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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Victor Bruno, son of mob boss Big Al Bruno, says investigators could have prevented father's murder

Victor Bruno, the son of murdered mob boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, was critical of the government on Thursday at a press conference on Worthington Street in the restaurant bearing his late father's name.
Bruno, 40, who attended two trials in the case in federal court in Manhattan last year and this year, told reporters that he intends to file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility — the watchdog of federal law enforcement agencies — asserting the FBI mishandled investigations leading up to his father's death and, in his belief, could have prevented it.
"The FBI knew my father's life was in danger. Yet, they took no steps to adequately notify him other than a brief, informal and impromptu meeting by Special Agent Cliff Hedges when my dad was eating pizza," Bruno said, referring to a meeting between his father and the Springfield agent in 2002 who was later memorialized in a presentencing report for Emilio Fusco, the latest defendant tried in connection with Adolfo Bruno's death.
FBI spokesman Mark S. Karangekis said that because the case is still pending, the Springfield office will refer all questions to the southern District of the U.S. Attorney's Office in the southern district of New York, where the case is being tried. They have historically refused comment.
Victor Bruno press conference
Victor Bruno held a press conference thursday and talked about how the Federal Law Enforcement agencies could have prevented the death of his father Al Bruno.
Fusco, a Longmeadow gangster arrested in Italy in 2010 in connection with the case, was acquitted of Bruno's 2003 murder and that of police informant Gary D. Westerman's the same year. He was convicted of other charges including racketeering conspiracy, drug distribution and other charges.
At issue at trial was Fusco's circulating of a "government exhibit 202," a paragraph of Fusco's presentencing reporting that affirmed Bruno had talked about the mob to the FBI and prompted his father's death.
""(This) was nothing more than a death sentence for my father," Bruno said.
Fusco's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Fusco's stunning acquittals on the murder charges capped two trials that played out in federal court in New York as prosecutors contended the conspiracies to take out Bruno and Westerman came amid a power play by young gangsters that stretched from here to New York City.
Previously convicted were Anthony Arillotta, of Springfield, a onetime capo who initiated the hit against Bruno and has since turned government witness, his henchmen Fotios "Freddy" Geas and Ty Geas, once of West Springfield, and former New York Genovese crime boss Arthur "Artie Nigro," of Bronx, NY.
Arillotta testified in both trials that he, the Geases, and Fusco went on a reign of terror to wrest control of the city's illegal rackets in 2003, around the time Arillotta was secretly "made" in a ceremony in the Bronx that summer — behind Bruno's back, hobbling an already vulnerable capo in Springfield.
Arillotta testified under a plea deal that could ultimately yield a far lesser sentence than the life terms the Geases and Nigro are serving. Bruno is angered over the fact that Arillotta could serve fewer than five years, based on the reviews he has received in the legal community.
"He was the master manipulator in his grand scheme — doing so with the clear intent of having an exit strategy at hand if the scheme failed — to turn to federal authorities to cut a deal as a cooperating witness," Bruno said.
Arillotta's sentencing has not been scheduled; nor have those of his fellow cooperators.



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