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

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gangsters line up to testify as Genovese Murder Trial Starts in NYC

Federal prosecutors in New York intend to bring in an array of gangsters, hailing from here to South Florida, to outline for jurors in an upcoming mob murder trial the demise of local boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno when he fell out of favor with Genovese bosses.

Poised to stand trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan starting Monday are local reputed enforcers Fotios “Freddy” Geas, of West Springfield, his brother Ty Geas, of Westfield, and alleged New York Genovese crime boss Arthur “Artie” Nigro.

In addition to lining up local gangsters to testify for the prosecution, including Bruno’s successor-turned-government witness Anthony J. Arillotta, of Springfield, and East Longmeadow soldier Felix Tranghese, assistant U.S. attorneys also plan to call mobsters from other regions to tell jurors the murder-for-hire plot against Bruno was a surprise to no one in the underworld.

Several others have pleaded guilty in connection with Bruno’s murder in 2003, including shooter Frankie A. Roche, who said he was paid $10,000 to kill Bruno, Tranghese, who told investigators he helped arrange and sanction the hit with New York bosses, Arillotta, who said he convinced Nigro to approve the murder so Arillotta could take the lead in local rackets and John Bologna, a New Yorker and Nigro’s close confidante.

According to court filings, the government’s first witness will be Mitchell Weissman, a 59-year-old Genovese associate from South Florida. He told investigators he met Nigro in 2001 and soon after began running a loan-sharking operation for the New Yorker.

Court records filed by prosecutors state Weissman also had long known Bruno and is expected to testify that Bruno and Nigro had a good relationship in 2001, and believed Nigro had intervened in a Genovese dispute years before to save Bruno’s life.

The details of that save were not outlined in the records, and the government is seeking to exclude that particular fact as unfounded.

But, Weissman is expected to tell jurors that dealings between Nigro and Bruno deteriorated over 2002 and 2003, to the extent that Bruno’s murder came as no surprise to him.

After being arrested on federal charges in 2006, according to filings, Weissman also ran into a fellow Genovese associate in prison who told him that Bologna was telling insiders he and Arillotta had arranged the hit on Bruno with Nigro’s blessing.

Fotios Geas is accused of recruiting and paying Roche; Ty Geas’ alleged role in the murder is less clear, based on court documents.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin this morning in federal court in the southern district of New York. The judge has approved an anonymous panel to ward off potential jury tampering or intimidation, which defense lawyers have contended is unnecessary.



Post a Comment