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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Al Bruno murder trial prosecutor: Fotios Geas and Ty Geas 'brothers ... killers'

Two parallel ascensions to power created a perfect storm of violence in two states, according to a federal prosecutor in a mob murder case that opened in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday afternoon.
Standing trial for a string of successful and unsuccessful murder plots are reputed mob enforcers Fotios "Freddy" Geas, 44, of West Springfield, and brother Ty Geas, 39, of Westfield, plus Arthur "Artie" Nigro, 66, of Bronx, NY, alleged to be the onetime acting boss of the New York-based Genovese crime family, the largest and most diabolical of the city's five Mafia crime families, according to investigators.
The Geases are accused in the 2003 murders of crime boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno and low-level mob associate Gary D. Westerman, in addition to other organized crime-related murder plots and shake-downs.
"They are brothers and they are killers," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark D. Lanpher told a jury of nine men and six women.
Nigro is the alleged puppet master for nearly every crime alleged in a sweeping racketeering indictment. Lanpher said Nigro was promoted from a Mafia captain to an acting boss around 2001, around the time Bruno was appointed captain in Greater Springfield. However, a young "earner" named Anthony J. Arillotta, of Springfield, soon caught Nigro's eye and was considered a "rising star" in the Genovese family, the prosecutor said.
"Soon, Anthony Arillotta was getting face time with an acting boss in the Genovese crime family. Priceless," he told jurors.

With the Geases, veteran bar brawlers and ex-convicts known throughout the Pioneer Valley for their brute strength, Arillotta began taking marching orders from Nigro to extort more money from more businesses and send a share of bigger profits to New York, the prosecutor said.
In May of 2003, Nigro got into a beef with a New York union official, cement mixer Frank Dababo, of Nigro's stronghold in the Bronx, and Nigro decided Dadabo should be killed over it. Lanpher told jurors Nigro gave Arillotta Dadabo's address on Webster Street in the Bronx, the make of his car and the time Dadabo typically headed into work. Arillotta and the Geases traveled to New York once to case Dadabo's house, and a second time to carry out the shooting with two guns Nigro provided, according to the prosecutor.
Arillotta and Ty Geas waited on a city bench for Dababo, 62, to head to his car on an early morning in late May of 2003, and ambushed the man, filling his left side with bullets before leaping into an waiting car with Fotios Geas behind the wheel.
Dadabo lived and is expected to testify at trial, but Arillotta was "made," or officially inducted into the Genovese crime family, during a secret ceremony during which he took an oath at a "nondescript apartment" in the Bronx weeks later, Lanpher told jurors.
But, Arillotta broke one of the tenets of that oath when he agreed to turn government witness shortly after his arrest in this case last year. He is expected to be the government's second witness, taking the stand Wednesday afternoon at least for two days, Lanpher said.
According to Lanpher, he is expected to testify that after he was made, he sought permission to kill Bruno to pave the way for unfettered leadership, and used Fotios Geas to recruit shooter Frankie A. Roche, whom defense lawyers have called "a psychopath" with a personal grudge against Bruno.
Months after Dadabo was shot, Arillotta and the Geases tried to hatch murder plots against rival gangsters and suspected rats and had turned their sights on Bruno, who managed to avert the first few attempts on his life, the prosecutor said. But, the Geases and Arillotta then zeroed in on Westerman, 48, an on-again, off-again police informant who also had the nerve to date Arillotta's sister-in-law, 25 years his junior, and later marry her
"And he went to Florida and married her ... on the weekend Anthony Arillotta's baby was christened. And that was like spitting in his face. And, Anthony Arillotta doesn't like to be spat on," Lanpher said.
On Nov. 3, 2003, the Geases, Arillotta, and another man, Emilio Fusco, also charged in the case but awaiting extradition in Italy, lured Westerman to a wooded lot in Agawam under the guise of robbing a nearby home, according to the prosecutor. Westerman arrived with a ski mask and a stun gun, but was allegedly shot several times by the Geases and then bludgeoned with shovels and dragged to a pre-dug grave before Fotios Geas put a final bullet in his brain.
Bruno was shot six times outside his regular Sunday night card game nearly three weeks later.
"The Geases and Arillotta had arrived ... They were to be feared in Springfield," Lanpher said.
Defense lawyers disparaged Arillotta and Roche as liars and murderers chasing reduced sentences for their testimony. Lee Ginsberg, a lawyer for Ty Geas, even likened Roche to an out-of-control Charlie Sheen during his opening statement.
Testimony will continue in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.



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