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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Emilio Fusco jurors in New York hear 7 days of testimony in mob murder trial

4 more mob mugs 42612.jpg
Western Massachusetts mob figures mentioned in the Emilio Fusco murder trial in New York include, clockwise from top left, Fusco and Anthony Arilllotta, and Adolfo Bruno and Gary Westerman, both deceased.
Prosecutors rested their case Thursday afternoon against Emilio Fusco, accused of two mob-related murders in Western Massachusetts, after seven days of testimony and dozens of witnesses in U.S. District Court.
The government closed with witnesses that included the Italian police official who arrested Fusco at a bus stop in Santaniello, Italy on July 29, 2010.
Fusco, of Longmeadow, is accused in the 2003 murders of Springfield, Mass., crime boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno and street thug Gary D. Westerman, plus a string of extortions, drug deals and illegal gaming rings.
Fusco, 43, an Italian native who immigrated to western Massachusetts in the 1990s, had denied all charges.
Testifying through an interpreter, Massimiliano Guidone said he and eight other investigators with the "carabinieri" tailed Fusco to Santaniello, where Fusco had rented an apartment in the Italian countryside. Guidone told jurors he hid in a shed near Fusco's apartment for six hours on July 29,2010 until Fusco emerged on the road nearby and walked to a bar in the town square. The investigator said he finally approached Fusco at a bus stop to arrest him.
The government has argued Fusco fled to avoid prosecution amid intense publicity about a law enforcement dig for Westerman's body in a wooded lot in Agawam, Mass., in April of 2010 and speculation that mob captain Anthony J. Arillotta was cooperating with the FBI and state police.

Arillotta testified against Fusco for nearly four days in this trial under a plea deal, telling jurors he and Fusco were among four men who shot and bludgeoned Westerman to death before burying him in a ditch.
Defense lawyer Richard B. Lind has argued Fusco traveled to Italy to attend his sister's 50th birthday party in mid-April of 2010, and among the witnesses the defense called this afternoon was Fusco's sister, Angela Fusco, of Quindici, Italy.
Through an interpreter, Angela Fusco testified that her brother arrived for her birthday party a few days before and was delayed in coming back by their mother's health problems and a volcanic eruption that disrupted European plane travel that year.
"I told him not to leave. It's not the right time. My mother was crying," Angela Fusco told jurors.
The testimony had a stuttery feel to it when Angela Fusco became intermittently confused by the questions. She left the witness stand with her brother becoming agitated and apparently scolding her in Italian.
Other witnesses for the defense included noted Boston criminal defense lawyer Anthony M. Cardinale, who represented Fusco in a 2001 loan-sharking case that yielded a three-year prison stint for Fusco under a plea deal - and produced a court document prosecutors in this case say effectively sealed a death warrant for Bruno.
Within a presentencing summary for Fusco, there was a reference to Bruno confirming to an FBI agent that Fusco was a "made man" in the Genovese family, which incensed Fusco, according to Cardinale, until the lawyer explained to his client that the reference did not equate to Bruno being "a rat."
"I told him that (if Bruno were formally cooperating with the government) it would never be disclosed in this fashion," Cardinale testified.
The Boston attorney conceded on cross-examination that he has represented a string of gangsters over 35 years as a trial lawyer, including the late Gambino boss, John Gotti.
Defense lawyer Richard Lind told U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel that he intends to call Westerman's widow, Sandra Berardi, to the witness stand and Springfield businessman Carmino Bonavita, who was partners with Bruno in an ill-fated cigarette exporting deal in 2002 the defense contends was at the root of his demise in the Genovese family.
Testimony is scheduled to resume Monday in U.S. District Court.



Post a Comment