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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Genovese turncoat takes witness stand for second day at trial of Emilio Fusco

Anthony Arillotta, take two.
Arillotta, 44, a Mafia soldier-turned-informant from Springfield, resumed the witness stand Wednesday for the second day in a mob murder trial in Manhattan. On trial is Longmeadow loan shark Emilio Fusco, a fellow "made man" in the New York-based Genovese organized crime family. Both Arillotta and Fusco were indicted for a string of crimes including the 2003 murder of their onetime boss, Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, amid a power play in 2003.
Arillotta, however, entered into a plea deal with federal prosecutors shortly after his arrest in 2010 and has testified against his closest confidantes and bosses over two trials. Last year, Arillotta took the stand against two of his most trusted enforcers, Fotios "Freddy" and Ty Geas, of West Springfield, plus the former acting boss of the Genovese family, Arthur "Artie" Nigro, of Bronx, NY.
Those three were convicted and are serving life sentences in federal prison. Fusco, whose trial was delayed because he fled to his native Italy, according to prosecutors, has opted to take his chances. He has denied all charges against him including racketeering, murder and extortion.
Arillotta has begun recounting a startling history of criminal behavior dating back to the 1980s, including a string of murder plots, drug deals, gun deals, and shakedowns -- mitigated slightly by the fact that he's done it in the same courtroom before.

Much of Arillotta's testimony in this trial so far has focused on crimes he told jurors he committed with Fusco, including drug dealing, extortion, loan-sharking and sports betting. Arillotta said Fusco and Bruno were longtime rivals in Springfield's organized crime landscape until Bruno was anointed boss of the "Springfield Crew" in 2001.
Once Bruno was made boss and at the urging of higher-ranking gangsters, he stepped up shake-downs of bar and pizza shops owners in Massachusetts and Connecticut, plus bookies and loan sharks in order to generate more revenue for mob types, Arillotta said. The Mafia quickly began netting $12,000 per month to be split among New York and "made guys" locally.
Fusco approved, according to Arillotta.
"He liked the idea. He said that's how they do things in Italy and they should have done that a long time ago," Arillotta recounted.
The harmony between Bruno and Fusco was short-lived, he added. Once Bruno learned Fusco was dealing marijuana -- traditionally prohibited in the Italian Mafia -- he unsuccessfully lobbied New York bosses for permission to take Fusco out, according to Arillotta.
"He talked to Artie (Nigro) about clipping Emilio," Arillotta testified.
Instead, Bruno was the one who got clipped. He was shot dead in a parking lot in downtown Springfield on Nov. 23, 2003, one day shy of his 58th birthday. Fusco is alleged to have furnished a paid hitman with the gun and alerted the shooter to Bruno's whereabouts that night.
Arillotta's testimony is expected to continue at least through Thursday.



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