Gambino Associate "Jerry" Bruno, 43, Sentenced to 21 Years

Reputed Gambino associate Gennaro "Jerry" Bruno, 43, who pleaded guilty last month to the January 2002 Martin Bosshart murder, was sentenced Friday to 21 years in prison.
"Jerry" Bruno

Reputed Gambino associate Gennaro "Jerry" Bruno, 43, who pleaded guilty last month to the January 2002 fatal shooting of Martin Bosshart, was sentenced Friday to 21 years in prison as per the plea agreement.

He declined to comment at the sentencing in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Kristin Mace noted in court papers that Bruno had "personally shot Bosshart execution style at close range," firing one bullet to the back of his head.

Back in October 2014 an indictment was unsealed charging Bruno, described as an associate in Joseph “JoJo” Corozzo's Gambino crew, with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice, as reported.

According to the indictment and other court filings, when Bruno was released from prison in 2000 following a three-year term he became an associate of the Gambino crime family, having graduated from The Ozone Park Boys in Queens, New York.

Over the next 14 years, Bruno engaged in a myriad of crimes as an associate under Corozzo, who had risen to consigliere. Among Bruno's alleged crimes: he and other Gambino crime family members and associates imported large quantities of marijuana from Canada into New York City.

In 2001, Bruno’s criminal associate Martin Bosshart began efforts to exclude one of Bruno’s co-cohorts from the operation. Bruno plotted with other Gambino crime family members and associates to murder Bosshart.

On Jan. 2, 2002, Bruno and others lured Bosshart, 30, to an isolated location in Queens, New York, where Bruno allegedly shot Bosshart in the back of the head at point-blank range while he was urinating (apparently a standard ploy used in mob executions). Bosshart's body was later recovered at the scene.

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. Mr. Bosshart was running one of the most lucrative stolen auto parts operations in New York City when he was arrested in 1996, officials said. At the time, he was just 25. Before his arrest, he had overseen an auto-theft marketplace in a warehouse that covered an entire Queens block, base for organized crime's auto theft operations in the city, and shared some profits with a member of the Gambino crime family, according to court testimony.

"[H]e had a reputation that went farther.

"Law enforcement officials said he was a suspect in killings in the Bronx and Queens, and the police in Florida wanted to question him about three 1995 killings there.

"He was also the target of a federal grand jury inquiry into credit card fraud, narcotics trafficking and other crimes in Fort Lauderdale, where he traveled to work as a club promoter, the officials said.

"His criminal record dates back to 1988 and includes arrests on charges of robbery, assault, forgery, narcotics trafficking and, in 1990, attempted murder, although he was never convicted in that case."

Bosshart was charged with kidnapping, robbery and assault for abducting and shooting a former partner aligned with the Bonanno crime family because he believed the man had stolen $50,000 worth of Bosshart's stolen auto parts.

A law enforcement official who tracked Bosshart told the Times, ''The list of people who would want him dead is rather lengthy, and we're doing what we can to narrow it down to something manageable.''

Bruno also is alleged to have extorted the owner of a waste carting company in Queens.

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. 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.

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 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.

Todd LaBarca.
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.