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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trial Date Set For Genovese Capo Slaying

The Department of Justice building in Washingt...Image via Wikipedia
A federal judge in Manhattan has refused to move a Nov. 1 trial date for defendants charged in a Western Massachusetts Mafia murder case, despite a deluge of new charges and new arrests.
A pretrial hearing in U.S. District Court on Monday yielded little new information about the prosecution of the 2003 contract hit on mob boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, but did produce a testy exchange between Judge P. Kevin Castel and defense lawyers for Fotios "Freddy" Geas, of West Springfield, Mass., and alleged former Genovese crime boss Arthur "Artie" Nigro.
"I just don't believe we can get this case investigated and prepared for November 1," Frederick Cohn, one of Geas' defense lawyers, pleaded to Castel, who snapped back: "It's July. What am I missing?"
Cohn also told Castel the government has asked defense lawyers to appear in Washington, D.C., before a capital punishment review committee for the panel to take a renewed look at the case to determine if the death penalty will be sought.
The Bruno case has continued to unfold since it was transferred here from federal court in Springfield, Mass., earlier this year. When it was being prosecuted in Massachusetts, Geas was poised to stand trial alone and was charged with one murder. Since being moved to Manhattan, it has sprouted five new defendants and more allegations of killings-for-hire.
Investigators and witnesses have said Bruno, 57, the then-regional leader of the New York-based Genovese family, was gunned down amid a power play by younger rival gangsters on Nov. 23, 2003, outside an Italian social club in Springfield's South End neighborhood. His reputed successor, Anthony J. Arillotta, 41, also was charged in connection with the murder but turned government informant, defense lawyers say. Arillotta's alleged turning was a pivotal moment in the case, since he apparently offered up a wealth of information about other murder and would-be murder plots outlined in new charges leveled last week.
As of Friday , Fotios Geas and his younger brother Ty Geas, formerly Arillotta's reputed enforcers, along with aging mobster Felix L. Tranghese and Italian-born mob captain Emilio Fusco also were charged in connection with Bruno's death.
Tranghese, 58, of East Longmeadow, and Ty Geas, 38, of Westfield, were arrested early Friday by FBI agents and state police. Fusco, 41, of Longmeadow, is believed to have fled to Italy and remains a fugitive. Tranghese and Ty Geas are being held without right to bail.
The Geases and Fusco also have been charged in connection with the murder of Gary D. Westerman, a fringe gangster who disappeared three weeks before Bruno was killed in November 2003. Westerman's bones, clothing and jewelry were unearthed in April, within days of Arillotta dropping out of the federal prison system.
The most recently unsealed indictment was the fourth in the case and also includes allegations that the Geas brothers plotted to kill Western Massachusetts bookie Louis "Lou the Shoe" Santos, but never carried it out. The indictment also alleges they attempted to murder a union boss in the spring of 2003 who had run afoul of Nigro. Frank Daddabo, age and hometown unknown, was shot several times and left for dead, according to sources familiar with the case.
Fotios Geas and Nigro were arraigned on the new charges on Monday, entering innocent pleas. While Ty Geas and Tranghese appeared in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on Friday, they have yet to make it to New York to be arraigned.
Cohn said in court that Fotios Geas will face a potential death penalty for the third time in three years. Certain federal murder charges, including murder in aid of racketeering, are so-called "death-penalty eligible," but require sanctioning by the U.S. Justice Department. Federal prosecutors have twice declined to pursue the death penalty against Fotios Geas.
The cases have been continued to Aug. 26 for a pre-trial conference.

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