing by New York U.S. attorney Preet Bharara.
“Arillotta is expected to testify that shortly after Fotios Geas’ initial arrest in the 1996 tractor trailer theft case, Fotios Geas reached out for Arillotta’s assistance in a plan to kills Westerman – for fear that Westerman would cooperate against him,” the filing reads. “Arillotta, Louis Santos and Fotios Geas made arrangements to carry out such a murder, whereby Santos would lure Westerman to a van where Arillotta and Fotios Geas would be waiting, and where Fotios Geas would shoot him.”
Santos, a convicted bookmaker, was not charged in connection with the aborted plot.
Westerman was, in fact, working as an informant for Massachusetts State Police, according to the recent court records, but was later cut loose by the agency after he got caught up in a check-fraud scheme. He sought no consideration for his cooperation at his sentencing, and he and Fotios Geas were sentenced to several years in state prison for the truck heist.

Al Bruno Murder Case
In 2002, Arillotta again hatched a plan to kill Westerman when he refused to stop dating Arillotta’s sister-in-law. Arillotta sought the help of Fotios Geas and Michael DeCaro, who, according to prosecutors, would lure Westerman to dinner “at which time Arillotta and DeCaro would do a drive-by shooting of Westerman.”
DeCaro and Arillotta arrived at the proposed drive-by late, however, foiling their plans once again, the documents report.
Months after that, investigators report that Westerman reached out to state police again with an offer to inform on his fellow mobsters.
“On multiple occasions in 2003, Westerman told law enforcement that Anthony Arillotta, Fotios Geas and Ty Geas were ‘making moves’ and seeking authorization from members of organized crime in New York to ‘retire’ Al Bruno,” filings state.
Bruno, the longtime regional head of the region’s rackets, was gunned down outside his regular Sunday night card game on Nov. 23, 2003.
Another cooperating witness, Frankie Roche, told investigators Fotios Geas paid him $10,000 to shoot Bruno to pave the way for new leadership. Roche is expected to be one of the prosecution’s prime witnesses at trial. He, the Geas brothers and Arillotta formed close bonds while they were serving unrelated but concurrent prison sentences, court filings state.
Roche also is expected to testify that Arillotta and the Geases offered him first $10,000, then $25,000 to kill Giuseppe Manzi, a restaurateur whom Ty Geas felt was stealing marijuana customers from him, authorities say, and was suspected to have sprayed Arillotta’s house with bullets late one night in 2003.
“After this shooting, Fotios and Ty Geas suggested that (Roche) use an AK-47 assault rifle and execute the murder at a busy intersection in downtown Springfield. Ultimately, the plan was aborted,” filings read.
The Geases and Italian mobster Emilio Fusco have been charged with killing Westerman because he was an informant. Fusco fled to Italy before he was charged and will not stand trial with the other three as he fights extradition, according to authorities.
The Geases also were charged with plotting to kill Manzi, and Santos, their onetime ally, because they believed Santos also was an informant. Court records do not suggest Santos was, however.
The most recent submissions by prosecutors also state Arillotta and the Geases were extorting Springfield nightclub owner James Santaniello for “protection money,” as well as vending machine owners Carlo and Gennaro Sarno and Michael and Anthony Grant, who owned “Hustler’s” strip club in Connecticut.
The defense is expected to exclude as much of the background information from testimony at trial. Prosecutors are seeking to empanel an anonymous jury in the case.
There is a pretrial hearing scheduled in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Jan. 25



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