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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Genovese turncoat caps first day of testimony in mob murder trial

Following opening arguments in what is expected to be a three-week mob murder trial, the first day of testimony opened quietly but wrapped up with a bang – and the government's star witness, turncoat Mafia soldier Anthony J. Arillotta.
Anthony J. Arillotta
Arillotta, 44, once a breakout star on the organized crime front in Greater Springfield, began testifying Tuesday in U.S. District Court against defendant Emilio Fusco, a Longmeadow man Arillotta told jurors conspired with him in murder, extortion, drug sales and other ventures.
It is the second time Arillotta has taken the witness stand dressed in prison drabs against his former mob confidantes. Two of his most favored enforcers, Fotios and Ty Geas, of West Springfield, and onetime Genovese crime family acting boss, Arthur Nigro, of Bronx, N.Y., were convicted of murder and other charges in the same courtroom last year.
All were arrested in connection with the 2003 contract hit of Springfield crime boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, allegedly spearheaded by Arillotta and Fusco, Arillotta has testified, and carried out by the Geases' "crash dummy" prison buddy. Nigro gave the green-light for the killing, witnesses said in the previous trial, having already soured on Bruno over a cigarette exporting deal.
Arillotta on Tuesday told jurors he and Fusco were allies and rivals intermittently through the 1990s and beyond after Fusco emigrated to Western Massachusetts from Italy. He also testified Fusco was open about showing the mark of being a "made member" of the Genovese crime family to a group of friends in the mid-1990s.
"One day we were over his house and he lifted his hand up and showed us his hand and it was blackish and burned," Arillotta said, referring to the traditional paper-burning phase during secret Mafia induction ceremonies.
The ceremonies are not so secret anymore since Arillotta and a growing legion of ranking organized crime members have begun taking witness stands in mob trials across the country to duck life sentences for murder.
During opening statements, Fusco's defense lawyer, Richard B. Lind, dismissed Arillotta's perspective as that of a desperate man looking to cut his own prison sentence exponentially.
"He is a killer; he is a conniver; he is a cheat. He lies to virtually everyone," Lind told jurors in the Manhattan courtroom.



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