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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guilty pleas unsealed in Al Bruno murder case as trial nears

Anthony J. Arillotta pleaded guilty to a litany of crimes including the murder of his predecessor mobster Adolfo “Big Al" Bruno, according to court records recently unsealed in U.S. District Court.
It took seven years for law enforcement to charge Arillotta, a.k.a. “Bingy,” with the 2003 murder of Bruno. By contrast, it took roughly four months for him to solidify a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, according to the charges he admitted to on July 6 in a federal court in Manhattan.
Prosecutors unsealed Arillotta’s guilty plea and documented the guilty plea of Felix Tranghese, an East Longmeadow gangster who is one of eight men under indictment for the Bruno murder and other crimes. The action was taken in response to requests for information from lawyers representing other defendants in the case scheduled for trial starting March 8.
Bruno was gunned down by Frankie A. Roche, a paid hit man, on Nov. 23, 2003, amid a power play that propelled Arillotta, 42, of Springfield, to the top of the local rackets. It was a classic mob hit with the blessing of higher-ups in the New York-based Genovese crime family, investigators said.
Under a plea deal, Tranghese, 58, admitted to six criminal counts including the Bruno murder-for-hire plot, racketeering conspiracy and extortion. He is scheduled for sentencing July 15, according to the case docket.

Al Bruno Murder Case
Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno (center) talks with attorneys in the hallway of the Hampden County Superior Court during a recess in his trial for attempted murder.
Arillotta has not been scheduled for sentencing. He and Tranghese are expected to take the witness stand for the government against co-defendants Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 44, of West Springfield, and his brother, Ty Geas, 39, of Westfield, both of whom mob investigators said aided Arillotta’s rise as “the muscle” in the new regime. Also charged is reputed onetime Genovese boss Arthur “Artie” Nigro, 66, of Bronx, who allegedly sanctioned the hit on Bruno.
Arillotta’s guilty plea is 28 pages long and includes admission of:
• his role in the murder of Bruno, his longtime mentor;

• the murder of Arillotta’s brother-in-law, Gary D. Westerman, who was shot and buried in an eight-foot grave in a wooded lot in Agawam in 2003;

• the attempted murder of New York union official Frank Dadabo in May of that year;
• narcotics trafficking and loan-sharking from the early 1990s up until his arrest in February 2010;

• running illegal gambling rings;

• extorting bars, restaurants, strip clubs and other businesses in Springfield, Hartford and New York

• illegal possession of AK-47 machine guns.

His lawyer, Thomas Butters of Boston, could not be immediately reached for comment immediately.
Prosecutors have not commented on Arillotta’s cooperation agreement; no details about his potential sentence were publicly available.



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