FBI Mob Squad Nabs Man Who Killed Spumoni Gardens Co-Owner

Man who murdered Louis Barbati, L&B Spumoni Gardens co-owner, was arrested yesterday.
Fernandez, who was high while arrested,was placed in a hospital.
FBI agents yesterday arrested the alleged killer of a famous Brooklyn pizzeria's co-owner.

The suspect, Andres Fernandez, shot Louis Barbati, 61, five times on June 30. Barbati was an owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn's Gravesend.

Fernandez, 41, appeared in Brooklyn federal court to face murder, robbery and weapons charges. He didn't offer a plea. His lawyer didn't comment.

The FBI believed there was a mob-related motive to the killing all along.

The Daily News reported: "Federal investigators hoped Fernandez would cop to his possible mob ties after his arrest, but the alleged triggerman has kept his mouth shut, sources said."

Also, the Wall Street Journal noted: "It wasn’t immediately clear why Mr. Fernandez faced federal charges. A complaint laying out the allegations said that he was arrested by investigators who have worked cases involving the five organized-crime families that make up La Cosa Nostra, though it wasn’t clear whether his case is related."

The New York Daily News noted further that one of the FBI special agents who participated in the arrest has previously investigated the Bonanno and Colombo crime families. 

The famed pizzeria located in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

As of now, investigators have found no clear link to organized crime, sources told the News. The Feds are holding the heavily tattooed Fernandez, a known crack addict, without bail.

Surveillance footage showed Fernandez hanging around Barbati’s home. As Barbati's car nosed into the driveway, the footage shows the gunman darting behind a tree, where he then donned gloves and pulled a handgun.

Read related story, Spumoni Gardens: Botched Robbery or Mob Hit? 

Cell phone records placed Fernandez at the murder scene and L&B on the same day. No one at the pizzeria on 86th St. in Gravesend on that June day saw Fernandez, however.

The victim’s family reportedly fears additional violence is possible.

Philip Gregory, a Barbati family spokesman, said the family didn’t know Fernandez or why he had murdered Louis.

Troubled History

Francis "BF" Guerra, a longtime Colombo crime family associate who was sentenced in 2013 to 14 years in prison for selling his own prescription drugs, has an ex-wife who is a part owner of the pizzeria.

Several years back, a former Spumoni Gardens' employee -- who Guerra believed had stolen the pizzeria's sauce recipe -- gave said recipe to a Bonanno crime family associate who had opened a Staten Island-based pizzeria.

The Colombo and Bonanno crime families held a sitdown at Panera Bread (the nationwide chain). The Colombo representative, acting captain Anthony Russo, subsequently flipped on his cohorts and during the 2012 Guerra trial, offered testimony about the sitdown.

Bonanno guy: "Are we gonna go after every pizzeria that puts sauce on their slice?" 
Russo: "You got a point there."

"The crime families are still problematic. They are dangerous. They kill people. They threaten people," said James Wedick, a 34-year FBI agent, in reports.

"As long as there is gold on this planet they fill find a way to take it."

Another mob source said "There have been so many sitdowns over that place, going back years, all over the place."

He said he doesn't believe whatever the motive for the Barbati murder is related to the dispute over sauce.