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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Feds Wont Seek Death Penalty In Big Al Rubout

                                                        Murdered Genovese Boss Adolfo Bruno

Federal prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for two of the Western Massachusetts defendants charged in the murder conspiracy case involving the 2003 slaying of regional mob boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno.
After several weeks of vetting the issue, the U.S. Department of Justice informed defense lawyers for Fotios "Freddy" Geas and his younger brother, Ty C. Geas, both formerly of West Springfield, that they will not seek lethal injections as a potential penalty in the case set to go to trial in March in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Onetime alleged Genovese crime boss Arthur "Artie" Nigro, the brothers' codefendant, also dodged a potential death sentence, according to court records.
The men are accused in the murder-for-hire slaying of Bruno, who was gunned down in a parking lot on the eve of his 58th birthday.
Convicted shooter Frankie A. Roche, formerly of Westfield and now enrolled in the federal witness protection program, told investigators Fotios Geas paid him $10,000 to ambush Bruno at the behest of younger gangsters jockeying for his seat. Prosecutors say it was a classic gangland-style hit sanctioned by mob bosses in New York, hence the venue for the upcoming trial.
Since Roche's guilty plea in 2008 in U.S. District Court in Springfield, other defendants have fallen like dominos.
Roche's cooperation with law enforcement led to the indictment of Fotios Geas. New York soldier John Bologna, who has reportedly pleaded guilty in the case in a closed proceeding, according to law enforcement sources, netted Bruno's successor, Anthony J. Arillotta, of Springfield.
Arillotta turned informant shortly after he was charged in February, which this summer yielded new charges and three new defendants: Ty Geas, convicted loan shark Emilio Fusco, of Longmeadow, and Felix Tranghese, of East Longmeadow.
The Geases are being held without bail along with Nigro in a Brooklyn, N.Y., prison. The Italian-born Fusco fled to Italy before he was charged and is awaiting extradition, according to his lawyer. Law enforcement sources say Tranghese also is cooperating with the government and U.S. Bureau of Prison records show him as "released" a day after he was arraigned in August.
The convoluted result is that only Nigro and the Geases are poised for trial in federal court in Manhattan starting March 8.
The federal murder conspiracy charges tripped the possibility of capital punishment, but it is ultimately up to the U.S. attorney general's office to decide whether to pursue that penalty. It is rarely introduced in organized crime-related murder cases, however.
Despite the fact that the prospect was unlikely, Fotios Geas' lawyer, Frederick H. Cohn, said it is a notable development nonetheless.
"It's important that the government has declined to seek the death penalty. Too many innocent people have bargained down to avoid it. We look forward to trial," Cohn said.
The indictment also accuses the Geas brothers and Fusco of conspiring to murder Gary D. Westerman, a low-level gangster who also was Arillotta's brother-in-law and had served time for a truck heist with Fotios Geas in the 1990s.
Westerman's remains were recovered by the FBI and state police in an 8-foot-deep grave in a wooded area in Agawam in April. Westerman had been missing since shortly before Bruno's murder in 2003. He had been shot twice in the head, officials said.
The three defendants poised for trial also face an array of other charges including shake-downs of business owners in Western Massachusetts and an attempted murder of a union official in New York.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 25.



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