Springfield Mob Shooters Needed "'to Get Better at Head Shots"

Arillotta, turncoat, at "Big Al" Bruno murder trial.

In March 2011, Mafia turncoat Anthony J. Arillotta took the witness stand in an ongoing mob murder trial in federal court in lower Manhattan.

He detailed for jurors two cold-blooded murders and a third attempt, on a union official’s life, in 2003.

Standing trial were New York’s onetime acting boss of the Genovese crime family, Arthur “Artie” Nigro, 66, of the Bronx, N.Y., along with Arillotta associates Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 44, of West Springfield, and brother Ty Geas, 39, of Westfield, plus Arillotta, 42, of Springfield.

In 2010 they were hit with a wide-ranging murder and racketeering indictment that includes the 2003 murder-for-hire of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a former Genovese crime family member who ran an organized crime operation in Springfield, Massachusetts, the slaying of low level operator Gary D. Westerman, and the attempted murder of union official Frank Dadabo in New York the same year.

On November 23, 2003, Bruno and Frank Depergola were approached by a man as they prepared to enter their vehicle outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel club. The man called Bruno by name and when Bruno turned to address him, the man shot Bruno six times in the head and groin. Bruno was later pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Depergola, now serving a federal prison sentence for loan sharking, told police a lone gunman fled into the night

According to court records, Genovese leaders and Bruno's crew wanted to eliminate him because he was not earning enough money for the family. Several high ranking mobsters in New York were also misled to believe that Bruno was a government informant.

Arillotta received permission to have Bruno killed.

Arillotta testified he decided to turn prosecution witness almost immediately after his arrest in February 2010, and has pleaded guilty to the murders and attempted murder, plus a laundry list of extortions and drug and gun charges, in the hopes of escaping a life behind bars, according to a report on Mass Live.com.

On Thursday, Arillotta spent several hours under direct examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark D. Lanpher, calmly recounting first the attempt on Dadabo’s life in May 2003. He told jurors that Nigro ordered the hit on Dadabo over a union beef and gave him two guns fitted with silencers to do the job, which Nigro labeled in mob terms: “a piece of work.” 

After waiting quietly on a city bench in the Bronx early that morning, Arillotta said he and Ty Geas ambushed Dadabo as he headed for his car. Fotios Geas was waiting in a nearby car to whisk the shooters away, according to the witness.

“As soon as we seen him, we jumped up, got our guns and started walking fast ... When we got into the street, the target was opening his car door ... Ty was right up in his window, firing his gun. He started emptying his gun and the window shattered. I went to the left and fired into the car,” Arillotta testified.
Dadabo survived. Lanpher asked how Nigro reacted during a later conversation when the two discussed the failed murder attempt.

“He said we had to get better at head shots,” Arillotta told the jury.

That shooting, however, propelled Arillotta to a secret induction ceremony into the Genovese crime family in August 2003.

For Bruno’s part, his stock had been plummeting and the order came down from Nigro that he had to be taken out, Arillotta told jurors. During dinners at a steakhouse in the Bronx in 2003, Nigro complained to Arillotta that Bruno wasn’t turning in enough crime revenue to his New York superiors and drank too much. The final breach came when Bruno’s name cropped up in a pre-sentencing summary for a fellow gangster, Emilio Fusco, who was readying to be sentenced for racketeering and loan-sharking convictions.

Bruno proved to be a difficult target, ducking proposed trips to New York and dinner parties during which he was supposed to be killed. Ultimately, Freddy Geas recruited his friend and former prisonmate, Frankie A. Roche, of Westfield, a tattooed fringe player whom Geas referred to as his “crash dummy,” due to Roche’s reckless nature.


  1. Tired of mops like this whining about how bad everyone else was before they became rats. What did he expect, to be told to answer a call whenever it was convenient? Give me a break.



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