Mobster's Murder Plea Stemmed from Gambino Turf War

Bruno stood before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, who accepted the plea. Bruno will be sentenced to 21 years in prison at a May 6, 2016 hearing.
"Jerry" Bruno will serve 21 years

On a recent Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court, Gennaro “Jerry” Bruno, a Gambino crime family associate, pleaded guilty to racketeering, a 2002 murder, and conspiring to impede grand jury testimony.

Bruno stood before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, who accepted the guilty plea. As per the agreement, Bruno will be sentenced to 21 years in prison at a May 6, 2016 hearing.

Back in October 2014 an indictment was unsealed charging Bruno, then described as an associate of the Gambino crime family under Joseph “JoJo” Corozzo, with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.

Bruno is not the first gangster to be found guilty in the murder of fellow associate Martin Bosshart, a member of a Gambino crew that was apparently at odds with at least one or two other Gambino crews over an immensely profitable drug trafficking ring begun in the 1980s. It reportedly was largely overseen by capo Alphonse Trucchio, who was busted in rank to soldier last year. Jojo Corozzo was reportedly responsible for Trucchio's demotion.

Trucchio was spotted on that fateful warm day in 2006 by an FBI agent "strolling in Forest Park in Queens (when he) luckily stumbled upon a meeting between Vernace and two supporting characters in the case."

The FBI agent, Gerard Conrad, "got a stroke of good luck... “I saw three made members of the Gambino family and two associates of the family in the park,” he said. Specifically, the trio -- Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace, Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo and Alphonse Trucchio -- and associates were seen and photographed supposedly while meeting in the woods near a playground.

Ronnie One-Arm's son.

In 2012, five reputed Gambino mobsters -- Vincenzo Frogiero, Todd LaBarca, John Brancaccio, Christopher Reynolds and Sean Dunn -- pleaded guilty for their roles in related drug rackets, according to an FBI press release.

Frogerio and LaBarca were in Gambino family captain Louis Mastrangelo's crew, while Brancaccio, Reynolds and Dunn were in Alphonse Trucchio's crew. Apparently the crews were locked in a turf war over control of a lucrative Gambino family marijuana trafficking operation, the FBI said.

LaBarca pled guilty to conspiring to committing the January 2002 murder of Martin Bosshart.

These five defendants were charged along with 17 others in the Southern District of New York in January 2011 in U.S. v. Joseph Corozzo, et al. as part of a nationwide takedown of members and associates of organized crime.

From the late 1980s through 2010, Trucchio and others oversaw the Gambino family’s large-scale narcotics distribution operations, primarily located in Queens, New York. 

From the late 1990s through 2002, LaBarca and other Gambino family members and associates, including Michael Roccaforte, imported hundreds of kilograms of high-potency marijuana from Canada into New York City. The marijuana trafficking operation yielded millions of dollars in profits for the Gambino family.

In 2001, Martin Bosshart, who was involved in narcotics trafficking and other crimes as part of Trucchio’s crew, began seeking to exclude Michael Roccaforte from the marijuana importation operation. In an effort to prevent Bosshart from taking over for Michael Roccaforte and from moving in on the marijuana importation business, LaBarca plotted with other Gambino family members and associates to murder Bosshart. 

On the night of January 2, 2002, LaBarca and others lured Bosshart to an isolated location in Queens, New York. There, Bosshart was shot in the back of the head at point-blank range, killing him. 

LaBarca's guilty plea was the first conviction of any individual in connection with Bosshart’s murder.

In 2012 LaBarca, whom the judge called “the ultimate mob wannabe," was sentenced to 23 years for his role in the rubout.

LaBarca "was so enamored with the gangster life that he talked about recruiting his teenage son and the boy's friends into his crew," Manhattan federal prosecutor Elie Honig said at the sentencing hearing.

“Chasing the mob life,” Honig said, “you turn on your friends, if they don’t turn on you first, you abandon your family, and you throw away your life and the lives of others.” So reported the New York Post.

Alphonse Trucchio
In July 2012, Alphonse Trucchio, "one of the youngest mobsters to be made a captain in mafia history—was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 121 months in prison," as New York City's Southern District's U.S. Attorney noted in a press release.

Trucchio previously pled guilty on February 17, 2012, to racketeering, narcotics trafficking, assault, illegal gambling, loansharking, obstruction of justice, and extortion in connection with two indictments before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

He was also charged in U.S. v. Alphonse Trucchio, et al. with 19 other individuals on November 30, 2011, for participating in a scheme to recruit illegal immigrants to work in adult entertainment clubs controlled by the Gambino Organized crime family.

Alphonse Trucchio became a “made” member of the Gambino crime family in the early 2000s, when he was in his 20s. After Trucchio’s father, Gambino crime family Captain Ronald Trucchio, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005, Trucchio, 30 years old at the time, was promoted to captain.

From 2005 until his arrest in 2011, he assembled and led the Gambino Family’s largest, youngest, and most active crew, the USA noted.

Trucchio presided over a large drug importation and trafficking ring, primarily located in Queens, New York. 

The ring distributed cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, and Vicodin pills, generating millions of dollars in illegal proceeds for the Gambino family. He also participated in the systematic extortion of multiple strip clubs in Queens and ordered numerous violent assaults.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Berman sentenced Trucchio, of Howard Beach, New York, to five years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $100,000.

In Sept. 2012, JoJo Corozzo, 70, was sentenced to the max — 63 months behind bars for bookmaking and extortion.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Richard Berman said the sentence, which stemmed from a May guilty plea, was appropriate given the nature of the crimes and the “history and characteristics” of the former Gambino consigliere.

Corozzo was noted to have been among John Gotti's biggest moneymakers; he also was known for his efforts to recruit young wanna-bes into mob life, "guys who done more than killin'" as Gotti was once recorded saying.

Corozzo continues to hold considerable power in the Gambino crime family, prosecutors said.

Where Bruno Comes In
Bruno wasn't arrested until 2014.

According to the indictment and other court filings, Bruno was released from prison in 2000 following a three-year bid.

By then he'd graduated from The Ozone Park Boys, also known as "Liberty Posse" and "The Young Guns," a Gambino crime family "farm team" based in Ozone Park, Queens. Bruno proved he was a stand-up guy by serving with distinction as a member of the violent street gang, which is infamous for committing a massive volume of crimes, including an illegal $30-million-a-year sports gambling enterprise.

This allowed for his 2000 promotion to associate of the "Corozzo Faction" of the Gambino crime family, the U.S. Attorney's Office for New York's Eastern District noted.

"Over the next 14 years, Bruno engaged in numerous crimes with and on behalf of... Corozzo, a powerful Gambino member who had risen to become the consigliere of the family."

Shortly after he became a Gambino associate, Bruno and other members and associates of the crime family were moving large-volume shipments of highly potent marijuana into New York City from Canada.

Bosshart was himself a notorious thug alleged to be involved in several homicides and other major crimes.

Bosshart was shot in the head on the night of January 2, 2002. His body was found at the scene of the shooting. He was 30 when he was murdered. The New York Times noted that "the body was found about 9:25 p.m. in a desolate area near the Belt Parkway, investigators said. It was face up in front of a fence at 155th Avenue near Lahn Street."

Bruno evaded justice for years and conspired with other Gambino associates to obstruct an official grand jury investigation into the Bosshart murder; all the while he continued to participate in Gambino crime family money-making activities, including drug trafficking and extortion.

As part of the alleged pattern of racketeering, Bruno, among other things, used his position in the Gambino crime family to extort the owner of a waste carting company based in Queens, NY.

Bruno was finally arrested around 12 years later in Las Vegas. On October 28, 2014, he was sent to the Eastern District of New York to face charges.

Jojo Corozzo was released on Jan 5 of this year. Alphonse Trucchio is slated for release on April 29, 2020.