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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Former mobster testifies about falling out between Boston gangster and his New York superiors

Reformed South Florida mobster Mitchell Weissman told a jury in federal court on Wednesday about the souring of the relationship between Springfield Genovese crime boss Adolfo M. Bruno and his superior in New York, which prosecutors contend fueled a plot to murder Bruno in 2003.
In the ongoing trial of a trio of Bruno’s accused murderers -- reputed mob enforcers Fotios "Freddy" Geas, of West Springfield, his brother Ty Geas, of Westfield and onetime New York acting Genovese crime boss Arthur "Artie" Nigro -- Weissman is the prosecution’s first witness. The trial opened Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Taking the witness stand for a second day, Weissman, the first in a parade of Mafia turncoats queued up to testify, told jurors Bruno and Nigro shared good relations until a failed cigarette exporting deal went up in smoke in 2003.
By Weissman's accounting, he and another Florida wiseguy teamed up with Bruno and a real estate broker to obtain a cigarette wholesaler's license to move $250,000 in American-made Marlboro cigarettes to China. Weissman said he took the money from "Bruno's guy," identified as Pat Quinn, to appeal to his friend and former prison mate, disgraced Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel, who had been convicted on mail fraud and racketeering charges in the late 1970s.
Weissman said he obtained the license with Mandel's help, but Bruno never received his money back, or the cigarettes.
"He ultimately went to New York and put in a beef," Weissman testified under questioning by assistant U.S. attorney Elie Honig.
The beef led Bruno to a "sit-down" in a warehouse in Boca Raton, Fla., where, Weissman told the jury, he and his mob boss sat on one side of the table while Bruno and Springfield businessman Carmino Bonavita sat on the other side. Nigro, the crime family's acting boss, sat at the helm.
"Under Nigro's ruling, we got to keep the money," Weissman testified, and to boot, Bruno was ordered to write a letter to shield the victors from any tax liability.
A week or two later, Bruno was overheard complaining about the result, according to Weissman’s testimony.
"How common was that for someone to second-guess a decision (made by a boss) in the mob?" Honig asked Weissman.
"That's not too common?" Weissman responded.
"Why not?" Honig asked.
"Because he's the boss, and that's the way it is," Weissman testified.
The witness testified he was instructed by Nigro that Bruno could no longer put "money on the street" in Florida and was generally blackballed in the Sunshine State.
Bruno was gunned down in a dark parking lot in Springfield on Nov. 23, 2003, on the eve of his 58th birthday. His admitted hitman, Frankie A. Roche, formerly of Westfield, said he was paid $10,000 to kill Bruno amid a power play by the Geases and Bruno succcessor Anthony J. Arillotta.
Arillotta also was charged in the case but turned government informant after his arrest last year; he is scheduled to take the stand after Weissman.
Portly and wearing a black T-shirt for his court appearance, Weissman also testified that it was commonplace for wiseguys, or "goodfellas" to disparage and cheat their fellow gangsters. During testimony Wednesday morning, prosecutors played for the jury a recorded conversation between two of Weissman's Florida cohorts, Ray Ruggiero and Clement Santoro from 2003.
The focus of the conversation was whether Nigro's then recent appointment as acting boss of the Genovese family was merited.
"So they don't look at him as, ah, strength, you know what I'm saying? You know, I wouldn't have told the short guy (Nigro), you know, no disrespect or embarrassment, but they don't think that he's ah ... they, they, they like feel like he's, it's a joke," Santoro can be heard saying on the recorded conversation.


1 comment:

  1. Please stop referring to Mitch as a wise guy or exgangster. I was there from the beginning to the end all he was was a little junky errand boy. I don't have a clue how this guy could be given a reputation for being a gangster. A little junkie b**** that's all he was