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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Government informant gets four years for 2003 murder

Felix Tranghese, an admitted co-conspirator in the 2003 Springfield, Mass., murder plot against mob boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno who later turned government witness, was sentenced to four years in prison by a federal judge in New York on Friday.

Tranghese, 60, of East Longmeadow, Mass., was the first of three local gangsters-turned-informants to be sentenced in the long-running case. U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel commended Tranghese for his cooperation at the sentencing. The sentence was arguably a gift, since he was facing life in prison on the murder charge.

According to his own testimony in two trials in New York City over the past two years, Tranghese was a "made man" in the Genovese crime family and participated in an array of extortion plots and the take-down of Bruno until Tranghese was "shelved" by a group of young upstarts in 2006.

Tranghese pleaded guilty under a cooperation agreement with the government in 2010, admitting to Bruno's murder and various other rackets. In its sentencing memo, federal prosecutors noted that Tranghese began cooperating "almost immediately" after he was arrested in the summer of that year.

Tranghese admitted getting drawn in to the Bruno murder when Bruno fell out of favor with New York bosses by early 2003. Although he was not present when Bruno was gunned down by a paid hit man on Nov. 23, 2003, he told jurors that he brought the order to kill Bruno back to Western Massachusetts from mob higher-ups in New York.

Tranghese's lawyer, Michael Joseph, of Springfield, told Castel that his client was a "real man" and already has a job lined up in this area when he completes his sentence - which began tolling upon his arrest. Joseph asked that Tranghese serve out the balance of his sentence at the county jail in Ludlow, Mass.; Castel said he would make a recommendation to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Bruno's son, Victor Bruno, of Springfield, offered a statement to the court before sentencing. He noted that his father had proposed Tranghese become a sanctioned member of the crime family in 1982. He also rebutted the government's request for leniency on their witness' behalf.

"Well your honor, I want to ask the opposite, life ... yes life, for taking my father’s life, not a reward for the lies and useless information he provided," Victor Bruno said.



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